You have probably received your stimulus check for the COVID-19 shutdown from the government by now. If you are fortunate, you have been able to put that in the bank for future use.

Scammers have been targeting people, particularly poor and desperate people, to bilk them out of their payments. Scammers will make calls, particularly to the elderly who aren’t particularly tech-savvy, telling them that they need to give information over the phone to receive the check.

This is absolutely not true. The checks should be sent automatically based on your tax filing. In addition to just stealing the money, criminals will use that personal information to steal your identity. If you or a loved one have been victims of this kind of identity theft, contact the police immediately, and then contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

You will probably need to hire an attorney who specializes in identity theft to help you protect yourself and make sure that the thief cannot continue to use your information.