Last week, as I was tearing up another piece of unidentified junk mail, my wife stopped me. She previously felt a plastic card through the envelope and asked me to open it. I assumed it was the typical “Amazing Credit Card Offer” from MONEY NETWORK CARDHOLDER SERVICES (who?). But we opened it anyway.

Inside, we found a blue prepaid visa card, and in indistinct letter claiming to be from the U.S. Department of Treasury. Always on edge for scams, we analyzed the letter, which looked…well…scammy.

The letter stated the prepaid visa card contained our Economic Impact Payment from the CARES Act. The card was issued by METABANK (who?). Even the logo for the U.S. Department of Treasury looked fake. I was still not convinced this was legit, so I went online.

My Google search revealed dozens of articles confirming the junk mail style of delivery was strange… but true. This card contains thousands of dollars, provided by the U.S. Government to families and individuals as economic stimulus. Our share of the $2.2 Trillion dollar CARES Act almost went in the trash.

If you fear your card was thrown away: initiate a trace on your Payment by calling the IRS at 800-919-9835 or you may submit IRS Form 3911.

Attorney James Haroutunian practices estate planning and real estate law in Billerica at 790 Boston Road. Contact him at,, call 978-671-0711 or email: