Many Americans have been warned by the media recently “not to throw out a plain white letter from a company called Money Network Cardholder Services” containing an “Economic Impact Payment Card” or “EIP Card” - but a lot of conflicting information has been put out on how to make sure the EIP Card you’ve received is real.
First, if you receive a letter which purports to be from “Money Network Cardholder Services” - you should probably open it to see what is inside. It may be your EIP Card.
If there is a debit card inside, great! At this point, please STOP and put down the paper(s). All you need right now is the debit card. Paper is very easy to forge, as is the return address, and even the debit card could be fake!
Now, please go to the following link: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payment-information-center
When you click on that link, make sure there is a green lock in the upper left corner signalling a secure connection, and that the page you are on starts with
irs.gov/ with nothing preceding it (
https:// doesn’t count, if you see that verbatim, that’s just the protocol). This helps ensure you are communicating on a secure channel with the IRS servers, and when dealing your EIP Card information you should ONLY trust what the federal government says about it (such as on the IRS website) or links to directly - not physical mail, not news, nothing else.
You will then want to scroll down to the section titled
Prepaid Debit Cards, and as of writing, Questions #45 through #48 will contain secure links to the EIP Card website (EIPCard.com) and the telephone number to service or activate your EIP Card (1-800-240-8100). Do not blindly trust what I put here! You must check the IRS page and should trust that over my website - most of you don’t even know who I am! If there is any discrepancy between what I say and what the IRS page says, please contact me so I can update this page if needed.
You can then read the cardholder agreement on the EIP Card website which you got to directly from the IRS. If you agree, call their listed telephone number to activate your card. If they cannot activate your card or there are problems activating your card, speak to a customer support agent about re-issuing you your EIP Card - it’s possible that a clerical error has been made, or the card you have sent is a fake. Either way, as long as you are only talking to the EIP Card support staff, you cannot fall for a scam sent by a mail fraudster.
Be careful out there. ♡