SCAM ALERT: Fake Coronavirus Stimulus Checks are Hitting Mailboxes

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“This is absolutely sickening.” That’s is how Thomas Andrews described what appeared to be a fake covid-19 stimulus relief check that he received recency in the mail Thursday.

Experts say if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

The fake check looks very official, including words like “fast-tracked,” “time-sensitive,”  “open immediately” and “do not bend.” The check was written for over $3,300. Yesterday (Friday), President Donald Trump signed historic legislation into law for the $2 trillion stimulus package to help Americans and small businesses with relief. The stimulus checks will put money in the hands of Americans during the battle against the spread of the coronavirus.

The checks won’t be arriving in the mail for a few of weeks. The Brooksville resident knew something didn’t smell right and fortunately didn’t cash the check.

How much are the stimulus checks?

If your 2018 adjusted gross income (or you already filed your 2019 tax return) is less than $75,000 and you filed individually, you will get $1,200. Joint filers who earned less than $150,000 get $2,400. You also get $500 per child. The amount are reduced by $5 for every $100 of income, meaning individuals who earned $99,000 or more or couples who earned $198,000 or more get no payments.

When do the checks arrive?

“Most of these will be direct deposit. It will be within three weeks,” Treasury Secretary stated Thursday.  Most Americans will see the money deposited directly into the same bank account the IRS uses for your tax refund. If you’ve haven’t received any refunds lately, the government can send a check to your last address. If your last address has changed, contact the IRS.

As of Friday evening, the US has at least 101, 430 cases of covid-19 and 1560 people have died from the virus. according to health officials.

 

Coronavirus: Know The Basics

The name coronavirus comes from the crownlike spikes the virus has on its surface — “corona” is Latin for “crown.” Common human coronaviruses cause mild to moderate upper respiratory symptoms, including the common cold, while more severe types can cause pneumonia and death.

The coronavirus,in particular is a virus, officially known as SARS-CoV-2, is only the third strain of coronavirus known to frequently cause severe symptoms in humans.

What are the symptoms?

The main symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough and shortness of breath. Some people also experience fatigue, headaches and, less frequently, diarrhea. About 80% of cases so far seem to be mild, according to the World Health Organization.

To prevent the coronavirus from spreading, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using a hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available. People should wear face masks only if they’re sick or caring for someone who is.

If you think you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus and develop symptoms, call your doctor. Many state and local health departments have set up hotlines to answer questions. It’s important that you don’t expose others. Call your doctor before visiting their office so your doctor can take necessary precautions.

Friday, President Donald J. Trump took several bold and significant actions in response to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. First, the President signed into law H.R. 748, the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act” or the “CARES” Act (the “Act”).  The Act makes emergency supplemental appropriations and other changes to law to help the Nation respond to the coronavirus outbreak. Among many items, the CARES Act:

·         Provides $100 billion to healthcare providers, including hospitals on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

·         Provides $27 billion to bolster life-saving capabilities, including developing vaccines and the development, purchase, and distribution of critical supplies.

·         Allocates $45 billion to the Federal Emergency Management Agency Disaster Relief Fund, more than doubling the amount available to support the President’s Emergency and Disaster Declarations to empower State, local, and tribal leaders to effectively respond.

·         Provides tax free payments—treated as a refundable tax credit—to Americans, giving families the immediate financial support they need.

o   Individuals earning up to $75,000 will receive $1,200, plus an additional $500 for each child.

o   Couples earning up to $150,000 will receive $2,400, plus an additional $500 for each child.

o   These payments will phase out for those earning over $75,000, $112,500 for head of household filers, and $150,000 for married couples filing joint tax returns.

·         The legislation provides much needed assistance to Americans out of work.

o   The CARES Act allows States to temporarily increase unemployment benefits and receive Federal reimbursement for the additional amount.

o   Encourages States to waive the typical one week waiting period and provides an additional 13 weeks of benefits

o   Creates a new program to assist the self-employed and independent contractors who are unemployed due to the pandemic.

·         The legislation provides relief for homeowners and renters, ensuring that Americans’ homes are not threatened by the coronavirus.

o   Enables payment forbearance for federally backed mortgages, requires a foreclosure and eviction moratorium for homeowners with such mortgages, and imposes an eviction moratorium for renters in federally supported housing.

o   Suspends penalties for withdrawing up to $100,000 from retirement accounts.

o   Allows a high-deductible health plan with a health savings account to cover telehealth services prior to a patient reaching the deductible.

o   Provides $3.5 billion in emergency funding to our child care providers to stay open, keep payroll, and prioritize the child care needs of healthcare, emergency, and sanitation workers all across our country.

·         Provides small businesses and nonprofits comprised of 500 or fewer employees with almost $350 billion in partially forgivable loans.

o   The maximum loan amount for 7(a) business loans will be temporarily increased.

o   Allocates $17 billion to forgive 6 months of payments on any existing Small Business Administration non-disaster loans.

·         Expands the emergency disaster loan program by funding $10 billion in advances on loan applications to rapidly help small businesses cover expenses including sick leave, payroll, and rent.

o   Businesses adversely affected by the coronavirus are eligible for a tax credit of $5,000 for wages paid to each employee.

·         The CARES Act includes $500 billion for the Treasury and Federal Reserve to provide liquidity and purchase business, municipal, and State debt.

o   If needed, the Federal Reserve can leverage funds of more than $4 trillion in financial support during this time of disaster.
A transcript of the President’s remarks when signing H.R. 748 can be found here.<https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-signing-h-r-748-cares-act/>

The President also took two actions invoking the Defense Production Act:

·         The President issued a Presidential Memorandum<https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/memorandum-order-defense-production-act-regarding-general-motors-company/> directing the Secretary of Health and Human Services to use any and all authority available under the Defense Production Act to require General Motors to accept, perform, and prioritize Federal contracts for ventilators.

·         The President issued an Executive Order<https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/eo-delegating-additional-authority-dpa-respect-health-medical-resources-respond-spread-covid-19/> to expand the domestic production of health and medical resources needed to respond to the spread of COVID-19, including personal protective equipment and ventilators.

President Trump also issued major disaster declarations for Puerto Rico and South Carolina, and spoke with Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom. The President thanked the Prime Minister for his close friendship and wished him a speedy recovery. The President also spoke with Chancellor Merkel of Germany and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel.

Finally, the State Department today announced that it has repatriated more than 15,000 American citizens back to the states from over 40 countries amid the coronavirus pandemic, with the most (2,324) coming from Guatemala.

At 1:30pm ET tomorrow, the President will travel to Norfolk, Virginia to bid bon voyage to the hospital ship USNS COMFORT as it leaves for New York City to the frontlines of the COVID-19 virus response.

Alex Latcham
Special Assistant to the President
White House Office of Political Affairs