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IRS sending letters to American households that may have an unactivated Economic Impact Payment debit card

As we noted in a couple of “Working Together” blogs from May, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) decided to issue as many as four million Economic Impact Payments (EIP), through a pre-paid debit card. The EIP cards, which are issued by MetaBank®, NA (Visa® logo appears on the front of each card) will arrive in a plain envelope from Money Network Cardholder Services.

However, as many have not activated these EIP cards, the IRS suspects that some Americans may have mistaken the cards for a scam and subsequently overlooked it or disposed of the card. Therefore, the IRS is sending letters to these households explaining that they “may have an unactivated prepaid card.”

According to the IRS, “these new letters, like the prepaid cards, are not a scam, though people should be aware of what they look like in case scammers try to impersonate them.” Visuals of both the envelope and the letter can be viewed by clicking the links below:

https://www.nclc.org/images/MN_EIP_Envelope_Comp_V4.pdf

https://www.nclc.org/images/MN_EIP_Mailing-Letter-Activate_V8-revised-fnl.pdf

Associate director of the National Consumer Law Center, Lauren Sanders, notes, “The EIP card can be cashed or used in numerous ways without incurring fees, including by transferring the funds to your bank account, using network ATMs, asking for cash back at a grocer or big box store, and by going inside to the teller window at virtually any bank or credit union,”

Anyone who is expecting a EIP card and has yet to receive it, or who believes they might have accidentally thrown it away, please call (800) 240-8100. If they receive correspondence with a different phone number, they should not call as it very likely a scam.

For additional information on what the EIP card looks like, and, how to both activate and use the card, please reference the NCLC’s issue brief by visiting https://www.nclc.org/images/Issue-Brief-Money-Network-EIP-Cards.pdf, which also includes photos of the sample card and mailer at  https://www.nclc.org/images/Treasury_Mailer_Mockup.png.

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