Florida Attorney General Warns of Stimulus Payment and COVID-19 Scams

Posted on December 28, 2020 by Staff reports

Attorney General Ashley Moody today alerted the public about the potential for a new round of scams related to coronavirus and stimulus payments as another round of economic relief is approved. To highlight these scams and provide resources for Floridians to share with loved ones, especially seniors, Attorney General Moody’s Scams at a Glance program just released two new downloadable brochures detailing information about how to spot common COVID-19 and stimulus scams to stop fraud in its tracks. The brochures are printable and available in both English and Spanish.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Scammers are always looking for new opportunities, like the passage of another round of federal stimulus, to rip off consumers. The new round of economic relief and uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 create the perfect storm for fraudsters trying to make a dishonest dollar. I encourage all Floridians to review our Scams at a Glance webpage and download the new brochures to familiarize themselves with common scams related to the coronavirus and learn the best practices on how to avoid falling prey.”

The easy to read consumer awareness materials also provide tips on how to spot and avoid fraud. Common signs of scams related to COVID-19 and stimulus payments include:

  • Unsolicited calls or emails, especially if caller ID displays IRS or email message appears to be from a government entity. Spoofing technology allows scammers to change the caller ID display and scammers regularly change email addresses to impersonate government officials;
  • High-pressure tactics or too-good-to-be-true offers;
  • Threats of loss if immediate action is not taken; and
  • Requests for immediate payment by wire transfer, credit, prepaid debit, or gift cards to expedite stimulus payment or other benefit.

To view the stimulus payments scams brochure in English, click here.

To view the stimulus payments scams brochure in Spanish, click here.

To view the COVID-19 scams brochure in English, click here.

To view the COVID-19 scams brochure in Spanish, click here.

Attorney General Moody launched the Scams at a Glance webpage in July to offer Floridians an online outreach program as the state and nation began to see a rise in scams brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The webpage is designed to provide consumers with information on how to spot and avoid falling victim to fraud.

To access Attorney General Moody’s Scams at a Glance webpage, click here.

Additionally, Attorney General Moody has issued more than 30 Consumer Alerts with information about emerging scams and tips to avoid fraud related to the COVID-19 pandemic. To view the latest alerts and to stay up-to-date on COVID-19 related scams, visit the Attorney General’s Consumer Alert webpage by clicking here.

To report fraud or file a complaint, visit MyFloridaLegal.com or call 1(866) 9NO-SCAM.

For additional COVID-19 tips and resources, click here.