bank of america unemployment card

How Bank of America Makes Money From People Accessing Unemployment Benefits. Commonly referred to as a convenience fee, a swipe fee, or an. State records show that the employment agency made $22.5 million on unemployment debit card fees as the pandemic ravaged the job market. If you are eligible for unemployment benefits, you should receive your Q: Can I transfer money onto the debit card from cash or another bank account? bank of america unemployment card

: Bank of america unemployment card

Bank of america unemployment card

Authorities investigate theft of Nevada unemployment benefit debit cards

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A Las Vegas family says their unemployment troubles were made worse after they found out someone got a hold of the debit card and went on a wild shopping spree.

Dylan Trowbridge says the trouble started on March 15 when he was let go from his job at the Bellagio where he stocked and serviced vending machines for the previous 7 years.

"It was just shocking, how you work so hard at the casino doesn't really seem like they care about you," said Trowbridge.

Trowbridge found himself like thousands of other Nevadans: filing for unemployment benefits while looking for work.

His wife also is without work and the couple is supporting their three children ranging in age from 4 years to 4 months.

Trowbridge's unemployment claim was accepted and then he waited for his debit card with his cash benefits to be issued.

"They said give it 5 to 10 business days and that's when your card should come," said Trowbridge.

Nevada unemployment benefits are loaded onto debit cards issued by Bank of America.

Trowbridge says after waiting the 10 business days, he called Bank of America to find out where his debit card was located.

"The guy from Bank of America unemployment department said 'your card is active and somebody used your card last week," said Trowbridge.

13 Investigates obtained a copy of the transaction log which reflected an account inquiry via an ATM on Craig Road in Las Vegas, followed by a large cash withdrawal, back to best numbing cream for waxing uk purchases at the same convenience store, a car wash and food from McDonald's.

"I was just shocked, I couldn't believe it was that easy for anybody to get a card and to just activate it and use it anywhere," said Trowbridge.

Trowbridge denied using the card and Bank of America launched an investigation.

Around the same time the missing unemployment card was replenished with new unemployment cash and the spending spree continued.

Transaction records show someone booked an Air BnB for more than $200 dollars followed by some online shopping, more car washes and more meals and McDonald's.

Days later, Bank of America sent Trowbridge a letter indicating the transactions has been authorized and appropriately applied to his account.

His claim was considered closed.

"They pretty much told me, this was on you, you are on your own, get the cops involved," said Trowbridge.

Another twist came when something unexpected showed up in the mailbox.

A postal carrier brought a plastic bag containing the unemployment debit card materials.

The card was missing but the bag described the package 'was damaged during handling' and the United States Postal Service regretted the incident.

Trowbridge's soon-to-be father-in-law caught up with the letter carrier to ask his own questions while the interaction was recorded.

In the recording provided to 13 Investigates, the letter carrier says the damaged item was found among the other letters and parcels for delivery and he alerted his manager.

According to the letter carrier, the postal manager explained she was going to alert the post master and the postal inspector to investigate because there appeared to he other, similar occurrences.

13 Investigates contacted the Office of The Inspector General for the Postal Service and a spokesperson says authorities have launched an investigation.

No timeline was provided as to when the investigation would be complete.

13 Investigates reached out to Bank of America and within hours the company had provided Trowbridge a conditional credit for the missing money while their investigators took a second look at bank of america unemployment card situation.

While Trowbridge waits for the final decision he wonders about how secure the entire process is, noting it took three attempts to receive a debit card through the mail.

"Anyone that gets the card, all you do is, if you have it there, punch in the card number and create a pin by phone, it doesn't ask any security questions at all," explained Trowbridge.

13 Investigates asked how many other cards could be impacted or stolen and authorities say they are looking into the situation.

Bank of America released a statement to 13 Investigates:

We take all reports of fraud very seriously. We would remind all cardholders to monitor their transaction history online or via the mobile app and notify us immediately if they see any unauthorized activity on their cards. We also ask cardholders to be vigilant and avoid attempts to steal personal information through fraudulent emails or telephone calls.

