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Did you get an Economic Impact Payment VISA debit card in the mail from the U.S. Department of the Treasury? If you did, you might get a letter from Treasury this week, reminding you to activate your card.

 

Treasury’s letter gives you instructions on how to activate the card. Once you do that, you can get cash or use it anywhere that accepts VISA debit cards. Or, you can also transfer the money from your EIP debit card to your bank account. This is especially helpful if you can’t or don’t want to visit an ATM. 

 

Did you throw away the card by mistake, or don’t recall getting one? No worries. Your letter from Treasury will tell you how to request a replacement card, which will include calling a 24-hour customer service line at 1.800.240.8100. It’s free to replace your card.

 

So that you know what to look out for in the mail, here’s what the envelope from Treasury will look like:

And here’s what the letter from Treasury will look like:

 

And, because this blog is all about reminders, here’s one more. Unless you’ve asked for assistance, know that the government will never, ever call, text, email, or send you a link to click to activate your card or get your money. If someone does—or asks for your Social Security or debit card number—it’s a scam. Report it to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.

224 Comments


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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

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bprieve
July 07, 2020
I got a debit card in the mail at my address. But after I opened it, I discovered that it did NOT have my name, but rather some other unknown name (Allen Smith) using my address. I have tried to call the phone numbers I have for the VISA card, but have been on hold over and hour each time before the call drops. Is this a scam of some sort?
Kimmie
January 26, 2021

In reply to by bprieve

I never gotten. My frist stimulus money on my direct express card or in the mail at all and am on ssi My name. Is Kimberly Colvin
pgonzalez34
July 07, 2020
Thank you for the help navigating this arduous time.
Danilo
July 07, 2020
I'd like to know who all will be getting one?
Sandsok
July 07, 2020

In reply to by Danilo

I called the 800 # provided as it says it's a helpline BUT the problem is can't ask about the EIP card, and cannot provide them with the card # they want as the IRS seems to have done something else wrong. No surprise really.
Can't activate…
January 29, 2021

In reply to by Pokey

Got my card called the number says to activate it says it does not recognize the number on the card that I'm giving them oh how the heck are you supposed to activate this you can't talk to nobody I'll customer service cuz it just hangs up on you sounds like a scam
LaShanaM
July 12, 2020

In reply to by Danilo

Did you ever figure out who would be getting one of these cards ?? Is this a card that were going to be getting money from government on in August ??
Caroline C
March 21, 2021

In reply to by LaShanaM

I tried to activate my card by resetting the PIN number, since I did not receive a PIN to begin with..... so glad I have this $$$$ to fall back on, now if I could only access it
Pokey
July 07, 2020
Have not seen this card in the mail. Does everybody get one? Why dont they use the same manner they did originally by putting into the acct the tax return goes to?
FTC Staff
January 22, 2021

In reply to by Pokey

We wrote a blog in May about the EIP cards. The blog explained that some some people might get a debit card instead of a check in the mail.

The card is a way to get the money that’s meant to give relief due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Some people may get a payment by direct deposit or by check.

WhistlingDixie
July 07, 2020
Thanks for the (timely) info. I just now opened the envelope.
DannyDon't use…
July 08, 2020
Who are you? I know you look like FTC, but why would you send me something? I have no account with you that I know of. I'm gun shy because of how good the fakes are getting. Since I didn't request this and didn't pay into it. Unless it has something to do with "Comercia" "bank" or US Express. Is this a "green card"? Would like to know because I ain't that smart. If you send me something, I'll have to go to my credit union for security reasons. Thanx, I think, Danny
FTC Staff
July 08, 2020

In reply to by DannyDon't use…

We wrote a blog in May about the EIP cards. The blog explained that some some people might get a debit card instead of a check in the mail.

The card is away to get the money that’s meant to give relief due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Some people may got a payment by direct deposit or by check.

Christine
July 07, 2020
Hi, how do I apply for the card...I made less than 75,000 in 2019...I haven't filed my 2019 taxes yet...Thank you...Christine
AndrGalle
April 13, 2021

In reply to by Christine

IRS web site states my stimulus check went to account ending 7976, but my card burned in a house fire 9/7/2020.I called 800#, but says it does not recognize last six numbers of social security number and zip. What can I do to receive my money?
MicheleM
July 07, 2020
Will they be sending the cards in place of a second Economic Impact Payment or Check?
FTC Staff
July 08, 2020

In reply to by MicheleM

We wrote a blog in May about the EIP cards. The blog explained that some some people might get a debit card instead of a check in the mail.

The card is away to get the money that’s meant to give relief due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Some people may got a payment by direct deposit or by check.

