Skip to main content

You’ve probably heard the news by now – the government is sending out relief checks as part of the federal response to the Coronavirus. Scammers heard the same thing, and they’re hoping to cash in on yours.

The details of how this will all work are still coming together, but we do know a few things about how this will – and will not – work. For now, here are some things to know.

  1. You don’t need to do anything. As long as you filed taxes for 2018 and/or 2019, the federal government likely has the information it needs to send you your money. Social Security recipients and railroad retirees who are otherwise not required to file a tax return also do not need to do anything to receive their money. If you otherwise have not filed taxes recently, you may need to submit a simple tax return to get your check. (More on who’s eligible here.)
  2. Do not give anyone your personal information to “sign-up” for your relief check. There is nothing to sign up for. Anyone calling to ask for your personal information, like your Social Security number, PayPal account, or bank information is a scammer, plain and simple. Also be on the lookout for email phishing scams, where scammers pretend to be from the government and ask for your information as part of the “sign-up” process for the checks.
  3. To set up direct deposit of your check, communicate only with the IRS at And you only need to do this if you didn’t give the IRS your bank information on your 2018 or 2019 return. In the coming weeks, the IRS will be setting up an online form available through But nowhere else, and never in response to an email, text, or call.
  4. No one has early access to this money. Anyone that claims to is a scammer. The timeline for this process is not exact, but it looks like funds will start going out in the next few weeks. Scammers are using the lack of detail to try to trick people into giving their personal information and money.

To get official updates and more information, visit the IRS’s page on economic impact payments. And if you come across a scammer trying to take your check, we want to hear about it. Report it at

Updated 4/2/20 with new information on filing taxes

Search Terms

It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public records system, and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer user records system. We may routinely use these records as described in the FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.

The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

  • We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
  • We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
  • We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
  • We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to

We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.

April 03, 2020
If you have no tax income will you still get a check
April 03, 2020
I did not file my taxes for 2018 but i did for 2019, will i qualify even though i haven’t file my 2018?
April 15, 2020

In reply to by Aaron

Have you found anything else out about this because im in the same situation
April 03, 2020
What if the person is not currently in the country?
April 03, 2020
I have not been able to work for 2 years do to medical problems. The last tax's I filed was for 2017. Am I eligible for a stimulus check? Let me know please and thank you, Lexi
April 03, 2020
Will people on SSDI get the check?
April 03, 2020
I am a single mom who has no income to report because I live on child support payments and am under poverty level. I do get my child support payments through NY state, and food stamps, do I qualify for the money? And if so, how will I get it?
April 03, 2020
I closed the checking account where I got my refund. I have another checking account where I get my Social Security Retirement funds. Will I still get a direct deposit into the account where I get my Social Security?
Lisa J Curry
April 03, 2020
I need to know.if my stimulis will be put on my emerald card.h&r block said it would
April 08, 2020

In reply to by Lisa J Curry

I am wondering the same! I haven't been able to find a legit answer about the stimulus check on the emerald card! I need to know
April 04, 2020
How can I update my Direct Deposits information with the IRS. Because the information that they have when I file my taxes I don't have anymore. Please help
DoDKn't use yo…
April 05, 2020
Im on SSD and I recieve my my payments monthly on Direct Express card, so will my stimulus money be deposited on there or will I have to wait for a check in the mail. I hear checks will take mnths and im already hanging on by a thread becas I had to spend more of my money to buy more items that I usually have to buy. Thank You for any info.
April 12, 2020

In reply to by FTC Staff

You should be giving more information rather than just directing people back to a dead end website
April 05, 2020
Can you use a relative, such as a sons, bank account for the direct deposit?
April 15, 2020

In reply to by Shoeless

my ex husband used my bank account and it deposited no problem.
April 06, 2020
If my partner filed my taxes with his will we get both checks together or one one check. ?
April 06, 2020
How can I get relief check from the government? Please help me.
April 06, 2020
My neighbor asked me if I heard anything about people on welfare receiving a stimulus payment...I told her no because I actually haven't seen that in any all.does anyone know if welfare recipients are eligible for the money?
April 06, 2020
Won't the stimulus check just be used against people already receiving Medicaid and Snap benefits? They will lose their gov't benefits.
FTC Staff
April 07, 2020

In reply to by Pocket

The Social Security website has this information for people who get Supplemental Security Income payments:

"Please note that we will not consider economic impact payments as income for SSI recipients, and the payments are excluded from resources for 12 months."

