Here is what to know about U.S. stimulus checks delivered as debit cards

Houston man shares his story about unexpected change

(CNN) – When David Starr first opened his long-awaited stimulus payment from the U.S. Treasury Department, he said he almost threw it out without reading it. He said he thought it was a scam.

“I’ve paid into the system since I was 13-years-old when I had my first job. I just wanted to make sure I was getting the money that was coming to me," Starr said.

He said he received a letter with a debit card from a bank he had never heard of, MetaBank.

“Well it looked like a piece of junk mail, and so I almost threw it into the trash," said Starr, an air conditioning repairman from Tomball.

Like millions of other Americans, Starr was expecting the Economic Impact Payment to come in the form of a check. He said he did not know that for the last few weeks the government has been sending out over 4 million stimulus payments in the form of prepaid debit cards.

“I became confused. I mean here comes this card that I am not expecting, from a bank I never heard of, Meta Bank, and it just felt like a complete scam," Starr said. “I was actually quite angry about it."

Here is how to know if the card is legitimate

There are several easy to spot markers if the card is real or not.

First, the card will arrive in a plain white envelope sent from Money Network Cardholder Services. The accompanying letter will inform you that the card is your Economic Impact Payment Card. It will be a navy blue Visa card with stars, with MetaBank printed on the back.

Users can visit the EIP Card website to find in-network ATMs, where you can withdraw money without paying an out-of-network free. There is one complimentary out-of-network atm waiver, but after that there is a $2 charge.

Other hidden fees include: a 25 cents charge to check the card balance and a $5 withdrawal fee from a bank teller, with the first time free. The card replacement fee is $7.50.

Visit the EIP Card website to find a nearby in-network ATM machine and check your card balance for free.

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Emmy-winning investigative reporter, insanely competitive tennis player, skier, weightlifter, crazy rock & roll drummer (John Bonham is my hero). Husband to Veronica and loving cat father to Bella and Meemo.