FAIRFIELD — The Fairfield Police Department would like to remind residents to be vigilant of potential scams relating to COVID-19, such as suspicious activity relating to the distribution of the federal CARES Act stimulus bill.
The U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced that the automatic distribution of the upcoming economic impact payments has begun. These payments will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people.
The IRS urges people to be on the lookout for scams relating to these payments, as criminals could exploit these confusing and stressful times to take advantage of taxpayers by committing fraud and identity theft.
Ways to spot a potential scam relating to these payments include the following:
- Usage of phrases such as “stimulus check” or “stimulus payment.” The official term is economic impact payment.
- Being asked to sign over your economic impact payment in exchange for receiving additional funds.
- Requests by phone, email, text or social media for verification of personal and/or banking information. Fraudsters may claim the information is needed to receive or speed up your economic impact payment. The IRS will not call you asking you to verify financial information to expedite a payment.
- Being asked by someone for personal information in order to get an economic impact payment faster by working on your behalf.
- Being mailed a fraudulent check and asked to call or verify information online in order to cash it.
Any Fairfield resident who believes they have been contacted by a potential scammer, or who believes they may have been a victim of such a scam, should contact the Fairfield Police Department at 203-254-4800. Scams should also be reported to the FTC at www.ftc.gov/complaint.
You can learn if you are eligible and how any potential payment will be disbursed to you via the IRS website here.
Additional Scam Information
Fairfield Police would like to provide the following additional information relating to COVID-19 scams.
- Never give out your personal information over the phone or online.
- Items being marketed as “kits,” “cures” and/or “antidotes” for the novel coronavirus are all scams and may also be dangerous.
- Never partake in any COVID-19 testing from door-to-door solicitors, people who approach them at grocery stores or other community venues, solicitors who call requesting financial information in return for a test or COVID-19 test offerings by mail.
- Never give personal information, Medicare numbers, money or home access to people soliciting tests. If a testing kit is mailed to you, you should not accept the test. Return the test to the sender and alert local authorities immediately.
COVID-19 Information Resources
Fairfield Police encourage everyone to stay informed regarding COVID-19. The following websites are recommended for the most updated information:
- Town website: www.fairfieldct.org
- Fairfield Police website: www.fpdct.com
- Connecticut Department of Public Health COVID-19 website: portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus
- United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www.cdc.gov