MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Office of Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is warning Floridians about scammers as stimulus payment deposits are starting to flow in.

“Floridians should take steps now to avoid falling prey to scams designed to steal payments, banking account numbers or other sensitive personal information,” officials warn.

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“Anytime a government offers financial relief to individuals or businesses, scammers will devise schemes to steal as much of it as possible,” said Moody.

“That is why I am asking Floridians to keep their guard up as the federal government begins to disseminate these individual payments. Stay up to date about how and when you might receive your stimulus payment and be suspicious of anyone requesting personal or financial information in exchange for an expedited deposit.”

If you have already filed your taxes and the IRS has your banking information, you do not need to take action.

The IRS will mail confirmation notices within a few weeks after payments are made.

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Anyone who receives a notice, but does not receive a payment, should contact the IRS.

Moody’s office says the IRS will not initiate contact with anyone by email, phone call, text messages or social media to request personal or financial information.

The IRS emphasizes on its website that there is no sign-up requirement to receive payment.

Moody’s office says you should never:
• Respond to text messages, emails or ads directing you to click on a link;
• Provide any personal or financial information in response to an unsolicited message;
• Trust Caller ID displays claiming a call is from the IRS—as spoofing technology allows scammers to change phone displays to impersonate government agencies; and
• Make any advance payment in order to secure or expedite access to a benefit.
That message is even more important now as checks are going out. To view the alert in its entirety, click here.

Anyone who encounters a coronavirus stimulus package scam or any other types of COVID-19 fraud, should contact the Florida Attorney General’s Office at 1(866) 9NO-SCAM or MyFloridaLegal.com.

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