This week, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody alerted the public about the potential for a new round of scams related to coronavirus and stimulus payments as another round of economic relief is approved.
To highlight these scams and provide resources for Floridians to share with loved ones, especially seniors, Moody’s Scams at a Glance program released downloadable brochures detailing information about how to spot common COVID-19 and stimulus scams to stop fraud in its tracks. The brochures are printable and available in both English and Spanish.
“Scammers are always looking for new opportunities, like the passage of another round of federal stimulus, to rip off consumers. The new round of economic relief and uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 create the perfect storm for fraudsters trying to make a dishonest dollar. I encourage all Floridians to review our Scams at a Glance webpage and download the new brochures to familiarize themselves with common scams related to the coronavirus and learn the best practices on how to avoid falling prey,” Moody said.
The consumer awareness materials also provide tips on how to spot and avoid fraud. Common signs of scams related to COVID-19 and stimulus payments include:
- Unsolicited calls or emails, especially if caller ID displays IRS or email message appears to be from a government entity. Spoofing technology allows scammers to change the caller ID display and scammers regularly change email addresses to impersonate government officials;
- High-pressure tactics or too-good-to-be-true offers;
- Threats of loss if immediate action is not taken; and
- Requests for immediate payment by wire transfer, credit, prepaid debit, or gift cards to expedite stimulus payment or other benefit.
Moody launched the Scams at a Glance webpage in July to offer Floridians an online outreach program as the state and nation began to see a rise in scams brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.