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You’ve probably heard the news by now – the government is sending out relief checks as part of the federal response to the Coronavirus. Scammers heard the same thing, and they’re hoping to cash in on yours.

The details of how this will all work are still coming together, but we do know a few things about how this will – and will not – work. For now, here are some things to know.

  1. You don’t need to do anything. As long as you filed taxes for 2018 and/or 2019, the federal government likely has the information it needs to send you your money. Social Security recipients and railroad retirees who are otherwise not required to file a tax return also do not need to do anything to receive their money. If you otherwise have not filed taxes recently, you may need to submit a simple tax return to get your check. (More on who’s eligible here.)
  2. Do not give anyone your personal information to “sign-up” for your relief check. There is nothing to sign up for. Anyone calling to ask for your personal information, like your Social Security number, PayPal account, or bank information is a scammer, plain and simple. Also be on the lookout for email phishing scams, where scammers pretend to be from the government and ask for your information as part of the “sign-up” process for the checks.
  3. To set up direct deposit of your check, communicate only with the IRS at irs.gov/coronavirus. And you only need to do this if you didn’t give the IRS your bank information on your 2018 or 2019 return. In the coming weeks, the IRS will be setting up an online form available through irs.gov/coronavirus. But nowhere else, and never in response to an email, text, or call.
  4. No one has early access to this money. Anyone that claims to is a scammer. The timeline for this process is not exact, but it looks like funds will start going out in the next few weeks. Scammers are using the lack of detail to try to trick people into giving their personal information and money.

To get official updates and more information, visit the IRS’s page on economic impact payments. And if you come across a scammer trying to take your check, we want to hear about it. Report it at ftc.gov/complaint

Updated 4/2/20 with new information on filing taxes

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199 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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rmendez
April 22, 2020

In reply to by Ronnie Mira

If you're elegible to get the stimulus and the money is sent to an accoutn that has been closed, the IRS will send you a paper check to their last known address for you. Check at www.irs.gov/coronavirus the status of your check.

Yaneysy viera
April 15, 2020
Buenis dias, quisiera saber que posibilidad de recibir el cheque tengo aun sin nunca haber realizado taxes por favor?
Robert
April 01, 2020
I do not have a bank account. I have filed a return but no longer live at that address. How can I notify you of my current address?
CastOff
April 01, 2020
I’m a retired senior now receiving Social Security checks who formerly receiving SSDI payments. Will I receive a stimulus check? I tried to file online for 2019 at ezTaxReturn; the site replied that I do not need to file a tax return, adding, “Have a nice day.” Please inform me where/how to file my 2019 return.
victor
April 19, 2020
solo llego a mi esposa 1700 por ella y la nina quiero saber q paso con los 1200 mios
Yamiris Maqueira
May 03, 2020

In reply to by victor

Hola alguien k me ayude resibi los 1200 míos pero los de mis niñas no k devo hacer e hecho los taxes todos los años incluso los del 2019
BSFERT
April 09, 2020

In reply to by CastOff

If you receive social security benefits YOU WILL RECEIVE STIMULUS CHECK!!! You don't need to do anything. It will be deposited into your bank account the same as your SSI benefit check is every month.
Jazmillan07
April 22, 2020
Nada quería saber cuando van a Cayer los checks de correos
alf
May 18, 2020

In reply to by Jazmillan07

buenas tardes, quiero saber por que no me ha llegado mi cheque de ayuda, hoy es 18 de mayo 2020, en la pagina de get my payment dice que me lo mandarian el 1 de mayo 2020. me lo mandarian por correo por que no tengo cuenta en el banco.
alf
May 18, 2020

In reply to by Jazmillan07

buenas tardes, quiero saber por que no me ha llegado mi cheque de ayuda, hoy es 18 de mayo 2020, en la pagina de get my payment dice que me lo mandarian el 1 de mayo 2020. me lo mandarian por correo por que no tengo cuenta en el banco.
estafadorirs
April 22, 2020
Es una poca verguenza que en crisis como si fuera una querra ustedes los del irs le quiten los estimulo de regalia a persona que adeudan childssupport eso es abusivo y deben desirlo y cambiar esa leyes obsoletas del pasado una cris es una crisi canto de ladrones
jaybird
April 01, 2020
If you received a refund in 2018 and/or 2019, the IRS has your bank aba routing and account number. What if you paid taxes with a check? Did IRS keep the aba routing number and the account number from your check? Or do you have to fill out a form at the website?
Don't use your…
April 14, 2020

