$2,500 stimulus 31 July is bogus, a social media prank

It’s been four months since the last round of stimulus checks were approved and with millions of Americans still struggling, word of a potential new round would be welcome news to them. Some denizens on Facebook decided to use the opportunity for a prank.

There has been continued talk of a possible fourth stimulus check since the last round was approved in March even as the economy recovers. Despite calls from some progressive lawmakers and multiple petitions online there is currently no actual proposal moving forward, the BOOST Act was reintroduced but doesn’t look likely to happen at this stage.

Fourth stimulus check hoax

Politifact reported last week on a series of social media posts on Facebook claiming that a new round of stimulus checks had just been approved and would arrive before July was out.

“And it passed 15 minutes ago,” the July 15 post said, “WE GET ANOTHER STIMULUS CHECK FOR $2500 at July 30, 2021. We did it!!! The article below tells u what you need to do to receive it quicker and how to track it. I already filled out my form.”

Another post said,

“It passed 10 minutes ago! EVERYONE GETS ANOTHER STIMULUS CHECK FOR $2500 on July 30, 2021. They did it!!! The article below tells you what you need to do to get yours direct deposited and how to receive it quicker and how to track it!”

The link to get more information provided in the posts did not take those who clicked on it to an article on the matter. Instead, those that took the bait came face to face with a gorilla giving them the bird. As part of Facebook’s efforts to combat fake news and misinformation the post was flagged. The original post was deleted but like all things in the internet nothing really disappears.

Where do things really stand on a fourth stimulus check?

There have been isolated additional stimulus checks on a state and local level. Most notably in California as part of the “Golden State Stimulus” which with the second round covered two thirds of Californians. However, a fourth round of stimulus checks from Washington DC is not on the books at this time despite clamoring for them from the public and politicians.

A petition started last year by Denver restaurant owner Stephanie Bonin is finally nearing its goal of three million signatures. Ms. Bonin and her fellow petitioners are calling $2,000 monthly payments for adults and $1,000 for children until the end of the crisis. There are five other petitions calling for similar measures.

Likewise in Washington, over 80 lawmakers have publicly called for some form of recurring stimulus check program while the covid-19 pandemic continues. Currently the only concrete legislation is the BOOST Act, reintroduced by Representatives Pramila Jayapal and Rashida Tlaib. Details of the Democrat-only $3.5 trillion budget bill are few, but it doesn’t look likely that this proposal would be part of that piece of legislation.

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