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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

Oh my me and you are in the same boat

Hello i am 29 non filer and employed at the moment and had to add my bank info into the non filer page for the longest time it said payment status not available but i checked last night and it now says i am eligible and has the exact account its going into.

I’m waiting since April 12 :(

Filed married separately in 2018. My wife received her check but I did not? Anyone know why? Our income separate and combine should qualify each of us.

I am Lost! My husband gets SSDI Monthly.. He did NOT file 2019 taxes. I am unemployed and I didnt file.. But do i need to use the non filer website and send in my own info or will his soc sec add me with his and give my stimulus $ with his check since we are married??

i need information on how i can check why i only got 1700 ???? it needs to be my self and 3 kids . Did they scam me from my kids money??what can i do??

Get information from the IRS questions and answers at irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payment-information-center. Question #11 has information about qualifying children.

I have not received my direct deposit yet. I updated it on the get my payment and put in my bank information. I have been checking it for the past 3 weeks and all it says is that you are eligible, but we do not have a date of for your deposit but when we do it will go to bank account ending in......and it shows my last 4 of my account info..what do I do now? Nothing has changed it says the same message everyday.

I going thru the same I got a date saying April 30th that I would have money into my account and I still haven't received anything in my account yet and its may 4th

The IRS doesn't give a specific date according to my bank. Not even a "around" date. My bank said check daily to see if your check has been direct deposited. All my bank said was "soon" and that was probably just to appease me. It did deposit a couple of days later however.

hi LH ,

It says the same thing for me . I have been checking for 4 weeks and nothing changed yet !. Have you received it yours or still waiting ?

Same happend to me

I went to the non-filers website to give the IRS my direct deposit information. I filled taxes in 2018 and owed money. I have not yet filed for 2019 because I owe money again. I started my account and realized I made over 24,000. I then tried to go to the my payment site and it won’t let. Where can I go to give the IRS my banking information? Is it ok to go back to the non filers section to enter this or will this prevent me from receiving stimulus because I entered the bank info in the wrong section? Please help. I can’t find any answer to this on the IRS gov FAQ. Thanks

I filed taxes with Jackson Hewitt in 2018. I updated my dd info on Wednesday. Every time I check my status I get the same message: I'm eligible for the payment and it will be updated with a dd date. Why have I not received a date yet? I'd really appreciate knowing what is going on and about when I should expect mine and my husband's stimulus check?!?!

Same issue here
.. heeeelp!!

I have the same problem.

I'm having the same problem for weeks it says you are eligible and it will deposited to my bank but it says the date will be updated and it never changes or give a date..... I don't understand

I'm on here looking for the same answer!!!!

I've experienced the exact same results since last Wednesday afternoon. Still the same too.

have you gotten told anything else yet? I had the whole Jackson Hewitt issue as well, and had to go in, and put in another account number. But that was a week ago, and its STILL saying "You are eligible for the payment. Once we have your payment date, we will update this page." Im starting to panic. My bills are piling up, and Im relying on this money to pay them.

Same here except I used turbo tax...so frustrating,

I have the same problem .. I updated mine and my boyfriends DD information the say *Get My Payment* launched because it stated it did not have any Direct Deposit info for either of us. Both used H&R Block for tax returns . I used his H&R account he filed using and the sight has not changed it says YOU ARE ELIGIBLE ONCE WE HAVE A PAYMENT DATE WE WILL UPDATE THIS PAGE! Still waiting for a payment date!! When the *GMP* launched it did NOT say you MUST use the same DD you filed taxes with! I chose to use my bank account and now they are mailing me a check.. The IRS said they needed my DD information meaning they did NOT have it so how do they know my account is not the 1 I used!! Hopefully someone reading this can gives a answer to why its not updating a payment date atleast!!

I've been having the exact same problem and I updated my info with my bank account for direct deposit a week ago - literally on the first day the app tool went live. Every day i check, and every day I get the same message as you! And no one has any answers for me.

This is me too and I can't find answers to our particular question. It's like everything else is addressed except THIS question...

I am in the same boat and needing the money desperately for overdue bills. Hope we get ours soon!

i have the same issue I'm eligible for the payment and it will be updated??????

