LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — As government relief under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act rolls out, Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford warns Nevadans to be alert for scammers looking to steal your personal or financial information.
Payments have already begun to be distributed to individuals who qualify for the government’s economic impact payments, also referred to as stimulus checks.
The Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection offers the following tips for avoiding scams related to the economic impact payments:
· The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will not contact you by phone, email, text message or social media with information about your individual stimulus payment. The IRS also will not reach out to you to ask for information such as your Social Security number, bank account or government benefits information;
· You do not have to pay a fee to get your stimulus check, nor will paying a fee get you the money more quickly; and
· The IRS will not instruct you to deposit your stimulus check and then send the money back because they sent you more than what is owed.
The government and various non-profits have also been offering a number of financial resources for small business owners. As with the economic impact payments, small business owners should be alert for scams related to these assistance programs:
· The Small Business Administration (SBA) will not initiate contact with you regarding the loans. If you receive an unsolicited call, it will not be from someone with the SBA;
· Be wary of anyone requiring payment up front or offering a high-interest bridge loan while awaiting your SBA loan;
· While in the process of applying for a loan, ensure that any communications asking for your personally identifying information has your unique and correct application number;
· SBA limits the fees a broker can charge a borrower to three percent for loans $50,000 or less and two percent for loans $50,000 to $1 million, with an additional one-quarter percent on amounts more than $1 million. Any attempt to charge more is not appropriate;
· Several other grants may be available from non-profit organizations or for-profit businesses, depending on your industry. Research the organization or company making the grant offer and educate yourself about the terms before agreeing to anything.
Details on the federal government’s resources can be found here.