Casey Urges Public to Stay Alert and Look Out for Signs of Scams
Washington, D.C. – As millions of Americans are starting to receive relief checks to help them alleviate the financial strain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Ranking Member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, is reminding consumers to remain vigilant against new coronavirus scams. As the economic uncertainty continues, consumers should beware of scammers looking to capitalize off confusion surrounding these payments.
“It is outrageous that scammers are seeking to capitalize on public anxiety surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic to prey on consumers. We must arm ourselves with information to guard against scam artists who may pose as the IRS or Social Security Administration to steal these payments,” said Senator Casey.
It is important to be armed with information and know the difference between contact from the IRS and contact from scammers.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) maintains a webpage with information on tips to avoid becoming a victim of any of the various coronavirus scams. If you or a loved one receives a suspicious call or email related to the coronavirus, do not engage, and immediately contact the Aging Committee’s toll-free Fraud Hotline at-1-855-303-9470.
The bipartisan Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was recently signed into law, provides direct cash assistance to individuals amidst the COVID-19 public health and economic crisis. The CARES Act provides $1,200 per eligible adult and an additional $500 in direct payment per dependent child. If the IRS does not have your direct deposit information, you can update it by going to IRS.gov and clicking on ‘Get My Payment’ to provide the IRS your direct deposit information. This will speed your ability to get your payment. ‘Get My Payment’ will also allow taxpayers to check on the status of their return. Checks that are mailed could take up to 20 weeks to arrive, so consumers are encouraged to update their information if possible. This payment is not considered taxable income.
In March, Senator Casey sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, concerning coronavirus-related scams and requesting information on each agency’s actions to prevent misinformation about the coronavirus. Senator Casey also sent a letter to the FTC inquiring about the agency’s efforts to protect seniors from coronavirus-related scams.