Fact Check: FEMA Is NOT Giving Away $1,000 Checks

Fact Check

  • by: Victoria Eavis
Fact Check: FEMA Is NOT Giving Away $1,000 Checks Joking

Is FEMA -- the Federal Emergency Management Agency -- giving away "free money" by sending $1,000 checks next week to everyone? No, that's not true: This started as a joke, but you might not realize it unless you click on a suspicious link that leads you to a photo of a gorilla flipping off the camera.

The claim appeared in a post (archived here) shared on Facebook on July 13, 2020. The post read:

HERES SOMETHING TO MAKE YOU ALL SMILE.....GO GET YOUR FREE MONEY !!! First check STIMULUS, 2nd check FEMA, THEY GIVING AWAY MONEY........THANK ME LATER !!!💜💜💜💜💜💜💜Make sure you guys fill out the application for FEMA assistance so you can get that $1000 check next week. Everyone can get a FEMA Check Follow The Link ASAP #FreeMoney #blacklivesmatter #sharealaugh

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Tue Jul 14 16:52:07 2020 UTC)

This was the photo the "application for FEMA assistance" link took Facebook users to when they clicked it:

Screen Shot 2020-07-14 at 1.14.55 PM.png

This Facebook post comes about two weeks before the current July 31 deadline of the $600 per week federal unemployment benefit program. As of July 14, 2020, a new federal benefits program was not in place to follow up this fast-approaching deadline.

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  Victoria Eavis

Victoria Eavis is a fact checker at Lead Stories. She recently graduated from Duke University with a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology. In her last few months at Duke, she was a reporter for a student news site, The 9th Street Journal, that covers the city of Durham, North Carolina. 

Read more about or contact Victoria Eavis

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