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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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Robertas
September 11, 2020
Yo solo hice mis impuestos hasta el 2017 tengo derecho a recibir el cheque?
Kaisha Watt
September 27, 2020
Mi nombre es Kaisha Watt: Estuve casado durante 14 años. Mi matrimonio se ha ido destruyendo gradualmente. Fui una esposa leal y fiel. Nunca supe que mi esposo le había sido infiel. El último incidente fue cuando me enteré de que estaba teniendo una aventura 2 semanas antes de nuestro 14º aniversario de bodas. Sorprendido, mi esposo solicitó el divorcio. Estuve tan dolida y llorando toda la noche. Fue tan difícil seguir adelante, así que tuve que buscar ayuda. Nuestro terapeuta matrimonial pensó que "algo" no estaba bien en mi esposo. Me conecté a Internet y me enteré del Dr. Ogundele y sus buenas reseñas de hechizos de otras personas. Me puse en contacto con él para pedirle ayuda y me dijo que después de 24 horas mi esposo volvería después de su hechizo, 24 horas después en la mañana alrededor de las 09:34 a.m., estaba totalmente sorprendida por cómo mi esposo me llamó y me pedía perdón. El Dr. Ogundele me ayudó y mi esposo ha sido tan cariñoso, Natural y estoy teniendo un matrimonio feliz después de su ayuda. Si está viviendo una vida triste o tiene problemas personales y un matrimonio infeliz, créame ... El Dr. Ogundele puede ayudarlo. Es real y poderoso. Él puede resolver casos judiciales, traer a su pareja de regreso. Puede comunicarse con él en su chat de Tel / Viber / Whatsapp: +27638836445.
Zelda
April 09, 2020
would a person qualify to receive this stimulus if they file taxes for employment but also receives SSI for a disabled child?.
Kim
April 09, 2020
If I have no income I am unable to work. I am working on disability I have had no income since 2017. My income was a check once a month for my son's child support. Can I still get the stimulus check?
Nery L Colon
September 29, 2020
Deceo saber si cualifico para el cheque del gobierno
No use su dir…
October 03, 2020
Estoy buscando ayuda porque no estoy trabajando
yuri
October 05, 2020
Mi esposo declara impuestos el 2018 y este 2019 los hicimos juntos ya q aún no estaba en el país y aún no emos recibido nuestras ayuda económica no sabemos las razones
Marco antonio …
October 12, 2020
Nesesiramos el cheque de estimulo para pagar la renta y el pago del carro y comida
Julio Lopez
April 13, 2020
Today is 4/13/2020 and I have not yet received my direct deposit??? Do they go in alphabetical order on SS#?
Francelys delgado
January 14, 2021
No arecibo el cheque
Yeritza López
January 17, 2021
No he recibido la ayuda estoy desempleada con dos ninos
Enrique Gracia
January 19, 2021
Seré elegible
Vionnette Rodr…
January 20, 2021
Como puedo informar sobre mi nuevo núm. de cuenta para poder recibir el dinero por depósito directo, adonde debo llamar o escribir? Gracias.
Gina
April 14, 2020
What if I had my refund put into two bank accounts which one will my stimulus check go into
Timothy ramos …
January 20, 2021
No me a llegado ami
MARIBEL
January 22, 2021
YA HICE MI DECLARACION DEL ANO 2020 YO TENGO ITIN PERO MI DEPENDE ES CIUDADANA Y NO CLAME EL ESTIMULO DE ELLA PUEDO CLAMARLO POR APARTE
danielarodri69
January 23, 2021
Cómo puedo obtener la ayuda del cheque que el gobierno está dando tengo una hija nacida aquí en EE.UU y pues necesito la ayuda porque con la pandemia hemos quedado sin trabajo
Milixa Maldonado
February 03, 2021
Como puedo recibir dinero por el coronavirus
Juan pablo Ram…
February 11, 2021
Buenas tardes,Alguien sabe cómo cobrar el cheque le llego a mi mamá el de 1200 pero ella vive en Mexico y no lo a podido cambiar
JK
April 15, 2020
I filed, paid no taxes, got no refund. (veteran, disability benefits) I am unable to give routing/accnt info to IRS because I must fill out either I received a refund or payed taxes...and I did neither. The form resets if one is not checked. So how do you get around this? Been filing for 5 years, state and federal.