I have the same situation, it keeps saying the same message that I'm eligible and they will update when they have a deposit date. I saw a lot of people who update their dd information same day as me and already have a date on there.

I am having the same issue. - says "You are eligible for the payment. Once we have your payment date, we will update this page.

We will deposit your payment to the bank account below."

But it never updates. According to what information I can find about this issue, IF I was getting a paper check, it would go out on May 29. Maybe I will still have to wait until then for an update?

I just wish I knew when so I could plan.....I gave them the DD information on 4/15. Seems like many who input data that day are having same issue....just no updates.

Same here

I'm in the same boat. I updated with WMP after speaking with AXO bank. This is the bank HRBlock uses. They informed me that since i had an advance on my taxes I should update with WMP with new account info. I did this last Wednesday when it launched. Ever since it says I'm eligible and has not updated with a payment date. Did you get an update as of today. I'm still waiting

We are having the same problem & used Jackson Hewitt also. We can find an answer.

Mine is saying the same thing I also filed with Jackson Hewitt and I’m just wondering if we will ever get a deposit date we had to update our info on line where we had got the card from them and now that’s all it says when we check it online never changes.

Same here with my bf dude if you get an answer lmk lol

Mine is the same!!!

Same here. All my billsand rent are past due and everytime i check it says im eligible will update with payment date that was a week ago

I have the same thing it's been a week now and still hasn't progressed to any info.there is almost no mention of this scenario anywhere online except this site. it appears as my unemployment is in the same boat. Been filing over a month, everything is good to gobut they aren't depositing money I've been on unemployment many times I know what it's supposed to look like when it's working but it's like somebodies computer froze with our info on there screen so they rebooted , but all that did was turn their computer off and on. And ow our accts are stuck

Same here.. I'm guessing the IRS has millions of accounts they have to "weed out" first before they can update or send money to us. Hopefully it just works out

I am getting the same message and it's been about 2 weeks now have you seen anything different?

I have gotten the same msg and so has kids fathers it just keeps stating I'm eligible will update with dd date and nothing and it has been like that since the 15th and still nothing

I also filed my 2019 taxes with Jackson Hewitt. I have worked part time and receive social security retirement. The refund I had was taken by the state for taxes. That fine and good, however, the temp card I received from Jackson Hewitt I cannot register. I also receive emails from them regarding an older card in the past. I cannot get any information from them. I am eligible for the stimulus and the IRS website is jacked up. I cannot make it on soc sec alone. What a mess.

i am a naturalized US citizen and have filed both 2018 and 2019 income tax. i’ve met the established income limit in order to receive the stimulus package. why does the response i get says IRS can’t determine my eligibility .

Get information from the IRS questions and answers at irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payment-information-center.

I checked the IRS site on the 15th and it says that my stimulus check was direct deposited to my account. It gives the last 4 digits of my account number and they are not mine. Heres the thing, i filed my 2019 taxes on 04/06/2020 in an effort to update my banking info. I have since had my state taxes direct deposited into my account, so I know they got the right info. Why is it the state got it right but the federal didnt?

I’m having this same issue. Mine said it was deposited on the 15th but the bank info is the last 4 of my ssn. However, my credit union has not changed on my taxes in 10 years. Always direct deposit. So will they mail it out with this error?

I am having the exact same issue. It is sad that we can not get any answers.

Have you found out any info on this. Mine is the same as yours DD to account of the last four of my social on the 15th. I filed last year but not required to this year as I am on SSDI now.

Check and make sure the last 4 of your direct deposit info isn’t the last 4 of your social security number. If the IRS had a problem with ur bank, it mailed the payments out as checks and changed the last 4 of ur bank info to your social security number. This has happened to people and they received and also see checks coming from IRS in their USPS informed delivery sites..

The system has been down for over a week. Last Tuesday said eligiable, and check later. From then, try agin later. It seems as if it is set robotically , and the syuustem is broken.

Thank you. It’s so comforting to have consumer FTC give it to us straight. God Bless America!

In 2018, I was married and claimed my son along with my now ex-husband. I have filed my 2019 taxes, and my son's dad claimed him for the 2019 taxes (not the ex-spouse from 2018). Will the ex-spouse who has not filed his 2019 taxes receive the stimulus for all that were claimed in 2018 (him, myself, my son and his son)?

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