1. The government will never ask you to pay anything up front to get this money. That’s a scam. Every time.
2. The government will not call/text/email/DM you to ask for your Social Security, bank account, or credit card number. Anyone who does is a scammer.
3. Nobody legit will ever — EVER — tell you to pay by gift card, cryptocurrency, or wire transfer through companies like Western Union or MoneyGram. You know who will tell you to pay like that? A scammer.
The new law also has some language about health insurance, temporarily increasing subsidies for newly laid-off people and many people buying their own health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Please re-read #1-3, above, because they apply here, too. Nobody legitimate will ever call, text, email, or message you out of the blue about getting or keeping health insurance coverage, or to demand payment or your account numbers. That will always be a scam.
If you spot one of these scams, please tell the Federal Trade Commission at ReportFraud.ftc.gov. We’re doing our best to stop these scammers in their tracks, and your report will help.
Meanwhile, check out this video for tips on avoiding economic impact payment scams.
by Jennifer Leach, Associate Director, Division of Consumer and Business Education, FTC