Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
Skip to main content

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


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 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.

mommav
April 25, 2020
have the message saying checking eligibility no place to update banking filed 2018 on time last year I’m on SSD separate checking We file joint Do we put in separate Banking accounts ? What happens if site says I can enter my banking info for direct deposit within a day or to of filing 2019 taxes - what should I put in the questions 2018 or 2019 ?
Don't use your…
April 25, 2020
What can i do if my stimulus check went to my old address that i nolonger live at and my old neighbor called me after told me someone that lives in my old house now tried to cash my check but couldnt so they put it back in the mailbox how can i report that i never recieved my stimulus check or go about this situation i have submitted another change of address form tp have my mail forwarded to my new address also
Misty
April 26, 2020
My son filed taxes with Jackson Hewitt and got a American Express serve card. We have been checking often but it just keeps saying the information I entered doesn't match the information they have. I know I am entering the right information (I mean really, how hard is that too do?), but every time the same thing.
JediKnight
April 26, 2020
I received my CARES Act "stimulus" money on April 14th of this year. Today, April 26th, I received a physical letter declaring that I would be receiving an "Economic Impact Payment." I know that mail is slower that direct deposit, that's not my concern. How much did it cost to send this redundant piece of paper to me? THAT is my concern. It is 2 weeks after the fact and I am one of literal millions to whom this was likely sent, how much of the $2.2 trillion dollars in economic stimulus went to mailing out these letters? I do not mean to berate the USPS, I LOVE the USPS (keep them funded!); my question is why was this even sent out at all?
Deschampem
April 26, 2020
Mine says IRS accepted my info and no further action is needed. My question is I'm receiving unemployment +$600 a week due to covid 19. I didn't add any banking info, and still haven't heard anything if I'm getting a stimulus check or not. Would they add it on my unemployment card if I get a stimulus or mail me a check? It's been over 2 weeks since the IRS accepted my info on non-filers.
sbassmur
April 26, 2020
Got email from Non Filers Email Payment asking me to enter my bank account info to get my stimulus payment. I already received my payment weeks before, so definitely a scam.
CelesteS
April 26, 2020
A few weeks ago, my status kept saying "status not available". It remained that way for a while, until today when it says "information does not match our records". I filed 2018 taxes on time (by mail), and have had the same address for years. Entering everything correctly each time. Should I be worried?
Gjax2020
April 26, 2020
The get payment information is not working correctly. It tells you to enter the whole dollar amount, but tells you the information does not match. I'm entering exactly how it is shown on 1040 and IRS transcript. For example, if I my Ai Agi is 162,082.00 I entered 162082. Is that correct?
Mrs. Moore
April 26, 2020
I went to get my payment on IRS Website and my payment is being deposited into a. Bank Account that I don't have what can I do about this?
Deo2356
April 26, 2020
i went to go use the Get my payment tool and it had someone else bank info saying they will get my check on the 29th...... what do i do
Disabled and scared
April 26, 2020
I filed a quick return it was accepted and approved. I don't file normally because I am a 1099er. I did include my dd info. I checked yesterday it had my info. I checked today and the account number changed I don't know it. Only thing I think of is my direct express card. But why would it change and what if it gets lost.
kathryn johnstonn
April 26, 2020
what do i do with my deceased daughter's stimulus check, she lived with me and i was her decision maker when she was sick and on her bank account and she on mine but her account is now closed,she died Dec. 8 2019.
Coty
April 26, 2020
I'm on ssa and it shows my payment being deposited into an account I dont know and it's not where my monthly payment goes
Sandieubu
January 24, 2021

