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CCSO warns of stimulus check scams

By J.R. TIDWELL /Editor

In response to the issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, legislation has been passed to have the United States Treasury send out stimulus checks to taxpayers.

While the checks are meant to help out citizens during a difficult time, criminals would like to get ahold of those funds as well.

“We would like to caution everyone about fraud involving stimulus checks,” said Chilton County Sheriff John Shearon in a statement. 

“Here are a few things to be aware of relating to potential fraud.

• Beware of phone calls, texts, e-mails or websites that say you must give up personal or financial information to receive a stimulus check.

You will not have to pay a fee to receive your stimulus check if you are entitled to relief.

The IRS will never call and demand immediate payment over the phone, nor will they call about taxes owed without having first sent written correspondence.

The IRS will never threaten to have you arrested by local authorities or law enforcement over the phone.

The IRS will never require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer.

The IRS will never demand credit card or debit card information over the phone.”

The stimulus checks will be sent out automatically to taxpayers who qualify.

“For those that have already filed for 2019, any stimulus money you are entitled to will be sent in the same manner you requested your return,” Shearon said. “The same method will be used for those who filed in 2018 but have not yet filed for 2019. If there is any doubt about a stimulus payment or anyone has questions, the IRS has posted all key information at IRS.gov/coronavirus.

“We ask everyone to help us in fighting this fraud.  Feel free to contact the Sheriff’s Office if you have questions or believe someone is trying to defraud you.”