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Avoid COVID-19 Stimulus Payment Scams

Scammers are following the headlines about economic impact payments. Know how to spot and avoid the scams to keep your money and information to yourself. Learn more at

Tags: scam

Hi, I’m Becca Kelly Slaughter, Acting Chair of the Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency.

You’ve probably heard the great news that the American Rescue Plan is now law. That means lots of people will soon be getting desperately-needed economic impact payments—some folks call them stimulus payments—of up to fourteen hundred dollars.

Many of you have been here before, so you know these funds will come through direct deposit, check, or debit card. But we here at the FTC would like to remind you that scammers follow the headlines, too. So here are a few sure ways to spot a scammer trying to take your money or personal information.

First, know that nobody in the government will ask you to pay anything up front to get your economic impact payment. There’s no way to get your payment faster, and there’s no form to fill out. That’s simply a scam.

Second, the government will not call, email, text, or message you on social media to ask for your Social Security, bank account, or credit card number.

Anyone who does is a scammer.

Third, anyone who tells you to pay by money transfer, gift card, or cryptocurrency is a scammer. No matter WHY they say you need to pay.

If you spot these scams, tell the FTC at Every report helps us try to stop scammers.

And let me say a word to would-be scammers: the FTC will use all of its enforcement authority to come after bad actors who try to take advantage of people anxiously awaiting relief.

To learn more about avoiding pandemic-related scams, visit And help us spread the word. Share these tips and this video through your network.

Thanks for helping us protect people from scams.

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