News Bulletin: Bitcoin Rises and Falls, Stimulus Checks Are Out, Unemployment Benefits Begin Again, And More

Scammers Target People Left Unemployed By COVID-19 | Washington Post


  • The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a sizeable increase in income-based scams. These scams have cost consumers looking for income at least $150 million in just the first nine months of 2020.[1] During the second quarter of 2020, the number of income-based scams reported to the FTC reached a record high. The FTC is working with 19 federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to shut down these fake employment scams in an effort called “Operation Income Illusion.”[2] The FTC has created a consumer education campaign about income-based scams for people to learn more about how to avoid them.[3]


Bitcoin Falls Slightly After Reaching Record Highs | CNBC


  • In 2020, Bitcoin had a historic increase when its value grew over 300%.[4] Bitcoin prices reached an all-time high on January 8th, 2021, reaching levels over $42,600.[5] However, prices have since fallen down to around $32,000 as of January 28th.[6] Analysts surmise that the pullback is due to traders taking short-term profits rather than becoming long-term investors.[7] Still, some investors warn that Bitcoin has no intrinsic value, so the market bubble is likely to burst at some point.5


IRS Sets The Cutoff For Sending Out Stimulus Payments As Jan 15th | CNET


  • The U.S. Treasury and IRS worked together to send out a second round of stimulus payments provided for under December’s $900 billion stimulus relief package. Many payments were sent via direct deposit, while others were delivered via mailed physical checks or government-issued EIP cards. However, there was a cutoff on January 15th to send out checks.[8] If you didn’t receive your check soon after January 15th, it may have missed the cutoff due to banking errors, if you moved, or if the IRS experienced other logistical hangups.[9] You can track your paper check or EIP card[10] using the IRS Get My Payment tool, and if you don’t receive it, you can claim the funds when you file your 2020 federal tax returns through the IRS’ Recovery Rebate Credit.[11]


Some States Begin Paying Extra $300 In Weekly Unemployment Benefits | Yahoo! Finance


  • The new $900 billion stimulus relief package from December 2020 added an extra $300 in weekly unemployment benefits. These benefits started from the week of December 27 and will last for 11 weeks through March 14th. They are paid to workers on both Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).[12] According to reports, at least 11 states began to pay out this extra money by the week of January 4th-11th, while most of the rest of the states began distributing benefits by mid-January.[13] As of January 24th, 43 states have begun paying the extra $300 in unemployment.[14] Some workers who make money from both traditional and self-employed sources are eligible for an additional $100 in benefits, but it will require additional documentation.[15]
















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