Stimulus payments: what to expect, and staying safe from scams
by First Financial Bank

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 was recently passed by the federal government. While the new bill contains a variety of provisions related to the COVID-19 virus, it also includes Economic Impact Payments (Stimulus Payments).

  • This wave of payments will be $600 per eligible person.
  • Adults with an adjusted gross income of up to $75,000 a year on their 2019 taxes will receive the full payment, while heads of household making up to $112,500 will also receive the stimulus.
  • Adults with eligible dependent children will also receive payments for each eligible child.
  • Adults who are eligible but make more than the thresholds set by the new law will receive a reduced amount based on their total income in 2019.
  • For details on program eligibility visit IRS expects to update the information on this page over the next few days and weeks.

As millions of people around the country eagerly await the arrival of their second COVID-19 stimulus check or direct deposit, we want to remind you of the importance of staying vigilant to avoid being a target for fraudsters. There have been reports of attempted fraud surrounding stimulus checks and we want to make sure that you are aware of ways to keep yourself safe.

Stimulus payments may be deposited as early as the first week of January for those that have enrolled in direct deposit options when filing taxes or those that receive social security. If you do not have direct deposit information currently on file with the IRS, you will receive a paper check via mail over the coming months.

Any time fraudsters are aware you will be receiving money from the government, there is a heightened risk for attempted theft. Here are a few things you should be aware of:

Paperwork scams - People or businesses that offer to fill out paperwork to get your stimulus check faster. There is no paperwork required in order to receive your check, and there is no way to accelerate the amount of time it takes you to receive your check other than setting up direct deposit with the IRS.

Check advance scams - People or businesses offering a stimulus check advance for a fee. Fraudsters may collect the fee first and then not provide money, or deposit fraudulent checks into customer accounts and asking for funds back before the check charges back. The IRS is doing everything it can to get checks out as quickly as possible.

IRS Imposters - The IRS does not communicate through email, send links to websites, or text about stimulus payments or other tax matters. It is important not to click links that you are sent via text or email.  

Your security is our top priority, and we will keep an eye out for potential scams and keep you updated on how to keep yourself safe. For more information on keeping your accounts and personal information safe, visit our page on web safety and security. If you suspect you have received a fraudulent message claiming to be affiliated with the IRS, you can obtain more information and report the communication on the IRS scam website.


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