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Technology FBI issues warning for COVID-19 stimulus package scams

20:05  27 march  2020
20:05  27 march  2020 Source:   cnet.com

Schumer 'confident' stimulus coronavirus deal will be reached Monday

  Schumer 'confident' stimulus coronavirus deal will be reached Monday Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on Monday that congressional leaders and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin would reach a deal on a massive coronavirus stimulus package later in the day. © Bonnie Cash Schumer 'confident' stimulus coronavirus deal will be reached Monday "We're very close to reaching a deal, very close, and our goal is to reach a deal today, and we're hopeful, even confident that we will meet that goal," Schumer said from the Senate floor. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

Hackers and scammers online have ramped up attacks to take advantage of the coronavirus pandemic, and it could mean targeting the US's relief effort next, the FBI warns.

a person standing in front of a tent: There are millions of people in the US that will be seeking financial assistance from the $2 trillion relief package offered by the US government. Hackers will be targeting them, too, the FBI warns. James Martin/CNET © Provided by CNET There are millions of people in the US that will be seeking financial assistance from the $2 trillion relief package offered by the US government. Hackers will be targeting them, too, the FBI warns. James Martin/CNET

On Wednesday, the US Senate passed a $2 trillion aid package to financially support people affected by the coronavirus outbreak. With businesses temporarily closing and a record 3.3 million Americans filing for unemployment benefits because of the pandemic, the stimulus deal is intended to help boost the US economy.

Scammers are hoping to cash in on your coronavirus stimulus check

  Scammers are hoping to cash in on your coronavirus stimulus check The first round of federal relief checks was set to be processed Thursday as part of the federal response to the coronavirus. And scammers are hoping to cash in on them. The first payout is estimated to cover at least 50 million Americans. You can expect scam artists to try to take advantage of them, says officials with the Federal Trade Commission. "The retirees are particularly the people we are going to see scam artists go after," saidThe first payout is estimated to cover at least 50 million Americans. You can expect scam artists to try to take advantage of them, says officials with the Federal Trade Commission.

The package offers direct payments of $1,200 to most adults making up to $75,000, or $2,400 for couples making up to $150,000. It will also expand unemployment benefits and provide laid-off workers full pay for four months.

With millions of people out of work and expecting to file for these benefits, hackers could have an opening for unsuspecting victims. In a warning from the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center, the agency explained that the US government would never send an email out asking for people's personal information to get federal aid.

"While talk of economic stimulus checks has been in the news cycle, government agencies are not sending unsolicited emails seeking your private information in order to send you money," the FBI said in its post.

How to track your coronavirus stimulus check now: Here's what to do

  How to track your coronavirus stimulus check now: Here's what to do We show you how to use the IRS' online portal to track the status of your stimulus payment, and tell you everything you need to know.You can also track the status of your check at any time, through an online portal on the IRS website called Get My Payment. Read on for step-by-step instructions on how to use the online tracking tool.

Online scams based on disaster relief are not new. Hackers frequently take advantage of crises, like Hurricane Harvey in 2017 or Hurricane Katrina in 2005. In March, the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency warned about scams tied to COVID-19.

The coronavirus pandemic could be the Federal Emergency Management Agency's biggest disaster ever, with a lack of resources to deal with how quickly the disease has spread across communities.

The outbreak's effects will be leaving millions of people seeking federal aid through the stimulus package, if the legislation passes the House of Representatives and is signed by the White House. That influx leaves a prime opportunity for potential hackers to steal financial and personal information from victims who need relief.

The Justice Department has opened a hotline for any scams related to COVID-19, and has already taken action against fraudulent cases tied to the disease. Other scams the FBI has warned about include fake cures, hackers posing as health officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the World Health Organization, and fake charities.

a person standing in front of a house: There are millions of people in the US that will be seeking financial assistance from the $2 trillion relief package offered by the US government. Hackers will be targeting them, too, the FBI warns. © James Martin/CNET

There are millions of people in the US that will be seeking financial assistance from the $2 trillion relief package offered by the US government. Hackers will be targeting them, too, the FBI warns.

White House adviser says new COVID stimulus talks on pause .
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow signaled Friday that formal negotiations on a fourth coronavirus stimulus package would be paused until early June."We're in a lot of conversations right now. We've kind of paused as far as formal negotiations go," Kudlow told reporters at the White House. "Let's have a look at what the latest round produces. You need a month or so to evaluate that."Kudlow also noted that he and White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett continue to hold discussions with lawmakers, including a phone call Thursday with about 50 bipartisan members of the House.

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