Scammers want your COVID-19 relief check, protect yourself with these tips.

Security | 04/02/20
Relief Money

UPDATE: 4/13/2020

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has now updated its website, laying out specific instructions for citizens who may not have filed tax returns in 2018 or 2019. Click here to find out how you can fill out a form directly with the IRS for the Economic Impact Payment.

Fraudsters are already hard at work trying to take advantage of the "Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act" that promises relief to the American public during the COVID-19 outbreak. Specifically, these thieves are attempting to steal stimulus checks. points out that the government will not charge any fees for you to receive this money.

A few quick takeaways to be on the lookout for:

  • The government will not call, email or text you to discuss the payout.
  • You cannot pay to get your funds early.
  • The government will not ask for your Social Security number, bank account, or credit card number.
  • Scammers often spoof phone numbers to try to trick you into responding or taking action.

The IRS has announced that the payments will be dispersed automatically and most people will not have to take any action. The economic impact payment will be sent directly to the same banking account that was indicated on your last tax return. If you need to make a change to your account information, the IRS is developing a website to update

Aid amounts will be based on household income reported in 2018 taxes (or 2019 taxes if they’ve already been filed), and will average $1,200 for each adult earning up to $75K a year and married couples earning up to $150K a year.

Check amounts will begin to phase out for individuals whose income exceeds the $75K threshold, and for couples who earn more than $150K. Individuals earning more than $99K, and couples with no dependents earning more than $198K, won’t receive stimulus checks. Each household will also receive an additional $500 for every child under the age of 17 living at home.

For other questions regarding payments visit the IRS website for an in-depth FAQ.

Sources: Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

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