3rd COVID stimulus payments have gone out, but could a scammer be after your funds?


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — It’s been several weeks since the latest round of stimulus payments were authorized, but some of those payments have yet to hit home.

As the money flows, people are wary of scammers trying to steal their payment.

A CBS 17 viewer was concerned about a letter she received regarding her payment status, wondering if it was legitimate or a scam and tuned to Consumer Investigator Steve Sbraccia for help.

The IRS has until Dec. 31 to distribute all its stimulus funds from the bill signed by President Biden, but there were two payments before that, and some folks have yet to receive that cash.

That was the case of the viewer who said she received a letter telling her about a $600 stimulus payment.

The letter, with an IRS letterhead, said payment number two was sent to her on March 19, but she said she never received it.

She wanted to know what to do, wondering if it was it scam or something she should follow up.

The letter she got is what’s called a receipt letter, it lets a person know money was sent to them and if they didn’t get it then they need to act.

The viewer was concerned about the letter’s legitimacy. It contained an 800-phone number to call for assistance.

Sbraccia checked it by going online and searched for that number.

The number, 800-919-9835 is listed on the IRS Web Page as the one the agency has dedicated to economic impact questions.

Because the viewer did not get her second stimulus payment, she’ll have to call that number. But it may take a while because phone assistance is still limited by the pandemic.

She can also file a trace payment request. This is the link to the form to use for that. It’ll take about 2 months for the IRS to track your payment.

If you elect to file that form, make sure you write “Economic Impact Payment” at the top of the form to help your request go to the right department.

Others missing the third round of payments were social security, SSI and VA beneficiaries.

Two weeks ago, the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee sent an angry letter to the IRS and Social Security Administration saying it “was alarmed” by the delays and demanded those stimulus payments be issued.

Now the problem has finally been fixed, with those payments going out soon.

“We are on track to send those payments out this weekend,” said White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki. “The majority of people should see them in their bank accounts on Wednesday, April 7.”

Because the IRS is basing its payments on many people’s 2019 returns, those who filed paper returns by mail may have to wait to get their stimulus cash. That’s because the pandemic created a backlog in processing those paper returns at the IRS which has been operating with limited manpower.

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