Someone Stole My Stimulus Check

Date:

$1400 Stimulus Check Lost Or Stolen Heres What To Do Next

Chicago Couple’s Stimulus Check In The Hands Of An Identity Thief

Here are the tools the Federal government has provided to try and remedy these terrible situations.

With nearly one hundred sixty million coronavirusstimulus checks already sent out to cash-starved Americans, there are certainly bound to be a few that didnt reach their intended destination.

Those with the unfortunate situation of having their stimulus payments stolen or just plain lost can still try to claim the money that theyre entitled to from the U.S. government.

The Internal Revenue Service, fortunately, has a set of procedures that can help in that quest.

For this particular tax season, a Recovery Rebate Credit has been added to all returns, so that people mired in this particular situation can eventually get their hands on the overdue payments.

According to the IRS website, it states that if you didnt get any payments or got less than the full amounts, you may qualify for the Recovery Rebate Credit and must file a 2020 tax return to claim the credit even if you dont normally file.

The agency advises that individuals keep the form they receive regarding their stimulus payment and refer to it when filing their tax returns.

Also, some people reportedly have gotten a confirmation letter from the IRS stating that their payment was issued even though they have yet to receive it. In this situation, the affected individuals have the option to request an IRS payment trace.

Image: Reuters.

How To Report Stolen Unemployment Or Stimulus Payments

In late March 2020, the U.S. Congress passed new legislation, the CARES Act, which provided a variety of government financial support to U.S. citizens, including unemployment assistance and stimulus payments. Both unemployment and stimulus payments may usually come to consumers in the form of a direct account deposit, a check sent in the U.S. mail, or prepaid debit card sent in the mail.

Unfortunately, wherever there is money, there are people interested in stealing it, and they may do it as simply as taking your check out of a mailbox or going to the extra effort of stealing your identity and getting access to your financial accounts. If you are missing an unemployment or economic stimulus payment, here’s what you can do to try to recover it.

What You Should Do If Someone Stoles Your Check

  • If your check is stolen, you should call your bank immediately and freeze your account. A freeze will remain until you find your missing check or debit card.
  • You should be aware of all your necessary transactions, so gather them. As soon as you collect your items, you can choose your transactions more quickly.
  • Place an application to close your current account.
  • Then file a police report to identify the theft protection.
  • It will help if you deal with Automatic debit card transactions, deposit slips, and bank statements.

Recommended Reading: Irs.gov Stimulus Check Deceased Person

Payment Trace For Missing Money

Since, unfortunately, the IRS does not take calls regarding your stimulus transactions, you have to apply and process a Payment Trace request instead. You can also use this method for any money missing from the first, second, or third stimulus check payments.

You are required to submit Forms 1040, 1040-SR, and the confirmation letter IRS mails you, called Notice 1444. Submit these documents directly to the IRS office to begin the Payment Trace

Brianna Clarisse Banks 24 Pleaded Guilty To Theft Of Government Money Today Before Us Magistrate Judge Roy Payne

 My Spouse Stole My Stimulus Payment

Brianna Clarisse Banks, 24, pleaded guilty to theft of government money today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Roy Payne.

COVID has been financially devastating for many East Texans, especially for those who were already struggling, said Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei. Thieves who take the federal funds intended for the financially vulnerable will be aggressively investigated and prosecuted in the Eastern District of Texas.

According to information presented in court, in April of 2020, the U.S. Treasury issued an Economic Impact Payment check in the amount of $1,200.00, made payable to an individual and mailed it to that individuals post office box in Avinger, Texas. Banks stole the EIP check from the individuals post office box and then used the victims name, social security number, and date of birth to open a checking account, but used Banks mailing address for the address on the account. Banks deposited the stolen EIP check into the fraudulently opened bank account and then withdrew the funds and spent them for her own personal benefit.

The CARES Act is a federal law enacted on March 29, 2020, designed to provide emergency financial assistance to the millions of Americans who are suffering the economic effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act authorized over $2 trillion in relief programs, including approximately $560 billion for benefits to individuals. An estimated $300 billion of that total was allocated for EIPs.

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They Impersonate Government Agencies On The Phone

Impersonating government agencies and reputable companies on the phone is an old-school tactic that scammers use to get your information. Caller IDs are often helpful in these scenarios, but scammers are more sophisticated nowadays.

Criminals can suddenly call you and get you to confirm your details by asking you to share your birth date, SSN, bank account, and other information about your stimulus check.

