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Morrisey warns of stimulus check scams

CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey warned consumers to beware of potential scams as they await their stimulus checks.

The federal government is set to send stimulus checks to each household in coming days or weeks as part of a larger COVID-19 relief package. While many consumers eagerly await the money, it is imperative they watch for scams and protect sensitive information.

“Many Americans are understandably anxious for their stimulus check to arrive,” Morrisey said. “Don’t be impatient and, in haste, fall for a scam. Consumers should take steps and carefully verify any unsolicited email, text message or phone call. This will help ensure that you do not lose money or personal, identifiable information.”

Consumers should note that government agencies will not call, text, email or contact individuals via social media asking for information such as Social Security numbers or bank account numbers.

Here are a few more tips to keep in mind:

There’s no way to expedite the arrival of the check. Anyone who promises to get money to a consumer faster is likely a scammer.

The government will not ask consumers to pay a fee upfront to receive their stimulus checks.

Be cautious with unsolicited phone calls, texts and emails that ask for financial information.

Be wary of pressure tactics.

Beware of look-alike checks that may come in the mail. If a consumer deposits a fake check, they could be stuck with fees from their bank.

Anyone who believes they have been the target of a stimulus check scam should contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-368-8808, the Eastern Panhandle Consumer Protection Office in Martinsburg at 304-267-0239 or visit the office online at www.wvago.gov.

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