W.Va. Attorney General Morrisey warns of CARES Act stimulus check scam

Published: Apr. 21, 2020 at 3:57 PM EDT
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West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey issued a consumer alert Tuesday warning of a CARES Act stimulus check scam.

Nearly every American is set to receive such a check. The CARES Act provides a check for $1,200 for most adults, $2,400 for most couples and $500 per child per household.

The Attorney General alerts consumers that thieves may call, email and text West Virginians. They falsely claim people must first provide their bank account, Social Security number or other personally identifiable information to receive the checks.

“Let me be clear: You do not need to provide information to any third party in order to get your $1,200 or anything else you’re supposed to receive under the CARES Act,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Whether you’re talking about the $1,200 or the Paycheck Protection Program loans for small businesses, make sure you follow only the guidance from our office or the federal government because the scammers only want to steal from you.”

Most West Virginians will receive their stimulus check automatically. The federal government is sending the payment to those eligible via direct deposit in a manner consistent with the taxpayer’s federal refund for tax year 2019 or 2018.

The Attorney General advises consumers to never open an unsolicited email, take a phone call from an unfamiliar number or respond to text messages from unknown parties.

Anyone who believes they have been the victim of a scam or price gouging during the coronavirus pandemic should contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-368-8808, the Eastern Panhandle Consumer Protection Office in Martinsburg at 304-267-0239 or visit the office online at www.wvago.gov.