Go to for information and updates about the payments.

April 07, 2020
I received a SMS from the number ‭+1 (203) 702-7181‬ requesting that I confirmed my “pending acceptance” of the stimulus check in a link. The SMS had specifically my name on it. Do not fall for this scam!
April 07, 2020
I'm on SSI will i get a stimulus check and do we have to file a tax return to get a stimulus check..i never filled a tax return what I need to do
April 07, 2020
I am on SSI do do I get a check if so do I have to do anything for it because I have SSI and I get them direct deposit
April 09, 2020
would a person qualify to receive this stimulus if they file taxes for employment but also receives SSI for a disabled child?.
April 09, 2020
If I have no income I am unable to work. I am working on disability I have had no income since 2017. My income was a check once a month for my son's child support. Can I still get the stimulus check?
Julio Lopez
April 13, 2020
Today is 4/13/2020 and I have not yet received my direct deposit??? Do they go in alphabetical order on SS#?
April 14, 2020
What if I had my refund put into two bank accounts which one will my stimulus check go into
April 15, 2020
I filed, paid no taxes, got no refund. (veteran, disability benefits) I am unable to give routing/accnt info to IRS because I must fill out either I received a refund or payed taxes...and I did neither. The form resets if one is not checked. So how do you get around this? Been filing for 5 years, state and federal.
Ganesh tamrakar
April 15, 2020
i came here around 2.5 months and i have no tax file but i hadbeen paid one month tax and i have social security and PR . Can i get that relief?
April 15, 2020
Hello, I filed both 2018 and 2019 taxes. For 2019, when I filed I changed my account information since I changed banks, however, you all still sent the payment to my old bank account, which is a closed bank account. What should I do next? Thank you.
What do you do…
April 15, 2020
What do you do when the government sent your release check to the wrong bank account
April 15, 2020
What if I received the relief fund for myself but not for my dependent child?
April 15, 2020
My stimulus check has been deposited to an account I do not recognize, how should I move forward.
April 15, 2020
If I am on SSDI and my husband doesnt do taxes, and we show as married through the Social Security Administration, will we get 2,400 through my ssdi or will I only get 1,200? I havent seen this question or answer ANYWHERE yet and Id think its more common than not, thanks in advance for any answers...
Ana R.
April 15, 2020
What should I do if I entered the wrong routing number when I signed up on the website?
April 15, 2020
If I filed 2018 but still being processed will I get my stimulus?
April 15, 2020
I checked the website today to find out the status of my check. I moved a few months ago, so my 2018 tax return had my old address; the mail-forwarding order expired in December. The website said it could not determine whether my wife and I qualify for stimulus relief. When that happens, it boots you out. How can I make certain the IRS has my information to send the check to the correct address, or notify them that I would like to do direct deposit?
April 15, 2020
I received the check so do I qualify for a monthly payout now?
Don'tm use you…
April 16, 2020
That's awesome you have something set up like that. I'm computer illeterat. I have forgotten my password and million times. I know next year I will have a live person do my taxes.
April 16, 2020
I am age 68 years old and still working but have already began drawing my social security and I receive my check each month through a direct deposit. Do I still need to give the IRS my banking info even though I filed a tax return but didn't receive a federal refund check in 2018 and 2019? I did receive a small amount of money back from the state and they have my direct deposit info but not the federal.
April 19, 2020
I am working out side us and file tax 2018
April 20, 2020
we filed jointly and received 1/2 of the stimulus. how do I get the other half