In reply to by jaybird

It would seem you'd have to have direct deposit, as payments for those receiving checks would be processed separately. It would seem you'd have to supply SSA with your bank info for the purposes of Direct Deposit, or perhaps you'd likely get a check. You might visit the SSA website to see how you can submit your bank info or sign up for DD, and if this would get you the check directly sooner. I'd also check the link posted here for updates. It's no small task to send money to a few hundred million people. This or the IRS website are likely your best sources of info. SSA's phone services are extremely limited, but you could call their number snd see if there's something about this on their automated system. Be sure if you go to their website, you are actually on a real .gov website that's legitimate! There have been sites pop up that may appear to be a Government website, but are not. I've seen phishing sites before where it seems they just copy the website they are imitating, so it looks just like the real thing. The SSA website is on the notices they send out, on your 1099 forms, etc. The amount of calls & texts I started recieving when things got serious with the quarantines, has been ridiculous! Many autodialers & texts with a variety of words to play on people, trying to get people to click. Many calls from those people who want you to call back a number, telling you they want monry or you'll go to jail... It was a widely publicised scam, and many know so, but some do not. The caller IDs are often spoofed as well. If you get a call like this, it helps to report it, they say. After reporting one of them, it took a while, but the calls stopped. One of these scam rings had 13 or 14 people arrested and jailed several years ago. That one seemed to have hacked hospitals & they said you owed a hospital bill, that they were a "collection agency", and another time claimed it was a loan, a credit card bill, and a number of other things. These people want money, your money, and they will try to empty your bank accounts, it seems. NEVER give anyone calling you your personal info! If you have a legitimate bill, they usually come in the mail. The company would have a name, address, account number, etc., AND they will certainly have your info on file & would never have to ask you for it, not even for a "confirmation". It's a good idea to let calls you don't recognise go to voicemail. That way, if they are legit, then you can talk to them directly. It's rare today for anyone to call you for a bill!!! It's a good idea to block scammers numbers. They tend to have or spoof the same numbers, have a number too short or long (instead of 10 digits: an area code & 7-digit phone number). Stay safe!
dorys
April 25, 2020
Hicimos los taxes con mi esposa 2019 aún están en proceso yo ya vi mi estado de en get my payment. Y dice que soy elegible que tengo que colocar una cuenta pero mi esposo le sale como bloqueada es el primer año que hacemos taxes juntos los 2018 fueron separados ya que no estábamos casado el coloca su dirección vieja y ni la acepta
Annie JayJay
April 01, 2020
This information needs to be given to every TV station for their broadcasting informing all citizens to be on alert of this scam. And to broadcast this on a daily basis, maybe with this much publicity, hopefully, it won't get out of hand. Imposing a stiff fine wouldn't hurt either.
makarena aponte
April 25, 2020
Cómo puedo obtener la ayuda de impacto económico por coronaviru ya q no he podido lllenar mis taxes por un pin q no tengo y no se cómo obtenerlo para poder rendir y recibir l ayuda ya q la necesito
CHBROWNY
April 01, 2020
Good advice
Angélica Ferná…
April 29, 2020
Necesito este estimulo
margarita duran
April 02, 2020
I am retired, do I qualify for a check relief? Sorry x my ?
juanita
May 03, 2020
yo no trabajo pero teno un depende que es mi nieta tengo custodia soy casada y mi marido recibe social security pero no a recibido nada que tengo que hacer para recibir mi nieta y yo y si hay que llenar arguna planilla
Esperanza
May 03, 2020
Quisiera saber quiénes califican para la ayuda del gobierno por el Covid19
Enoc Davila
May 07, 2020
Mi reintegro de las planillas me llegó por correo. Los 1.200 llegará tambien espero si
Manuel Perez Franco
May 08, 2020
Necesito saber que formulario y como cumplimentarlo para informar institucion bancaria y numero de cuenta para recibir los beneficios del cornavirus.
LUIS A PEREIRA CRUZ
May 09, 2020
Necesito saver si el cheque viene por coreo pues no tengo cuenta de cheque
Yary
May 11, 2020
Perdí mi cheque de alivio económico!!! Que debo hacer???
PED
April 02, 2020
Will the government mail check if there is no direct deposit
Wrong hwang
April 08, 2020

