Be Vigilant: Government Stimulus Check Scams | Information Technology | University of Pittsburgh

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Be Vigilant: Government Stimulus Check Scams

Monday, March 23, 2020 - 16:08


As the federal government discusses the possibility of sending stimulus checks to Americans in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, scammers are already plotting ways to exploit the proposals.

Be vigilant for phishing scams related to stimulus checks that are likely to surface in the coming days and weeks. Keep in mind the following tips for spotting scams:

  1. Federal, state, and local governments will not ask citizens to pay any fees or charges to obtain stimulus checks. Any attempt to collect money in exchange for stimulus checks is a scam. 
  2. The government will not contact you to request your Social Security number, bank account number, credit card number, or other sensitive information as a prerequisite for receiving a stimulus check.
  3. A proposal to provide stimulus checks has not yet been approved. Anyone who claims they can provide you with stimulus money in advance is a scammer.  

If you receive a message you believe to be a scam, please report it by forwarding the email message as an attachment to Additional tips for spotting phishing scams—along with detailed instructions for reporting suspicious email messages—are available on our phishing awareness page.

Please contact the 24/7 Help Desk at 412-624-HELP (4357) if you have any questions regarding this announcement.