Dear Addy: Cautious to Proceed

Dear Addy

I recently learned I am eligible to receive an Economic Impact Payment or “stimulus check”. While I have not received any funds yet, I have received several voicemails stating that I am required by law to provide personal banking information, my social security number and pay a fee before I can receive any financial aid. Is this a real request or a scam? I need answers fast!


Cautious to Proceed

Dear Cautious,

Most eligible taxpayers will automatically receive an Economic Impact Payment, without taking any additional steps if they have filed 2018 or 2019 taxes. The IRS will use your tax information to determine where to send payments, either directly deposited to your bank account or via a check mailed to your place of residence. If you did not file 2018 or 2019 taxes, you can complete the Non-Filers Application to provide some basic information to receive payment. In no case are you required to pay a fee!

As you wait for your financial aid, please know that the IRS will NOT attempt to collect personal or bank information from you via:

  • Phone
  • Text
  • Email
  • Social Media

When the IRS needs additional information or action, they will typically send you a letter in the mail. If you ever receive a message via any of the sources mentioned above, including mail, and you feel unsure about it, do not respond. Instead, you should immediately contact the IRS and report the potential scam. IRS administrators will be able to determine the authenticity of the message you have received and work to end such bad practices.

I know we are all doing our best to cope during these uncertain times, but be confident that you are already on the right track. You did the right thing by refusing to share your information with the person who called you.