In reply to by PED

Yes I'm a single lady with a boyfriend ,and grown up kids I don't have any fiance or income nor a bank account .do receive food stamp and county care are people like that kind of situation will be.
Xiomara Sánche…
May 13, 2020
No he recibido la ayuda
isma816
May 14, 2020
Ya recibí el cheque de impcto económico por correo. Un mensaje de suri me exige la informción de mi cuenta de banco,¿qué debo hacer?
Yasnadia
May 15, 2020
Yes
Mire
May 16, 2020
Hola. En el estado de mi cheque el IRS web dice que me lo envió el día 24 de Abril. En mi edificio todos los recibieron inclusive emitidos después que yo. Es posible que correo hay extraviado mi cheque? Que debo hacer? Gracias.
rosa Bautista
May 18, 2020
Me llego de otra forma mi cheque de impacto económico Que debo de hacer o como podré saber si es fraude?
S085343
April 02, 2020
We heard from our family members that they received a card with a password, which you have to enter the password and fill a website to sign-up for the check. But when I read the above description, it says that the check will come at your door and there is nothing to sign-up for. Is this card a part of check process from government or is it from scammers?
FTC Staff
April 02, 2020

In reply to by S085343

That sounds like a scam. Don't give your information to anyone who says you have to sign up for your payment. There is nothing to sign up for. No one can help you get early access to the money.

The IRS says that people who get Social Security and railroad retirees who are otherwise not required to file a tax return are eligible for a payment. They will not be required to file a tax return. Read more at the IRS website about economic impact payments.

Joshua
May 21, 2020
No rindo planillas tengo 22 años puefo recibir la ayuda de los 1,200 que tengo que hacer. Me pueden día información por favor. Gracias anticipadas!!!
emac
April 02, 2020
I’m a stay home , taking care of my husband who is Disabled , he gets SSDI, Do I get the Stimulus check . I been talking care of my husband since he came operation Iraq freedom . I have no earning to report .
Jess1213
April 02, 2020
What if the IRS sent your tax money to the wrong account and you tried to correct it beforehand but the irs still put it in the wrong account. How would you go about getting this money to the right account before its sent out?
Gennou
April 15, 2020

In reply to by FTC Staff

I am under this subject, I accidentally entered my SSN as my bank account and tried to go back into the form to fix it, it just keeps saying it will send it to the wrong account number, there is no live assistance on phone to fix this, there is no live option for online support just facts which doesn’t turn up on any of the topic at hands, and there is no link to fix it, is there a way around fixing this, will you make a link to fix this option as a tool? What will happen in this situation?
El chef mario
May 25, 2020
Estoy preocupado ya que el 11 de mayo me llegaron el dinero de ermengencia de eeuu a mi cuenta pero lo que pasa es que el contable que me lleno la planilla puso su cuenta bancaria ya que yo no tengo entre a la pagina del sury bien pero no me deja poner la cuenta bancaria de mi esposa y no se donde rayos esta el dinero ....como me pueden ayudar
conductman
April 02, 2020
When are we supposed to get our checks? Also, if your parents claimed you because you are a college student, do you still get a check if you work full time as well?
TeresaK
April 04, 2020

In reply to by conductman

If your parents claimed you and you didn't file your own return, my understanding is that you aren't eligible. Your parents will receive their money of they meet the income limits.
Filiberto Larrinaga
May 26, 2020
A quien pueda interesar yo Filiberto Larrinaga perenesco a un centro ubicación 1603 me 7 ave 33136 solo recibo foodstam y ayuda médica vivo en la calle pues no hay capacidad recibo mis correspondencia
nickkie
April 02, 2020
Will our stimulus payment go on our direct express cards or do I need to change it to a bank account
stina
April 05, 2020

In reply to by nickkie

That would b convient for us. I did my taxes in nyc going back 4 years it’s $65.00 a year. I would t mind it going on my direct express card... it will be for rent and food anyways.
use su direcc…
May 28, 2020
A donde tengo q llamar