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Stimulus breeds new type of scam artist

March 4, 2009 12:25:09 PM PST
The tough economic times and the government's new stimulus plan are spawning a new breed of scam artist.The Federal Trade Commission says there are new Web sites and hoaxes that claim they can help you get a piece of the $787 billion package.

Eileen Harrington of the Federal Trade Commission told ABC News, "They're running ads all over the Internet, both on live streaming sites, through search engines, social networks."

The ads promise free money in exchange for a small fee, or revealing your social security number and bank information. According to the government, it's all done with the purpose of stealing your identity and clearing out your bank accounts.

Many of the ads even feature President Barack Obama, which Harrington says should serve as a red flag.

The FTC advises if you get any message offering you stimulus money in exchange for personal information, ignore and delete it.

The government doesn't know yet how many people have already fallen victims to these types of scams.


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