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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.

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Dustin Clark
April 24, 2020

In reply to by AngelaWheresmy…

Its been 2+ weeks for me now with the "You are Eligible, once we get your payment date we will deposit it into the account below. 2 weeks no update?
Donna66604
April 24, 2020

In reply to by AngelaWheresmy…

I updated my bank account on the 15th and it keeps saying the same thing. I am eligible and it will update on payment date. Still no change. If direct deposit is faster than why haven't I gotten it yet? It's been over a week now, going on two weeks. Does the fricking get my payment actually even work????
jsgirlshannon
April 24, 2020

In reply to by AngelaWheresmy…

Same! Can’t find an answer to this anywhere! Even tried by searching when will be the last date IRS will complete EIP. Nothing!
shelberries
April 22, 2020
What if you filed 2018 taxes last year but for the year 2019 you only received social security benefits as your income? How do they determine how much you get? I have 2 children that were claimed this year but for 2018 I only had one.
gillman
April 22, 2020
i'm on ssdi and single will i recieve my stimulus payment on my direct exspress card or by paper check????
Katinpb68
April 22, 2020
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.
TaraS
April 22, 2020
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?
belrose
April 22, 2020
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?!
Taylor
April 23, 2020

In reply to by belrose

If you been claimed as a dependent you wont get a stimulus ..
Tish
April 24, 2020

In reply to by belrose

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.
Miles
April 22, 2020
Will we be taxed on this money next year
FTC Staff
April 22, 2020

In reply to by Miles

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.

Skowa
April 23, 2020

In reply to by FTC Staff

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 ......
njacks
April 30, 2020

In reply to by 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.
Jill
April 24, 2020

In reply to by FTC Staff

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.
ellenj
April 22, 2020
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.
eternaljoy
April 23, 2020

In reply to by ellenj

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.
MEWILLIS
April 22, 2020
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?
MEWILLIS
April 23, 2020

In reply to by FTC Staff

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
tsmith59
April 23, 2020

In reply to by FTC Staff

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.
Dewaynereddy2016
April 22, 2020
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
Houston we hav…
April 22, 2020
If my check is post dated will I still be able to cash it now?
Stressedout
August 07, 2020

In reply to by Houston we hav…

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.
Where'sMyEcono…
April 22, 2020
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!
chasemc
April 23, 2020

In reply to by Where'sMyEcono…

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.
Jenny Dunn
April 23, 2020

In reply to by Where'sMyEcono…

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?
Delferd Harris
April 23, 2020

In reply to by Where'sMyEcono…

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
Ladybug
April 23, 2020

In reply to by Where'sMyEcono…

Im having the same issue with the same message. So frustrating and im so desperate right now smh.
Meion8
May 01, 2020

In reply to by Where'sMyEcono…

It takes up to 21 days.. after you use the non filers. I had the same problem, I finally got a date.
Carolyn Groce
April 22, 2020
How to get my payment
frustrated
April 22, 2020
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!!!!
Flyboychriss1
April 22, 2020

In reply to by FTC Staff

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??
Frustrated
April 23, 2020

In reply to by FTC Staff

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?
TAMMY
April 24, 2020

In reply to by FTC Staff

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?
Spydl
April 24, 2020

In reply to by FTC Staff

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.
Mike
April 25, 2020

In reply to by FTC Staff

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!!!!
Allyson1971
April 27, 2020

In reply to by FTC Staff

That site does not give the information that all of us are asking on this thread
tired
April 23, 2020

In reply to by frustrated

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
J0481
April 24, 2020

In reply to by frustrated

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 !
Osvaldo
April 22, 2020
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!
Jennifer
April 23, 2020

In reply to by Osvaldo

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.