TAMPA, Fla. -- Florida's Attorney General is warning families that scammers are already trying to exploit the recently-passed stimulus package to rip off Floridians.
Congress recently passed a $2 trillion COVID-19 stimulus bill that will include a $1,200 check for most adults in the United States. It also includes expanded unemployment coverage, student loan changes and more.
"Any time the government provides benefits, scammers swarm like sharks in a feeding frenzy, trying to steal payments before they can be distributed," said Ashley Moody, Florida's Attorney General.
Moody says even before this stimulus package passed, scammers began sending text messages to people claiming they could receive benefits by clicking on a link. That link likely contained malware, she said.
🚨 CONSUMER ALERT 🚨
Congress recently passed a $2 TRILLION coronavirus stimulus package, and scammers are trying to exploit this rescue bill to rip off Floridians.
DON’T FALL FOR THEIR TRICKS!
Educate yourself about the legislation and how to avoid scams. pic.twitter.com/DkxAXRgyxi
— AG Ashley Moody (@AGAshleyMoody) March 30, 2020
Moody said the IRS will not contact taxpayers by email, text message or social media to request your personal or financial information.
She said never respond to texts, emails, or ads directing you to click on a link.
Moody also advised to never provide your personal or financial information to an unsolicited message.
Never trust a caller ID claiming to be the IRS and do not take advance payments to secure or speed up access to benefits.
If you suspect you may have seen or fallen victim to a stimulus bill scam, contact the Florida Attorney General's Office. They can also answer any questions you may have about what is legitimate and what is not.