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Stimulus check scam: How criminals try to get your personal information

Local law enforcement warns that scammers are trying to take advantage of the confusion around stimulus checks

CLINTON, Iowa — If you are someone who hasn't gotten your economic stimulus check, you may be curious when it's going to arrive. A Clinton County woman, "Lee," received an email that appeared to have come from her bank -- logo and all.

Lee clicked on a link and entered her name, social security and other personal information to find out when her check was coming.

"I didn't think I was doing anything wrong. My daughter said, 'no, they wouldn't do that, they wouldn't put it in an email like that,'" she said.

Lee's bank confirmed her daughter's concerns. The email didn't come from the bank after all.

"She provided pretty much all of her personal information, and off it went," said Randy Meier, Director of Seniors vs. Crimes through the Clinton County Sheriff's Office.

"If you get any kind of a communication asking for personal information relating to this, it's going to be a scam," Meier said.

He said the IRS will use the United States Postal Service to get in touch with you; they don't use text, social media, or email. Otherwise, go directly to IRS.gov to seek information online.

Lee says what happened to her could happen to anybody.

"Don't do it! Be very careful what you're clicking on. I've told my husband many times don't click on everything, and then I'm the one that goes and does something," she said.

Seniors vs. Crime said the scammers did not manage to steal any money from Lee. If something similar happens to you, Meier recommends reporting it to police right away and speaking with your bank about a credit freeze.