Watch Out For Stimulus Check and Government Grant Fraud!

By now, most people are aware that Congress did not include a second economic stimulus check for everyone when passed the second economic stimulus program, called the American Recovery & Reinvestment Plan. Instead of a second stimulus check, the government included the Making Work Pay tax credit, which reduces the amount of taxes withheld from each paycheck. While it’s not the same thing as giving everyone a check, it does put a little bit more money in people’s pockets each pay period. *There is a $250 Stimulus Check for disabled veterans, social security recipients, and other eligible retirees.

No stimulus checks and no stimulus grants in 2009

Unfortunately, scammers and con artists are preying on the confusion and are leading people to believe that there is free government money for anyone that asks for it. And, of course they will tell you how… all you need to do is pay them a small fee via credit card (which they will continue to charge on a monthly basis and make it nearly impossible to cancel the payments). There are no economic stimulus grants for individuals – these are fraudulent and you should avoid them!

How to find a government grant

There are hundreds of grants available, and for a variety of purposes. But, I would caution you to beware of websites selling “secret government grants” and similar programs and get rich schemes. Most of these are nothing but scams. There is nothing available that you won’t be able to find at a government website or in person.

If you wish to apply for a government grant, the best place to go is to a local, state, or government agency and inquire in person about which grants are available. You can also visit the official website of the agency. A good thing to do is look for a website that ends in .gov instead of .com (government sites usually end in .gov).

Protect your wallet and your identity

Always be cautious before giving out any personal of financial information in person, over the phone, or on the internet. There are many people out there looking to steal your money or your identity and you want to avoid that at all costs! Here are some tips to avoid identity theft, and some more tips on preventing identity theft.

More about stimulus check scams and similar fraud:

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Date published: May 5, 2009. Last updated: September 29, 2014.

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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.


  1. ddm says

    Actually, my elderly boss got his IRS stimulus check for $250.00 today, as retired people and those on SS do this time–this was no scam, and came directly to the same address his SS checks come to. Of course don’t fall for scams, but it is not correct to say that ‘no individuals’ het checks this time–

    • says

      ddm: You are correct, there are certain people who will qualify for a $250 check – generally people who are on disability or otherwise do not have regular income. The majority of tax payers will not receive a stimulus check.

      Thanks for pointing that out.

  2. Richard B. McNeice says

    Thank you for the stimulus check for DAV’s. The IRS informed me in 5/2010 that I forgot to report this non-taxable check,I didn’t even know I got and had to pay back 350.00 including a penalty. Thanks again