By Debbie Gregory.

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By now you most likely know that the United States government is sending out economic impact payments or “stimulus” checks to many of its citizens. With these checks come criminals who would like to see that money in their pockets instead of yours.


We want to cover below in this article who should be getting a stimulus check as well as what scams are going on targeting these checks.


Who will get a stimulus check?

  • A person who filed a federal tax return in either 2018 or 2019
  • People who receive Social Security or other retirement benefits
  • People who receive public benefits like SSDI, disability, or veterans’ benefits
  • People who do not have to file a federal tax return, including people who made no income or made less than $12,200 (or $24,400 for married couples)


Eligible individuals do not need a minimum income for the Payment.

However, for higher income individuals, the Payment amount is reduced by 5% of the amount that your adjusted gross income exceeds:

  • $75,000 for individual taxpayers
  • $112,500 for taxpayers filing as head of household
  • $150,000 for taxpayers filing a joint return), until it is $0.


The $1,200 Payment for eligible individuals with no qualifying children ($2,400 for married couples filing a joint return) will be reduced to $0 once adjusted gross income reaches the following thresholds:

  • $198,000 for taxpayers filing a joint return
  • $136,500 for taxpayers filing as head of household
  • $99,000 for all others


How do you get your check?

Most people will not have to do anything. You will either receive your stimulus check through the United States mail or through direct deposit. The IRS will use the same payment method that you selected for them to use for your tax return (if applicable) in either 2018 or 2019.


If you have questions you can go directly to the IRS’ site at

For example:

  • If the IRS doesn’t have your direct deposit information and you would prefer they directly deposit your check simply click on “Get My Payment” and let them know where to send your direct deposit
  • If you don’t usually file a tax return, click “Non-filer” to figure out what you need to do to claim your money, if anything
  • To check on the status of your payment, click on “Get My Payment”


Avoiding Stimulus Payment Scams:

Unsurprisingly criminals are targeting these stimulus checks. What should you be on the lookout for? Some criminals are trying to convince people that they need to pay a fee to receive their stimulus payment, you do not have to pay any fee(s). They are also trying to get people to give them their Social Security number, bank account number, or government benefits debit card account number, DON’T!

  • Only use the IRS’s official website ( to submit information to the IRS regarding your stimulus check
  • The IRS will NEVER contact you by phone, email, text message, or social media with information about your stimulus payment
  • The IRS will NEVER ask you for your Social Security number, bank account, or government benefits debit card account number
  • There are zero fees that you need to pay in order to get your stimulus money


If you have seen any of these types of scams please report them to the Federal Trade Commission at


If you want more information or simply wish to keep up with the latest scams, sign up for the FTC’s consumer alerts.