Watch for Stimulus Check Scams

The government is sending out economic impact money due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Scammers may be waiting to cash in on yours.

 

If you haven’t received your government stimulus money yet, here are some things to know:

1. You don’t need to do anything to receive your payment from the government. 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. (More on who’s eligible here.)

2. You do not have to sign up to receive your money! Do not give out your personal information to anyone, like your Social Security number, PayPal account, or bank information. If you receive a call like that, it is a scammer. Also watch 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. But nowhere else, and never in response to an email, text, or a call.

4. No one has early access to this money. Anyone that claims to is a scammer. 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.