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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.

Watch these videos for more tips on how to avoid ecomonic impact payment scams:

FTC tips to avoid economic impact payment scams

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

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

1,042 Comments


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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 ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

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.

Don't use your…
April 23, 2020

In reply to by Ewilli

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.
jsgirlshannon
April 25, 2020

In reply to by Phil Derman

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..
KB
April 22, 2020
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.
katboy26
April 22, 2020
Thank you. It’s so comforting to have consumer FTC give it to us straight. God Bless America!
OSULester20
April 22, 2020
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)?
Larace
April 22, 2020
I recieve my tax refund in February on my Jackson hewitt serve card I do my taxes with every year I dont get a advanced loan. When I put my information into get my payment it tells me it doesn't match. When I go on the irs.gov for the regular tax refund it tells me it was sent to my back I dont understand because it's the same information I still haven't received my economic stimulus yet.
Sam
April 24, 2020

In reply to by Larace

You need to check your adjusted gross income and make sure it matches. Go on your myjh account and scroll through your tax return. U have to scroll all the way to the bottom. If any info was changed it will be on the last pages. This hapoened to me. I had to update my bank info bc i get advanced refund. I dont think u will get the money on a serve card so put your bank info i
Teetee
April 24, 2020

In reply to by Larace

I had the same problem I just went to my tax form and entered the numbers that were on line 8 and it was a match. Now I am getting they will give me a date when they update my information which I put in on April 15.
AngelaWheresmy…
April 22, 2020
last week I entered all my information that I needed and irs asked me for my banking information, so I did that and everything went through ok, system says i am eligible and once we have a payment date we will deposit your payment in your bank account, ok cool, so i have checked every single day and every single day the Get my payment says what it has been saying for a week, meaning no update, my return has been processed way before the covid-19 so thats not it, so who can help track down and locate or give me recently updated information on my stimulus payment?
Mrs.Murray
April 22, 2020

In reply to by AngelaWheresmy…

I'm in the exact dame boat. I got my refund for 2019 taxes through direct deposit way before Covid...then the website wanted my bank info again... okay whatever.... same thing every day though. I'm eligible but no update. Frustrating is an understatement.
Godschild 23971
April 22, 2020

In reply to by AngelaWheresmy…

Same here$ I’m so sick of that dumb message! It seems like everyone who used Jackson Hewitt having issues’ being I’m still waiting on tax return for 2019 as well.
MEWILLIS
April 22, 2020

In reply to by AngelaWheresmy…

that is the same thing that is happening to me...now that you have my info, why don't i have an update or a date or payment or anything!!!
Kay27
April 23, 2020

In reply to by MEWILLIS

Have your status change with a date because that’s happening to my husband no date for a release
Tlb
April 22, 2020

In reply to by Tundra94

I have the same thing since the 15th you are eligible for the payment but hasnt updated. If find out let me know
Where'sMyEcono…
April 22, 2020

In reply to by AngelaWheresmy…

Same here. Extremely frustrating. Someone please help!
Juelz35
April 22, 2020

In reply to by Where'sMyEcono…

Ive used Jackson Hewitt as well for 10 years and have not gotten a payment update either. Its been a week. Also i got error messages trying to sign into the irs portal and had to use my husbands ssn to even get into the system for our joint return. I have no idea where our stimulus is.
Steelio
April 22, 2020

In reply to by AngelaWheresmy…

I'm in the same boat, updated my info on the 15th and nothing has changed except. You are eligible for the payment. Once we have your payment date, we will update this page.
Jojo
April 22, 2020

In reply to by Steelio

Mine is giving me the same message. I went into the site and put in my American Express info, not my regular bank as not to confuse. On the 15th!!! Where is my money!!!
Don't use your…
April 23, 2020

In reply to by Steelio

Having the same problem I'm eligible but no date yet
LYNNKAY1
April 23, 2020

In reply to by Steelio

Same here..you have my info since the 16th so where is the update?! Says the same thing every day!!
Jamie RR
April 23, 2020

In reply to by Steelio

I am also in same boat. Entered my information on the 15th and still no updated payment date. At this point, I don’t even care if the amount is wrong. WE NEED SOMETHING!
Margaret
April 26, 2020

In reply to by Jamie RR

I hope you received a date for payment by now. Did you enter the cents in the AGI? I put mine in and it said does not match. Not certain if I should round.
Nologbook
April 23, 2020

In reply to by Steelio

im having the same issue and crazy thing there is nothing on this problem in freiquently asked questions on the site help.
DocDNP
April 23, 2020

