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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

My name is Malissa Zacker and I am a non- filer I used turbo tax on April 7th for an EZ return cause I had no income which I couldn't put direct deposit info in. April 11th the Non-filers portal came about so I then went on and input my info including direct deposit. I cannot find out the status of my stimulus check nor add my direct deposit info on Get my Payment cause I can't get through. I'm hoping they see where I did add my direct deposit in the Non-filers portal so I can get my check soon. Thanks.

I am wondering if anyone can answer a question I put all my information in through get my payment app on the 15th of April and every thing went through check it the following day it said I am eligible for payment but they don’t have a payment that it will be deposited to my account it’s been the same message for 9 days does anyone know why

I am wondering if anyone can answer a question I put all my information in through get my payment app on the 15th of April and every thing went through check it the following day it said I am eligible for payment but they don’t have a payment that it will be deposited to my account it’s been the same message for 9 days does anyone know why

This is actually the first site i have found that is showing people havin g the same problem as me getting my stimulus check and the crazy thing they show no reason on irs site to why it is happening. shows i am eligible for the psyment and shows it got my direct deposit info but for over a week now it gives no date when the deposit will take place. help

Anyone else get this message when accessing the get my payment. ?

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

It's been like this for over a week .no updates

I got that message on 4/24 and it had the correct bank account. Checked back on 4/26 says it will be deposited on 4/29 but the account number they now intend to deposit it in isn't mine. I have no clue whose it is or how to get my money now.

Did you end up getting your stimulus check?

My stimulus check was sent to an account I am not familiar with... very Confused.

I'm eligible for the payment and it will be updated with a dd date. Why have I not received a date yet? I shows my accounts last 4 numbers and it has said this since April 15 WHAT IS GOING ON

It said my stimulas money was deposited in to my account with the last 4 numbers that looked. Correct rinse 29th of April and it never showed up on my account

If I have to use an IP pin to file, since someone filed a fraudulent return using my SS no. a few years ago, will that affect my stimulus check? I definitely qualify, and I filed in 2018 and 2019.

I keep waiting for the website to give me a payment date. We filed a joint return for both 2018 and 2019. Received a refund for 2018 and paid in for 2019. Noticed the IRS did not have our bank account numbers for the 2019 return and updated that on the IRS site. Now, it only says we are eligible and it will send to the account number I provided as well as provide the date when available. It's been a long time and no progress has been made. Most everyone I know has received their payment but not us. Why?

I personally feel like there is more that you guys could do. The fact that you won’t be receiving a portion from the stimulus check has left many vulnerable during these challenging times. If you were receiving a $300- $500 cut of those finances I’m certain that you all would find a way to make this work. This will definitely impact the way people file their taxes going forward.

I’m trying see when imma get my money because it keeps saying the 15 of April didn’t Receive nothing yet is the 23rd of April

Me and my childs father have both updated our bank information threw get my payment successfully the day get my payment was opened we were both told were eligible yet we still havent recieved a date on when were getting out stimulus it just keeps stating were eligible and it will be direct deposited into our account please help

I receive SSDI. My wife and I file jointly. Because of a huge miscalculation in the withholdings in my grant check, we owe, this is our last year. So we haven't received a refund in 5 years. According to the IRS site, as an SSDI recipient I don't have do anything, the direct deposit is automatic. But when?? Does our filing jointly affect this? Also, my wife, nor can I, update her information to upload Direct Deposit Information. What are we supposed to do???

I didnt receive the 500 each for my children. Who doni contact about my missing $1000?! Theres got to be someone for me to contact

STIMULUS ONLINE APPLICATION FOR NON-FILERS IS REJECTED VIA EMAIL. IT SAYS "The primary person's date of birth doesn't match IRS records." BUT MY INFO IS CORRECT! IT ALSO SAYS "If you are unable to resolve the error(s), you can print and submit your tax return to the IRS by mail."
BUT WHAT IS THE ADDRESS FOR MAILING A LETTER STIMULUS APPLICATION FOR NON-FILERS? WHERE DO I MAIL IT? I LIVE IN MA.

Status says you are eligable for payment one we update your information you will receive a payment date it has said this since last Thursday still nothing new does anyone have any clue when if will update? I been off work do to this virus have 4 kids 9 years 7 year 3year old n 2 month old that was born preemie a month early so my wife has been off work for 2 months now with no income and in im only getting to work maybe if I'm lucky one day a week... Please give some kind of hope with a answer of when it may update

My brother can not read or write. My relative stole his identity. How can my brother file and get his own money.

To report a stolen check, go to www.IdentityTheft.gov to create an identity theft report and IRS affidavit. Click "Get Started" on the first page. On the next page, click on the green bar that says " someone claimed an economic stimulus payment using my information."

Fill in as much as you know to create the identity theft report and IRS Identity Theft Affidavit. The system will create a list of steps for what you can do next.

When Non-filers first came on line my neighbor told me I had to do it if I received S.S.I. Not having all the information I did it. I was under the impression that I could add my sons later. I wasn't home and didn't know their social security numbers by heart. I filed it and now I can't get back in to add them. What do I do? My only income is S.S.I and I have 5 boys from age 1 to 9 years old.

It says I'm eligible for the stimulus check . But never tells me the date to when its post to come

I have 2 children who were both claimed on my taxes since thwy were born. I am low income. I owe nothing. Why did i only recieve 1700?

