Getting your stimulus money via paper check? Here are some tips

HARRISBURG, Pa. — If you’re receiving your stimulus money via paper check instead of direct deposit, the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities has some tips.

“It is important consumers understand check cashing fees so they keep as much of their money as possible,” Acting Secretary Richard Vague said. “We will be ensuring that check casher licensees are complying with statutory provisions related to fees on government checks during ongoing examinations.”

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If a licensed check casher or a registered retail check casher, such as a grocery store, is used to cash a stimulus check, a maximum fee of 1.5 percent of the check’s value can be assessed. That’s $18 for a $1,200 stimulus check.

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Here is some advice from the Department of Banking and Securities:

  • To ensure an establishment is properly licensed or registered, use the NMLS Consumer Access website or call 1-800-PA-BANKS.
  • If an establishment cashes your check and charges more than 1.5 percent, contact the Department of Banking and Securities immediately by calling 1-800-PA-BANKS or visiting (It is important to retain records of the transaction, including a receipt.)
  • Remain vigilant about coronavirus scams. “No government official will call you to confirm bank account information or your Social Security number. Never give out personal information if you did not initiate the phone call,” Vague said. (CLICK HERE for the Department of Banking and Securities’ financial scams guide.

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