Some of the stimulus checks issued by the US Government have been sent in the form of plastic prepaid debit cards. Read on to learn how you can know they are real and not fraudulent correspondence.
Far from facilitating processes for beneficiaries, the debit card with the stimulus check that the United States Government began sending to some 4 million beneficiaries about two weeks ago, has caused confusion and delays in the disposition of the money.
In the least extreme cases, recipients have reported correspondence to entities such as the Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker and even the FBI, believing it to be fraud; in others, they have thrown the letter away.
Part of the problem is the generic image of the card that is blue with white stars as a reference to the American flag.
In addition to the common aspect of the card, the Treasury Department publicly announced that the payment would be sent by card instead of a paper check when the process had already started. The agency did not establish an orientation process with enough time to prepare beneficiaries, which would have been ideal.
The so-called "EIP Card" with the Visa logo on the front and the identification "MetaBank" (its issuing bank) on the back, will arrive in a plain envelope with the sender's name "Money Network Cardholder Services".
You must remember, however, that apart from the card, the key to identifying the correspondence as coming from the Government is a notification inside that specifies that it is an "Economic Impact Payment" sent by the United States Government through the administration of President Donald Trump, with instructions to activate it.
In the only press release available at the time that refers to the distribution of checks in the form of a card, the Treasury Department indicated, on its page, that the cards are being sent to eligible individuals for whom the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) ) has no bank information available; and to taxpayers whose tax-filing was processed by the IRS Service Center in Andover and Austin, Texas.
"Prepaid debit cards are secure, easy to use, and allow us to distribute money to Americans faster," Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said. "Recipients can immediately activate and use these cards safely."
Obviously, judging by the multiple complaints from the many beneficiaries who have already started receiving the plastic by mail, this is not what has been happening.