Bank of America spokesperson

Authorities recommend if an unemployment debit card has not arrived within the expected delivery window to contact Bank of America as soon as possible.


Bank of America Wants to Get Out of Unemployment Contract with California

Just how dysfunctional is California’s unemployment department?

Apparently so dysfunctional that Bank of America, which since 2010 has had an exclusive contract with the state to deliver unemployment benefits through prepaid debit cards, wants to end the contract — even though the Employment Development Department just renewed it for another two years.

Bank of America has been sued for failing to provide sufficient protections for unemployment payment debit cards after thousands across California have fallen victim to fraud. Image via iStock

The news that Bank of America wants to get out of the EDD contract, first reported by ABC 7 in San Francisco, comes about a month after a federal judge — as part of a class-action lawsuit first reported by CalMatters — ordered Bank of America to stop using an automated fraud filter that blocked tens of thousands of legitimate claimants from accessing their benefits after they reported suspicious account activity. The bank said it received 230,000 claims of debit card fraud from October 2020 through March 2021.

Bank of America’s desire to end the contract is striking, given that both the bank and the state rake in merchant bank of america unemployment card whenever an unemployment debit card is swiped.

EDD has pocketed millions in fees amid the pandemic: It earned more than $47 million from March 2020 through April 2021, even though the claims of more than 1.1 million jobless Californians remain in limbo.

However, Bank of America told state lawmakers it lost “hundreds of millions” of dollars on the contract last year as it scrambled to respond to California’s rampant unemployment fraud, which experts say could total upward of $31 billion.

Bank of America said in a statement: “We have advised the state that we would like to exit this business as soon as possible.”

Ultimately, the cost of California’s unemployment fraud will likely fall on taxpayers. And businesses will likely shoulder the staggering weight of California’s unemployment insurance debt, which experts estimate could reach $26.7 billion by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, EDD is still struggling to answer the millions of calls it receives each week — so much so that California’s 80 state assembly members were just given the green light to hire two staffers each to handle EDD problems.


Emily Hoeven is a writer with CalMatters.



If you’re still waiting for your Economic Impact Payments, you might be getting a debit card instead of a check in the mail. This, of course, is the money that’s meant to give relief due to the Coronavirus pandemic. You may have already gotten your payment by direct deposit or by check. But if you’re still waiting, watch your mailbox for either a check or a VISA debit card. And know that the government will never, ever call, text, email, or ask you to click on a link they sent to activate your card or get your money.

Here’s what to know if your payment comes in the form of a debit card.

  • Look for the prepaid card (and its envelope) in the mail. The envelope will be from “Money Network Cardholder Service.” Inside will be a VISA-branded prepaid card issued by MetaBank. This card will give you access to your economic impact payment.
  • Activate the card immediately. The mailer will give you instructions on how to activate the card, but here’s the deal: You can activate your card by calling 1-800-240-8100 or visiting and clicking on the EIP card link. To activate your card, though, you’ll have to give them your Social Security number. Once you activate your card, you can get cash or use it anywhere that accepts VISA debit cards. There are no fees associated with transferring the money from the card to your personal bank account. Keep in mind that EIP cards will expire after three years. When that happens, bank of america unemployment card bank will send any money left on the card to you.
  • Questions about the card? Money Network has a 24-hour call center: 1-800-240-8100. You can call to check your card balance or just ask questions. There’s also more information and a quick video from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to answer questions you might have.

Most important, remember: unless you’ve asked for assistance, no one will ever call you about the EIP card. And no one will text, email, or ask you to click on a link they sent to activate this card or to get your money. If someone does, stop. It’s a scammer. Don’t give them your Social Security or debit card number, or any other information. Then report it to the FTC at


You can use your card to withdraw cash at ATMs, banks or credit unions or by getting cash back with purchases at participating retailers. Funds are automatically deducted from your Key2Benefits card balance.

Cash Back with Purchases

At participating merchants such as grocery or convenience stores.

