Community Awareness Bulletin


                                                      COVID-19 STIMULUS RELATED SCAMS 

The Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) reminds Pennsylvania residents to remain vigilant against scammers attempting to take advantage of the upcoming stimulus disbursement and other programs associated with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) that was signed on 03/27/2020. Below are examples of some of the scams that are circulating:

  • Emails claiming to be from United States government agencies asking for personally identifying information (PII) so the victim will receive their deposit. These emails may have poor grammar and spelling and links that may contain malware that, once installed on the victim’s computer, steal information.
  • Texts, robocalls, or messages on other platforms containing links directing victims to a website that prompts them to enter their PII and other information, such as bank account information, usernames, passwords, and email addresses.
  • Callers who claim to have information on “secret” government programs or who offer to help with applications in exchange for your PII and a fee.                             

                                                                     RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Do not give banking or other personal information to anyone who requests it to make a “stimulus payment.” The federal government is utilizing banking information it already has on file from previous years’ tax returns, so you will probably not have to take any action. If you need to add or update banking information, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is working on creating a web portal. The IRS will make an official announcement when the portal is open.
  • Do not give money or personal information to anyone claiming to have information about government programs. If you have a question about a government program or need help with the application process, contact the agency that administers that program. They will assist you or direct you to an appropriate organization that can provide assistance.
  • Make sure your computer has the latest updates, and ensure it has an antivirus program. Delete any email from people you do not recognize or has attachments you are not expecting.

For more information about the CARES Act, visit the US Department of the Treasury website at https://home.treasury.gov.

For the most up-to-date and accurate information about coronavirus and COVID-19 in Pennsylvania, visit the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

PSP reminds residents who fall victim to a scam to report it to their local police department.