FTC and BBB Warn: Beware of ‘stimulus scammers’

VIDEO: Scammers cooking up ways to steal stimulus checks

Scam artists have already beaten the U.S. Government to countless people in need by offering stimulus cash, while posing as federal agents, according to the Better Business Bureau of Western Washington.

The goal of the fraudsters is to gain your Social Security and bank information.

“Notice that they’ll ask for things like routing numbers,” said Ben Spradling, Marketplace Manager for the BBB. "They’ll ask for things like Social Security numbers and that’s when you realize maybe a little too late that you’ve given information you shouldn’t have.''

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“It hasn’t yet been clearly communicated yet how those checks are going to get to those individuals who need them,” Spradling said. "I think because of that, (victims) may think that it’s coming just as easily as a text message that arrives at their phone number.''

The BBB and FTC warn that when the U.S. Treasury has cash to send your way, it will make communications methods clear, and they won’t be texting you. They also warn with every crisis, predators are waiting for easy targets.

“Any opportunity (a scammer) would have to directly connect with consumers, they’re using that to scam them out of some of their banking information and ultimately their money,'' Spradling said. “Everybody needs help right now, just make sure you’re going about it the right way.”

Here’s a link to the BBB scam tracker site: https://www.bbb.org/scamtracker