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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.

1039 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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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.

Wilyndewine
April 22, 2020
I have been trying to input my direct deposit information since 4/15. I keep getting the message that it can't determine my husband's and my eligibility and will not let us go any further. We filed our 2018 taxes last year when we supposed. We owed so the IRS withdraws money from our account every month. It's funny that they are very quick to take it but not to put some money back in the account. Plus we had problems with my husband's ss number being stolen so we need to find out if that issue was finally resolved. And with the Post Office possibly going under, how is the IRS going to insure we receive a paper check.
1klily
April 22, 2020
I was able to finally do direct deposit. It says I'm eligible and it will be deposited into my account it's shows proper account and say it's sending me a letter. I'm unclear as to when I'm going to get this deposit do I have to receive the paper being sent I'm having great anxiety waiting ? More details. I have only seen the same post for 5 days now
1klily
April 22, 2020
My question is I was able to fill out direct deposit it was excepted except it's been 5 days comment left the account # is right says I'm eligible and sending a paper in mail. That site updated every day. Mine says the same thing every day. ? Is when should I expect this payment
dianad12
April 22, 2020
I do not know if I will receive a stimulus check because when I check the where’s my payment It says it will be deposited on 24th of April. But the last four digits on this bank account they’re saying they’re sending it to doesn’t even match up to anything that I’ve ever had and it won’t let me change it. What can I do?
imnotsingle
April 22, 2020
I filed my 2019 taxes almost 2 weeks before stimulus money went out. I filed jointly with my foreign wife who has an SSN and i claimed my two eligible children. I received $1,200 instead of $3,400. There appears to be no help for people like me.
AerinS
April 22, 2020
I'm definitely eligible, and I filed in 2018 & 2019. I pay estimated taxes electronically, so IRS has my bank info. I haven't gotten a payment and can't get info via "Get My Payment." Could the problem be that I use an IP Pin when I file, because my SS number was used fraudulently a few years ago? Will I eventually receive a paper check?
4qtpiez
April 22, 2020
I did my 2019 tax return through TurboTax. I owe and set it up to pay the IRS on July 1st. My payment status says "cannot determine eligibility at this time" Since I owe them they do not have my banking info. The page does not give me any option enter it anywhere.
Nic
April 22, 2020
I've owed the IRS for 2006, 2018, & 2019 so I have not received a return. I recently paid my balance for 2018&2019. Over 1709 dollars I did this back in February and they directly debit from my bank account using my routing number and account number. So I was surprised when I didn't receive my stimulus payment because owing taxes should not matter and they have my account information so I went to get my payment link and filled out all the information and it says I am eligible and they will deposit the money into my account I provided them but no date is giving and it states I will be mailed a letter first.. what is this all about does anyone know
Rbush25
April 22, 2020
I also have the message that i am eligible and my payment will be deposited to the account below... So annoying. Im glad im not the only one! What can we do?
Jacob White
April 22, 2020
We filled out the application on the IRS portal and my wife put in the wrong account number now it says will be sent to the bank below and there is no bank listed! We also filed through H&R blocks emerald card will we still get our stimulus payment?
Driven crazy
April 22, 2020
Husband and I filed jointly for 2018... he gets ssdi on a direct Express card...we didn't get a refund or owe anything that year so no direct deposit information was given.... when clicking on get my payment it says status not available... will we get OUR Stimulus check on his direct express card and if so when will that be... like I said we did file together for 2018 so I am just confused
RC
April 22, 2020
Me and my husband filed jointly in 2018. The money was direct deposited to his bank account. We are divorced now, and it shows that my stimulus check has been deposited to his account. How do I go about getting that from him if he is not cooperating?
danielle14
April 22, 2020
Help! My husband and I filed our taxes for 2018 & 2019. We received a refund last year & had to pay in this year. When I go to “where’s my payment” I put in all of my tax info from 2018 & 2019 exactly how it is on our taxes. I have even had the lady that does my taxes help me. We are putting in the information correctly but it keeps telling me that “the information that I entered does not match their files.” So what do I do now? I don’t understand how it states that “they need more information” but when I put my information in it then states “that my information does not match what they have on file”. So they clearly have my information so why ask for it? I have tried over and over & we could really use this stimulus check. We are extremely blessed that we are both still able to work during this time but our hours have been cut back majorly so we could use the extra to keep our heads above water during this time. Thanks in advance for any help!
RP
April 22, 2020
our return was accepted on April 2. refunded 2 days after direct deposits went out. We qualify. Never got anything. IRS tool still says unable to determine eligibility. Hopefully it goes to the right address as we moved 550 miles away since the 2018 return.
Sandy56
April 22, 2020
Have entered an submitted info for direct deposit page says eligible for payment but to check back later since updates are made once a day to see when i will get my direct deposit, have been checking for 6 days now still no update or change to page on when direct deposit will go to account.
MeekMeek
April 23, 2020
What does it mean when it’s says I’m eligible for a payment but the system is waiting a payment date?
