Coronavirus

Treasury warns of stimulus payment fraud

A number of different schemes have reportedly been used as fraudsters take advantage of a lack of safeguarding measures

There has reportedly been a rise in the number of scams involving economic impact payments aimed at recipients of Covid-19 relief.

According to the treasury department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), criminals are taking advantage of a lack of safeguarding measures to exploit the various forms of funding distributed by the government.

One scheme reported by FinCEN involves potential victims being sent fake cheques, in turn being told to provide their details to cash the fraudulent cheques.

A second scam centres around stimulus payments being altered to change the name of the recipient before being cashed in.

The organisation has also seen a rise in stolen cheques, as fraudsters take advantage of the overburdened US postal service.

Finally, the group warned of cases involving the inappropriate seizure of employees’ payments.

The advisory said: “A private company that may have control over a person’s finances or serves as his or her representative payee seizes a person’s EIP, for wage garnishments or debt collection, and does not return the inappropriately seized payments.”

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