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Cuyahoga County Department of Consumer Affairs warns of potential federal stimulus payment scams

Scams have been prevalent throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including when the previous stimulus payment was issued.

CUYAHOGA COUNTY, Ohio — As we inch closer to receiving the next federal stimulus payment, the Cuyahoga County Department of Consumer Affairs is warning residents to prepare for a new round of scams related to the payments to follow.

As the relief payments are sent automatically and in predetermined amounts, you do not need to take any action to receive these funds. 

RELATED: US House approves $2,000 COVID-19 relief checks, bill heads to GOP-led Senate

"Scammers are already adept at twisting stimulus headlines to trick people into paying or revealing private information," Sheryl Harris, Director of the Department of Consumer Affairs, said in a news release. "County residents should resolve now to ignore calls, texts and emails about stimulus payments or fraud - no matter how convincing they sound."

The Department advises that you should not click on emailed or texted links, as they may contain malware to hack your information. As a reminder, you should never give your Social Security number, banking information or payments to someone who contacts you. You should also hang up on any caller who tells you that they're in trouble with the law due to Social Security or stimulus payment fraud, as the IRS, Social Security Administration and law enforcement never contact citizens by phone, text or email.

"Interacting with scam callers - even to ask them to stop - only triggers more scam calls to your number," Harris continued. "Use Called ID and voicemail to dodge scam calls."