AG James Warns New Yorkers about Scams Related to Federal Relief for COVID-19

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James today issued an alert to New Yorkers to warn them about potential scams related to the federal stimulus package passed by Congress to provide economic relief during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) has received reports of scammers attempting to steal personal and financial information by using the news that the federal government will send payments to people across the country as part of the economic relief efforts.

“Scammers have been using a variety of tools to take advantage of this crisis and steal from New Yorkers,” said Attorney General James. “The latest example involves scammers pretending to be from the federal government and preying on individuals who desperately need financial support right now. I remind all New Yorkers to be vigilant and take precautions to ensure they do not fall victim to these harmful and heartless scams.”

Attorney General James released the following tips for New Yorkers to protect themselves from these scams:

  • Never give your personal information or financial information out to someone unless you are absolutely sure who they are.

  • Be alert: scammers may use emails, texts, or webpages that look like they are from the federal government. If someone claims to be from the government with a check for you, it may be a phishing scam that is illegally trying to obtain your bank account or other personal information.

  • If you are eligible for a payment, you will receive a payment directly from the IRS. Do not pay anyone who promises that they can expedite or obtain a payment or a loan for you. If you are eligible for relief, you will not need to make any up-front payment or pay any fee to receive a stimulus payment. You will not be charged any "processing fees."

  • Never open attachments or links sent from anyone who claims to be from the government. Do not reply and delete the message right away.  

If you believe you have been a victim of a scam, please contact the Office of the Attorney General and file a complaint.