Flyboychriss1
April 23, 2020
Could someone from the FTC please answer the question many of us are asking?...Why when we check the Get My Payment portal does it tell us that we qualify for the stimulus, and we will let you know when a date is set for payment? Please don't tell us to check the FAQ...because it isn't in there! I entered my DD info into the portal last Tuesday and I am still getting this message?? When will we have a date? Why are we getting this message and it is taking so long?? Please be helpful!
Bumblebee29
April 23, 2020
i updated my bank information on the Get my payment. 2 weeks ago. It said it was successful. Now last week it said it would be mailed on the 24th. However many have recieved checks with a date of the 24th. I havnnt recieved it and why will a paper check be mailed if i updated my bank information early enough.
Kjoyce3485
April 23, 2020
Hey I tried to file bit its asking me for an IP Pin and I didn't get one so I went to the get IP Pin and I put in my info and it keeps saying its wrong and I dont know what to do i can't update my taxes or anything I've been trying to figure it out and im all out of ideas please help me
Sara Saelee
April 23, 2020
I been trying to check my status on the "Get My Payment" tool but every time I enter my information. It tells me your social security does not match. I can not even get through to the next page. What can I do. I just want to check the status of my payment.
Shanny
April 23, 2020
I used the non filers form. Everything was accepted. But when I check the get my payment thing it says status not available. So when should I get mine? I gave direct deposit information.
jostab
April 23, 2020
I received a letter from the IRS asking about a 2019 tax return and if I had filed it and wanted it applied to an amount I owed . I reported it as fraud on the appropriate IRS website. The Get Your Payment is giving me the response "not sure if I am eligible" message. How can I get this cleared up and/or how long will it take to clear up? Thank you in advance?
Sonny
April 23, 2020
I am a social security recipient with direct deposit!it is now 4/23/20 so when can I expect my stimulus payment?
Johnny Ray
April 23, 2020
First I want to empathize w/the terrible situation some ppl are experiencing during this crisis. I don't know if I'm eligible for a payment (the site wouldn't tell me), but because I've had problems lately w/receiving all of my mail, I wanted to add my bank routing code, just in case. Well, IRS.Gov/Coronavirus took me on a journey to nowhere, but it was nice enuf to give me an "exit" button. I'll try again tomorrow & see what happens.
samh
April 23, 2020
I filed my 2019 taxes in Feb and owed money. On April 1st, IRS withdrew my monies owed directly from my bank account. I am eligible for the stimulus but when I went to check my refund all of a sudden the IRS is saying I don’t have enough “direct deposit info.” I’ve been using the same bank account info on my taxes for years. I can’t have check mailed because I am moving. I’ve tried using 2018 tax info but it still keeps telling me my bank info doesn’t match up.
Shannonc628
April 23, 2020
Hi, thank you for all the information you provide. I did not file 2018 or 2019 taxes because me and my husband's income was under the amount to file. I went on the IRS site and attempted to file the form to provide my address to send the check, we do not have an account for direct deposit. It came back rejected with a code that isn't on the list they provide to tell you how to correct it. It has something to do with something not matching what is on file, I checked all info provided numerous times and everything is correct. I did print the form off and sent it to I hope the correct address. I have 2 questions does anybody how long it will take the IRS to process these mailed in non-filer forms? Then I was wondering cause I received a bill or collection letter from the IRS for taxes I owed prior to 2018 but haven't been able to pay because we have no money, would they send the check to that address that they sent bill to if I didn't file 2018 or 2019 taxes, it is the correct address? The not knowing is what drives you crazy!! Thanks for any information you might have to help answer my questions! God Bless and stay safe!!
Nologbook
April 23, 2020
i updated my direct deposit info over a week ago it says im eligible but no payment date is given nor does it show processed. only says will update when a date is available. but this status never changes its stayed the same for an entire week and there is no where to turn for answers.
TERI KINYON
May 16, 2020

In reply to by Nologbook

Same here only I have been sick in that stays now for 4 weeks can anyone help us? I had the money once it went to my wife's account so it was rejected. They don't send a paper check like their saying get my payment had me correct the bank account and routing number and it was accepted and it's been showing that they will direct deposit into the corrected account but no payment date now for 4 weeks I'm so frustrated and unemployment is not existent in Florida I've given up on it. I don't know what to do or who to call does anyone have any answers?
Tammy20
April 23, 2020
I used a tax service for 2018 & 2019. On 4/15 I was able to enter my direct deposit on get my payment and I went back in on 4/17 and got the message my info doesn’t match or I attempted multiple times and my account is locked. I have waited more than 24 hours to check again and I am still locked out today. I have not been able to get into it and I have sent an email to the irs help desk with no response... Any suggestions for help?