Why havent we havent been given a date or a way we can check to see whats going on if we recieve ss survivors benefits?

If you get Social Security retirement, survivors, or disability benefits or SSI, use this chart from the Social Security Administration to find out when and how you will get a payment.

I on line to the IRS.com and clicked on get payment, It read that i would be receiving a direct deposit on April 30. As of MaY 5 it has not been deposited. Im on SS so it will go the same route. I,m assuming it will be a little later.

Mine says the exact same thing being direct deposited April 30th with no deposit or news about it at all, and it’s the 13th. Have you had any luck since then?

It says we are eligible than says information doesn’t match. Won’t let me put in bank information. Information is correct. We get SS direct deposit. Should they know my bank thru that.

Hi I’m just trying to find out if I get a stimulus check. I don’t pay taxes for work because my boss pays the taxes on my paycheck. I set up the get my payment option and it said congratulations the IRS accepts my non filer info. They gave me a stimulus submission ID number but I haven’t had any progress since the tracker says payment not available. Any info would be greatly appreciated

Tried to enter direct deposit information on the get my payment portal but request was not accepted because I did not get a refund or owe money and these was no other option to indicate: no refund amount or no money owed

I been checking for my check and it says it was deposited into my bank on 15th but the bank account number is the last 4 of my ss# what can i do to find out where my check is?

Hey I’m getting the same message now did you get your check yet. I’m not sure why the last 4 numbers to the acct is my ssn

I used the get my payment portal and now it's saying the information I'm giving them don't match the information they have on file. WHY????

The get my payment tool says my payment will be depisited on the 22 of April. It is now the 24th and no deposit has posted.
Help.?!

I was able to enter my bank acct info on the website 2 weeks ago. However the message has now been changed to tell me that I am eligible for the stimulus payment, shows the last 4 digits of my bank account, but says it is unable to advise when the payment will be made?? What is the delay if all is in place? Should I be concerned?

I went to 5he "get my payment" portal and filled in the information that was needed using my 2018 tax papers but it keeps saying that my information doesn't match there records, I filed in2018 and did the nonfilers for 2019, can someone tell me why this is always coming up on mine? I know they have my information, because u used the refund portal for my 2018 return and it came up no problem.

I have been using the get my payment app for a bout two weeks and keep getting the same message that i am eligible but i have not received a payment date and when they have they will deposit the funds to the account on file. I checked the FAQ and nothing is available for this issue does anyone know what is going on or why this is happening

I keep getting the same message since I added mydirect deposit payment information in as soon as the potal was up o the 15th...It has continued to say, "You are eligible for this payment. We will update you when we have a payment date, and that they will deposit it to my bank account ending in (correct bank number and info). " It has been going on like 2 weeks... When will this be deposited? I though direct deposits should have all been done by now!?

This is all I get for a response ..it’s been over a week now ..what’s going on ????

-You are eligible for the payment. Once we have your payment date, we will update this page.

Same here

I have not yet received my check I do receive Social Security but I am not retired I took my Social Security early I am no longer employed I do have direct deposit and I did not file my 2018-19 taxes when and how will I get my check

If my spouse is not here to sign our stimulus check can I sign both sinatures on check

I have tried numerous times to check my payment status for my stimulus payment and it says my information does not match their records even though i filed my taxes april 6th! However for my tax return status it says accepted but nothings changed as far as being approved! To make matters worse im my 7yr olds payee for her ssdi payment she recieves from her father and i have no idea what to do because i have no one to contact to ask about her 500$ payment i should recieve either! What can i do??

"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."

I have been getting this same exact status for two weeks.
There is no info on this @ irs.gov can you tell me why its taking so long? I filed my 2019 tax returns in Feb and they were accepted using direct deposit. The IRS has all my info but still no stimulus deposit.

I was able to update my direct deposit. But, the system keeps saying once we have your payment information we will update this page. How long will that take? It's been a week already.

I'm on disability and checked my get my payment..first stated o info the next time said received determine eligible..today I checked and said info not aval. I still didn't get my check.. my bf used to claim me on taxes but for over a yr now I'm able to pay my own way..are they waiting for his 2019 tax papers to see if he claimed me. Am I getting my check?

As for people living on their SSI and SSDI, the info the IRS gives is super confusing. A, the IRS says you don't need to do anything and not worry about it and just wait for your money to be direct deposited. The problem is they don't specify whether they mean your money will be directly deposited in the same account SS uses (meaning, your Direct Express Card) or if you need to give the IRS BANK direct deposit info. Problem is, the toll the IRS set up doesn't let people who collect SSI or SSDI input their Bank direct deposit info online. So, either they are getting their money via Direct Express, or not, the IRS doesn't say. And when you call the Direct Express automated line, a message clearly states thats they have ZERO information from the IRS regarding the stimulus money.

Its been over a week that i updated my info online and still no uodate all it says is I am eligible for payment and will update this page when I have a payment date. My sister entered her dd info the day after me and has already recieved a check by mail and a day earlier than it was scheduled... Why hasnt my info been updated?

I believed that since I have set up direct deposit of my Social Security each month, that the payment would be automatically made on the date my Social Security amount was deposited. IRS already had my 2019 return filed electronically. The payment did not happen and it is now two days later. What would account for this? Very strange.

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