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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

Marie85 (not verified)
March 19, 2021

In reply to by Nancyjob (not verified)

Hi I know this is last year's question but here we are again in 2021 of March waiting yet again for our 1400 stimulus that we all desperately need and well I'm in same boat this time..I'm on ssi I get my monthly ssi to direct express card first 1200 stimulus came as a check 2nd one came to direct express luckily wich I prefer it's much easier and simple and I expected the 1400 to show on my direct express and my status finally shows and it shows a bank account number I don't know !I don't even have a bank haven't in a year .then when I call my direct express card it says 1400 is pending for march 24th so wich is it ?? Idk whos bank account they have on my status it ain't mine and then it's pending on my de card I'm a nervous wreck what happened with your situation it showed a wrong bank account but did it wind up coming to your express card ? My ain't bad same thing with wrong bank but it wound up on her direct express card anyway so I'm hoping that's my case but I'm a wreck until it actually comes this whole thing is a mess they don't know what there doing
nicknack79 (not verified)
April 27, 2020
I filed for unemployment in Missouri. I got approved for the max. A week. In the back it says that I owe fraudulent charges for some overpayments years ago and I will not be able to get my benefits until paid in full. I have not got my stimulus check yet and want to know if I will get the 600 as well? Please help
fedup212 (not verified)
April 27, 2020
The payment took is saying my I formation doesn’t match , all it’s asking is my DOB and SSN and Address and it keeps saying it doesn’t match and I’ve lived the same place and my information can’t change so what’s going on ?
Helen waiting … (not verified)
April 27, 2020
I am retired, receive social security deposited into my bank account and am not required to file taxes. Before Get My Payment was updated 2 days ago, I kept getting the message can’t verify your information. Now when I enter my info exactly as my ssa-1099 form has it, I get a message your information does not match our records. Is anyone else getting this message because I don’t know what to do. Thanks
Cessy811 (not verified)
April 28, 2020

In reply to by Helen waiting … (not verified)

I have similar problem. It's aggravating.
Chefmango (not verified)
April 27, 2020
I filed jointly in 2018, supplied direct deposit info but “get my payment “ site is asking for all the information (SSN, DD bank info etc)the IRS should have from that filing. Has the site been hacked?
Chiclittle (not verified)
April 27, 2020
When entering Bank information to receive the money do you have to enter it for both your self and spouse? Does Anyone know
Helpcheri (not verified)
April 27, 2020
Every morning i check the website yet all it says is that the government does not have my information. how can that be i am 73 years old paid taxes for 55 years and am on social security. where is my check????????
Anetha Mccloud (not verified)
April 27, 2020
I entered the right info on my payment page and it still says my info doesn't match what's on my taxes. What to do?
RAWWN089 (not verified)
April 27, 2020
I am on SSDI, don't file a tax return and get direct deposit. All my information is available but when I go to 'get my payment', say's information doesn't match. I've done this repeatedly and don't know what to do next. Any information would be greatly appreciated. I know this is an overwhelming task and I appreciate the efforts. Thank you
Patti (not verified)
April 28, 2020

In reply to by RAWWN089 (not verified)

I collect ssdi and I just checked my direct express card and it shows 1200 pending and it will be available on the 29th. That happend late this evening.
Manycats (not verified)
April 27, 2020
There was a big difference between my 2018 and my 2019 adjusted gross income. I believe my income tax was filed on the 13th of April for 2019. They did put some money but it was $448. I'm guessing this is what I can expect even though this past Year's adjusted gross income was under the maximum? Thank you
antoine461 (not verified)
April 27, 2020
the bank i use doesnt process stimulus checks how can i see if irs received the money back and what should i do
Allyson1971 (not verified)
April 27, 2020
Using the payment tool, it states I am eligible for payment since 04/15/20. It hasn't changed since then. I filed my tax return back in March and that says "your tax return is still being processed". I filed my 2018 and that was fine, no problems. Is there something I need to do? Contact someone?
Sapphire2125 (not verified)
April 27, 2020
I file returns but my refund is applied to taxes for next year— not sent to my bank. I cannot find anywhere to input my account information.
Sunshine (not verified)
April 27, 2020
I filled out the non filers information on the irs page and it was accepted and I'm only getting the 1200 what about the money for my 3 kids
Deontre3535 (not verified)
April 29, 2020
What do I do if somebody stole my check out of my mailbox?
FTC Staff
April 29, 2020

In reply to by Deontre3535 (not verified)

