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Franchot warns taxpayers of phishing scams to steal stimulus checks

ANNAPOLIS — Comptroller Peter Franchot today warned Marylanders not to fall victim to scammers trying to steal your stimulus check.

These swindlers are making phone calls, sending text messages and phishing emails to individuals and tax preparers to obtain personal information to take money needed for survival during these unprecedented times.

They are using language such as “in order to receive your/your client's stimulus payment via direct deposit, we need you to confirm the banking information,” and they are making phone calls or directing victims to click on a link that takes them to a website to enter personal banking information. Do not fall prey to such scams.

In recent days, there has been an uptick in both individuals and tax preparers being targeted.

“Do not share any personal information over the phone, via text message or email,” Comptroller Franchot said. “My agency is committed to protecting Maryland taxpayers and remains vigilant for phone, texting and email phishing scams that seek to steal people’s private financial information. These types of crimes can lead to fraudulent tax returns, identity theft and can devastate the victims’ financial well-being, especially during this time when people are counting on those checks to survive.”

The agency is working with the Internal Revenue Service to identify the scams and will alert citizens as they occur.

Franchot reminds Marylanders that the IRS and the Maryland Comptroller’s Office will not call, text, or email you to verify your banking information. If you think you are being targeted, the Comptroller’s Office remains available to assist taxpayers via email at taxhelp@marylandtaxes.gov.

Resources for Marylanders and employees during COVID-19

SBDC Webinar - Topics: EIDL and CARES (PPP) COVID 19 Loans

Monday 4/6/2020, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM (EDT)

Space is Limited ~ You Must Register: https://mdsbdc.ecenterdirect.com/events/16175

Please RSVP with a valid email. After registering, you will receive a Zoom Meeting link to join online, or you can join via the dial-in number. This webinar will be recorded and shared, and if space fills up, additional dates will be added.

Daily SBA Conference Call – Updates (M-F) provided and you can ask questions.

3:00 p.m., Call 202-765-1264, Conf Call ID# 827-299-626

5:30 p.m., Call 202-765-1264, Conf Call ID# 310-688-488

EIDL Application Help – Daily 10:30 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. On the call, an SBA agent will walk you through how to fill out the EIDL form. Have all your necessary documents ready. Zoom Meeting # 6794772946

Paycheck Protection Program Loan (PPPL) FAQ - 

SBA COVID-19 Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources

Main Maryland Business Information Site for COVID 19 updates and resources - https://govstatus.egov.com/md-coronavirus-business