The vast majority of consumers don’t need to take any action. According to the government, the IRS will calculate and automatically send the early rounds of economic impact payments via direct deposit, to be available to eligible recipients as early as April 15. The IRS already has direct deposit information for millions of Americans who have elected to receive their tax refunds this way. The IRS is offering a web portal called “Get My Payment”https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment where consumers can check their information and the status of their payment. In addition, the IRS has launched a web toolhttps://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here allowing those who don’t normally file a tax return to provide their account information so their payment can be direct deposited. For the most up-to-date information, consumers should visit https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus-tax-relief-and-economic-impact-payments.
Consumers can visit the “Get My Payment” tool available on https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment to check the status of their payment. In addition, the IRS will send a paper notice in the mail no later than a few weeks after your payment has been disbursed. The notice will contain information about where the payment was sent and in what form it was made. If you cannot locate the payment at that point, contact the IRS using the information on the notice. Banks are not informed of incoming electronic payments until they arrive.
As eligible Americans prepare to receive their economic impact payment from the government, fraudsters are ramping up their efforts to scam people out of their payment. Consumers should be wary of fraudsters who are attempting to scam people out of their payment, and keep in mind that the government will not contact you by phone, text or email about this payment.
Offer early access to payment.
There is no exact timeline for when eligible consumers will receive economic impact payments. Anyone who promises early or fast payment in exchange for personal information is most likely a scammer.
Use suspicious phrases.
The IRS has stated that the official term for payments is “economic impact payment.” If you receive any correspondence using the phrases “stimulus check” or “stimulus payment,” it may be a clue that a fraudster trying to take your cash.
Send “phishy” emails or texts.
Government agencies will never correspond through email or text message. If you receive a message with a link asking you to register online in order to receive your economic impact payment, you are most likely being scammed. Do not click on the link.
Make bogus phone calls and texts asking for personal information.
Consumers do not need to take any action to receive their economic impact payment. If you receive a phone call or text from someone claiming to be from your bank or a government agency asking to verify your personal information, hang up immediately and call your bank or report it to the IRS.
Mail a phony check.
Some scammers will send out fake checks—with either the correct or incorrect economic impact payment amount—and require the recipient to verify personal information in order to cash it. The only mail correspondence you should receive will come from the IRS in the form of a letter with information on how the economic impact payment was made and how to report any failure to receive the payment.