AG Rutledge: Stimulus debit cards and paper checks are no scam

State News

In this April 23, 2020, file photo, President Donald Trump’s name is seen on a stimulus check issued by the IRS to help combat the adverse economic effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, in San Antonio. All that aid is now gone. Yet prospects for more federal stimulus this year appear all but dead, clouding the future for the unemployed, for small businesses and for the economy as a whole.(AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is asking Arkansans to not throw away that stimulus debit card or paper check arriving in the mail because it’s not a scam.

The Internal Revenue Service and U.S. Treasury Department have begun delivering a second round of Economic Impact Payments (EIP), or stimulus payments, as a part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Appropriations Act of 2021 to millions of Americans who received the first round of payments in 2020.

The IRS began sending the initial round of payments in late December 2020 by direct deposit and by mailing checks or debit cards. Arkansans who received a paper check or debit card in the first round of stimulus payments in 2020 could expect to receive a check or debit card this time also.

“Many Arkansans are in dire need of this stimulus payment,” said Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “This is not a scam and please do not throw away a white envelope with the U.S. Department of Treasury seal without opening it.”

Attorney General Rutledge released the following tips to ensure Arkansans receive their Economic Impact Payments:

  • The card will be sent in a white envelope that prominently displays the U.S. Department of the Treasury seal.
  • Most individuals will receive $600 and $1,200 for married couples filing a joint return and $600 for each qualifying child.
  • Couples filing jointly with just one member of the couple with a work-eligible Social Security Number will now be eligible for payments for the taxpayers and their qualifying children.
  • People do not need to take any action right now to receive their stimulus payment. Eligible individuals who do not receive their payment or who did not receive their first stimulus payment can claim it (under the Recovery Rebate Credit) when they file their 2020 tax return this year. People who do not normally file tax returns should also file a 2020 tax return if they do not receive their stimulus payment.
  • Stimulus payments that are received in December 2020 or January 2021 by direct deposit will be automatically protected from garnishment by debt collectors. That is not true of payments that are claimed on the 2020 tax return and paid later in the year as part of the regular tax refund.
  • Payments are being issued based on information the IRS already has on file, people will not be able to add new bank account information or request to receive their payment by EIP Card.

For more information about the distribution of stimulus payments, Arkansans can visit the IRS press release or contact Attorney General Leslie Rutledge at


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