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

imkyung78 (not verified)
April 27, 2020
Hi, I did file 2018,2019 tax return but IRS program said " The information you have entered does not match our records. Please try again. " This is the same happen to my mom too. What should I do ?
ac63 (not verified)
April 27, 2020
I filed my 2019 tax return and received a refund on 4/15/20, however, when I enter my information on "Get My Payment" app, it says "not able to determine eligibility at this time". I was NOT eligible if the IRS used the 2018 tax return but my income was significantly reduced and by all calculations I am eligible using the 2019 information. How do I know what tax return the IRS is using to determine eligibility?
RAWWN089 (not verified)
April 27, 2020

In reply to by ac63 (not verified)

My gross income was higher in 2018 and I filed my 2019 earning less gross income. My stimulus was based on my 2019 return which gave me a slightly more stimulus.
smcfarland (not verified)
April 27, 2020
I am eligible for a payment and I entered both my AGI and the amount I owed straight off of my taxes for 2018. I get a " The amount you entered does not match our records" error. I have even pulled up the IRS transcript as of today and entered that amount. It still tells me my information does not match? I checked and rechecked every number before I submit it and now I am locked out for 24 hours.
same problem (not verified)
May 04, 2020

In reply to by smcfarland (not verified)

I saw on another website that if you enter 0 for AGI and then the amount you owed or got refunded that this should work. Haven’t tried it yet because I keep getting locked out. But I will try it tomorrow.
Jay (not verified)
April 27, 2020
I have never filed taxes because I always never made enough money at the end of the year. I have entered my information into the irs non filers section last sunday on april 19th. I still havent gotten any word back if I will or eligible to get taxes.
Don't use your… (not verified)
April 27, 2020
When I enter our info on the get my payment link....I keep getting the msg " The information you entered does not match our records" I entered it exactly the way it is on our 2018 filing. What is the matter??
JP (not verified)
April 27, 2020
I did not received my Corona virus stimulus check and when I checked the status online it shows that it has been sent to a different account number instead of mine. I am pretty sure I have the right account number in record same as the one I used when I filed my taxes in direct deposit. I really don't know whats going on because I called the IRS and it is hard to get ahold of anybody. Please Help
rentedname (not verified)
April 27, 2020
HELLO - I’VE SCROLLED DOWN EVERY COMMENT LOOKING FOR A REPLY TO THIS QUESTION — YET NO ONE HAS ANSWERED AND IT HAS BEEN ASKED SEVERAL TIMES. LET PEOPLE KNOW IF YOU DON’T HAVE ADEQUATE INFORMATION RIGHT NOW. I HAVE BEEN HELPING MY PARENTS TRY TO RECEIVE THEIR CHECKS. THEY HAVE NOT FILED YET IN 2019, BUT OWED MONEY IN 2018. THEY PULL THE EXACT INFORMATION FROM THEIR TAXES, FROM THE INDICATED LINES. YET, IT SAYS “The information you have entered does not match our records. Please try again. If you used information from your 2019 tax return, the return may not have been processed yet. Please enter information from your 2018 tax return instead and try again” WHAT IS THE ISSUE? AND WHEN WILL IT BE SOLVED? IF THESE QUESTIONS CANNOT BE ANSWERED, IS THE IRS AWARE OF THIS PROBLEM? Thank you.
Allyson1971 (not verified)
April 28, 2020

