Stimulus warning as Americans are 'throwing away $600 debit cards' because envelopes 'look like junk mail'January 19, 2021
A STIMULUS warning has been issued as Americans are throwing away their $600 debit cards because the envelopes "look like junk mail."
The IRS has issued an alert to watch for the cards, that people have been cutting up.
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The envelopes reportedly give no indication that money is inside, Ohio resident Jim Wallace told WCPO.
"I received a white envelope, with clear plastic on the top left corner and in the middle," he said.
"There was this address here with a little seal, and it didn't look like U.S. government mail. It looked like junk mail."
Upon opening the letter, Wallace realized there was a card inside with a note saying it was an Economic Impact Payment, however no information on the amount of the check.
"It did not look like an official IRS letter," he said. "It did not. We almost tossed it aside. We almost threw it away."
Americans have been on high alert when receiving their checks after people have lost millions of dollars due to stimulus themed scams.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) revealed more than $211million was collectively lost by Americans to stimulus check fraud and coronavirus scams.
A WSPA viewer revealed a fraudulent text message they received on December 22, 2020, the news outlet reported.
The text read: "COVID-19 Relief Update 12/22/2020: Congress has passed a 900 billion USD government stimulus package for COVID relief.
"What is in it for you Tim? Tim, you are receiving this message because your tax records indicate annual earnings less than $75,000 and are thus able to receive a Federal Stimulus Check to the sum of $600,00 plus an unemployment benefit of $300 for 11 weeks."
At the bottom of the scam text is a clickable link.
Referring to check scams, the Better Business Bureau of the Upstate's Vee Daniels told WSPA: "Basically they send you a fraudulent check, the scammers do, and you think it’s real because it looks real and you actually take it to the bank and cash it.
"And a couple of days later they’re following up with you to tell you that they have paid you more than you’re supposed to get and you have to send them this money back."
However, the banks would end up bouncing a few days after the deposit.
Another way scammers can trick Americans is by trying to make them pay a fee to obtain their check.
For anyone who has yet to obtain their stimulus checks, these are the seven reasons it's not arrived.
In April 2020, the Federal Trade Commission revealed several tips for avoiding a Covid relief payment scam.
The FTC urged Americans to ignore texts, emails, or calls about stimulus checks from the government.
According to the FTC, irs.gov/coronavirus. is the only place tax payers should submit information to the IRS is: irs.gov/coronavirus.
The IRS will not contact anyone "by phone, email, text message, or social media with information about your stimulus payment, or to ask you for your Social Security number, bank account, or government benefits debit card account number."
"Anyone who does is a scammer phishing for your information," the FTC website stated.
"You don’t have to pay to get your stimulus money.
"The IRS won’t tell you to deposit your stimulus check then send them money back because they paid you more than they owed you. That’s a fake check scam."
Scams should be reported to the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov/complaint.
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