Card to Account Transfer

Transfer some or all your balance to a personal checking or savings account through the Key2Benefits website.

Branch/Teller Withdrawal

Mastercard® over-the-counter cash withdrawal (down to the penny) available at Mastercard® member bank (including all KeyBank locations).

Please note: When making a branch/teller withdrawal from a bank, you will be required to present valid, primary identification. See the below list for acceptable identification types.

Types of Primary Identification Needed at a Branch

Primary identification is any current, valid government-issued identification with photo and signature. Some examples of government-issued photo identification include:

  • A valid driver's license (for your state and other states as determined by your branch and market)
    • Note: Several states, such as Indiana, provide residents with a temporary, interim ID when they apply for new or renewed driver’s licenses. An interim driver's license of this type is valid for a short period of time, allowing the issuer time to mail out the permanent license. An interim driver’s license is an acceptable form of primary identification, as long as it has not expired and contains both a photo and a signature.
    • IDs from the five inhabited U.S. territories—Puerto Rico, Guam, US Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, and America Samoa—are accepted like any U.S. state ID and are permitted as a primary form of ID.
  • A valid Utah Drivers Privilege card (within the state of Utah only)
    • Note: A Utah Drivers Privilege card cannot be used for documentary evidence if additional identification is requested by the Customer Identification Unit (CIU).
  • A valid state-issued non-driver's license photo identification (for your state and other states as determined by your branch and market)
    • Note: Several states, such as Indiana, provide residents with a temporary, interim ID when they apply for new or renewed driver’s licenses. An interim driver's license of this type is valid for a short period of time, allowing the issuer time to mail out the permanent license. An interim driver’s license is an acceptable form of primary identification, as long as it has not expired and contains both a photo and a signature.
    • IDs from the five inhabited U.S. territories — Puerto Rico, Guam, US Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, and America Samoa — are accepted like any U.S. state ID and are permitted as a primary form of ID.
  • A valid U.S. passport or U.S. passport card
  • A valid foreign passport (including Mexican or Canadian)
  • A valid military ID card
  • A valid military dependent pass
  • A valid resident alien card
  • A valid Native American (tribal) ID (some do not have a signature)
  • A valid Mexican Matricula Consular card
  • A valid Mexican driver's license
  • A valid Canadian driver's license

UPDATE: Outrage Mounts After Bank Bank of america unemployment card America Denies Claims From Victims Of EDD Bank Card Scammers

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) – KPIX was the first to expose how fraudsters are stealing from hundreds of thousands of unemployment debit cards. Since then, many more people have emailed us with stories of scammers wiping out their Bank of America EDD accounts.

Many people receive their unemployment money through a Bank of America debit card. Somehow the fraudsters are able to duplicate your card and your pin and then drain your account in cash, from an ATM miles away from where you live.

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Fred Ellingson is on hold again with Bank of America, trying to get fifth third direct support missing unemployment money back. “I got paid and then the next morning all the money was gone,” said Ellingson.

He says back in September fraudsters stole all the money he had on his Bank of America card, taking it out in cash from an ATM in Southern California, far away from his Bay Area home.

“Five-hundred and fifty-three dollars, I mean that’s nothing compared to some people. I’ve seen thousands taken out. But whether it’s a dollar or $10,000 it’s your money, you know!” said Ellingson.

KPIX talked to more than a dozen people that have lost thousands of dollars, money they all told us they desperately need after losing their jobs in the pandemic.

“It was the little bit of money that I did have left, that I was saving, it’s all that I have,” said Tatiana Solorzano.

Making matters worse, victims tell us they received letters from Bank of America just days after filing, saying their claim was closed “because we believe the account or the claim have been the subject of fraud.”

After we gave their names to Bank of America, seven people got their money back. It turns out they’re the lucky ones because a spokesperson for the bank tells us a “closed” claim actually means it’s “denied.” To fight that, you would have to get on the phone again, which can take hours, and ask for a review.

