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Coronavirus stimulus payments mistaken for junk mail; IRS issues clarification

By
Don Jacobson
About 4 million Americans are receiving their Economic Impact Payment funds via debit cards sent in plain white envelopes, rather than checks or direct deposits. Some recipients have mistakenly thrown the cards out as junk mail. File photo by John Angelillo/UPI
About 4 million Americans are receiving their Economic Impact Payment funds via debit cards sent in plain white envelopes, rather than checks or direct deposits. Some recipients have mistakenly thrown the cards out as junk mail. File photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

May 29 (UPI) -- The U.S. Treasury has alerted taxpayers that some coronavirus stimulus payments are being sent out as a prepaid debit cards in plain white envelopes, following reports of recipients mistaking them for junk mail.

The Internal Revenue Service issued a statement Wednesday clarifying that 4 million taxpayers are receiving delivery of Economic Impact Payments as debit cards rather than as paper checks or direct deposits -- and that they are being sent in plain white envelopes bearing no official U.S. government markings.

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"The debit cards arrive in a plain envelope from 'Money Network Cardholder Services,'" the IRS said.

The agency made the clarification after recipients reported on social media they had mistakenly thrown the cards away as unwanted junk mail.

Zack Stanton, digital editor of the Washington news website Politico, said in a Twitter post he nearly discarded his debit card with $2,400 on it.

"No idea if this is any indication of others' experiences with their coronavirus stimulus money, but I almost threw mine out with the junk mail," he said, adding that his name printed on the envelope and the card were incorrect.

Lisa Boscala, a member of the Pennsylvania State Senate, warned her Twitter followers, "IT IS NOT A SCAM! Pay attention if you get a plain envelope in the mail that's marked 'Money Network Cardholder Services.' THIS IS YOUR ECONOMIC IMPACT PAYMENT!"

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