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COVID-19
Stimulus payments: what to expect, and staying safe from scams
by First Financial Bank

Update: April 15, 2020

As of this morning, direct deposit stimulus check payments have begun for many Americans who have enrolled in direct deposit when filing taxes, or who 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 weeks. The IRS has set up a secure portal for you to enter direct deposit information if you prefer to not receive a paper check or if you have changed your banking information since you last filed your taxes. In order to make use of this feature, click on the “Get My Payment” option on the IRS dedicated economic impact payment page

If you don’t file taxes, visit the economic impact payment page and select the “Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here” option on the page. If you are not required to file taxes but receive social security, disability, or railroad retirement and survivor benefits, the IRS should already have your information.

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As millions of people around the country eagerly await the arrival of their 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 check payments are expected to begin the week of April 12 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 weeks. The IRS is also setting up a secure portal for you to enter direct deposit information if you prefer to not receive a paper check.

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 they can to get checks out as quickly as possible.
  • Fraudulent websites – The IRS is creating a portal to update your direct deposit information in the coming days. It is important not to click links that you are sent via text or email. Instead, you should go directly to the IRS website for updates on stimulus checks. 

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

Frequently asked questions

How do I provide my direct deposit information for the COVID-19 Economic Impact Payments?

If you need to update your direct deposit information or provide it to the IRS for the first time, you can do so on the IRS dedicated economic impact payment page. Simply select the “Get my payment” option.

Do I need to do anything to receive my COVID-19 Economic Impact Payment?

If you have already provided your direct deposit information to the IRS in a previous tax filing or if you receive social security, disability, or railroad retirement and survivor benefits, you do not need to do anything in order to have your check directly deposited in your account. If the IRS does not have your banking information, you can enroll on the dedicated economic impact payment page. Simply select the “Non-filers” option.

 

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