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District Attorney Warns of "Stimulus Check" Scam

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By Lookout Staff

April 13, 2020 -- Los Angeles County residents should beware of scam artists attempting to defraud them by promising to send quick stimulus payments, the District Attorney's Office announced last week.

In the scam, con artists offer to send federal “stimulus check” money by check or direct deposit, said said LA County District Attorney Jackie Lacey.

"Crooks ask for an upfront payment to receive the aid or for your Social Security number, bank account or credit card details," Lacey said.

"In addition, fraudsters also are impersonating retailers by sending fake texts or social media posts to offer stimulus checks," she said.

The messages contain a malicious link used to steal information, Lacey said.

The DA's office notes that the government does not ask for a fee or for a Social Security number, bank account or credit card information.

Last month, the DA warned that scammers were posing as census takers ("District Attorney Warns of Census Scams," March 27, 2020).

In addition to the fake stimulus check and census scams, residents should be on the lookout for criminals attempting to exploit COVID-19 worldwide.

The U.S. Justice Department has received reports of:

  • Individuals and businesses selling fake cures for COVID-19 online and engaging in other forms of fraud,

  • Phishing emails from entities posing as the World Health Organization (WHO) or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),

  • Malicious websites and apps that appear to share virus-related information to gain and lock access to devices until payment is received and

  • Seeking donations fraudulently for illegitimate or non-existent charitable organizations.

Those who suspect fraudulent activity should contact the Federal Trade Commission at

Those who believe they have been a victim of a scam or attempted fraud involving COVID-19, should call the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or send an email to

Those who suspect a cyber scam should submit a complaint by clicking here

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