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Consumer Alert

Shapiro Issues Consumer Alert: Watch Out for COVID19, Federal Stimulus Check Scams

March 27, 2020 | Topic: Consumers

HARRISBURG― Attorney General Josh Shapiro today warned consumers that scammers may try to take advantage of recent news about a federal stimulus check to steal personal information from Pennsylvanians.

“Scammers go into overtime during uncertainty, and we’re doubling down to stop them and protect Pennsylvanians during this public health emergency,”​ ​said Attorney General Shapiro​.​ “Don’t take unsolicited calls that claim to be about the COVID-19 pandemic or the Federal stimulus, and report suspicious emails and calls to my office to help protect yourself and others.”

“To anyone foolish, selfish, and sick enough to prey on their fellow Americans at this time: we are watching, and you will be caught,” said Conor Lamb, Representative of Pennsylvania’s 17th Congressional District. “Congress approved these checks intending that every penny go to Americans in need, and I thank Attorney General Shapiro for his help in making sure that comes true.”

The Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General remains vigilant in protecting consumers from and making them aware of scam operations. Our Office also encourages consumers to follow these tips to protect themselves:

  • Check the websites and email addresses offering information, products, or services related to COVID-19. Be aware that scammers often employ addresses that differ only slightly from those belonging to the entities they are impersonating. For example, they might use “cdc.com” or “cdc.org” instead of “cdc.gov.”
  • Be wary of unsolicited emails offering information, supplies, or treatment for COVID-19 or requesting your personal information for other purposes.
  • Do not click on links or open email attachments from unknown or unverified sources. Doing so could download a virus onto your computer or device.

Consumers can sign up for text scam alerts, which offer tips for consumers to avoid becoming a victim of a scam, warn about new scams or update subscribers on consumer protection issues. Pennsylvanians can sign up for these tips from our Office at https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/consumer-alerts/. Consumers can also file a complaint about an active or potential scam with our email, scams@attorneygeneral.gov.

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