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Stimulus checks on prepaid Visa debit cards are not a scam, attorney general says

Some people will receive stimulus payments via debit card.
Some people will receive stimulus payments via debit card.(IRS)
Published: Jan. 22, 2021 at 7:58 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - Thousands of Michigan residents are receiving their $600 stimulus checks in a new way: Prepaid Visa debit cards.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said the debit cards are not a scam. The IRS is sending the debit cards to some people with their stimulus checks instead of direct deposit or a paper check.

“As many Americans await their second stimulus payment, it’s important to keep in mind that such payment may be disbursed in three different ways – direct deposit, paper check or prepaid debit card,” said Nessel.

Paper checks come in a white envelope with the U.S. Department of Treasury seal on the outside.

“Michiganders screening their mail for scam offers should watch for that to ensure their stimulus funds are not accidentally discarded,” Nessel said.

The prepaid Visa debit cards from the IRS contain the Visa logo on the front and MetaBank, N.A. on the back. Anyone receiving a debit card will get instructions for how to activate and use it, but they generally are accepted anywhere a Visa credit card is used.

They can be used for purchases in store and online, or the balance can be transferred from the card to a bank account with a mobile app. Nessel said the cards have certain protections against fraud, loss and other errors.

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