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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

i'm on ssdi and single will i recieve my stimulus payment on my direct exspress card or by paper check????

I do get ss , but also work. Due to us working snowing taxes past 2 years there is no bank info for a refund. But, since husband and I do receive ssa every month auto deposit, why can't our stimulus go that way? This site says no info.

My boyfriend’s work place was closed and he could not get his W2 so I suggested he file a non-filer’s form. He did. Then he got his W2 and did his taxes. Now he cannot file again for the stimulus money and did not receive the $1,200 stimulus. Is there anything he can do?

I filed 2019 taxes by paper and they're not even processing yet, I did this in February. My parents used me as a dependent 2018 but not 2019. When am I getting my money?!

If you been claimed as a dependent you wont get a stimulus ..

It takes up to six weeks. During times like this, it may take even longer. I did the same thing this year. Filed in late Jan by paper and didn't receive it until mid March.

Will we be taxed on this money next year

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

Question # 20 on that page says the Payment is not income and you will not owe tax on your Payment. It will not reduce your refund or increase the amount you owe when you file your 2020 tax return next year.

A Payment also will not affect your income for purposes of determining eligibility for federal government assistance or benefit programs.

Same message every single day I'm eligible and payment date will be updated ....I get that I owe the IRS money from my husband being self employed but at a time like this ( still making those huge payments to them) the least they could do is tell us straight do we get it or not everyone needs this right now just to keep heads above water and every si gle day for 2 weeks I check and get this same message and then the robot here answers check the frequently asked questions on the portal .......WELL THIS ? ASKED AT LEAST 20+ TIMES IS NOT ON THE PORTAL .....So please get all if us an answer why have we not received our payment or at least any updates ......

Hi Skowa,

The answers here don't come from a robot. This is a moderated blog and FTC staff review the comments. The IRS is managing the payments, and they have the information about payments. IRS has questions and answers about Get My Payment here: irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment-frequently-asked-questions

FTC Staff

Hi Skowa,

The answers here don't come from a robot. This is a moderated blog and FTC staff review the comments. The IRS is managing the payments, and they have the information about payments. IRS has questions and answers about Get My Payment here: irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment-frequently-asked-questions

FTC Staff

Clearly the answers people are looking for are not on they website. They need a website to help people get the information they need. So many people are frustrated. I’ve been trying for a week now to get my information entered and it’s records don’t match. People are out of work need money and this is unfortunate that they are not being helped.

You haven’t answered the question, nor is the answer in the frequently asked questions on your website. For those of us who have put our bank info into the portal successfully, we have been checking daily for a date of when our stimulus check will be deposited and receive the same message that we will be notified when that date will be. After over a week and a half of waiting, we would like some time frame of how long it takes from when we imputed our data into the portal until we can expect our stimulus check. Just ball park would be okay. We have no idea, there are no articles with that information and the same message gets frustrating.

I will not receive a stimulus payment until mid June due to owing taxes in 2018/2019, therefore I did not have my bank on my returns. I have attempted to access “Get my payment” everyday, only to get same message unable to verify information. I
feel this is discriminating against those not receiving refunds.

ellenj, i was in the same situation about owing back for both years. The issue was how I entered in my address in the Get My Payment field. It had to be entered exactly as it was on my tax return, including abbreviations. Now it just shows that they will update with a payment date.

my husband and i filed 2019 taxes but we owed. we put our info in the portal on 4/15 and still no updates other than, your deposit will be made when we have a date. What does that mean? We are tax payers who paid our taxes and sent our check for what we owed and we are still waiting for our stimulus....why?

The IRS has information about getting your payment and payment status on this page.

this page does not give any info other than what we are already getting daily....your reply does not help us but thank you for trying

There is no answer on the IRS website for what happens when your information has been entered and the 'Get My payment' app stalls at 'Once we have your payment date, we will update this page.' Is this a glitch or is the system slowed by the number of payments? Is there any sort of timeline? Perhaps the IRS can add to their FAQ.

When I file my tax return i have to enter a 6 digit security code from the IRS WILL i need that to get my stimalus check. An my status has said or over a week that my info was accepted in i was waiting on date in it would go in this bank account but im the only person I no that there status aint changed

If my check is post dated will I still be able to cash it now?

Why are they post dated in the first place, is my question? Once the IRS puts it in your bank account, I don’t understand why it’s not available immediately.

For almost 2 weeks my status had not changed.
"You are eligible for the payment. Once we have your payment date, we will update this page." Someone please help!! There's people struggling with no answers!

Sure for me too nobody bows I guess

Has your status changed? cause mine still says the same thing too. its starting to make me really angry. I know quite a few people who got theirs, and all these people are people with fat bank accounts. Im struggling and especially with this pandemic. I just dont get it.

Same here I keep getting this exact message and it is so frustrating.
Why can't they just update the page?
Can anyone tell us how to get some information on when we can expect our payment in our bank account?

