Missing or stolen stimulus checks? Here's what you do

Americans are worried their stimulus checks have been lost or stolen so here is what you do
Posted at 11:33 AM, Jun 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-19 23:18:15-04

CLEVELAND — Millions of stimulus checks have gone out, but there are people still wondering where their checks are. Some might have thrown them out by mistake, but a local woman tells us she’s been getting the runaround about her check after complaining to the post office. Here’s how you can rebound from possible lost or stolen stimulus money.

“I’m very hurt. I feel very let down,” said Racquel Hill from Warrensville Heights. She has no idea where her stimulus check is. “It’s something that I could still use. My children could use. And that I am in need of, she told us.

She’s a single mother of two baby girls.

“From February basically up to now, I’ve been without.”

Hill showed us the IRS website reported her check was mailed on April 24. However, she also has a different address now. She had been living in Mayfield Heights.

“Every time I contact (a representative of the Mayfield Heights Post Office), she tells me a different story,” said Hill. “She tells me, ‘Oh, we never received it. Then, she tells me it’s been forwarded back to the IRS. Then, she tells me it’s been forwarded to Warrensville Heights Post Office.”

A spokesperson for the post office would not confirm if the overall USPS has received any similar complaints here or around the country.

“Then where is it? Is someone stealing the check? Did someone mishandle the check?” questioned Hill. “I want to know what happened to the check and how many other people this has happened to.”

“I know sometimes people aren’t really sure…what that check is,” said Scott Balfour. He investigates possible mail fraud through the USPS Office of Inspector General in Cleveland. He told us his office has had less than a handful of complaints about possible lost or stolen checks. “As an investigator what we are able to do is make contact with an investigator from the Treasury Department,” explained Special Agent Balfour. “They will let us know if that particular check has been cashed by someone it wasn’t intended for.”

Hill told us Balfour is looking into her stimulus check problems. Meanwhile, The IRS within the last week or so sent out a warning about COVID-19 and stimulus check fraud. If you find that you haven’t gotten your check or debit card and you think it’s been stolen, you can file a claim at Tips.TIGTA.Gov.

“Several different federal agencies are involved in this effort to monitor the mailing of those to make sure those checks get into the hands of people who deserve them,” said Balfour.

He also said you can contact his office through USPSOIG.GOV or call 888-USPS-OIG.

Hill said she is happy her case is getting attention, but feels others might not be. “I feel sorry for me but I also feel sorry for other families, as well, who may be enduring this type of pain,” she told us.

Keep in mind that the IRS still hasn’t gotten all of the checks out in the mail just yet, and there are many other reasons including filing status in the past two years that could impact how soon you see stimulus money.

RELATED: Millions still waiting for stimulus check as Congress considers second round

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Reopening Ohio
Gov. Mike DeWine and the State of Ohio have established a plan to begin reopening Ohio businesses starting May 1. Below is a timeline of the businesses allowed to reopen.

May 1: Medical care – non-essential surgeries and procedures that do not require an overnight stay will be allowed beginning May 1.
May 4: Manufacturing, distribution and construction businesses that were ordered to cease activities may reopen on May 4, as well as general office environments.
May 12: Retail establishments and facilities will be allowed to reopen on May 12.
May 15: Salons, barbershops, day spas, tanning facilities, massage parlors, tattoo parlors and piercing businesses. Restaurants will be allowed to serve patrons on outdoor patios. More details here.
May 21: Restaurants and bars will be allowed to reopen for dine-in service. Read more here. Campgrounds will be allowed to reopen. Read more here.
May 22: Horse racing will be allowed to resume, with no spectators. Casinos and Racinos are not included in the reopening. Read more here.
May 26: Gyms, fitness centers, regulated pools, recreation centers and studios will be allowed to reopen, with new requirements. Non-contact and limited-contact sports leagues, such as golf, baseball and tennis will be allowed to resume. BMVs across Ohio will reopen, but government officials encourage citizens to utilize the BMVs online services when possible. Read more here.
May 31: Day care centers will be able to reopen in Ohio. Read more about the plan to reopen day cares here. Day camps and summer camps will also be allowed to operate. Details on that here.

While these announced reopenings encompass the majority of the businesses, agencies and events closed and canceled by the state's orders, the governor has not yet made an annoucements on when K-12 schools in the state will reopen, nor when places of public amusement, such as theme parks, gambling businesses, skating rinks, movie theaters, and others will be allowed to reopen. See a full list of indoor and outdoor places that remain closed here.

Click here for more details on the state's "Responsible RestartOhio" plan.