Ganesh tamrakar
April 15, 2020
i came here around 2.5 months and i have no tax file but i hadbeen paid one month tax and i have social security and PR . Can i get that relief?
massiel
April 15, 2020
Hello, I filed both 2018 and 2019 taxes. For 2019, when I filed I changed my account information since I changed banks, however, you all still sent the payment to my old bank account, which is a closed bank account. What should I do next? Thank you.
What do you do…
April 15, 2020
What do you do when the government sent your release check to the wrong bank account
Koky22
April 15, 2020
What if I received the relief fund for myself but not for my dependent child?
Ks0506
April 15, 2020
My stimulus check has been deposited to an account I do not recognize, how should I move forward.
Kindness
April 15, 2020
If I am on SSDI and my husband doesnt do taxes, and we show as married through the Social Security Administration, will we get 2,400 through my ssdi or will I only get 1,200? I havent seen this question or answer ANYWHERE yet and Id think its more common than not, thanks in advance for any answers...
Ana R.
April 15, 2020
What should I do if I entered the wrong routing number when I signed up on the website?
Risela
April 15, 2020
If I filed 2018 but still being processed will I get my stimulus?
jose solis
March 24, 2021
Buenas tarde, yo jose solis quiero informarle , que todavia no he podido resibir ningun cheque de estimulo.yo vivo en un shelter soy homeless por desgracias.nesecito ayuda.mi direccion actual es !20 W. 44th St.NY. NY 10036. espero puedan ayudarme pronto. Muchas gracaias.
Mabel Saavedra
October 07, 2021

In reply to by jose solis

Quisiera saber si puedo recuperar las ayudas del gobierno, se las consignan directamente a mi esposo y no las recibo, me la pueden co signar a mi cuenta de banco personal. Gracias
Mike_L
April 15, 2020
I checked the website today to find out the status of my check. I moved a few months ago, so my 2018 tax return had my old address; the mail-forwarding order expired in December. The website said it could not determine whether my wife and I qualify for stimulus relief. When that happens, it boots you out. How can I make certain the IRS has my information to send the check to the correct address, or notify them that I would like to do direct deposit?
deborahjean700
April 15, 2020
I received the check so do I qualify for a monthly payout now?
Don'tm use you…
April 16, 2020
That's awesome you have something set up like that. I'm computer illeterat. I have forgotten my password and million times. I know next year I will have a live person do my taxes.
Gayle
April 16, 2020
I am age 68 years old and still working but have already began drawing my social security and I receive my check each month through a direct deposit. Do I still need to give the IRS my banking info even though I filed a tax return but didn't receive a federal refund check in 2018 and 2019? I did receive a small amount of money back from the state and they have my direct deposit info but not the federal.
Paneli1
April 19, 2020
I am working out side us and file tax 2018
me
April 20, 2020
we filed jointly and received 1/2 of the stimulus. how do I get the other half
Zackary
April 20, 2020
So my father-in-law filed my taxes this year and he has direct deposit in his account. It says on the IRS website that my stimulus check was deposited on the 15th! My father-in-law is saying that the bank has no record of my check being deposited! I've called the IRS hotline which tells you whether or not your wages are going to be offset and I have no debts! What could be the reason for this other than my father-in-law committing theft.
juan51
April 21, 2020
Hi, I will like to know what should I do if I received my relief check for the 1,200.00 dollars but I have a dependent child and I didn't received his relief fund. I claimed him in both 2018 and 2019 tax forms.
José g cancel rivera
September 13, 2021
Verifica chequel
Albin odeli Pa…
September 27, 2021
Quiero aplicar para la ayuda
Freddy
October 14, 2021
Desdela pandemia a mi no me an ayudado casi al ultimo me ayudaron a mi
Jason antonio
October 20, 2021
Necesito la ayuda por favor
Mario olivera
October 25, 2021
no tengo trabajo tuve un accidente nesecito ayuda cono qsea
Wenifreda Zapatero
May 06, 2020
Why my refund not yet recieved and also stimulus check
Spunone
May 06, 2020
Whats weird is that i filed my 2019 taxes, got my return via direct deposout, but the "wheres my payment site" says that they are going to mail it to the address they have on file, why dont they direct deposit it like they did my return?
fppks1341
March 17, 2021
can a sister claim a brother living in same house as a dependent an recived check in her account is this leagel