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Coronavirus stimulus payment scams: What you need to know

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We know there’s been a flood of information and updates about the government’s economic impact payments, or so-called stimulus checks, lately. But quickly and safely moving massive amounts of money into the hands of those who need it is a big job with a lot of moving parts.

We also know that the more you know about the process, the less likely you’re going to be tripped up by calls, text messages, or emails from scammers trying to steal your money or personal information.

Here’s what you need to know about the stimulus payments and how to avoid scams related to these payments.

Who will get money?

Adult U.S. residents that meet established income limits are eligible to receive money from the government. This includes:

Taxpayers – people who filed a federal tax return for 2018 or 2019.

Retirees – people who get Social Security, Railroad, or other retirement benefits.

Beneficiaries – people who get public benefits like SSDI, disability, or veterans’ benefits.

Non-filers – people who do not have to file a federal tax return, including people who made no income or made less than $12,200 (or $24,400 for married couples).

If you get Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits, have a qualifying child, and didn’t file a return in 2018 or 2019, you have to take action by noon ET on Wednesday, April 22 to add the $500 per eligible child to your payment. See details from the IRS.

What to do

Most people don’t have to do anything to get their money because the IRS will use the same payment method – direct deposit, Direct Express debit card, or paper check – used to send you your tax refund, Social Security, retirement, or other government benefits money. If the IRS doesn’t have your direct deposit information, you can go to the “Get My Payment” feature at irs.gov/coronavirus and let them know where to send your direct deposit.

If you don’t usually file a tax return, go to irs.gov/coronavirus to access the “Non-filer” portal and to figure out what, if anything, you have to do to claim your money.

To check on the status of your payment, you can now use the “Get My Payment” feature at irs.gov/coronavirus.

Avoiding Coronavirus stimulus payment scams

Scammers are using these stimulus payments to try to rip people off. They might try to get you to pay a fee to get your stimulus payment. Or they might try to convince you to give them your Social Security number, bank account, or government benefits debit card account number.

4 tips for avoiding a Coronavirus stimulus payment scam

  1. Only use irs.gov/coronavirus to submit information to the IRS – and never in response to a call, text, or email.
  2. The IRS won’t contact you by phone, email, text message, or social media with information about your stimulus payment, or to ask you for your Social Security number, bank account, or government benefits debit card account number. Anyone who does is a scammer phishing for your information.
  3. You don’t have to pay to get your stimulus money.
  4. The IRS won’t tell you to deposit your stimulus check then send them money back because they paid you more than they owed you. That’s a fake check scam.

Report scams to the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov/complaint.

To keep up with the latest scams, sign up for the FTC's consumer alerts.

(This post is part of the FTC's imposter scam series.)

Updated April 21, 2020 with new deadline for some benefit recipients.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

When i check get my payment it said the payment deposited on april 15 and also received a confirmation from the white house, however no payment shown in my account. I didn’t receive my stimulus check. What should I do.

I have not received my stimulus check and the Where's my Stimulus website says it was deposited into some bank account that I do not recognize, back on April 15. I have never received any letters about my check either. What is going on?? It is now June and I have not received a dime!! Who do I contact??

Hello. I filed non filers. I was accepted. I check the get my payment portal and it says I qualify for this refund but additional information required. It asked for my banking info again I have it all updated on form but it still asks for it so I type it in. Then it says needs information again for a AGI amount should be zero I didn't file in few years. And it asks for if I owe or refund and I also put zero And after three tries I just get kicked out for 24 hours. PLEASE HELP I NEED TO PAY MY RENT AND NEED THIS MONEY SO BAD. WHY can't I finish doing the get my payment part??? Thanks. -John

How do I report my stimulus check lost? I've looked everywhere.

I put my bank info in april 15th and today is june 2nd still not stimulus , but when i check the get my payment tool it tells me i am eligible for the payment, when the payment date is received they will post it etc.. why the long wait ?

I got an eip 1444 letter stating that i been paid. I checked get my payment portal. It says that my check was mailed may 15th. But i haven't gotten anything? I call to get answers. But. It's all automated. What's going on? What do i need to do? How do i find my money?

Will we get a second check from Trump will SSI and Social Security people get a second check and when will we expect you to be on my card

My Stimulus was potentially stolen by someone I take care of (they've schemed before when I was a kid). My grandma has the same name as me, and she's 87 years, she made it seem like she was waiting for a check in the mail, but I'm told Elderly people don't get checks, but direct deposited into their bank accounts and she has two. A check came in April, and now I'm told people like me would've got a check, not her. At that time I didn't think I receive a check but I learned new info that I qualified for one. What do I do?

We have not received our stimulus check even though it was supposed to have been mailed out on May 22nd. Today; however, we did receive a letter from the Treasury Dept. also dated May 22nd with the title "Your Economic Impact Payment Has Arrived". Does that mean our check is on it's way or has it been stolen ???

It's about 42 days since i set up direct deposit to receive my stimulus payment.i am eligible base on what IRS says.i. filed tax return 2018 and 2019 and i gave the 2018 info.no direct deposit no mail no any correspondence.what now should i do?

My daughter has not received her stimulus check. Her bank told her it as received on in Apr but was returned due to a conflict in her account information. How can we trace what happened to the transaction?

Go to my payment happen to me but I'm still waiting on a date n I re did mine may 8

I have not got my stimulus check because someone claimed my depend and now I have to fill out a form but can't find the form to fill out

What can i do if someone fraudulent used my child in 2019? Do my child qualify for stimulus?

Report the identity theft to the FTC and IRS at www.IdentityTheft.gov. Give details about what happened to your child's information and fill out an FTC Identity Theft Report and IRS Identity Theft Affidavit. The system will explain what else you can do about child identity theft.

Updated my direct deposit on may 8 says eligible update when have payment date will be directed in bank account STILL NO DATE

What if I suspect that my check was lost or misplaced or stolen in transit? I'm having my mail forwarded for the summer. On May 26, I received an e-mail via U.S.P.S. Informed Delivery with a scan of the envelope from the U.S. Dept of Treasury. Though extremely delayed, other pieces of mail from that batch have finally been forwarded. However, it has been over a month and I still have not received that specific piece of mail .I'm beginning to suspect internal mail fraud issues at the Post Office.

I got a letter I think from goverment but they took my Emily check for child support that I was behind but the garnishing out of my own unemployment so I don't see how was behind and what he took all of it pay of child support but updated garnishing out of my eyeunemployment I don't see why you took it all and

I have been trying to use the nonfillers access . but when I do I have about 7 emails and I only created 2 ..but when I put my address in they say wrong address ..so I called the number and it says a joint filler . that's not accurate ..now what ???

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