Stimulus checks loaded onto debit cards causing confusion for some

The last of the economic stimulus payments are being disbursed this week, but for millions, it won’t be a check or a direct deposit, as the federal government is sending debit cards.

However, the debit cards have led to some confusion, with some even throwing away the money.

Tami Cal recently got a letter in the mail as she was waiting for her $600 payment.

"We got it as a direct deposit last time, so it was a complete surprise," said Call.

FOX 10 has checked with the U.S. Treasury Department and found 8 million Americans received their stimulus payments by EIP (Economic Impact Payment) cards. Government officials say it was a way to get money to Americans with no direct deposit.

"I said 'why would they do that?'" said Call. "Last time we got it as a direct deposit and we didn’t even know what to do with this, and I thought 'my gosh, if my mom, who doesn’t even know how to cut and paste, gets this card, she won’t have any idea how to do this at all.'"

Officials with AARP say those are real concerns.

"There will be many cases of people throwing them away, thinking it’s a scam," said Alex Juarez with AARP Arizona.

Juarez says many seniors are targeted by scammers year-round, and might throw away the mail without even opening it.

"There’s many scams, and when people receive a card like that without knowing what it is, first thing that probably comes to mind to many of these older members of AARP or non-member is: 'is this a scam or not?'" said Juarez.

Many will still receive the EIP cards next week, but if the card has been thrown out, people can still get their money by calling the US Treasury.

"It’s going to require a little work, but it can be recovered," said Juarez.

U.S. Treasury Hotline