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Beware of COVID-19 scams

To the editor:

As we navigate through the COVID-19 Pandemic, there are many (we call them scammers) who are using the uncertainty caused by the virus to try to obtain our personal information and even our money. These individuals follow the headlines, and they use those headlines to scheme and scam when we are most vulnerable.

The federal government has started distributing the economic impact payments, more commonly referred to as stimulus checks. In fact, many people have already received their checks. Be patient if you have not received your check. It is important to remember that the IRS will not contact you regarding these checks. Do not provide any banking information or other personal information to anyone in response to a phone call, email message, or text message. You do not have to send any money to receive your impact payment. The IRS will not send you a check and then ask you to send some money back because they overpaid you. Visit www.irs.gov/coronavirus for commonly asked questions and to learn how to update your address and/or bank account information if that information has changed since you filed your 2018 or 2019 tax returns.

Scammers are also using COVID-19 to offer testing schemes, over the counter treatments, or preventative medicine or supplements, in an attempt to take your money or personal information. Do not respond to unsolicited phone calls, text messages, or emails offering testing for COVID-19. Be wary of any businesses or websites promising treatments or cures. Currently, there is no medicine or other products that can be taken to prevent contracting COVID-19. Please contact your health care professional with any questions regarding testing or treatments for COVID-19.

Bonnie Petersen

Victim Witness Coordinator

Nicollet County Attorney’s Office

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