Beware of scams as first wave of stimulus checks go out

IRS deposits first round of coronavirus stimulus checks into bank accounts
Posted at 10:57 AM, Apr 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-13 11:57:49-04

If you qualify for the coronavirus economic impact payments, or stimulus checks, then you may be getting excited to see the numbers in your account rise soon; however, there are a few things to be wary of beforehand.

The Federal Trade Commission says scammers are trying their hand at cashing in on stimulus checks, as the way it works is not crystal clear to all recipients.

There's thoughts that scammers may begin sending out official-looking, but very fake checks. Here's how to spot the scam:

  • Reports say that checks will start being mailed to people who do not have direct deposit no earlier than May, so if you get your check in the mail before then it is most likely fake. On a similar note, if you're expecting your check to be issued via direct deposit and it shows up in the mail, it's also probably not real.
  • If your check is for a larger amount than you expected, it's likely that this is also a scam. The Internal Revenue System will NOT send you an overpayment in the mail, and then ask for you to send the extra money back to them in cash, gift card, or through a money transfer.
  • Lastly, scammers are sending official-looking messages like postcards with online access codes and passwords to "verify" your payment or direct deposit information.

The first wave of stimulus checks has already been sent out. These should automatically be directly deposited into your account.

For more information on potential scams relating to the coronavirus and/or reporting scams visit the IRS and FTC websites.

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