COVID-19 Relief Payment Advice

Beware Coronavirus Scams and Price Gouging

Beware of scammers who want to steal your coronavirus stimulus payment or personal information. Scammers know the government is sending out relief money and they’re cooking up scams to trick you out of your payment or steal your personal information. Ignore calls, texts, and emails about stimulus payments from the government.

August 13, 2020 Update: If you used the IRS’s non-filers tool before May 17 and claimed at least one qualifying child, the IRS mistakenly failed to send you $500 per qualifying child. To correct this, the IRS is sending money to those people who were affected. Learn More. 

Important information about the payments:

1. You may not need to do anything to receive the payment. 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.

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 And you only need to do this if you didn’t give the IRS your bank information on your 2018 or 2019 return.

4. 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 to your state or territorial attorney general.

5. If someone has stolen your stimulus check or identity, report it to the FTC and IRS here