Austrians with no ties to U.S. got coronavirus stimulus checks, cashed them: report


SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Didn’t receive your coronavirus stimulus check in the mail?

Maybe someone from Austria received your payment instead!

That’s according to The Washington Post, who is reporting that hundreds of Austrians received coronavirus checks despite being ineligible.

“We quietly went to the bank … where we were told they’ll see if it’s real,” Barnreiter told Austrian public broadcaster ORF. “Three days later, we had the money in our bank account.”

Barnreiter told ORF he and his wife – who both are not citizens of the U.S. or live there – both received the $1,200 checks.

Both those factors are supposedly required to be eligible for the stimulus payments.

“People initially thought it’s a treacherous form of fraud — but the checks were real,” a spokeswoman for Austria’s Oberbank told the Washington Post.

As of Wednesday, three Austrian banks confirmed with ORF that they had cashed around 200 American stimulus checks.

Barnreiter told ORF the money would likely be spent in the U.S. once travel restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic are eased.

But are Austrians the only ones getting checks from the U.S. government? Apparently not.

One tax preparation firm said clients in 129 countries received the checks by mistake, NPR reports.

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