Jomay
January 13, 2021

In reply to by FTC Staff

The letter I received with the card does not look like the example you provide. Also when I attempted to activate the card, it asked for 6 digits of my SS. I hung up
FTC Staff
January 22, 2021

In reply to by Jomay

This blog was written in 2020, when the first stimulus checks came out. It shows a picture of the letter that came with the first stimulus checks. This blog links to another blog that says you will have to give your Social Security number when you activate the card. 

mg21
July 07, 2020
Thank you, Christina. There are many fraud and nefarious scams now, your post is much appreciated. I will let my family know what to expect in the mail.
mike h
July 08, 2020
I haven't heard of this from anyone ! I'm so paranoid about 'scams' I'm not sure this is safe - like my FTC notices have been hi-jacked ! Seriously, who's supposed to get a VISA card from Gov ? that should have been mentioned in the 'alert' . mh
FTC Staff
July 08, 2020

In reply to by mike h

We wrote a blog in May about the EIP cards. The blog explained that some some people might get a debit card instead of a check in the mail.

The card is away to get the money that’s meant to give relief due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Some people may got a payment by direct deposit or by check.

yoooooo
April 05, 2021

In reply to by FTC Staff

Why are you not responding to those of us that need help activating but the system is not finding our card number? We need help!
Julie
July 07, 2020
Are we receiving this debit card instead of a direct deposit into our bank account as the first time this was sent to us? When can we expect to receive this?
crklehr
July 08, 2020
Where does one go, to sign up, to get this card? Who qualifies to get this debit card?
FTC Staff
July 08, 2020

In reply to by crklehr

We wrote a blog in May about the EIP cards. The blog explained that some some people might get a debit card instead of a check in the mail.

The card is away to get the money that’s meant to give relief due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Some people may got a payment by direct deposit or by check.

EMMANUEL
July 08, 2020
I have not received any letter
Garner Shirley
July 09, 2020

In reply to by EMMANUEL

People who did get a letter what.should we do I get as I and haven't got the first check
JaDeW
July 08, 2020
Are they sending debit cards instead of checks now?
FTC Staff
July 08, 2020

In reply to by JaDeW

We wrote a blog in May about the EIP cards. The blog explained that some some people might get a debit card instead of a check in the mail.

The card is away to get the money that’s meant to give relief due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Some people may got a payment by direct deposit or by check.

Don't use your…
July 11, 2020

In reply to by FTC Staff

I keep receiving that same email to activate a card I have never gotten and it’s from the FTC and a Christina Miranda is this real or a scam
Wallacefamily2…
July 12, 2020

In reply to by FTC Staff

Will you get a new debit card or will it be the same debit card that was in the mail from the first stimulus check
Blessedbyfaith…
July 08, 2020
I will like to know if i did not file for 2019 and i 2018, will i be able to receive a stimulus check or debit card in the mail. I was told it was to help with the economic of not having a job. Please inform me.
Tjeanc
July 08, 2020
I never received my card,, but I was informed by IRS, that I did,, I believe it was sent either to the wrong address, or I overlooked it in my mail..
Flighttiget
July 08, 2020
Since I got the official word that I am eligible for the eip I never get a live customer service representative when I call the phone number 1800 240 8100 to find out happen to my prepaid debit card
Bonamie
September 19, 2020

In reply to by Flighttiget

I have called the 1800# over 100 times ,it only goes to the point of asking Card # ,Last 6 digit SSS and security number on the back of the card and then says sorry we can't process at this time . And yes the funds are on the card in Money Network
Princess
July 08, 2020
I haven't yet received any card from you, and quiet honestly I am a bit skeptical about this since I have been scammed several times. Is this really true.
Malissa y.
July 08, 2020
I received the card but theres no money on it
bw5801825
July 10, 2020
I haven't got my card yet
Tony Hughes
July 13, 2020

In reply to by bw5801825

Im on ssi and still have not recived any kind of stimulant pay they said I didnt have to sign anything but other people on it got there's
Chubbs1020
July 08, 2020
Ok IRS told me that they had the wrong address on file.( This way sometime in May) The agent explained that they had the wrong address. Then put my new address in there.. I haven't received no card.. I called The IRS. I also called the Economic Payment Department... I attempted to put a fraud alert out. I also got the e IP car number also had to email address. Someone please point me in the right direction. I can't get a new card because I don't have a old card. Thank you
mandyloo243
July 10, 2020
I never received it in the mail yet
Mohamed Zerarka
July 09, 2020
I did not see the card in the email
Tamika Floyd
July 09, 2020
I didn't get neither one of the checks