An estimated 108,000 New Jersey residents are getting their coronavirus-related stimulus payments through the mail in the form a prepaid debit card.

It's possible many are still waiting on theirs without realizing they've already thrown it in the trash.

Kathy Stokes, director of fraud prevention programs for AARP, wants residents to know that these cards are arriving in plain envelopes that "don't scream Economic Impact Payment" and certainly don't appear to be sent by the federal government. Also contributing to any possible confusion is a return address of "Money Network Cardholder Services," out of Omaha, Nebraska.

"You're thinking trash or you're thinking, could this be a scam?" Stokes said.

Prepaid debit cards are going out to many people — about 4 million nationwide — who've filed taxes but don't have a bank account on file with the IRS. Once activated, the card can be swiped at shops or used at an ATM for cash withdrawal.

"You'll have the Visa logo on the front of the card, and when you flip the card over, the issuing bank will be MetaBank, N.A.," Stokes said.

AARP advises residents to call 800-240-8100 to activate their cards — the process requires Social Security Number information from the caller. Don't search the web for a phone number, the group warns — scammers could have websites or similar phone numbers set up in order to take your personal information and gain access to your payment.

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