Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody warned Floridians on Monday to beware of scammers targeting the next wave of COVID-19 stimulus payments.
President Donald Trump signed a $900 billion pandemic relief package on Sunday, providing, among other things, $600 checks to most Americans. In a news release, Moody said the swindlers will particularly target the elderly and their stimulus checks.
“Scammers are always looking for new opportunities, like the passage of another round of federal stimulus, to rip off consumers,” Moody said. “The new round of economic relief and uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 create the perfect storm for fraudsters trying to make a dishonest dollar. I encourage all Floridians to review our Scams at a Glance webpage and download the new brochures to familiarize themselves with common scams related to the coronavirus and learn the best practices on how to avoid falling prey.”
The Scam at a Glance webpage provides Floridians numerous tips they can use to protect themselves and their loved ones. The online outreach program launched in July amid the rise of COVID-19 related scams.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Moody has issued more than 30 Consumer Alerts detailing various COVID-19 related scams.
While no two scams are the same, she offered general tips to help Floridians detect swindlers.
Among the latest advice, Moody cautioned against answering unsolicited calls and emails from what may appear to be a government entity. She warned “spoofing technology” can allow scammers to impersonate government entities such as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
She also said to be wary of high-pressure tactics, offers that seem too good to be true, and solicitors asking for payment to expedite stimulus payment or other benefits.
Americans can expect payment prior to Jan. 15, Newsweek reported.