The Rebound Indiana: Some Hoosiers throwing out stimulus debit cards

Posted at 3:43 PM, Jun 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-03 20:33:22-04

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INDIANAPOLIS — You may want to examine your mail more closely these days, as many Hoosiers have mistakenly thrown out stimulus payment debit cards.

An RTV6 viewer alerted us to the problem.

"The envelope was an unmarked envelope and it looked just like junk mail,” the viewer said. “It was a blank white envelope you wouldn't expect so I threw it out."

The envelopes have surprised many Hoosiers, especially since stimulus checks come in envelopes marked with “United States Treasury.”

Call 6 Investigates did some checking and found more than 82,000 people in Indiana are supposed to get their stimulus money on prepaid debit cards — likely because the government doesn’t have their bank account information.

The Economic Impact Payment (EIP) cards arrive in plain envelopes with the return address “Money Network Cardholder Services” from MetaBank in Omaha, Nebraska.

Kathy Stokes, director at AARP’s Fraud Prevention Program, said many people in Indiana had no idea to look for them in the first place.

“It's really unfortunate because these are people who are still waiting on their economic impact payments,” Stokes said. “They need it to pay their monthly expenses and now they have to wait another 7-10 days because it wasn't clear that's how the money was coming to them. "

If you toss yours, you can call 1-800-240-8100 or visit this website.

"You're sending money in some form to well over 150 million people so there are going to be challenges,” Stokes said. “This is an exceptionally challenging challenge for a lot of people "

AARP wants people to know this is not a scam.

"It is legitimate, even though the letter that comes with the card tells you to call a number and give them your social security number to activate,” Stokes said. “In this case it is legitimate and you also need to set up a PIN that will help protect your card."

If you accidentally destroyed your debit card, you can get a new one for free.

However, you'll get charged $7.50 for each additional reissued card.

AARP’s toll-free Fraud Watch Network helpline is 877-908-3360.