Fact Check: Talk of $8,700 Stimulus Checks for Qualifying Americans Trended on Google. Here Are the Facts

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The IRS is issuing $8,700 stimulus checks to qualifying Americans in 2024.


Rating: False
Rating: False

In June 2024, Google users searched far and wide for answers regarding a rumor claiming qualifying Americans would each receive an $8,700 stimulus check. Some users tapping on the Google search bar may have noticed a "trending search" displayed as "irs $8700 stimulus check irs gov." This trending search seemed to indicate IRS.gov contained more details about some new stimulus check legislation.

The "trending searches" list displayed other hot topics alongside the search about stimulus checks, including North Korea sending balloons carrying manure and trash into South Korea, and a woman partially swallowed by quicksand on a Maine beach.

A rumor in Google trending searches claimed the IRS was issuing 8700 dollar stimulus checks to qualifying Americans.
A rumor in Google trending searches claimed the IRS was issuing 8700 dollar stimulus checks to qualifying Americans.

A list of Google's trending searches as of June 11, 2024.

The mention of stimulus checks might remind some U.S. readers of the COVID-19 economic impact payments and child tax credit payments from 2020 and 2021. Those genuine payments came directly from the IRS.

To be clear, this rumor claiming the IRS was issuing $8,700 stimulus checks in 2024 is false. If the stimulus check offering were real, prominent news websites would widely cover the developments. We found no credible news reports about any new stimulus checks in June 2024.

Snopes contacted the IRS by email to ask about the false rumor. In response, IRS media relations specialist Robert Marvin directed us to a news release from July 2023 warning of text-message and email scams playing off the genuine economic impact payments from 2020 and 2021. Part of that news release read, "But while the stimulus payments ended long ago, the related scheme has evolved and changed as scam artists look for new ways to adjust their message to trick people."

Scams Promising Stimulus Checks, Subsidies, Incentives and Benefits

As of this writing, it's not entirely clear why the search about $8,700 stimulus checks from the IRS trended in the first place. In the past, similar false claims of free money for Americans originated in scammy paid ads displayed to users on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or some other social media platform or website. Those paid ads claimed the current U.S. president, Congress, the IRS or some other government-affiliated person or body approved or would be issuing money or checks in the form of a stimulus, subsidy, incentive or benefit.

Users who clicked on those past paid ads landed on websites not affiliated with the government. Those websites asked users to fill out surveys, apparently to refer users to companies in the case they qualified for various services for homeowners, seniors or other groups of consumers. Depending on the ad, a commission fee might have been the goal of the people managing the false ads, perhaps for the referral and collection of user data.

Genuine Assistance Programs

The official government website USA.gov warns, "The government does not offer free money or grants to people for personal needs." Readers looking for legitimate websites offering federal assistance programs should refer to the following information from the same USA.gov page:

Federal assistance programs can provide financial help with living expenses or business costs. Use these free, official government websites to search for programs you might be eligible for:

Each program has its own eligibility rules, application process, and deadlines.

USA.gov says consumers can report to the FTC any "free money" scams they receive in the form of texts, emails, ads or websites.


"Advance Child Tax Credit Payments in 2021." Internal Revenue Service, https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/advance-child-tax-credit-payments-in-2021.

"Avoid 'Free Money' from the Government Scams | USAGov." USA.gov, https://www.usa.gov/no-free-money.

"Economic Impact Payment Information Center." Internal Revenue Service, https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payment-information-center.

Kim, Hyung-Jin, and Kim Tong-Hyung. "Bizarre Psychological Warfare Using K-Pop and Trash Balloons Raises Tensions between the 2 Koreas." The Associated Press, 11 June 2024, https://apnews.com/article/north-korea-south-loudspeaker-trash-balloons-kpop-460f4e3d6a036a26595891210287924c.

LaMagdeleine, Izz Scott. "No, Standard Medicare Doesn't Cover 'Grocery Benefit Programs.'" Snopes, 26 Mar. 2023, https://www.snopes.com//news/2023/03/26/medicare-grocery-benefit-programs/.

Liles, Jordan. "Beware of '$3,600 Stimulus for Homeowners' Scams." Snopes, 7 Dec. 2021, https://www.snopes.com//fact-check/stimulus-homeowners-facebook/.

"Quicksand Doesn't Just Happen in Hollywood. It Happened on a Maine Beach." The Associated Press, 6 June 2024, https://apnews.com/article/maine-beach-quicksand-supersaturated-sand-4bd10fd737d283d939d99e026e209884.