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Prank Posts Falsely Suggest Second Stimulus Payment Is Approved

Quick Take

Viral posts on Facebook falsely claim the government has approved a second round of coronavirus stimulus payments to everyone who signs up — and that the money will be forthcoming in “5-7 business days.” Congress is considering another economic package, but a new round of support has not been passed.

Full Story

A government stimulus package — the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act — was approved in March to help an economy crippled by the COVID-19 pandemic. The $2 trillion CARES Act most notably provided financial support in the form of $1,200 checks to qualifying individuals and dedicated $376 billion for small business relief.

High unemployment rates and the July 31 expiration of the $600-per-week unemployment payments authorized by the CARES Act have prompted Congress to consider another stimulus package.

On May 15, the House passed$3 trillion Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions, or HEROES Act, which would distribute another round of federal stimulus checks of up to $1,200 to individuals and, among other measures, would expand the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses.

However, members of the Senate, who returned from recess on July 20, have indicated they will not pass the HEROES Act. Instead, they plan to propose their own stimulus package in response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Senate hopes to keep the cost in the $1 trillion range, which will limit the scope of the bill.

But before Congress has agreed on the elements of another economic support package, a new iteration of an old prank post is circulating on Facebook, falsely suggesting that a second round of federal stimulus payments is imminent.

The new post reads, “Everyone including essential workers will be compensated $1,000. The money will be available to u in 5-7 business days. Thank me later. Click the link to sign up.”

When the link provided is clicked, up pops an image of a gorilla making an obscene gesture. 

Versions of the post use the logos of the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA – neither of which would be responsible for a second stimulus payment, we should note.

Another version of the bogus post show images of a check from the Treasury and the U.S. Capitol, and claims: “And it passed[.] WE GET ANOTHER STIMULUS CHECK FOR $2000 on August 10, 2020[.] Everyone including ESSENTIAL WORKERS will be compensated $2000[.] The money will be available to you in 5-7 business days.”

But the amount of any additional stimulus checks, who would be eligible, and when any payments would be made have not been determined. 

Editor’s note: FactCheck.org is one of several organizations working with Facebook to debunk misinformation shared on social media. Our previous stories can be found here.


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