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Criminals using stimulus checks to target senior citizens, police say

Posted at 8:14 PM, Apr 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-30 23:14:00-04

Officials issued a warning to senior citizens, urging people to look out for predators during the coronavirus pandemic.

The NYPD said your stimulus check could be used as a ploy to get your personal information.

It all starts with a phone call from someone saying they're are from the IRS, according to officials.

Dr. Darrin Porcher, a retired NYPD lieutenant, told PIX11 predators are using the internet and are calling people posing as the government or a financial institution.

”The same type of scam was also use years ago during hurricane Sandy." Porcher said “ The government gave relief checks and people were calling folks arbitrarily.”

The suspects, police said, are telling seniors this will help expedite their checks, or help with the direct deposit process.

PIX11 spoke with a 72-year-old woman from the Bronx by phone. She said some suspicious called her.

“They asked me for my social security number and I was scared so I hung up.”

That was the right thing to do — just hang up.

Seniors should also remember:

  • The IRS will never call or email
  • Never give personal information out over the phone
  • Never pay money to get money
  • There are no grants related to COVID-19 for individuals

This article was written by Nicole Johnson for WPIX.