Fact Check: Calling A 1-800 Number Does NOT Help Get 'Stimulus Deposit' -- US Government Did NOT Distribute Such Payments In November 2023

Fact Check

  • by: Uliana Malashenko
Fact Check: Calling A 1-800 Number Does NOT Help Get 'Stimulus Deposit' -- US Government Did NOT Distribute Such Payments In November 2023 No Such Thing

Could a call to a hotline number expedite receiving a "stimulus deposit" in November 2023? No, that's not true: The federal government was not distributing such payments as of this writing. The toll-free number shared on social media was a sex hotline, not a contact of a federal agency.

The claim reappeared in a post on Facebook on November 29, 2023. It read:

Just Checked My Stimulus Deposit 😎 I get mine Friday πŸ₯°πŸ₯³πŸ₯³! Thank me later
Call 1 (800) 746-6373 To Check your Status !

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

Screen Shot 2023-11-30 at 10.29.32 AM.png

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Thu Nov 30 15:29:32 2023 UTC)

The claim goes back to April 2020 (archived here.) Besides Facebook, it circulated on Reddit and X, then still known as Twitter.

In 2023, just like in 2020, dialing the 1-800 number shared on social media led to some sort of sex hotline, not a government agency.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States distributed three rounds of stimulus checks (archived here), but even then, it did not ask people to call any 1-800 numbers.

The Internal Revenue Service website (archived here) explicitly said:

The vast majority of people do not need to take any action. The IRS will calculate and automatically send the economic impact payment to those eligible.

In November 2023, internet users started to speculate that the federal government was about to send out the fourth round of stimulus checks, but that wasn't true, as Lead Stories previously wrote.

A Google search for the terms "stimulus check" and "fourth round" across government websites limited to November 2023 results (archived here) did not produce any matches.

A similar search for the key term "stimulus deposit" (archived here) mentioned in the post that is the focus of this fact check did not generate any results either.

According to the most recent updates on the IRS website (archived here), the overwhelming majority of eligible populations have already received stimulus checks, but in those rare instances when it didn't happen, people need to claim it via the Recovery Rebate Credit:

The deadlines to file a return and claim the 2020 and 2021 credits are May 17, 2024, and April 15, 2025, respectively.

Other Lead Stories fact checks about purported stimulus payments can be found here.

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  Uliana Malashenko

Uliana Malashenko is a New York-based freelance writer and fact checker.

Read more about or contact Uliana Malashenko

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