“I can’t really believe that Bank of America would not be able to handle this more effectively than it has done, and the very fact that there’s 350,000 people who may be subject to this fraud — and this is big time fraud,” said Linda Sherry with Consumer Action.

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Sherry says the long hold times trying to get through to Bank of America to file the claim in the first place are unacceptable.

“This is all very cut and dry in the sense of what the consumer is owed. The bank would be very wise to create some sort of online portal for reporting the fraud, which would also give the consumer the certainty that they reported this on a certain day, a certain time and sort of something to hang their hat on. Basically, that would be the best way to proceed here,” said Sherry.

“It’s infuriating, and it’s heartbreaking,” said Assemblyman David Chiu, who has been a vocal critic of the state’s Employment Development Department. Chiu says EDD and Bank of America have not been transparent with the public or with lawmakers in Sacramento.

“We deserve answers immediately from EDD and Bank of America leadership as to what’s happening here,” said Chiu.

The Assemblyman told KPIX if says if he doesn’t get answers soon he will take legislative action.

“The fact that these cards didn’t have the appropriate anti-fraud technologies and the typical chip technologies that all of us use in every other context is just not acceptable. And we need to hold both EDD and Bank of America accountable for what is happening right now,” said Chiu.

We asked Bank of America why the EDD cards don’t have chips. The bank referred us to EDD. Then, EDD told us providing chip technology is a rather new offering, that is not included in its current contract with Bank of America. The contract is set to expire next July and EDD says it will then be reviewing all options.

Statement from Bank of America:

Spokesperson Bill Halldin:

EDD and Bank of America are working closely together to fight fraud. We are also working closely together to identify and unfreeze any legitimate cardholder accounts as soon as possible.

Since the pandemic, we have added significant resources to assist with our debit card programs. Those resources include additional call center staffing, which we continually review for service levels and adjust accordingly.

We encourage cardholders who have questions about their account to reach out to our contact center and ask for a review.

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Statement from Employment Development Department:

Spokesperson Loree Levy

This is an unprecedented time for benefit fraud activity. Providing chip technology is a rather new offering and was not included in the current contract with Bank of America to provide debit card services for Unemployment Insurance (UI) claimants. That contract is set to expire in July 2021 and the EDD will be reviewing all options available when we
solicit new proposals.

We have no evidence of any data breaches here at EDD. Rather, as you mentioned in your story, there are scammers at work getting personal identifying information through the dark web and other sources. It’s unfortunate, but such offenders do tend to come out of the woodwork during crisis periods. Sometimes you hear of them preying upon wildfire victims for example, or in cases like benefit fraud in the unemployment insurance program, attacking the emergency measures taken by the federal government and states to get additional funds into the hands of jobless workers as quickly as possible. Bank of America
is the financial institution for California’s EDD and sister agencies for a few other states in providing benefits through a debit card meant to provide greater ease for the benefit claimants.

The identity verification tool was added to the New Claim Application Process and is definitely helping us mitigate benefit fraud moving forward. Unfortunately there is work involved in resolving prior issues created by these scammers. As we said in our news release last week, there are several different scenarios at play. The ones you mention in your story unfortunately deal with stolen funds by hackers and only Bank of America can assist in resolving that issue. But if a scammer filed unemployment claims using someone else’s address or identity, the EDD needs to sort out who rightly belongs with that personal identifying information. The priority is to confirm the legitimate claimant involved, if there is one, and request B of A to unfreeze accounts for verified claimants as quickly bank of america unemployment card possible – while shutting down claims we cannot verify. A claimant’s status may show “pending” while we complete this work.

Bank of America Faces Class Action Over Unemployment Debit Card Fraud

The case, Yick v. Bank of America, 21-CV-376 was filed in the United States District Court of the Northern District of California by plaintiff Jennifer Yick, a real bank of america unemployment card professional who found herself unemployed from the COVID-19 pandemic. Through California’s Employment Development Bank of america unemployment card (EDD), she obtained unemployment benefits that she could access through a Bank of America Visa debit card. Her account, however, fell victim to numerous unauthorized transactions, with the bank unwilling to restore the stolen funds. The plaintiff filed this action on behalf of herself as well as the hundreds of thousands of proposed class members that were affected bank of america unemployment card this fraud.

