Federal stimulus checks are arriving in Iowans’ bank accounts and mailboxes, while scammers are hoping to dupe people out of that money — which can be several hundred dollars.

Bao Vang, spokeswoman for the Better Business Bureau, says Iowans should be very cautious in dealing with anyone who contacts you about the stimulus payments.

“Don’t reply directly. Don’t respond to the call, text, or email,” Vang says. “If you think the message is real, find the government agency’s contact information on their website and then contact them directly.”

Vang says to resist the urge to act immediately, no matter how dramatic the caller’s story might be. She says scammers try to get people to act before thinking about the situation.

Also, Vang says to beware of look-alikes, like callers from the “Internal Revenue Department.”

“Scammers often make up names of agencies,” Vang says, “and sometimes these names can be very similar to the ones we know and trust.”

Vang says you should never have to pay a fee for a “free” government check, grant or program, as it’s not really free if there is a fee involved.