I am concerned also because I have gotten the same message error as you. I put my information in on the first day the portal was posted and my sister and cousin did theres after me and they both have dates mine has the same error message as when I first got the message that I was eligible still nothing. What is going on I have two kids to take care of this is ridiculous

Im having the same issue with the same message. So frustrating and im so desperate right now smh.

Same here, same notice everyday.

I'm having the exact same problem

It takes up to 21 days.. after you use the non filers. I had the same problem, I finally got a date.

How to get my payment

No where did it ever say that if you don't get a refund, you're not going to get your stimulus check. IRS has my direct deposit information from when I had to pay them! Anyway I used "GET MY PAYMENT" and once again no where does it say what it means when it says I am eligible and they will update when deposit date available. This has been the same message since April 15th with I used "GET MY PAYMENT". THere is no one to call and no one to find answers from. How often are deposits made? So frustrated and broke I could cry!!!!

The IRS has information about getting your payment and payment status on this page.

Not Helpful! That page does not answer the question so many are asking? When are we going to have a payment date posted on the IRS Get My Payment Status Portal? Why don't we have a date? There is literally no information about this and every time we check it, it says the same thing. I entered my DD info Tuesday last week and now we are a week and a half out and still nothing??

The link you provided states updates are made once a day. In addition, it explains the various status messages. It does not provide a processing schedule.

For instance, will direct deposits follow the same schedule as paper checks?

no it dont this problem is not mentioned on the site

NO IT DOES NOT ANSWER THE QUESTION; PUT DIRECT DEPOSIT INFO IN AFTER FIRST ROUND OF DIRECT DEPOSITS WERE MADE; MESSAGE HAS SAID SINCE THEN
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.

Bank Account Number: *******

Updates to your payment are made no more than once a day. We will mail you a letter with additional information on this payment.

WHEN WILL THESE PAYMENTS BE SENT? SAME AS PAPER CHECKS OR AN EARLIER TIME FRAME?

That link you guys keep posting for this scenario is never mentioned on the IRS site. It's completely different than what all the FAQs are for. That's what makes me worry about id theft it's like they are holding a portal to our accts open. I can't access my unemployment funds either and it's all good to go, it's just not moving money.

NO this page says nothing about when people entered their direct deposit info on the web portal on 4/15 and it still says:
Payment Status
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 no update and it is now 4/25 we all just want to know what is going on!!!!

That site does not give the information that all of us are asking on this thread

ou 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. mine has said this from day one i just gonna stop looking cause it never changes

I find it funny the IRS cant get funds to the people that pay in every year but if we are late payingTaxes they can find us in a matter of minutes !

In my personal situation the IRS schedule my stimulus payment to be deposited on April 15 to a account that is not the correct one. The following Monday I check again and now it says that is schedule to be deposit on April 24, but to the wrong account again. I don't know what to do. The IRS won't answer phone call. It's a disaster!

Same exact thing is happening with me. I heard it means the paper check will arrive that day but dont know how true that is.

I kept getting that my info didn't match their records until I saw a video on youtube saying that u have to enter the dashes when putting ur ssn so I did that and it said that the check was scheduled to be deposited to an acct I didn't recognize and found out it was the h&r block emerald card acct.So I called the 800# on the back of the emerald card and was told that my acct was closed and that they declined the deposit and that it was sent back to the irs and that the irs sent me out a paper check on April 24th but on the get my payment tool it still says that it was deposited on the 15th of april to the emerald card acct and this is weeks later.the ppl at h&r block emerald accts are saying that they can see that irs sent me a paper check.how can they see that but I cant.she told me they use a different tool and that she cant do anything for me the irs has to not irs info says that h&r block received my deposit.i dont know what to do anyone have any answers for me???

I filed my 2019 taxes and have already received a paper check by mail. Using “get my payment” I repeatedly get the response “the information you entered doesn’t match our records” until it locks me out for the day. This has been going on for a week. The information I enter is exact to what my return says. Can’t call anyone at irs and accountant doesn’t have any real answer other than maybe system overload. I know this is not the case because we checked my partner’s at the same time and system works and states when the check will be sent. The FAQ section on irs site does not answer this. What is the problem? I need that relief.

I'm a disabled veteran, I don't file taxes. I tried to file for my daughter but someone has claimed her, what do I need to do?

I have been trying to input my direct deposit information since 4/15. I keep getting the message that it can't determine my husband's and my eligibility and will not let us go any further. We filed our 2018 taxes last year when we supposed. We owed so the IRS withdraws money from our account every month. It's funny that they are very quick to take it but not to put some money back in the account. Plus we had problems with my husband's ss number being stolen so we need to find out if that issue was finally resolved. And with the Post Office possibly going under, how is the IRS going to insure we receive a paper check.

I was able to finally do direct deposit. It says I'm eligible and it will be deposited into my account it's shows proper account and say it's sending me a letter. I'm unclear as to when I'm going to get this deposit do I have to receive the paper being sent I'm having great anxiety waiting ? More details. I have only seen the same post for 5 days now

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