(Phoenix – January 26, 2021) – Many Americans have received their second stimulus check or Economic Impact Payments (EIP), either by direct deposit to their bank account or in the form of a mailed check, which is still ongoing. However, it was recently announced by the Department of the Treasury that debit cards are being sent by the IRS as part of the plan to deliver EIP payments as rapidly as possible.
Better Business Bureau Serving the Pacific Southwest (BBB) is urging consumers to take precautions when they receive these cards in the mail, as scams are still prevalent. BBB has received numerous calls from consumers to verify the validity of the cards they’ve received.
“I went to check my mail and found a VISA card and an explanation letter that claimed it was my stimulus payment,” shares Denise, a BBB team member. “Working for BBB, I am very well educated on what to look for to avoid potential scams which keeps me on guard, and I knew fake prepaid cards were popping up. I really thought it was a scam and was about to throw it away until my husband reminded me to check it out before I made any assumptions. After some research, we found out it was real, and one of the ways the IRS is sending people their stimulus money,” continues Denise.
Consumers who have not received payment should refer to the GetMyPayment site on IRS.gov for more information and remain vigilant to ensure that the card they receive is legitimate.
Tips on how to recognize a legitimate EIP card:
EIP Cards are being sent in a white envelope with the U.S. Department of the Treasury seal.
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.
The welcome kit explains more about the EIP card. Please go to EIPcard.com for more information and to see a sample image of the card.
Once the card has been verified:
– Activate the card by calling the number provided, setting a 4-digit PIN
– Sign the card.
– Keep the card in a safe place.
– Do not share the information on the card with anyone.
– Use the card anywhere Visa cards are accepted and/or get cash back at a retailer or ATM.
Note that most transactions are free, but certain uses could incur fees. For more questions, visit EIPcard.com/FAQ.
BBB warns that scammers may try to text, call or email you, trying to convince you to give up the card number or your personal information. Report any phishing or scam attempts to the IRS and file a report with BBB Scam Tracker to warn others not to fall for the scam.
BBB encourages businesses to operate with integrity, and helps consumers make wise marketplace decisions. Our innovative approach to business growth provides the tools that companies and entrepreneurs need to build better businesses. By working side by side with industry experts, we unite with a common goal. Become BBB Accredited and join our mission to create a community of trust.
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Reprinted by permission of the Better Business Bureau, © 2021.