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The original item was published from 4/8/2020 8:56:56 AM to 8/8/2020 5:05:06 PM.

News Flash

District Attorney

Posted on: April 8, 2020

[ARCHIVED] WARNING: Scammers Targeting Stimulus Payments; What to Watch For


A developing phishing scam is targeting individuals expecting a stimulus payment due to the COVID-19 emergency.

Residents SHOULD NOT provide bank account or direct deposit information to anyone contacting them through social media, email, or via text message or phone call.

No action is required by most people who will receive an economic impact payment. Read more about the process HERE.

The federal government will distribute most economic impact payments by direct deposit.

However, the IRS has reported a surge of scam artists perpetrating phishing schemes where they pose as government officials to trick people into turning over their banking information.

The Pennsylvania Revenue Secretary says the scam targets “vulnerable” and “struggling” individuals.

There are ways to detect the scam.

Some of the scam messaging reads verbatim, “In order to receive your stimulus check via direct deposit, you will need to confirm your banking information.”

The official term being used by the federal government is economic impact payments – beware when you read anything with the terms “stimulus check” or “stimulus payment.”

  • Always verify the identity of anyone who contacts you.
  • Do not fall for pitches to receive your payment faster. You do not need to provide personal information to receive faster payment.
  • Never sign over your payment.

If you believe you were a victim or target of the scam, contact your local police department or email the Department of Revenue’s Fraud Detection and Analysis Unit at

MEDIA CONTACT: Brett A. Hambright, 717-295-2041;; Twitter: @BrettHambright

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