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Tech Talk

Prioritize bills, avoid stimulus scams

Have you or a family member lost work recently?

On 4/2 the New York Times reported that in 2 weeks nearly 10 million Americans were out of work. There are tools to help you prioritize your household bills and learn about the stimulus.

There are also tips for making sure you don’t fall victim to stimulus check scams.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau created a bill prioritizing worksheet. It will help you make a short-term plan to get bills paid.

It offers helpful tips and reminders of the consequences of paying late. Download the worksheet, here: http://bit.ly/cfpbbills .

The Washington Post updated its Stimulus Check Calculator. The calculator helps you determine what you’ll receive in stimulus payment. It doesn’t request any identifying information. It asks if you filed 2019 or 2018 taxes, filing status, adjusted gross income, and how many children you claimed. Use the calculator, here: www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/business/coronavirus-stimulus-check-calc... .

It is also important also to be wary of stimulus scams. The US Department of the Treasury issued warnings. If someone says they are with the Treasury or offers grants or stimulus payments is a scammer. You will not need to complete an application to receive the stimulus. If you filed taxes in 2018 or 2019 or receive Social Security benefits you should not need to take extra action. Your stimulus payment should be delivered via direct deposit or check. If you don't complete a tax return, you may need to complete a simple tax return. Details about requirements for those special circumstances has not been released.

Remember, Government agencies will not ask for personal information. They will not demand an advance fee or payment in order to give you the stimulus. They will not ask for a gift card, either. They also will not reach out to you by phone, text, or email.

To report any stimulus-related frauds directly to the FBI, visit www.ic3.gov .

For legitimate information about the stimulus program, visit www.irs.gov/coronavirus . If you don't file taxes or get social security, bookmark this link. The IRS will update that page with instructions when they're available.

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