Consumers beware of stimulus e-mails
Mar 11,2009 00:00 by UPI

MIAMI - Consumer advocates are warning about a new round of Internet scams that lure in victims with false promises of access to U.S. economic stimulus money.

The Miami Herald said Wednesday the alleged scams often require an up-front fee and the victim's credit card information, which could set them up for identity theft.

"At a time when people are desperate, the desperation may cloud their judgment," said Liz Compton of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. "Con artists are banking on that."

Compton said the massive $787 billion economic stimulus plan does not allocate money directly to individuals even if they plan to use it to pay off a bad mortgage or start a business.

She also warned recipients of such e-mails that even clicking them out of curiosity could result in a computer virus being triggered.

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