Second Stimulus Debit Cards Sent in Treasury Envelopes after First Mistaken for Junk Mail

A second round of stimulus payments sent via pre-paid debit cards will arrive in envelopes with a Treasury seal, after some people mistook their first for junk mail.

The first round was sent in plain white envelopes marked Money Network Cardholder Services.

As reported by Newsweek in May, some people threw these away or even cut them up as they did not realize they were their stimulus funds.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and lawmakers then sent out messages informing people these were official, in a bid to prevent more people disposing of them.

An IRS statement detailing the second set of these cards being sent out detailed that this batch will come in Treasury marked envelopes, as funds make their way to support people amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

"EIP (Economic Impact Payment) Cards are being sent in a white envelope that prominently displays the U.S. Department of the Treasury seal," the statement detailed.

"The EIP Card has the Visa name on the front of the Card and the issuing bank name, MetaBank®, N.A. on the back of the card. Each mailing will include instructions on how to securely activate and use the EIP Card."

The release detailed that around eight million payments are to begin being sent by prepaid debit card.

"These EIP Cards follow the millions of payments already made by direct deposit and the ongoing mailing of paper checks that are delivering the second round of Economic Impact Payments as rapidly as possible," the statement outlines.

"For those who don't receive a direct deposit, they should watch their mail for either a paper check or a prepaid debit card. To speed delivery of the payments to reach as many people as soon as possible the Treasury's Bureau of Fiscal Service is sending payments out by prepaid debit card.

"IRS and Treasury urge eligible people who don't receive a direct deposit to watch their mail carefully during this period."

Newsweek has contacted the IRS for comment on how many stimulus payments have been distributed. A representative for the IRS told Newsweek people can visit if they have lost, misplaced, discarded or destroyed their EIP card for details on freezing their cards and having them replaced. People can call 1.800.240.8100 to report a lost or stolen card. Replacements can be sent out at no cost to the recipient.

The $600 stimulus payments were signed off in December and started to be sent out around the end of that month.

There has been speculation more direct payments could be forthcoming, with there having been a push for them to be boosted to $2,000. It is expected Democrats will enact further payments upon taking control of the Senate.

The IRS recently issued an update on when payments from the second round should start arriving for those who have not received them.

It has also put its 'Get My Payment' tool back online for people wanting to track their payments. The agency urged people to check details online rather than calling for further information.

lab staff collect tests at LA airport
Lab staff wear personal protective equipment (PPE) while collecting tests from travelers in an on-site Covid-19 testing laboratory at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on December 31, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. The COVID-19 crises continues to pose economic turmoil for people across the nation, with stimulus payments being sent to assist. Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images