Consumer Alert: Questions Arise Over COVID-19 Stimulus Debit Cards

A number of Idahoans have contacted the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division this week after receiving a debit card in the mail. While receiving an unsolicited, prepaid debit card may be a warning sign of a scam, the debit cards currently in question appear to be legitimate.

Information included with the cards indicates they are from the U.S. Department of the Treasury and contain funds for the latest round of COVID-19 stimulus payments. The IRS mailed approximately 8 million of these cards to Americans. According to the IRS, the Economic Impact Payment (EIP) debit card is “sponsored by Treasury Department’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service and is issued by Treasury’s financial agent, MetaBank®, N.A. The Economic Impact Payment Card will be sent in a white envelope that prominently displays the U.S. Department of the Treasury seal. It has the Visa name on the front of the Card and the issuing bank, MetaBank®, N.A. on the back of the card.”

“I commend Idahoans for being vigilant about scams and recognizing this situation is out of the ordinary,” Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said. “But it appears these cards are legitimate and one of the ways the federal government is delivering the latest stimulus payments. As always, I urge consumers to meet unsolicited communications with a healthy dose of skepticism and then do any necessary research. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.”

More information about EIP debit cards, including how to deposit the card’s funds into your bank account, is available at https://www.eipcard.com/. The IRS provides additional information about the second EIP payment on their website at https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/second-eip-faqs

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