When you encounter these calls, put the phone down and call the government agency the scammer is impersonating. If it states that it didnt contact you, block the scammers number.

What Can I Do If I Am Married And My Spouse Takes My Stimulus Check

Generally, most of the funds that come into a marriage are considered joint money. This means that both spouses are equally allowed to access as much of the joint funds as they want. One persons money is also the other persons money, and vice versa. When one spouse takes joint funds, it is not usually considered stealing because you cannot steal from yourself. In some places, spouses cannot sue one another, other than for divorce, for this same reason. However, some states may allow spouses to sue one another. You will have to check with the court clerk or a lawyer in your area to see if filing a small claims action is an option for you.

If small claims court is not possible, then one other option is to file for divorce and ask the divorce judge to order that the stimulus payment be returned to you. Divorce can be complicated and so you will want to consult with a lawyer before deciding on whether or not to file for divorce. We have more information in our Divorce section.

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How To Report A Missing Stimulus Check To The Irs

Lost or stolen stimulus debit card?

You may still have questions, especially if you havent received a check, or you get the dreaded payment status unavailable notice. To report missing checks or ask other questions, call the IRS at 800-919-9835.

The IRS added 3,500 telephone representatives in May, but dont be surprised if you dont get through immediately. A lot of people have questions. You can go online to find answers to frequently asked questions about Economic Impact Payments and the Get My Payment tool.

One question a lot of people have is whether the stimulus money will affect their 2020 taxes. It wont. It is not considered taxable income, so it wont increase what you owe or reduce your refund when you file next year.

Another question the IRS cant answer: Is a second stimulus check on the way? Possibly. Senate Republicans rejected the plan passed by House Democrats but have said they are drawing up a plan of their own, perhaps to be finished in late July. Stay tuned.

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The Irs Reminds Taxpayers That Scammers May:

  • Emphasize the words “Stimulus Check” or “Stimulus Payment.” The official term is Economic Impact Payment.

  • Ask the taxpayer to sign over their economic impact payment check to them.

  • Ask by phone, email, text or social media for verification of personal and/or banking information, claiming that the information is needed to receive or speed up their economic impact payment.

  • Suggest that they can get a tax refund or economic impact payment faster by working on the taxpayer’s behalf. This scam could be conducted by social media or even in person.

  • Mail the taxpayer a bogus check, perhaps in an odd amount, then tell the taxpayer to call a number or verify information online in order to cash it.

What Happens Next After You Report A Stolen Stimulus Check

The IRS may respond six weeks after receiving your payment trace application. However, this can take longer due to staffing issues.

The agency may issue a new check if it determines that no one has cashed it out yet. However, if you locate the original check after the IRS has sent you a new one, youll have to return the original.

If the IRS finds that someone has cashed out your check, youll receive a claim package from the U.S. Bureau of the Fiscal Service. Itll review your details before it checks if it can reverse the payment and issue a new one.

Also Check: Get My Stimulus Payment 1400

Request For Identity Verification From The Irs

When the IRS stops a suspicious tax return filing, they may send a letter called “Letter 5071C” asking that you verify your identity. It will include a couple ways to verify it: via a phone number or through the IRS’s Identity Verification Service, .

This online service is the quickest method and will ask you multiple-choice questions to verify whether or not the tax return flagged for further identity verification was filed by you or someone else. The IRS only sends such notices by mail. The IRS will not request that you verify your identity by contacting you by phone or through email. If you receive such calls or emails, they are likely a scam.

If you can’t confirm your identity using the IRS’ online Identity Verification Service, you can call the IRS at the phone number included in the letter.

When confirming your identity, you will need:

  • Your name, date of birth and contact information
  • Social security number or individual taxpayer identification number
  • Your prior year tax return along with supporting documents such as W-2s, 1099s, and Schedules A and C if you filed them
  • Did An Id Thief Steal Your Stimulus Payment Report It To Us

    Stimulus Check Lost Stolen

    Do you think your economic impact payment has landed in the hands of an identity thief? You can report it to the FTC and the IRS at the same time. Heres what to do.

    Visit IdentityTheft.gov, the governments one-stop resource for people to report identity theft and get a personal recovery plan. Click Get started. The next page asks, Which statement best describes our situation? Click the line that says, Someone filed a Federal tax return or claimed an economic stimulus payment using my information. Youre on your way.

    IdentityTheft.gov will ask you some questions so that it can complete an IRS Identity Theft Affidavit for you, and submit it electronically to the IRS. You can include a personal statement too, to tell the IRS details about how your identity was misused to claim your economic impact payment. You also can download a copy of your completed Affidavit for your files. And, IdentityTheft.gov also will give you a recovery plan with steps you can take to help protect yourself from further identity theft.

