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Americans have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of their federal stimulus checks, and some Facebook posts are taking advantage of their anticipation by directing people to "dial this number" to find out more about the payment.
Multiple posts on the network are instructing people to dial an 800 number to find out when they will receive their check. Some versions show a different phone number and add that you have to enter the last four digits of your Social Security number.
The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
This is a trick. The Internal Revenue Service says it has a tool coming to its website to help people check the status of their checks. But it has not issued a phone number associated with the payments and certainly not these 800 numbers: the ones in the post connect callers with a phone sex line.
Meanwhile, the IRS announced on April 11 that the first wave of checks have been released.
For taxpayers who don’t have their bank account information on file with the IRS, paper checks will be sent out starting in early May.
The agency has a webpage for the economic impact payments and says a new tool that will check the status of your payment is coming soon, but there is no check-tracking phone number. Pants on Fire!
Facebook post, April 9, 2020
Facebook post, March 31, 2020
Snopes, No, This Is Not a Phone Number for Tracking Your Coronavirus Stimulus Payments, April 3, 2020
Forbes, Did Your Stimulus Check Arrive? Check Your Bank Account, April 11, 2020
Twitter, IRS tweet, April 11, 2020
IRS.gov, Economic Impact Payments, Accessed April 13, 2020
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