People are mistaking stimulus payments for junk mail or a scam

Daniel Fowler
May 29, 2020

Laura Irrera-Hahn hadn't heard that the Treasury Department was sending her stimulus payment as a debit card.

"If you received direct deposit of your refund based on your 2019 tax return (or 2018 tax return if you haven't filed your 2019 tax return), the IRS has sent your payment to the bank account provided on the most recent tax return", the agency said on its Economic Impact Payment Information Center page, set up to answer questions about the stimulus money.

The card will arrived in a plain white envelope from Money Network Cardholder Services.

The Omni Calculator Project has a handy tool available where you can punch in your information to see how much you would get if the House-passed version of the HEROES Act becomes law.

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The treasury department sent the debit cards to anyone eligible without banking information on file with the IRS instead of paper checks. Readers, who said they were not expecting a debit card from the government, have told NJ Advance Media they thought the cards were junk mail or solicitations and they threw out the cards.

You're not going to get a legitimate phone call about the card. After being reassured it was, they activated the card and found out they are getting the maximum allowed for a couple, which is $2,400. On Twitter, several people have reported that the card issuer replaced their last name with their spouse's-identifying them with a name that is not theirs. "The Visa name will appear on the front of the Card; the back of the Card has the name of the issuing bank, MetaBank®, N.A".

You will be charged for a new, replacement card - the fee is $7 for a replacement plus a further $17 in postage and handling costs. The primary taxpayer - the one listed first - would follow the prompts to report a lost or stolen card.

"I am always educating my clients never to give out their Social Security number and now they are being required to do so to activate the card", Bergwerk, the accountant, said.

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