In reply to by FTC Staff

That page does not answer the question that most of us have been asking. Which is why has our status saying we are eligible for several weeks now. No update to it
Geechie (not verified)
April 27, 2020
My pay status for my stimulus check was to be deposited in my checking account on April,22 2020 but I have not seen anytime yet.
RoxAnne (not verified)
April 27, 2020
When we check the status of our stimulus payments, we get the message The information you have entered does not match our records. Please try again. What does this mean? We have filed out 2018 and 2019 taxes.
GrammyJ (not verified)
April 27, 2020
My sister-in-law and her husband separated in 2019. Her stimulus check was deposited in the husband's bank account and he will not return the money to her. She is in her 70's and receives a small Social Security check. Her new address & bank info is on file with Social Security but her husband filed a joint return for 2019 and filed without her signing. Who should she contact? We can find no telephone numbers or other contact information.
JGRICH (not verified)
April 27, 2020
I filled out non-filers form online. I hadn’t filed since 2010. I got a message that I had already filed, which I hadn’t . When I checked the status it was not filed because it was already filed using another account. Then checking the “Get Payment” it said the stimulus check would be deposited in two days into an account that is not mine. It does not show what bank or the full account number. But the last four numbers they do show don’t match any of my past accounts. There is no one to contact as all offices are closed. They won’t let you change banking information because of possible identity theft. They won’t offer anyway for you to stop this deposit which at this point I believe to be identity theft. So I guess someone else is getting my money
251g (not verified)
April 27, 2020
My status went you are eligible will be direct deposit into your account to can’t determine your eligibility
devildog13 (not verified)
April 27, 2020
I filed as a non-filer, it says my file was accepted but i have to wait for the irs to determine my eligibility. its been giving me the same message when i hit the "get my payment". I thought all non-filers were eligible out the get go. i wish there was more information as to why its taking over 2 weeks to determine.
brayleajackson (not verified)
April 27, 2020
My stimulus was sent to the wrong account and I haven’t received it when I got a paper in the mail saying it was delivered. Someone please call me ASAP!
Denise74 (not verified)
April 27, 2020
We are having the same problem. We are using our 2018 taxes and I even checked with our tax preparer to make sure I'm using the correct numbers from the tax form. Everyday we try (multiple times until locked out) and we are receiving the same message....your information does not match our records. Extremely frustrating. Please, if anyone receives any clarity on this please share!
Djollay1 (not verified)
April 28, 2020

In reply to by Denise74 (not verified)

I am having the same issue
Susan in Texas (not verified)
April 27, 2020
To social security recipients DON’T assume your stimulus check will be directly deposited. I’ve received SS via direct deposit since Dec 2018. I filed 2018 taxes, although I owed but ALL previous years I received a refund to the same bank I’ve been at for 15 years. When checking the IRS too to ck on stimulus status it always said no information available or something like that. Friday I logged in and it asked for bank info I provided it. Sat I ck d status again and it said I’ll be receiving it and will update when it’s processed. Today I log in and it informs me that a paper ck will be mailed Friday. And to make matters worse I moved since last tax season and supposedly IRS cks don’t forward to change of address location. I’m so irritated with this entire process. Plus Social security has my new address. Everything they state as a given is incorrect.
Cashout (not verified)
April 27, 2020
I have emerald card on my tax form will my stimulus go there or should I update bank info?
Bdefranco (not verified)
April 27, 2020
I have tried several times to add my direct deposit on Get My payment. I use 2019 and 2018 info but neither works. It keeps saying info I entered is not correct but it is. What can I do!
casinogirl (not verified)
April 27, 2020
The get my payment is now saying that my information doesn't match...it only lets me put in social sec number, birthdate and address...I know I am putting the correct information in....what couldn't possibly match....I had to pay last year so they don't have my direct deposit info.....what should I do..is anyone else having this issue?
njacks (not verified)
April 27, 2020
My information is saying it does not match. I filed 2018 and was due a refund but I owed from previous year so they applied it to what was owed. What do I do ? Do I enter 0 and that I was owed a refund ? This is confusing because it says enter information off your return but the records don’t match please help!!!!
Rbev (not verified)
April 30, 2020

In reply to by njacks (not verified)

I am in the same situation. I am wondering if we are suppose to put we received refund them put in zero since we did not get the money.
mrscarthan (not verified)
April 29, 2020
My check was stolen out of mailbox I've confirmed delivery and I can't get ahold of anyone to void it
FTC Staff
April 29, 2020

In reply to by mrscarthan (not verified)

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.

AKM2020 (not verified)
April 27, 2020
I filed 2019 taxes and my status says still processing. I filed 2018 late and sent it by mail. My status says I’m approved but I don’t have a deposit date. Is it bc my 2019 taxes aren’t fully processed?
Ugh (not verified)
April 27, 2020
I didn’t get my copy of paperwork from the tax preparer this yr. I had set up my return for direct deposit and it didn’t go to my bank, instead it went to their office. When I went in I got my check but no file. Now I can’t track my stimulus because the info doesn’t match so the site won’t verify me. I can’t get it to work because I’m not sure what info was filed (my employer put the wrong zip code on my w2). I didn’t notice that till recently and entering the zip code differently didn’t fix my issue. I can’t get the preparer to supply the paperwork I need. My taxes showed that it was delivered to a bank acct on March 4th...it wasn’t mine because I had to go pick a check up. What can I do to check on a stimulus if I can’t reach a live person?
pusan (not verified)
April 27, 2020
to get my coronavirus stimulate check