COVID-19 consumer tips: Scams, utility bills and your stimulus check

Media Contacts
Emily Scarr

State Director, Maryland PIRG; Director, Stop Toxic PFAS Campaign, PIRG

Emily Scarr

State Director, Maryland PIRG; Director, Stop Toxic PFAS Campaign, PIRG

Helping consumers protect their health and finances during the coronavirus outbreak

Maryland PIRG Foundation

Baltimore — In the midst of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Maryland consumers are experiencing numerous public health and financial challenges, including virus-related scams, fake products promising cures and price gouging. To help address these concerns and more, Maryland PIRG Foundation is publishing new guides and tips each week to help consumers navigate this crisis.

This week’s consumer tip guides:

Top 6 coronavirus stimulus check scams: Since Congress passed a massive $2 trillion relief package to help Americans, businesses and non-profits make it through the COVID-19 pandemic, new scams have appeared to take advantage of people’s financial needs. From fake checks to social media messages, this guide goes over some of the top scams currently out there and how to avoid scams generally.

How to pay utility bills during COVID-19: Utilities serve many purposes in our lives, whether it’s the electricity that keeps our food and medicine refrigerated, the gas to cook and warm our houses, or the water we drink and bathe in.

Due to the public health warnings associated with COVID-19, many more Americans are working from home and taking classes online. While many utilities have stopped disconnecting services and started waiving late fees, this guide has tips on how to handle bill payment issues, reduce your bill, and avoid scams and other dangers.

Receiving your stimulus check for COVID-19: The COVID-19 stimulus bill signed last month will send much needed relief payments to tens of millions of Americans. While individuals and families wait to receive their checks, many of whom are facing financial worries, misinformation is circulating and opening doors for scammers to take advantage of this crisis. Whether you’re unsure if you qualify, or you want to know how much you’ll receive to help plan and budget, this guide has all the information you need to know about the COVID-19 relief payments.

To see all of Maryland PIRG Foundations COVID-19-related tip guides, click here.