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How to prevent scammers from getting your stimulus check

Nursing Homes-Stimulus Checks
Posted at 7:10 PM, Jan 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-21 21:10:12-05

As millions of Americans are receiving their government stimulus checks this month, the IRS is encouraging Americans who did not receive their check via direct deposit to check their mail.

While some are receiving a paper check, others will be receiving their payments via a prepaid debit card.

The Better Business Bureau says there is one way scammers could access these funds.

“BBB warns that scammers may try to text, call or email you, trying to convince you to give up the card number or your personal information. Report any phishing or scam attempts to the IRS and file a report with BBB Scam Tracker to warn others not to fall for the scam,” the Better Business Bureau said.

The Better Business Bureau offers the following tips if you receive a prepaid debit card.

  • Economic Impact Payments Cards are being sent in a white envelope with the U.S. Department of the Treasury seal.
  • The Visa name will appear on the front of the card; the back of the card has the name of the issuing bank, MetaBank, N.A.
  • The welcome kit explains more about the EIP card. Please go to EIPcard.com for more information and to see a sample image of the card.

Once the card has been verified:

  • Activate the card by calling the number provided, setting a 4-digit PIN
  • Sign the card.
  • Keep the card in a safe place.
  • Do not share the information on the card with anyone.
  • Use the card anywhere Visa cards are accepted and/or get cash back at a retailer or ATM. Note that most transactions are free, but certain uses could incur fees. For more questions, visit EIPcard.com/FAQ.

Last month, Congress authorized that most Americans making less than $75,000 a year will get a direct payment of $600 (couples making less than $150,000 a year will get $1,200). Heads of households making $124,500 annually also will receive the full $600.

Those making $75,000 to $87,000 ($150,000 to $174,000 for couples) will get a prorated check. Those making over $87,000 ($164,000 for couples) will not receive a check.

If you’re still waiting on your second stimulus check from the federal government, by going to IRS.gov, Americans can see when they will obtain their check.