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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.

Tammy
April 24, 2020
I went to irs put bank inform my status will update when date is deposited how long I want to know
COACHBEVERLY
April 24, 2020
Every time I check for my stimulus check it says "cannot determine your eligibility for payment at this time". WHAT THE HECK DOES THAT MEAN? I have filed my 2018 and 2019 returns and am waiting for my 2019 refund and that also only says they have received but it hasn't been approved yet and it has been 21 days. There is no place to email or call to find out what they are missing that would make me eligible. I am a senior and really need this money as I can't work with this virus going on.
djmcghee
April 24, 2020
Why is my stimulus payment keep saying it was deposited into an account on April 15 2020?, I don't even own an account
Catlily50
April 24, 2020
So I have been getting the status of 'payment status not available' since Irs opened the site. Now, today I get a message saying the information is incorrect. I have verified that it is correct. We have not filed 2019 yet, because we owe. We filed 2018 and had to pay in to Fed. and my bank account was listed for auto withdrawal of owed taxes for 2018. I did make the mistake of entering in some information in the non-filers section, but never verified my email or completed so I am guessing this would not matter? What are my options with these error messages I am getting to even enter my bank account?
Larry
April 24, 2020
Need information regarding a joint tax return filed where taxes are owed so there was no direct deposit information given to the IRS in 2018 and 2019. However both husband and wife both get direct deposit Social Security checks. Will the Stimulus automatically go to those accounts?
Larry
April 24, 2020
When can I expect and find a response to my prior question? Thank You
JFC
April 24, 2020
We are both 1) income eligible for the stimulus 2) currently receiving Social Security by direct deposit AND 3) filed both a 2018 and 2019 returns. The Get My Payment tool at the IRS website says it's not working at this time and as of April 24, we have not received a direct payment as part of the so-called "second wave." Hope it is coming sometime in our lifetime!
Benny06
April 24, 2020
Get my payment continues to tell me my information doesn’t match! What can I do to obtain information I still haven’t received anything?
ANDYR57
April 24, 2020
I filed 2018 but did not owe any taxes nor received a refund and had a negative AGI. The system gives me no choice for "Did not owe anything" HELP!!!!!!
sfcastro1977
April 24, 2020
The IRS needs to have some way that they can receive correspondences. I filed Injured Spouse with my tax return which they said would protect my portion of taxes and stimulus; however, the entire stimulus and my tax refund were offset to cover my husband's child support. This is the whole point of filing injured spouse. Apparently everything that is stated online is that this is a glitch....not the same as the glitch that is keeping people from getting a stimulus, but one that is taking both the entire stimulus and refund from people that filed Injured Spouse. It is frustrating that the IRS can't at least acknowledge that they are aware of this issue nor can they take any form of communication to have me communicate this glitch. The only glitch that they seem to acknowledge is the one that is an issue with some people unable to get a stimulus due to the bank information issues. I am beyond frustrated along with many other "injured spouses".
Corrinadeville
April 24, 2020
I filed 2019 and it was split in 2 card my check was sent to a card I don't have so what happens now
LittlemomDon't…
April 24, 2020
My sons father (never married) claimed my son as dependant on his taxes, our son has never lived with him only me. The father is allowed to claim him for our states EIC because he is current with child support. But when I tried to use the Non-filers portal to register for the 500 stimulus for my son, it was rejected because his father claim in for the EIC and as dependant. I called him and asked, he admitted claiming him for the past 7 years because he knew I wasnt. What do I do now?
Whatisgoingon?
April 24, 2020
I was checking daily for update status and finally had a date with the correct bank info 3 days before the deposit date. Checked bank on the 22nd. No deposit. Checked the 23rd. No deposit. And no deposit the 24th. Called my bank and they have no record of anything coming thru and nothing was rejected. Not that i feel entitled to this money and am grateful but if we owed them and you were late, you would penalized with all kind of fee's. And not getting answers is the worst feeling on top of the anxiety and stress we are all going thru. They should be responsible for giving all of us mental health Care after this as well.
LKM1
May 08, 2020

In reply to by Whatisgoingon?