Bank of America’s Unemployment Benefits History

In 2010, Bank of America entered into an exclusive contract with the state of California to distribute unemployment benefits through its prepaid debit cards. At the time, California residents were still reeling from the Great Recession of 2008. With unemployment rates at 12.1%, the state was paying out $66 million per day to jobless Californians. The Bank of America’s debit cards were meant to replace paper unemployment checks—a step forward in efficiency according to a report by the Employment Development Department.

The cards were provided at no cost to the state, but the bank agreed to share some revenue from transaction fees. For the cardholders, bank of america unemployment card bank guaranteed low fees and to provide terms that were “more favorable than most people have for their own personal bank accounts,” according to the report.

Since the drastic spike in unemployment during the COVID-19 pandemic, problems with Bank of America’s cards, such as money being withdrawn from accounts without authorization or flagged for potential fraud, have resulted in approximately frozen 377,500 cards this past fall, with around 350,000 accounts still impacted.

The Class Action Allegations

The plaintiff in Yick v. Bank of America is a cardholder on one of these impacted accounts. As the complaint alleges, the plaintiff discovered fraudulent charges on her debit card on December 1, 2020 and bank of america unemployment card for days to reach a Bank of America agent that could assist her. After an email inquiry to an address provided by a bank representative was returned as undeliverable, the plaintiff filed a police report at her local precinct concerning the fraudulent charges. The plaintiff asserts that despite following all of the instructions in her account agreement and making “consistent, diligent efforts to recover the funds stolen from her account,” Bank of America offered her “no meaningful response or assistance.”

The plaintiff alleges various causes of action against Bank of America, such as negligence, breach of contract, and violations of California’s Consumer Privacy Act and Unfair Competition Law, among others. It is alleged that the bank failed to secure EDD cardholder account information, which resulted in a “massive security breach” in “millions of dollars” in stolen, unauthorized EDD transactions. The complaint further alleges that the data breach is, in part, due to the bank’s use of outdated magnetic stripe technology, opposed to the more recent and allegedly safer EMV chip technology now used by other banks.

The complaint also cites Bank of America’s “Zero Liability” policy, in which it promises to protect EDD benefits recipients from fraudulent transactions. According to its agreement with EDD cardholders, they “may incur no liability for unauthorized use” of their cards, and in the event of a timely reported unauthorized transaction, the bank will credit the account within 10 business days.

The complaint requests declaratory and injunctive relief prohibiting Bank of America from engaging in misconduct as well as refunding all class members the funds taken from their accounts from unauthorized transactions.

Bank of America’s Response

The defendant bank has yet to file its answer to the complaint, but in response to a November 2020 letter from California lawmakers concerning the rampant fraud, the bank asserted that fraud is not something that typically happens to the EDD debit cards. The bank assured that “[w]hen a legitimate cardholder reports that he or she has had fraud on his or her account (such as unauthorized use) and Bank of America’s investigation confirms the report, Bank of America covers the losses to the cardholder consistent with federal law and pursuant to our ‘Zero Liability’ policy for unauthorized transactions.”

In response to the complaint, a Bank of America spokesperson has asserted that “that the bank is committed to returning funds to legitimate unemployment claimants” and has increased its staff size. The bank sets forth that the “vast majority” of unemployment fraud within California is related to the state’s own application vetting, not the debit cards themselves. As the spokesperson explains: “California’s unemployment program faces billions of dollars in fraud…Bank of America is working every day with the state to prevent criminals from getting money and ensuring legitimate recipients receive their benefits.” Fraud investigations are ongoing in California as well as the other states with which Bank of America has similar contracts. As for the legal ramifications, this resolution will be up to the court’s discretion as the proposed class action proceeds.


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