Some consumers may still be looking for their economic impact payments (EIP) in the mail. The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs (SCDCA) wants consumers to be aware of two situations that may affect how, or even if, they receive the money.
Some consumers may receive their payment in the form of a debit card.
If you haven’t gotten your payment yet, you’re probably expecting a check. While some people may receive checks, most of the remaining EIPs will be sent out on prepaid debit cards. No, this isn’t a scam! Here’s what to know:
- Look for a VISA branded prepaid card. The envelope will read from the “Money Network Cardholder Service.”
- Activate the card immediately. The mailer will give instructions on how to activate the card. You will have to give your social security number to activate it. You can use the card at an ATM, anywhere that accepts VISA debit cards and you can get cash back at certain stores. Make sure to read the card agreement and fee list for details on how you can use the card and what fees may be charged.
- The cards expire after three years. When it does, the bank will send any money left on the card to you.
- Questions about the card? Call Money Network at 1 (800) 240-8100 or visit EIPCard.com. For information on economic impact payment, visit irs.gov/EIP.
- Did you throw away your card thinking it was a scam or spam? Call Money Network and choose the “Lost/Stolen” option. Your card will be deactivated, and a new card will be issued. The first replacement card is free.
- Watch out for scammers! Unless you’ve asked for help, no one will ever call, text, email or send you a message about your economic impact payment card. If a “cold caller” reaches out to you, do not give out and personal information and end the contact.
Consumers in nursing homes or assisted living facilities are having their payments wrongfully taken. Reports of nursing homes and assisted living facilities taking residents’ economic impact payments recently surfaced from across the country. Upon receiving the checks, the facilities claim the money issued to residents on Medicaid must be used to pay for services they use. Not true. Here are the facts:
- The payments are considered tax credits. This means that the government and facilities like nursing homes cannot take the payments just because the recipient is on Medicaid.
- You can report it. Reach out to the SC Attorney General’s office by calling 1 (803) 734-3970 or visiting www.scag.gov. Then file a complaint with the FTC.
If you are looking for more COVID-19 related resources, visit the website and click “COVID-19 Resources” in top navigation bar. Consumers who believe they are the victim of a COVID-19 related scam are encouraged to seek guidance from SCDCA’s Identity Theft Unit. Call (844) TELL DCA (835-5322) or fill out a Scam Report form by visiting the website and clicking on the How Do I… button, then Report a Scam.