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Visa card stimulus payments cause confusion

Iron Mountain resident Judy Fournier initially believed the card was a scam.
Published: Jan. 25, 2021 at 4:59 PM EST
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IRON MOUNTAIN & MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - The latest round of stimulus payments is making its way through the country. However, the way the money is being distributed is causing confusion for many.

Iron Mountain resident Judy Fournier says when she received her stimulus payment in the mail, she didn’t realize what it was.

“It had this red writing that said, ‘impact payment,’” Fournier explained. “It should have said ‘stimulus’ as far as I would know.”

The payment came in the form of a Visa debit card, causing Fournier to suspect it was a scam.

“I didn’t open it to begin with because I thought it was somebody trying to sell me a credit card,” said Fournier. “I never heard that there was a credit card coming.”

According to Detective Lieutenant Christopher Aldrich of the Marquette City Police, these cards are the real thing. He says payments are being sent to people in the same format they submitted their latest tax returns.

“It’s not necessarily just direct deposits,” said Aldrich. “They are using these other options to provide stimulus payment. A full list of details is available on the IRS website.

Unfortunately, before Fournier realized this, she had thrown away her husband’s stimulus payment. Lieutenant Aldrich says anyone who has mistakenly thrown out their card should contact the agency that sent it.

“There are contact numbers on the government website and there are photos of what these payment cards should look like.”

Fournier says she was able to get a replacement card, although she’ll have to pay between $7 - $18 in fees.

Lieutenant Aldrich says while these cards are legitimate, it’s still important to do your research and to be cautious of potential scams.

“Be aware and cognizant of not providing personal identifying information or bank account information,” Aldrich said. “It’s always good practice to not give those things out.”

To view the status of your stimulus payment, visit irs.gov/coronavirus.

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