If you were expecting a paper stimulus check you may not get one

If you were expecting to receive your stimulus payment by paper check, you may not be receiving one. Instead, the Treasury Department has announced that they’ll be sending some four million payments on prepaid debit cards. The Treasury Department claims that it will be quicker to send out the debit cards than it would be to issue paper checks.

The majority of people who will be receiving the debit cards are those who did not provide the IRS with direct deposit information and had their tax returns processed by the IRS centers in Austin, Texas, or Andover, Massachusetts. The Andover service center processed returns for much of New England while the Austin service center processed returns for taxpayers in Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. The Austin service center also covers those who use a military mailing address like an APO or FPO.

There are very few restrictions on the card and consumers will be able to use it like a normal debit card. There are no fees for purchases or withdrawing money as long as the money is withdrawn from an in-network ATM. If your card were to be lost or stolen it would cost around $25 to have it replaced.

While the debit card will be more convenient for most people rather than a paper check, there are still some safeguards you should take after receiving yours. No matter how ecstatic you may be about receiving your payment, do not post a picture of the card on social media. It will take bad actors no time at all to drain your funds off of the card with just the card number. Also keep in mind that if someone claims to be from the government calling about the debit card, they’re almost assuredly a scammer.

Lastly, for individuals with privacy concerns, the Treasury Department says that the government cannot track your spending habits from the card.