What to Do About a Lost or Stolen Stimulus Check

Have you received your economic stimulus check from 2008? If you were eligible to receive a stimulus check, you should have received it by now. If you haven’t received it, you should look into it – it may have been lost or stolen, or the IRS may have missed you.

Here is a recent question I received regarding a lost economic stimulus check:

Hello Ryan,

I never received my stimulus check from 2008. It may have been lost or stolen. If it has been mailed and cashed, could I find out who cashed it?

Thanks, Josh

Hello Josh,

Thank you for contacting me. The first thing I recommend doing is visiting the online stimulus payment tracker which is on the IRS site. The stimulus tracker will be able to give you information regarding how much you were to receive for your 2008 stimulus check, and should let you know if the check was sent out. The tracker will not be able to tell you who cashed the check if it was sent out.

Lost or Stolen Economic Stimulus Check?

Here is what to do if you have not received your economic stimulus check.

Stimulus tracker has no record of your stimulus check. If there is no information regarding your stimulus check, then you may have been skipped for some reason, or the check may not have been delivered. There were over 5 million unclaimed economic stimulus checks in 2008. Those who had an unclaimed check will receive their stimulus payment as part of their 2008 federal tax return.

Stimulus tracker has a record of your stimulus check. If the stimulus tracker gives you information about your check and you still did not receive your stimulus check, you will need to contact the IRS. Call the IRS toll-free at 800-829-0582 and, when asked for an extension, enter 726. Overseas taxpayers may call 215-516-2000 (not a toll-free number). If your stimulus check has not been cashed, the IRS can normally provide a replacement within six to eight weeks. If your stimulus check has been cashed, the Financial Management Service will provide a claim package which includes a copy of the check. FMS will review the claim and the signature on the canceled check before determining whether another refund can be issued.

Be on the lookout for identity theft. If your check was cashed, it is possible that your check was lost or stolen and the IRS will need to be made aware of this. This brings up another situation you need to be aware of – identity theft. If it turns out your check was stolen, I highly recommend you check your credit file for signs of identity theft. It is possible someone stole your identity to cash the check and may have also opened credit cards or other lines of credit in your name. Here are more tips about preventing identity theft.

How to check if you are a victim of identity theft:

You many be a victim of identity theft and not even be aware of it. There are many commercial identity theft prevention companies out there who can help you check if you have been a victim of identity theft. One of these is Identity Truth, which has a free 7 day trial.

The Identity Truth 7 day free trial includes:

  • Free credit report
  • Identity monitoring
  • List of all credit applications made in your name
  • Free fraud alerts placed at the 3 major credit bureaus
  • and more

If you wish to continue using the Identity Truth service after the free 7 day trial, the cost is $29.97 for three months, which is a small price to pay for peace of mind.

Looking for more Economic Stimulus information?

Here are some more resources regarding your economic stimulus check:

Good luck!

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Date published: February 2, 2009. Last updated: November 12, 2012.

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Ryan Guina is the founder and editor of this site. He is a writer, small business owner, and entrepreneur. He served over 6 years on active duty in the USAF and is currently serving in the IL Air National Guard. He also writes about money management, small business, and career topics at Cash Money Life. You can also see his profile on Google.