So many Americans thought a prepaid debit card they received was a scam or junk mail that Treasury is sending out letters urging people to activate the cards, which were loaded with their stimulus payments.
The letter also tells people how to collect their money if they tossed the payment out by mistake.
To speed up the delivery of up to $1,200 in economic impact payments to individuals and up to $2,400 for couples made available under the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (Cares) Act, the Treasury Department mailed prepaid debit cards to 4 million Americans.
The cards, sent in May and June, were issued by MetaBank and came in a plain envelope from Money Network Cardholder Services. There was no indication on the envelope that the correspondence was coming from the IRS or Treasury.
The problem was that people were expecting a check or direct deposit to their bank account. People didn’t get any communication that they would be getting a debit card instead. So, when the cards arrived, they thought it was junk mail. Others who had never heard of MetaBank thought it was a scam.
“Ideally, the IRS would have given people a choice about receiving their payment on a prepaid card to avoid this confusion, but I understand that they were trying to get as many payments out as quickly as possible, and using the prepaid card added to their capacity,” said Lauren Saunders, associate director of the National Consumer Law Center.
Like so many other glitches that have plagued the distribution of the stimulus payments, in part because the IRS has been short-staffed during the pandemic, communication has been woefully lacking. Confusion about the debit cards led the IRS to issue a release explaining the prepaid debit cards. #workfromhome #interview #hiringevents #coronavirus #deliverydriver #healthcare #ridesharedriver #jobsearch #application #foodservices