In reply to by Coty

I was told that my stimulus check was sent to my Direct Express and to check with my bank. I don’t have a bank. I am on Social Security now. I have been disabled with MS.Can I trace my check.
DonAr818't use…
April 26, 2020
I filed a 2019 return earlier when I heard you had to file to receive the stimulus check I am on SSI and receive my payments by direct Express now the IRS says my check will be mailed on the 1st but I was hoping it would be deposited what will the case be in this situation. at the time I filed direct Express informed me that they could not put it on my direct Express card the only thing that would go on it are my SSI payments.
Songbird118
April 26, 2020
I was having the same issue as others as I didn’t receive a refund or owe taxes when I last filed. I tried again this morning and selected “I received a refund” then put the number zero in the refund amount and it worked! Hope you all have the same result!
Wirtski2001
April 26, 2020
I was finally able to get in as previously kept saying payment not available. Then when did it did not have my 2019 info yet. Said to enter 2018 info so I did. Then stated my info did not match what IRS had. So do I need to enter payment owed as well as what was charged for penalty that was charged? It locks me out for 24 hours if I make one mistake. So frustrated.
Fruityy
April 26, 2020
My brother recently filed a non-filers tax return, to receive a stimulus check. I’ve filed him on my taxes before, but it was in 2013. Does that stop him from qualifying for the stimulus or is it ok because it’s so far back?
njacks
April 26, 2020
I entered my information and it says information does not match. It says no comas or periods do we have to enter 1,174.00 as 117400 or 1174 I don’t understand why we adding information other than bank account. You have dob social and address
doomstet
April 26, 2020
I’m on ssd I get direct deposit and don’t make enough to have to file taxes .will my money be direct deposited and we’re is our money ??? People who made alit more already got there’s very fustrated !!! Please give an answer
Diesel13
April 26, 2020
Do they ever deposit your check earlier than the date they give you
Sweet16
April 26, 2020
I received a letter yesterday stating my money was direct deposited in my account on the 15th. I never received any money and when I go to the get my payment portal it says my social security number doesn't match their records.. I don't know where to turn.
Eeyorebu
April 26, 2020
I checked the get my payment on 4/24 and finally after several weeks it stated that I would be getting a check direct deposit into my account and it showed the last four digits of my account number. I check back today for a date and it says to be direct deposited on 4/29 ,but then it shows that it's being deposited into someone else's account not mine. How did it go from the right account to the wrong account and how do I get it to come to me instead of some stranger? I filed through the non filers because I'm on SSD with a dependent.
ConfusedinDe
April 26, 2020
So it's been at least 15 years since my husband filed taxes. I didn't work during the marriage. We seperated in 07. I have worked here and there but never enuff to be required to file. ( lived with family, friends) I didn't make enough in 2018 to file, and I didn't work in 2019. How will the irs know where to send my payment? If I put in my address in the non filers portal, there is no information to verify it against, or do they use my ssn?
Pamela Marion
April 26, 2020
Sent a comment on 4-24-2020 have not received a response .
Kerri
April 26, 2020
I dont understand why my direct deposit is showing up on the get my payment site wrong now since the site was updated lastnight. My last 4 numbers on account number was correct until that point. What do i do to fix this before the deposit date 4/30? Please contact me asap about this problem.
QUEBABY25
April 26, 2020
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOUR MONEY GOES TO YOUR TAX PREPAER ACCOUNT AND SHE DOESN'T GIVE YOU YOUR MONEY? BE CAUSE I FILED BUT MY TAX CHECK WITH TO HER ACCOUNT AND SHE GAVE ME A PAPER CHECK SO I ASKED HER IF I GOT ANYTHING IN HER ACCOUNT SHE SAID NO BUT I STILL DON'T WANT TO CHANCE THAT I NEED MY MONEY
FTC Staff
May 05, 2020

In reply to by QUEBABY25

The IRS says it plans to mail a letter about the economic impact payment to each person's last known address within 15 days after the payment is paid. The letter will tell you how the payment was made and how to report any failure to receive the payment.

If you get a letter and you aren't sure it's legitimate, go to www.irs.gov/coronavirus.

QUEBABY25
April 26, 2020
BUT ALSO I CHECKED MY GET MY MONEY APP AND IT SAID IT WILL BE MAILED ON THE 24TH SO WILL IT COME TO MY NEW ADDRESS IF I CHANGED MY MAIL THROUGH THE POST OFFICE?
TiaraBro
May 07, 2020

In reply to by QUEBABY25

I was told my check will be mailed out on April 24th why I haven't received my check yet
Audrey kate
April 26, 2020
I just went on the irs.gov site and got a message that said my info didn’t match their info. They would get my info from social security. Years ago I had someone use my social to get a refund but the irs caught it. Hope this is not the case
nae
April 26, 2020
Some one has stolen my check in my apartments I don’t know what to do I can’t contact anyone either My payment tells me it was mailed and sent and this just happen but the other person entered it
FTC Staff
April 29, 2020

In reply to by nae

Report the stolen check and create an IRS affidavit at www.IdentityTheft.gov. 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 what you know to create an identity theft report and IRS Identity Theft Affidavit. The system will create a list of steps for what you can do next.

