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Stimulus checks focus of new e-mail scam

Avoid sending bank information by e-mail, even if the e-mail looks official, authorities warn.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Authorities have warned people to beware of e-mails promising faster stimulus checks from the federal government in exchange for personal information.

“These phishing e-mails are a scam designed to steal your personal information and drain your bank account,” state Attorney General Roy Cooper said in a statement. “The IRS isn’t contacting people about their refunds by e-mail, so don’t take the bait.”

The e-mails appear to come from the Internal Revenue Service and tell recipients they can receive their stimulus check from the government more quickly by providing their bank account information for direct deposit, Cooper said. The e-mails tell recipients their checks will be delayed if they don't provide the information, he said.

The IRS never requests taxpayers' personal information by e-mail, according to the FBI, which also has warned people about the e-mails.

People with questions about their stimulus checks can call a toll-free rebate hotline at 1-866-234-2942.