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Why does mail from the California EDD have a Gray, Tenn. return address? | Why Guy

The Why Guy looks into why some unemployment-related mail for people in California is being sent from out of state.

SACRAMENTO, Calif — Today's Why Guy question from Siggie Stillman; "Why does the State of California EDD  have a return address in Gray, Tennessee? I got this from the 5 o'clock news story today. Please look into this. Why Tennessee?!"

If you've done unemployment business with the Employment Development Department in California, you've gotten a letter with a return post office address in Gray, Tennessee.

Gray is a small town of just 1,200 residents with a small post office that must be overloaded with California return mail these days. Gray has a Sittin' Bull restaurant and a China Luck Buffet and a full complement of fast-food eateries. There's one pharmacy, Walgreens. It's about ten miles outside of the bigger Johnson City, Tenn. 

The State of California is using Bank of America as its unemployment bank and Gray, Tenn. is where the bank's debit card services are located.

However, there are no Bank of America branches in Gray, nor any buildings we could find listed with the company's name.

But, Bank of America says it's a real thing.

"I can confirm that the Gray, TN return address is a legitimate address for the bank's card program," said Louise Hennessey, Vice President of Bank of America.

So, if you notice Gray, Tennessee on your EDD envelope, it's not a scam. It's just where your debit cards are being mailed from. 

EDD Fraud

EDD is working to stop fraudulent unemployment claims, and many people have reported getting debit cards sent to their address with other people's names.

If you receive one of these debit cards, or any suspicious mail from EDD, here is what it suggests you do:

  • "Send the mail items directly to EDD investigators through EDD PO Box 826880, MIC 43, Sacramento, CA 94280-0225.
  • Write “Return to Sender” on the envelope and provide it directly to your mail carrier instead of leaving it in the mailbox. Envelopes that may contain debit cards that have yet to be activated can also be returned to sender. The cards are sent on behalf of the Bank of America from an address in Tennessee.
  • Or at the very least, destroy the items instead of throwing them away to help us ensure they don’t fall into the wrong hands."

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