Photo via Treasury.

As Internal Revenue Service began to mail prepaid debit cards containing the Economic Impact Payment on May 18th, things took an unexpected turn. 

People keep mistaking the cards for a scam when they find them in their mailboxes, the Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller said in a report in the Des Moines Register. The prepaid Visa cards show up in plain white envelops marked “Money Network Cardholder Services.” Inside there is an ordinary-looking blue card marked with the Visa logo in the front and MetaBank logo in the back. 

A simplicity like that made people suspicious. The Detroit Free Press has interviewed Jacké Dollar, a 73-year-old geriatric care manager in Des Moines, Iowa, who actually destroyed her card after receiving it on Tuesday. She never owned a debit card, nor did she want one, so she cut the card up and thrown it in the trash. Dollar admits that she was too overwhelmed with work and acted hastily, but it soon dawned on her that the debit card was probably loaded with stimulus cash. Right now, the woman is trying to fix the problem by contacting the customer service.

The Economic Impact Payments debit card contains up to $1,200 for single taxpayers. IRS plans to send it to nearly 4 million people instead of a paper check. “The determination of which taxpayers received a debit card was made by the Bureau of the Fiscal Service, a part of the Treasury Department that works with the IRS to handle distribution of the payments,” says an IRS statement from Wednesday 27th. 

The IRS has said previously that it will not send an Economic Impact Payment to a bank account used to make a payment to the IRS. If the bureau doesn’t have direct deposit bank information for someone, their payment will be mailed to the address it has on file. 


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