The exact same thing happened to me except my deposit date was April 30th. I have went to my bank multiple times and received the same responses as you. I have no idea how to follow up at this point since IRS is not taking phone calls. I guess l will just wait.
jody bl
April 24, 2020
I have not received my stimilus money. I filed 2018 taxes but when I couldnt put my depoist information in . I went and filed 2018 again under the non filer . I was able to put in my information and change of address. I suppose I really messed up getting my stimulis . The get my payment says they cant find me . Please help!
BigBeck
April 24, 2020
I added my DD info over a week ago and it still says: "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. If you need additional help or do not receive your payment, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page." Why am i STILL waiting for my money?
Carenagel
May 13, 2020

In reply to by BigBeck

Did you ever receive it? I have been waiting over a week. They said May 6 and still no check. Help.
Waiting
April 24, 2020
Get my payment says I'm eligible to get the payment and they have my bank info, but no payment date assigned for when I will get it. It's been stuck on that for over a week? Sounds like I'm not the only one.
Josh
April 24, 2020
I received my stimulus check today. I tried cashing and a problem occured. Someone had tried cashing over 21 ago and now I can't get mine casjed. What do I do?
JShell
April 24, 2020
What can I do if my ex spouse has claimed my daughter on his taxes an his differently not supposed to he owes a lot in back child support an I’m the custodial parent his never in her life an even on my divorce papers it says I’m to claim her.. So I filled the non-filter an found out that he has filed her now she want be able to receive the 500$
Rich
April 24, 2020
How do I fill out a "get my payment" application if I filed taxes for 2018 but made less than the standard deduction of $24000?
Jessica
April 24, 2020
HELP!!!!! I truly need to know if I qualify for a stimulus check ASAP!!! I am a 22 year old Social Security Disability recipient attending university. Due to my lack of income my mother claims me as a dependent each year on her taxes. Do I even qualify for a economic impact payment/stimulus check ??? If so, what actions do I need to take? HELP PLEASE
Jewel Crofoot…
April 24, 2020
My 2019 taxes were filed with my husband being the head of house hold . My husband has passed away. So I can’t ask for my covid19 payment using my husband’s social security number. When I use my social security number I get a message saying the information does not match our records . What should I do ?
Luis L
April 24, 2020
i filled the Non filers application, didnt file taxes on 2018 nor 2019. i keep checking and it says that they cant determine my elegibility at this time. how long does it take to get an answer? do i need to do anything else? thank you!
BarneyFive
April 24, 2020
Has anyone figured out the zero owed/zero paid portion of the questions? If so, PLEASE share!
jostam
April 24, 2020
I had a fraudulant tax filing using my ss#. It was caught, I was sent a letter and responded by filing the necessary documents. Now "Get your Payment" is recognizing I do have a payment coming but I need to enter 2018 info which is not with me and unable to get to at this time. (I havent filed for 2019) Is there any other way to confirm and enter my bank information for the deposit. Im the innocent party but am the one suffering. Thank you in advance.
Connie F
April 24, 2020
The IRS site finally says we are eligible for the check, my husband and I are retired, it states it needs our direct deposit information which I entered but it wants either The Amount Refunded for 2019 or the Amount We Owe, it's neither, but it states I have to pick one so I picked received a refund and the amount was 00. Then it won't take the information. They should have our information on file for Social Security. What can I do?
uzinit
April 24, 2020
> Did you receive a refund or did you owe money? * How do I answer if neither is true? I tried all possible combination (with zero), but got ERROR on all of them.
LloydPB
April 24, 2020
So, I was able to enter my Bank Information. For my 2018 , I filed married jointly, I entered the Adjusted Gross Income, and any refund amount as instructed, when I hit the Submit button, I received an error that the adjust gross income does not match the IRS records. I have an IRS.gov login account, and verified my 2018 1040 return (actual 1040 return data). I entered the income amount again.... and it still says record does not match. Tried a couple times, then it kicked me out - Now I have to wait 24 hours. Has anyone experience the same issue?
Louisa
April 24, 2020
Why is there no set date for Soc. Sec recipients with direct deposit, to receive the stimulus payment?
Fin
April 24, 2020
When I check my payment status, it says my information does not match their info even tho it is the same info on my 2018 return. What do I do?
so over it
April 24, 2020
I am eligible according to the IRS.GOV "get my payment" and I entered the information needed from line 7 of the 1040 form for 2018 (I have not filed 2019 yet) and entered the information from line 19. I received information that the numbers do not match "their" records. Well I am not sure how they do not match. Now I am locked out for 24 hours. Anyone have any ideas as to what the issue is?
