Last week, the U.S. Treasury Department and the IRS started sending out stimulus checks in plain white envelopes.
To thousands of Americans, these envelopes look remarkably similar to the typical stack of junk mail jammed into their mailboxes every day.
And what do people do with junk mail? Toss it out!
Yes, people are trashing their long-awaited $1,200.
While some people have already received their payments as direct deposits or paper checks in the mail, almost 4 million people — including those for whom the agency does not have bank accounts on file — will be getting their stimulus payments in the form of prepaid debit cards.
The only problem is that the debit cards come in envelopes that say “Money Network Cardholder Services” and do not bear any federal markings.
To be fair, the name Money Network Cardholder Services just SOUNDS like a bogus organization.
Here are just some of the complaints from people who realized, at the last minute, that they were about to throw $1,200 in the trash.
sooooo I had not heard of this but I just got my covid stimulus money via a debt card??? I was hella suspicious at first cause I knew nothing about this but I researched it and it’s legit… and it actually has money on it
— dr.nova🌈@FFVIIR+ACNH (@valerieflames) May 27, 2020
And here’s an example of the envelope in which checks and debit cards are sent in.
No idea if this is any indication of others' experiences with their coronavirus stimulus money, but I almost threw mine out with the junk mail:
1. The return address was "Money Network Cardholder Services," no indication it's from the govt/U.S. Treasury. pic.twitter.com/Af2dBPl9oF
— Zack Stanton (@zackstanton) May 22, 2020
If you still haven’t received your stimulus check, someone shared this pic. It is a reloadable VISA Card – with the stimulus money on it. Very nondescript envelope. She threw hers away & had to get it out of the trash after finding out what it was, thought it was junk mail. RT pic.twitter.com/UJPRjF7Bwf
— GrannyFanny (@🏠) 🇺🇸🏳️🌈📘✒️🌞🌊🌊🌊 (@OldStateOfMind) May 30, 2020
Yes, I very nearly threw our #StimulusCheck away!
People are accidentally throwing out their stimulus check — because it looks like junk mail https://t.co/h9DLwlvDlW
— Kyle Lampe (@Prof_Lampe) May 29, 2020
Some people are mistaking the debit cards as fake and cutting them here. Here’s one story from WINK-TV in Fort Myers:
“My husband looked at it, briefly read it, and he said, ‘Do you want this?’ And I said, ‘I don’t need another fake card,’ so he cut it up in little pieces. The next thing you see is I am in the garbage can trying to pull out all of the pieces together, which did not work.”
To avoid future problems, the IRS said in an FAQ that debit cards bear the Visa logo and are issued by MetaBank.
A letter included with the cards explains that they are the Economic Impact Payment Card. For more information, check out eipcard.com.
[via Yahoo! News]