Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Don't be too quick to toss that junk mail - millions of stimulus payments mailed in form of debit cards

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BATON ROUGE - Don't be too quick to throw away that junk mail, it could be your stimulus money.

Nearly 4 million people are being sent their Economic Impact Payment in the form of a prepaid debit card. The debit card will come in a plain white envelope with a return address from Money Network Cardholder Services, MetaBank in Omaha, NE. Inside will be a Visa debit card with the card holder's name on it, instructions on how to activate that card, and a piece of paper that says, "enclosed is your Economic Impact Payment card."

The cards started showing up in mailboxes last week, unbeknownst to quite a few people who were surprised to see a debit card instead of a check.

"People are getting them and throwing them away," AARP Louisiana State President Bobby Savoie said."But it's a real thing. It's a real credit card."

The return address just might be the key to recognizing whether or not it's legitimate. Some people have reported the cards as fraudulent or scams, or have been reluctant to activate them because personal information is required to validate your identity. To activate the card, the cardholder must verify their name, address, and the last six digits of their social security number.

Those who receive their Economic Impact Payment by prepaid debit card can do the following without any fees.

  • Make purchases online and at any retail location where Visa is accepted
  • Get cash from in-network ATMs
  • Transfer funds to their personal bank account
  • Check their card balance online, by mobile app or by phone

If you’ve destroyed or thrown out your EIP card, call the toll-free customer service line at 800-240-8100 (TTY: 800-241-9100) to ask for a replacement. You can find additional information at the official EIP website.


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