JBmomma3
April 23, 2020
Help! Please if anyone has info because I've been getting conflicting info as to when or how to get my stimulus check. I meet the requirements and/or exemptions for the non filers form however, I have 3 dependent children all 3 receive medicaid & 1 of which receives disability. When I go to fill out the non filers form I meet tge requirements to fill in, but the last 3 things say not to fill out if you receive social security or disability. So, I do receive disability, but for my dependent, special needs 8 year old son. No one can claim me as a dependent, but I receive medicaid for my 3 boys (all under 10 yrs) as I am a low income family(single mother of 3 children under the age of 10, 1 of which receives disability). I haven't received my stimulus check yet, and 1 site says I need to fill out the non filers form to add my 3 children so I can receive the additional $500 per child, but another site says I don't have to fill any forms out because I receive the disability for my child. All my family's info i.e. my bank account info for direct deposit for disability for my 8 yr old and the kid's/dependents info, i.e. birth dates, social security numbers, myself being considered head of household with no income other than child support for my 3 boys and the disability for 1 of my 3 kids(all under 10 yrs), and no other income, thus I don't have to file taxes. What do I need to do to get my check or at the very least check its status and/or give any required, needed, or updated information? Please help me, thank you!
Rachel D
April 23, 2020
While I am very grateful for the help, it is very frustrating knowing I am eligible and a lot of people have received their checks. I went through H&R Block and my tax refund went to the Emerald Card. I updated my direct deposit info on Sat 4/18 and still keep getting the You are eligible for the payment. Once we have your payment date, we will update this page status. I am fortunate to still be working, but funds are dwindling rapidly and could really use this. Fingers crossed it won't be too much longer.
Edward
April 23, 2020
Hello, I have been checking for a week now on my payment status and still nothing is updated. I keep getting this message below. Please advise. Once we have your payment date, we will update this page. We will deposit your payment to the bank account below.
BRCPTC
April 23, 2020
Was there a date cutoff for whether the IRS used ‘18 or ‘19 income information? My 2018 income was too high to qualify, but 2019‘s would make me eligible for the full payment. My ‘19 return was submitted last week and processed/refund paid this week, but the online tool still shows Payment Status Not Available. Will my eligibility be updated so I receive payment?
donnad
April 23, 2020
I have had the message below in quotes for a week with no update: When will we get deposit into our bank account? "You are eligible for the payment. Once we have your payment date, we will update this page."
TomF
April 23, 2020
Been receiving the same '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...' message at GetMyPayment for ten days. How long should I patiently wait, or should I be worried?
rbmomof3
April 23, 2020
So... I went on gmp entered all my info checking account info as well. I got you qualify for stimulus will update letting you know it will deposit in account given. GREAT I thought.... checked 3 days later I got try again info don’t match our records n have gotten that EVERYDAY since. WTH UP
Jennylee66
April 23, 2020
My tax refund is being held due to confirm my identity I got a letter in the mail in February and called the number and they made a appointment for April 14th. Well the IRS closed down before that date so I went online to do it and I can't due to I don't have a credit card. I am on disability also, will I still get a stimulus check?
linda
April 23, 2020
I added my account info over 2 weeks ago and it says the money will be deposited to the account but there’s still no date? How long after entering does it take to receive the deposit?
SMC88
April 23, 2020
Keeps saying your eligible but still has no dd date... And Did it the week of Get my payment tool opened. Pls Help!
Alec M
April 23, 2020
I have verified that I am eligible for the stimulus check. I entered my direct deposit information on the Get My Payment portal one day after the tool became available. Since then, I have been checking the site daily for the past week, and I STILL do not have a date for when the money will be deposited into my bank account. All of my friends and family have received their money, but I have not (despite the fact that I'm eligible for it, and have followed all instructions from the IRS.) I am losing my patience over this. The IRS are literally sending payments to dead people before me. What a crock.
Pjeans67
April 23, 2020
Received an email sayin "congratulations, the irs has accepted your information". Its been a week and im still getting the same error message they cant determine payment information at this time. What the heck is going on? If somethings wrong and i need to do something how would i know. This is ridiculous!
plowman
April 23, 2020
I was on line with what I thought was an IRS e file sight for a friend. Put in all her information and later found that her bank account had been debited for some charity. I when back on line to delete e file account and found that the sight didn't recognize the information I used. Any suggestions as what I should do ?
missyh37
April 23, 2020
My direct deposit information was not on file so I updated it right when portal was available and this is the message I am receiving . “You are eligible for the payment. Once we have your payment date, we will update this page.” Wondering when it will be direct deposited??
TC73
April 23, 2020
When will IRS stop sending payment to Metabanksince that was a temporary tax purpose account and mail the checks?
Rupe
April 23, 2020
Irs.gov gave me a date of deposit with my acct it would go to and it never was recieved. Still waiting. Why did this happen?
anna k
April 23, 2020
i got my direct deposit but it was not full 1200 usd. What does that men? as far as i know these are not taxable...
1moredayon't u…
April 23, 2020
My husband and I filled aJoint tax return. On the “Get My Payment Ap”. I entered my ssn. However, his ssn is on the 1040 first. Should I go back in the app and correct this?
ekyree
April 23, 2020
It's been nine days since I updated my direct deposit information, and I am still receiving this notification: "You are eligible for the payment. Once we have your payment date, we will update this page." When should I expect an update?
tabinichole29
April 23, 2020
My wife and I filed married and joint with 3 defendants. We received our stimulus but it was not the correct amount for married and joint. We only received for a single and 3 kids. We are still missing $1200 for me. There is no info on the irs site that answers this question. What do I do to receive the remainder of our stimulus?