In reply to by Steelio

Check Stimulus for Direct Deposit received message You are eligible and will be deposited once date is available what is going on? Been saying this for a couple of days. I see others are in the same boat any updates in this.
Wheres my money
April 23, 2020

In reply to by Steelio

Same here..they have my debit card info but still no payment date?! Looks like no one can give us a clear answer, only a link for FAQ. None of those are any help, either because it still doesn't give is an answer, does it?. I want to know WHY no one can give us a straight answer as to WHY we do not even have a payment date if they already have our info that they needed in the first place??
Auto Magic
April 23, 2020

In reply to by Steelio

I'm in the same boat as well did anyone ever get an update on there's that says you are eligible for payment once we have a deposit date we will update this page
Gigi
April 23, 2020

In reply to by Steelio

Same thing. Mine has been telling me I'm eligible for two weeks but no dd date yet. And I been denied unemployment benefits 5 weeks in a row now. Nothing. No help
Peekster
April 23, 2020

In reply to by Steelio

I am in the same boat this app is pointless my status has not changed since the 15th
Terry J
April 22, 2020

In reply to by AngelaWheresmy…

Same. I have seen several places that it should have only taken a few days but it’s been a week today.
Curly48
April 23, 2020

In reply to by AngelaWheresmy…

I’ll put it all back information and all I get is this stupid message that I am eligible and I will get it update there never is it update this is been going on for two weeks
Amber1
April 23, 2020

In reply to by AngelaWheresmy…

Same here!! Never an update it either says that or says im locked out. Like when will i get the check? Annoying!
Where's my payment?
April 23, 2020

In reply to by AngelaWheresmy…

Same here, updated my bank detail a week ago.
vothuong
April 23, 2020

In reply to by AngelaWheresmy…

I got that same message for over 3 weeks now, I used TurboTax for filling tax this year.
angie
April 23, 2020

In reply to by AngelaWheresmy…

I'm getting the same message I've checked it everyday since the first deposits went out and the GET PAYMENT app opened. Frustrating
Don't use your…
April 23, 2020

In reply to by AngelaWheresmy…

I am in the same boat. I've updated my information on the 15th and still getting the same thing as you are.
autumncrocki
April 23, 2020

In reply to by AngelaWheresmy…

I am having the same problem and it has been 2 week! We are so very frustrated.
Dot
April 23, 2020

In reply to by AngelaWheresmy…

Same here.And then i checked my tax transcripts and the address and names area all messed up.Like I dont have a full first name last name or address. Just partials.So i'm like i hope they dont authenticate of off these because there obviously a glitch somewhere and of course you cant get through on the phones
yemajiks
April 28, 2020

In reply to by Dot

The tax transcript does not show your full names. Its normal if the names are abbreviated but the last 4 of your ssn will show. Its the figures that really matter
Snyoung
April 23, 2020

In reply to by AngelaWheresmy…

Same here. But I used h and r block. Been waiting since the wednesday WMP launched. Just says I'm eligible no payment date over a week later.
Mummye-890
April 23, 2020

In reply to by AngelaWheresmy…

Same here, I entered all info off tax form, site saying I'm eligible and showing my acct # said will be deposited, ( No Date given) I check my bank acct daily, nothing went it. I hope the federal government is following up on all this delay. This is not right. What is IRS doing? They know people are waiting on this fund. I know millions of people in world, however, Mr Munchin, they should have stream lined this process better!
Jbmom
April 25, 2020

In reply to by Mummye-890

Same thing exactly going on here. Checked again today and still the same status. Frustrating.
SCNrs
April 23, 2020

In reply to by AngelaWheresmy…

I am as well having the same issue. I would like to know when I am getting my payment. They have my DD info since last week. What makes it worse is I am a 1st responder, front line, medical worker and we can't even get answers!!!
hjohnson0524
April 23, 2020

In reply to by AngelaWheresmy…

Same here. I have been getting the same message for over a week!
Sam
April 24, 2020

In reply to by AngelaWheresmy…

Same with mine and I updated my info a week ago i also used jackson hewitt.
Cdedmon
April 24, 2020

In reply to by AngelaWheresmy…

Yup same issue here, and can’t find an answer anywhere
fsherrieff
April 24, 2020

In reply to by AngelaWheresmy…

I am having the same problem. When will it be updated. System has the same message since April 15th after adding the deposit information
Brepet
April 25, 2020

In reply to by fsherrieff

Same thing is happening to me still havent got a answer I definitely should of been one of the first rounds to go out as well as I update my info on the 15th and I have still gotten the same msg eligible and that I will be updated with a dd date and no one has helped when it comes to this question