teacher ret
April 24, 2020
wont accept my info from line 22...owe or refund. i applied my amount to est 2019 tax instead of refund. do i put down 00 for refund then
Bobbyarvon
April 24, 2020
I just finally got on to put banking info I filed my 2019 return that has my banking info on 2018 there is no banking info for 2019 i am due a refund but haven't gotten it yet they received and are processing but on the stimulus info they ask if I received a refund not am i due a refund im reluctant to answer as it may be in correct
susysmith
April 24, 2020
Same problem as many of you. In 2018 owed 0 and refund 0. That option is not available so I chose refund and typed 0 for the amount. It took, along with my bank info. I hope it works. Otherwise they will send a check to the address filed with your 2018 or 2019 taxes.
florence
April 24, 2020
My husband and I file a joint federal income tax return - who’s social security number should we enter on the irs website to check the status of our economic income payment (does it matter)?
gg2062
April 25, 2020
What do they mean when they say whole dollar amount I’m I supposed to round it up or I’m I suppose to put the amount without the 00 so if I got 19568.50 what do I put?? I’m I using my 2018 taxes or 2019 to answer these questions please someone help me
Des
April 25, 2020
I filed a 2018 tax return but also used non filers it says it was accepted by irs and will be processed that has been over 2 weeks now I still haven't received a check or direct deposit I used a turbotax debit card for the refund in 2018 ,I cant check the get my payment cause it says info dont match everything is correct tough an matches my tax forms I really need my check and dont know what to do from here any advice
concernparent
April 25, 2020
If I filed joint with spouse he was head of household but we separated moved out of state I filed my taxes up where he lives how would I get my part of stimulus check and if he gets it is there a possible way he could cash it without me present I already changed information to direct deposit few weeks ago but have not received nothing yet and checks are already getting sent thanks concernparent
Note
April 25, 2020
I just want to receive an old fashion check in the mail. When using the get my payment tool an alarming not enough info and it's waiting for me to enter bank info that I don't have. Nightmare - According to my records factually, there is enough info so it's a waste of time, useless miss-leading tool hen you expect a check in the mail
eposey
April 25, 2020
I'm on SSI and disability and I have not recieved my stimulus check yet. Did the gov't forget about me?
moon26
April 25, 2020
I also have the issue of not owing IRS nor receiving a refund. My AGI is a minus and the system doesn't seem to want to accept either the minus sign or??? who knows? anyone?
JaneW
April 25, 2020
I need help, with my payment information it’s asking for my tax return which I get social security I do t file taxes. What do I put? I don’t owe taxes, or receive refund.
Mcg1213
April 25, 2020
My deceased partner died november 2018. In 2018 on his taxes he claimed our daughter as a dependant and I think me as well. I'm on ssdi and have been since 2006!! If he did will this impact my ability to recv my economic payment and put my daughters info in as a non filer? I can not get past the 2nd form at all. I checked instructions and being disabled I'm completely in need of this money. Please help
muse
April 25, 2020
Keep putting in my social security number in Get my payment IRS portal; keep getting messing saying my information does not match its records: WHY?
fayeJordan
April 25, 2020
Does anyone know when you go on get my payment if you are married do you only have to enter spouses social and bank info and you'll get the 2400 or do I have to go back in and enter my social as well in order to get the 2400.
Beautiful35
April 25, 2020
Hi I had the $1200.00 stimulus money deposited in my bank account and I got a check from the irs treasury do I suppose to get that in the mail? Just curious
Frustrated tax…
April 25, 2020
Like many of us, I entered my direct deposit info on April 15th. I check every day for a deposit date but I never get an answer. Why are people getting checks before we all get ours via direct deposit? When are the people getting their stimlus that entered their info into get my payment on April 15? It has been 10 days with no updates.
Don't use your…
April 25, 2020
Hello. In my Get my Payment. It is asking what did I owe or if I got a refund.what do I answer. I owed money to the federal but get a refund on the state. Which answer do I put in. I tried both but it doesn’t like the answer and kicks me out. Please help! I am entering my information For 2018 I have not filed 2019. I filed 2018 in April2020. Please help! I need the stimulus but can’t seem to get it.
jsgirlshannon
April 25, 2020
I’ve seen the timeline of when paper checks of the EIP are to be mailed out, but what about a timeline for direct deposits? Any clue of a date would be helpful and relieve anxiety of not knowing when it will come. Not seeing a change and still waiting on a date on the Get My Payment link is frustrating.