Three stimulus payments have been sent to Americans to help them weather the economic impact of the pandemic. Social media posts are using a video clip of a White House official to falsely claim a fourth payment will arrive soon. But the video is from March 2021, and a fourth payment isn’t forthcoming.
In response to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government has sent out three payments to eligible individuals. In March 2020, the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act provided $1,200; $600 was provided in a December 2020 relief measure; and $1,400 was sent under the American Rescue Plan, signed in March 2021 by President Joe Biden.
Some legislators have advocated for a fourth round of stimulus payments that would provide relief until the end of the pandemic. But another round of payments hasn’t been approved.
Yet some high-traffic posts on social media are using an 11-month-old video of White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki to falsely claim direct deposits are being made to “eligible Americans” in the coming days.
On Jan. 31, a Facebook account called Care First Homes, a page seemingly targeting senior citizens, shared a post that included an 11-second video of Psaki talking about stimulus checks being sent to eligible Americans via direct deposit, along with a video clip of Biden signing a document.
“This was on the news last night. My good friend also called me earlier this morning and told me about the wonderful news for those of us on medicare. All I did was enter my zip to confirm my medicare details and now I am getting $2880. It took just 65 seconds! Please enter zip,” read the caption of the post by Care First Homes, which boasts on its “About” page that it provides “[i]nsane techniques to save money for everyone.”
The post has hundreds of comments, including questionable ones seemingly made-up to help drive traffic. “I just entered my zip and got confirmation that my $2880 is on its way. Thanks,” one commenter said. Most commenters simply entered their zip codes.
That same day, a Facebook page called Homes Points posted the same video with a caption that declared it “wonderful news for drivers.”
Homes Points, whose “About” section on Facebook says, “Amazing ways to start saving money,” reshared the video on Feb 1. This time, the following text was incorporated into the video:
“This was announced on the TV channel last night. My close friend also called me this morning and told me about the wonderful news for drivers. All I did was complete the quiz and confirmed my driving details and now I am getting $675. Just tap learn more and complete the short quiz!”
But the clip of Psaki featured in the posts is actually from March 11, 2021, just after Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act. Posts are using the old clip to falsely claim that direct deposits are being made again this year.
The website addresses for both Care First Homes and Homes Points go to identical webpages that claim to have “The Best Ways to Save Money.” The pages, which each include a “contact us” link, seem to be aimed at soliciting new business.
The Facebook post from Care First Homes, which mentions Medicare, targets seniors. The Homes Points Facebook post, which refers to “driving details,” uses images of young couples on its Facebook page and appears aimed at millennials.
The website addresses for Homes Points and Care First Homes are registered by Namecheap Inc., an ICANN-accredited registrar that provided an Iceland address, according to ICANN’s domain registration search tool. (ICANN is a nonprofit corporation that oversees the internet.) The client for both websites are redacted for privacy, which is not unusual.
Namecheap Inc. is the same company that registered the website address for a company that posted a webpage masquerading as a CNN article to promote the sale of cannabidiol gummies, an edible form of a chemical found in marijuana. (For more, see our article “Fake Article Falsely Links Dr. Sanjay Gupta to CBD Products.”)
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. Facebook has no control over our editorial content.
Jones, Brea. “Fake Article Falsely Links Dr. Sanjay Gupta to CBD Products.” FactCheck.org. 19 Jan 2022.
Konish, Lorie. “Fourth stimulus checks not expected as federal government grapples with omicron surge.” CNBC. 5 Jan 2022.
“MEMO: SENATE MOMENTUM for RECOVERY CHECKS.” United States Senate. 30 Mar 2021.
Picchi, Aimee. “What’s behind the push for a fourth stimulus check.” CBS News. 1 Feb 2022.
“White House Daily Briefing.” C-Span. 11 Mar 2021.
U.S. House. “H.R.748 – CARES Act.” (as passed 27 Mar 2020).
U.S. House. “H.R.1319 – American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.” (as passed 11 Mar 2021).