CORONAVIRUS

Stimulus check: What is a Money Network Card? Is it a scam?

Around four million Americans will receive their stimulus payment on an EIP card which will be sent, via mail, in an envelope marked Money Network Cardholder Services.

Stimulus check: What is a Money Network Card? Is it a scam?
KEVIN DIETSCH / POOL EFE

Some Americans will receive their stimulus payments on a pre-paid debit card which will be sent to them through the post – these cards will be sent instead of a paper check. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) started posting out around four million Economic Impact Payment (EIP) Cards last week but some people have been taken by surprise as they were not expecting anything to arrive in the post. Some have mistaken the envelope for junk mail or a possible scam and thrown them away...

How do I know my EIP Card is real and not a fake?

The EIP card will arrive in your mailbox in an envelope and there lies some of the confusion. The envelope containing your EIP card has no mention of either the US Treasury or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It does have a return address however: Money Network Cardholder Services along with a PO Box number (247022) Omaha, NE 68124-7022. The accompanying letter (which the EIP card will be glued to) does have the blue and yellow Department of the Treasury logo at the bottom left-hand side.

Money Network Cardholder Services is a legitimate company but unfortunately, there was a famous spate of credit card scams in the US a few years ago when cold callers would claim to be from Visa or Mastercard, or claiming to be “Rachel, Anne or Tiffany, from Cardholder Services” – the call would be followed by a series of questions, including details of the card verification code (CVC) on the back of the card. Never give any personal information, credit card details, bank account details or your social security number over the phone.

MetaBank: EIP Card issuing bank

While the EIP card is issued by the IRS, the card itself is produced by MetaBank, that is the issuing bank whose logo appears on the reverse of the card. On the back of the card, just below the CVC number, you will also see: Money Network® This card is issued by MetaBank®, N.A., Member FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. EIPCard.com”.

The IRS explain their relationship with both Money Network Cardholder Services and MetaBank on their official web page which can be viewed here:

Stolen, lost or misplaced EIP Card: how to get a replacement

If you have mistakenly thrown out the envelope which contained your EIP Card, or lost the card or had it stolen, you must contact the customer service automated response hotline (1-800-240-8100 )or online at www.eipcard.com.

You will be charged for a new, replacement card – the fee is $7 for a replacement plus a further $17 in postage and handling costs.

See also: How do I activate an use my EIP Card?