Officials warn scammers offering to get stimulus relief money for people — for a price

Consumer Watch

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — There are new warnings for those who never received their COVID-19 stimulus checks either by mail or direct deposit.

The IRS and others say don’t be fooled into thinking you can get that money without filing a tax return. 

 There are thousands of people out there who never got their first or second stimulus funds and they are frustrated. 

“It’d be nice if I even got a little bit, you know, because it would come in quite handy right now,” said Larry Hague who didn’t get a payment  by direct deposit or by mail.

When Hague and many others went to the IRS “Get My Payment” website they were greeted with a message that said information about their stimulus fund status was not available. 

When he tried to call to the IRS, it got even more frustrating. 

I’ve called and you get the little recording, at least every time I have,” he said. “I’m at a loss right now.” 

Criminals out there are seizing on to that frustration, falsely claiming they can get funds — for a fee. 

“These people are portraying themselves as some sort of service out there that can go and get you your check, to make sure that you are getting everything you deserve,” said Tim Maniscalo of the Better Business Bureau. 

In reality, they can’t get you any money from the IRS. 

“You don’t need a third party to go to the IRS and get your money,” said Maniscalo. 

The only option open to you at this point is to file a return to get that money even if you’re a retiree who doesn’t file tax returns anymore. 

When you file, make sure that you fill out line 30, the recovery rebate credit. 

To help you out, out, there is recovery rebate worksheet

That worksheet should be included with the 2020 tax documents

Stimulus funds have created many opportunities for scams and the IRS is issuing warnings on social media about them. 

Remember, the IRS does not send out unsolicited texts or ask for your bank account information. 

One other way to tell that you are being approached by a scammer, the IRS never calls it “stimulus money.” Instead, the agency always refers to it as an “economic impact payment.” 

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