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State gov warns Louisiana taxpayers about online COVID-19 stimulus scams

2 months 5 days 1 hour ago Tuesday, March 31 2020 Mar 31, 2020 March 31, 2020 4:35 AM March 31, 2020 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE – The federal government is preparing to distribute economic stimulus funds to most Americans in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, but as this happens it's likely that scam artists will attempt to steal money from taxpayers.

The Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) is warning taxpayers to be on the lookout for phishing scams,which are one of the most common fraud tactics. These are carried out to acquire personal information, such as Social Security numbers, to commit identity theft.

“The unfortunate reality is that there will always be criminals trying to take advantage of unsuspecting citizens during a crisis,” Secretary of Revenue Kimberly Lewis Robinson said. “Neither the Louisiana Department of Revenue nor the IRS will contact any taxpayer to ask for personal information, and no government agency will charge a fee of any kind for the delivery of stimulus funds.”

The U.S. Department of the Treasury says on its website, “If you receive calls, emails, or other communications claiming to be from the Treasury Department and offering COVID-19 related grants or stimulus payments in exchange for personal financial information, or an advance fee, or charge of any kind, including the purchase of gift cards, please do not respond. These are scams.”

Louisiana residents who suspect they are victims of identity theft can take steps to protect themselves by reporting the crime to the police, reporting suspected fraud to the three major credit-reporting bureaus, and submitting a Louisiana Identity Theft Affidavit to the LDR Criminal Investigations Division.

Visit the LDR Identity Theft Checklist for more information.

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