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Beware stimulus check scams

Paper checks are expected to take longer to mail out.

Posted: Mar 30, 2020 12:27 PM

The federal government hasn't issued a single stimulus check yet, but scammers are already trying to steal the money from Americans.

These criminal efforts are prompting the Federal Bureau of Investigation, multiple state attorneys general and other agencies to warn Americans not to fall for phone calls, texts, emails or websites that ask for personal or financial information in order to receive the $1,200 federal payment.

"If someone claims to be from the government with a check for you, it may be a phishing scam that is illegally trying to obtain your bank account or other personal information," New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement Saturday.

"Do not pay anyone who promises that they can expedite or obtain a payment or a loan for you," James continued. "If you are eligible for relief, you will not need to make any up-front payment or pay any fee to receive a stimulus payment."

Most Americans will receive up to $1,200 per person in coming weeks, as part of a historic $2 trillion stimulus package President Donald Trump signed into law Friday. Parents will receive up to another $500 for each child under age 17.

The payments will start phasing out for individuals with adjusted gross incomes of more than $75,000. The amount will then be reduced by $5 for every additional $100 of adjusted gross income, and those making more than $99,000 will not receive anything.

The income thresholds are doubled for couples. About 90% of Americans are eligible for a full or partial check, according to a Tax Policy Center estimate.

RELATED: Trump signs $2.2T stimulus after swift congressional votes

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday told CNBC that Americans will start receiving the money within three weeks, but tax experts say it could take longer than that for the Internal Revenue Service to process the payments.

Those who file their tax returns electronically and provide the IRS with their bank information will likely get their payments earlier via direct deposit. Some 88% of individual returns were filed electronically in 2018.

Paper checks are expected to take longer to mail out.

The IRS specifies on its website that no sign-up is required, and there is no need to call. The agency will post additional information, when it's available, at www.irs.gov/coronavirus.

The stimulus law specifies that recipients will receive a notice by mail no later than 15 days after the payment was distributed, which will indicate the amount of money sent, the method by which it was delivered and a phone number to call at the IRS if the funds failed to arrive.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 796436

Reported Deaths: 15291
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2633336423
Riverside576951173
San Bernardino53121908
Orange525381176
San Diego45425767
Kern31647357
Fresno27944362
Sacramento21800393
Alameda20839395
Santa Clara20648300
San Joaquin20060434
Stanislaus16425342
Contra Costa16156202
Tulare15782257
Ventura12507146
Imperial11658317
San Francisco1090199
San Mateo9664144
Monterey964570
Santa Barbara8952111
Merced8803140
Kings754477
Sonoma7225120
Marin6620114
Solano623260
Madera442465
Placer352343
San Luis Obispo345327
Butte277640
Yolo277355
Santa Cruz22838
Sutter168610
Napa165213
San Benito131411
Yuba11337
El Dorado10784
Mendocino88718
Shasta75114
Lassen7360
Glenn5683
Tehama5294
Nevada5256
Colusa5226
Lake51611
Humboldt4906
Calaveras31414
Amador28716
Tuolumne2264
Inyo18714
Mono1652
Siskiyou1630
Del Norte1381
Mariposa752
Plumas500
Modoc250
Trinity150
Sierra60
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Chico
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 66°
Oroville
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 65°
Paradise
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 66°
Chester
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 50°
Red Bluff
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 64°
Willows
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 66°
Wednesday has been similar to Tuesday around northern California with comfortable temperatures, but unhealthy levels of smoke in the air. A cold front is approaching the West Coast, and that will move over the region on Thursday.
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