    Use IdentityTheft.gov to report suspected identity theft only. If you have other concerns about your economic impact payment, visit the IRSs Economic Impact Payment Information Center and Get My Payment Frequently Asked Questions pages for detailed, and frequently-updated, answers to questions. You also can find information here about payments that the IRS may have deposited to an account you dont recognize.

    Recommended Reading: How Much Was 3rd Stimulus Check 2021

    Find Help For The Protection And Understanding Of Your Credit Status

    • protect your credit by paying back your debts on time.
    • apply for new credit only when you need it.
    • hire a co-signer.
    • You should regularly check your transactions and accounts.

    You can understand your credit score by the following ranges:

    • 580 is insufficient
    • 580 to 669 are fair
    • 670 to 739 are good
    • 740 to 799 are very good
    • Above 800 range is Exceptional

    Eligibility For The Covid

    Every individual making $75,000 or less will receive a check for $1,200. Couples making less than $150,000 and that file taxes jointly should each receive $1,200 for a total of $2,400, with an additional $500 for each child. Those making between $75,000 and $99,000 a year should receive reduced checks on a sliding scale. Those making more than $99,000 individually or $198,000 jointly are ineligible.

    Eligibility is being determined by 2019 and 2018 tax returns, but for those that are not required to file taxes, the IRS has set up a separate tool. Follow the link in these instructions for non-filers. The government will verify your income for those years and, if you qualify and have a bank account registered for tax refunds, you should receive a direct deposit. If you dont have a bank account registered with the IRS for direct deposits, you should receive a stimulus check in the mail.

    Read Also: How Are Stimulus Checks Distributed

    How To Cash A Stolen Check

    With the account information and lost check, you may redeem a stolen check online. The name of the financial account owner is not required, but it must be included. Now you may use a digital check to purchase things digitally with the check information. Digital checks are accepted by certain businesses.

    What Is Identity Theft

    2 On Your Side: Stimulus Check Goes Missing In The Mail

    The term identity theft is an umbrella term that covers an extensive range of illegal activities that someone may do in order to get information that does not rightfully belong to them. Typically, the identity thief is looking to steal personal information about another individual in order to make purchases using the funds of that individual or to steal money directly from them if possible.

    Read Also: Where’s My Stimulus Check Nj

    How Can A Check Duplication Scam Like This Work

    To check the check duplication, the person is contacted and asked to pay $14 and asked, who is who. But the core of the scam seems to be to get a check, call the bank account number and routing number, create a duplicate statement and then cash it.

    This makes no sense because this was so simple to do to expose the check for potential fraud. And withdrawing thousands of dollars with duplicated statements doesnt look like the original checks.

    Find Out Where Your Stimulus Check Is

    To find out whether or not your check has been issued, go to the GetMyPayment website. Click Get My Payment, fill out your social security number, date of birth, and address, and hit continue. Youll then receive the status of your payment. The IRS will make the payment to you via the direct deposit account youve set up or the last available address they have for you. If youve moved or you feel the department has a wrong address for you, its up to you to correct it.

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    Stimulus Checks Stolen By Abusive Spouses

    NEW YORK CITY â Pria Sibal listened over the telephone as her client â an out-of-work mother of three who years ago escaped an abusive partner â wept tears of rage at what her husband had done.

    Heâd taken her stimulus check.

    âShe told me she went and was shouting outside his house,â Sibal said. âWait until this is over,â the woman told him. âIâm going to get every penny back and more.â

    What You Need To Know

    • Domestic abuse service providers across New York City are receiving reports of spouses wrongfully withholding stimulus checks
    • This new expression of financial abuse, which affects 99 percent of abuse survivors nationwide, limits survivors’ ability to escape dangerous situations or support their families amid an economic crisis
    • Advocates say recourse is hard to secure for victims of economic oppression, a newly recognized form of abuse not yet included in New York City Human Rights Law
    • Resources for New York City abuse survivors are listed below

    Sibalâs client is among a rising number of New York City women facing a new form of domestic abuse during the novel coronavirus pandemic and economic crisis spurred by New Yorkâs stay-at-home order.

    Sibal, an economic advocate with the domestic violence organization Sakhi, said almost a dozen clients have reported abusive partners directing the $2,400 check into accounts their spouses cannot access, then refusing to split the cash.

    âBut should we be alarmed? Absolutely.â

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