The coronavirus outbreak has everyone on edge and one of the things that is most worrisome for all of us is money and employment. Will we have a job during and after all this? Will we have a job that doesn't see hours, and our salary, cut? How the heck are we going to pay all our bills? The government is going to try and help us with that by distributing relief checks, but anytime money is involved you know scammers can't be far behind.

Law enforcement in some parts of the country are already reporting instances of scammers trying to convince people that they have the relief checks and all you have to do is give up your personal information to get them early.


Ok, now that I have you attention. As with any scam, if someone is asking for your information or telling you they are a third party administrator or they'll only charge you a little bit of money to give you your money, run screaming from the room after you've hung up your phone. The government has not gotten anywhere near where they need to be to start cutting checks. It could be as little as 3 weeks before checks start getting distributed or 3 months - nobody knows yet when they'll be distributed.

Right now, here's what you need to know about scammers who are trying to rip you off:

1. No phone calls, texts, or emails - The government will not contact you via social media, phone calls, texts, or email. They also have not come up with a website where you can get your check.

2. How you'll get paid - If you've already filed your 2019 tax returns, the IRS will use that information to calculate your payment amount. If you haven't filed your return for 2019, the IRS will use information from your 2018 tax filing to calculate your payment. Your relief check will be direct deposited into the banking account on the return filed. The Treasury Department is working on a website so if you haven't filed electronically with the IRS you'll be able to input your banking information to the IRS online and get paid immediately.

3. Check out this website - This is the official economic impact payment page on the IRS's website. If you go to this page, you'll get all the up-to-date information about when checks will begin to be distributed and how to make sure you get yours.

Don't fall for scams. This money is meant to help your family so don't let any grubby scammers grab it.

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