DCCA NEWS RELEASE: Legitimacy of Economic Impact Payment Debit Cards Arriving By Mail

Posted on Jan 26, 2021 in Latest News, Newsroom

HONOLULU – The state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) reminds Hawaii residents of the possibility that their Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) may arrive in the mail by form of prepaid debit card, instead of by paper check or direct deposit.

Earlier this month, the U.S. government began issuing approximately 8 million EIPs by prepaid debit card via U.S. mail. The Internal Revenue Service stated that forms of payment in this second round may differ from what was received the first time. Thus, those that never received the debit card last year may possibly receive a card this time and should not accidentally discard it.

Activating the card requires providing private information, including the recipient’s Social Security number. Thus, those unaware may be skeptical of the unsolicited VISA debit card delivered in the mail.

“While consumers should always be vigilant before providing personal information to anyone offering or sending unexpected money in the mail or email, consumers can rest assured that these debit cards are not a scam,” said Stephen Levins, executive director of OCP. “In order to fully protect themselves, recipients should only call the number listed in the IRS instructions and refrain from divulging any information to anyone else.”

The card will have the words “VISA” and “DEBIT” on the front and the issuing bank, MetaBank, N.A., shown on the back. The envelope will display the U.S. Department of the Treasury seal.

Sample Photo Credit: U.S. Department of the Treasury

EIP Card recipients can make purchases, get cash from in-network ATMs, and transfer funds to their personal bank account without incurring any fees when following instructions included with the card. They can also check the card balance by phone, mobile app, or online. The card also provides consumer protections available to traditional bank account owners, including protections against fraud, loss, and other errors.

For more information about the EIP Card, consumers can visit: https://cca.hawaii.gov/ocp/eipcards/.

Consumer questions about Economic Impact Payments should be directed to the IRS: https://IRS.gov/EIP.

# # #

Media Contact:

Jayson Horiuchi
Communications Officer
Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
Email: [email protected]

Phone: (808) 586-7582