Mark Annenberg
April 29, 2020
Please send direct deposit a.s.a.p. need to pay mortgages ,food etc please direct deposit a. S. A.p Thank you
kayekaye
April 26, 2020
I went on the Get MY Payment and this is the message I received "Information you entered does not match our records" but I have moved and have a different address. I filled out my info on the Non-Filers website. How do I correct this information so I can get my check?
T.mama
April 26, 2020
I went to the non filer form two days before the irs and ssa finally figured out they were going to work together and automatically do direct Express cards deposit for ssi recipients so I would have never had to efile for the stimulus payment. Now it says I will receive a check because I couldn't put anything down for bank info. What happens if I receive the direct Express card payment also which I am supposed to. How do I give them back the check that I should have never received. And I cant get a hold of the irs.
Sick and tired
April 26, 2020
Received refund for 2018 taxes through e-file yet haven't received stimulas check and website provided says info to check payment doesn't match IRS record getting fustrated because it's info of my last return
aeaceves89
May 05, 2020
My stimulus check was sent to my tax preparer she claims that account is closed. How do I go about getting my money. Or finding out if she has it?
teachscrap
April 26, 2020
We filed our 2018 and paid in money. I waited until April 21, 2020 to file and pay in money for the 2019. Two days ago, I used the "Get My Payment" and it comes up with a message about not qualifying or hasn't processed (I don't remember exact words) with no place to enter direct deposit info. Today I entered my husbands info and it came up that the info doesn't match what you have on file. I also tried my info, same thing. I tried each of ours 3 times to make sure I didn't mistype. Same message each time. Should I be concerned that someone changed our info and they will receive the payment?
Mama G
April 26, 2020
Overwhelmed with gratitude. All of you at FTC and Consumer Advocacy have worked so hard for the U.S. Citizens. I am low income and retired, but no stranger to helping people. Thank you!!
Brad.R
April 26, 2020
I filed my income taxes on the 2nd of April and got it on the 20th and I've been checking where's my payment on the IRS website it kept telling me information not available and on 24th of April it told me I was available to receive payment and to inter my bank information and it told me it would be deposit in my account but didn't say when and on the 26th it told me it would be mailed out on may the 1st then why did it ask me for my bank information if it's going to be mailed? ...so confused.
Liz
April 26, 2020
I keep getting to the portal that ask you to confirm your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) and refund amount but when I enter, I keep receive an error saying it doesn't match. I have up my IRS account and pulling the exact numbers from my most recent tax return. I have no idea what to do to get this to work!
BlancheScott
April 26, 2020
Our stimulus check actually went into someone else’s account.H&R Block put WRONG account number on our tax return. Check had to be mailed to them then they sent us one of their checks after they got their service fee. HELP!!!
gasmannh
April 26, 2020
My 2018 tax return indicated I was not eligible for the full Economic Impact Payment. My 2019 return makes me eligible. Will the IRS use the 2019 return to update my status?
Myra8083
April 26, 2020
Can someone please help me!!. I've been trying to enter my 2018 tax information ( AGI, and amount owed) I keep getting " your information does not match our records" error message. I saw that the IRS website was updated with this particular question, however the answer does not help me. Yes, I've doubled check the information that is on my return, and I'm still getting the same error message. Please help! Thank You
JayLynn513
April 27, 2020
I'm a social security disability recipient. Been checking for the stimulus check. IRS website says I don't have to anything but I checked 20 minutes ago and the site now says my info doesn't match their records. It's very frustrating. My address hasn't changed in 3 years. They sent my 1099 to my address. What kind of glitch are we talking about now?
Hsatt
April 27, 2020
I received my paper stimulus check and when I went to cash it at two different check cashing businesses they both rejected it due to it coming back saying wrong social security number ? I know I entered the right one and haven’t been able to find any number or site to help
J.B777
April 27, 2020
Why is it we can only find our stimulus status info under my wife's information not mine. We filed, married filing jointly but as the husband, my information isnt found and says try again. But my wife's information pulls our info and the date we will receive it. I just hope we get the correct amount under her info and it's just all the same.
Nancyjob
April 27, 2020
I am on ssdi and am due to get my stimulus payment on April 29,I normally get my monthly payment sent automatically to my state card. I checked the my payment status and they show the wrong deposit number. What can I do?