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Feds warn public of stimulus payment scams

Beware of scammers targeting the federal stimulus payments coming your way.

That's the message U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy Jr. wants people to hear as they await the Covid-19-related cash payments coming from the government.

Kennedy said scammers are already at work orchestrating schemes designed to steal those payments, most of which should arrive by direct deposit in taxpayers' bank accounts.

“Sadly, even during the most difficult of times for our community and nation, the criminal element is standing by waiting to take advantage of a vulnerable and unsuspecting public,” Kennedy said in a statement.

Jonathan D. Larsen, special agent in charge of the Internal Revenue Service's Criminal Investigation Division in Buffalo, joined Kennedy in urging taxpayers to be vigilant in avoiding scams.

They urged the public to avoid calls, emails or texts claiming to be from the IRS because they are likely scammers seeking their economic impact payment or personal information that would allow them to commit other crimes.

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