Florida man warns others after fake COVID-19 relief check arrives in mail

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BROOKSVILLE, Fla. (WFLA) — A Florida man is sounding the alarm after he received what appeared to be a fake coronavirus relief check in the mail.

The massive $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package approved by the Senate Wednesday includes “stimulus checks” for many Americans, especially those facing financial difficulty as a result of the outbreak.

However, the House of Representatives still needs to approve the stimulus package, with a vote expected Friday. Once it passes, it will take roughly three weeks for those checks to be received.

That’s why Thomas Andrews knew the official-looking check that came in the mail Thursday was nothing but fishy.

“It said time-sensitive, fast-tracked, open immediately, do not bend, stuff like that,” Andrews described.

While some Americans will receive their relief as a physical check in the mail, many will receive a direct deposit based on their tax-filing information from the previous year.

Andrews believes whoever sent him that check is trying to exploit the coronavirus crisis for financial gain.

The fake check, which claims to be a COVID-19 stimulus check in the memo line, was made out for more than $3,000. Knowing no such check would be available yet, Andrews posted on Facebook to give people a heads up.

“I wanted to post it as soon as I could because I know that some people, like my grandma, would have fallen for stuff like that,” he said.

Along with the check is a letter telling people to come claim their “stimulus incentives” over the next ten days at a “temporary relief site” in Bushnell. There’s no phone number listed, but the letter does show a couple of cars you can buy there with no money down.

Sister station WFLA found a phone number affiliated with the listed address and gave it a call. A voice recording said it was a carport and truck rental service.

Andrews suspects it’s someone trying to sell used cars to make a quick buck.

“It’s just not right the way that they did it,” he said by phone Thursday.

It’s unclear if the state attorney general’s office is aware that these mailers are being sent out. WFLA reached out to Attorney General Ashley Moody’s office Thursday with photos of the check and letter to let them know.

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