The Credit Card I Never Asked For

A scam from Netspend.

Today, I received a credit card in the mail. Trouble is, I never asked for the credit card. I have enough credit cards and I certainly don’t want another one.

NetspendIt was a Small Business prepaid MasterCard from Netspend, a company I had never heard of. The accompanying paperwork told me about the related fees for use but not much else.

I called the number on the card to ask what it was all about. I was prompted for a card number, my social security number — which I, of course, did not enter — and my date of birth — which I purposely entered incorrectly. I was then prompted to agree with terms of service by pressing 1. There was no person. Just a machine taking down whatever I entered.

I tried pressing 0 and various keys. The system eventually hung up on me.

I tried calling another number on the Netspend website. It threw me into the same automated queue.

I tried again, this time using the option that the card had been lost or stolen. A prompt warned me that that option was only for lost or stolen cards. I stuck with it. When prompted for my social security number again, I entered all zeros.

Eventually I got a real person on the phone. I asked her what the card was all about and she told me I’d accepted a mail offer. I told her I hadn’t and that I wouldn’t have. I told her I didn’t want the card and that I wanted it all record of it removed from my name, including from my credit report. She apologized for the “inconvenience.” I told her that it wasn’t an inconvenience. It was an invasion of my privacy. I told her that if I saw the card on my credit report when I checked it next month, Netspend would hear from my lawyer.

And then I hung up on her before she could do any more explaining or apologizing.

Is this a scam? Sure seems like it to me. Hand out a credit card, use a toll-free number to gather social security number and date of birth information. Even if it is legit, it’s an unwanted hit to a person’s credit report, possibly damaging to a credit score. And what if someone had intercepted it on its way to my mailbox? Would I be on the hook for someone else’s transactions?

Is this an indication that I’m an identity theft victim? Should I be calling the credit services now? Are there other cards with my name on them in the hands of other people?

Or am I just being paranoid?

These days, you never know — until it’s too late.

7 thoughts on “The Credit Card I Never Asked For

  1. No LEGITIMATE credit card company would ask you for your social security number, birthdate, etc. to verify the card. That’s definitely a scam!! They’re into identity theft right there, truly!!!!

    I actually suggest contacting law enforcement about this one, seriously. The sooner the better, too. Agh!!

    So glad you’re smart enough not to fall for it all. I’m worried about whoever else they’ve sent these cards to …. scary stuff!!!

    • You’re right — I should have reported it. But I’ve since shredded the card and all the paperwork that came with it. With luck, other folks doing their homework will find this blog post. I’ve had a lot of comments from folks who found my other posts about scams helpful — which is why I keep writing them.

  2. Shirley is right, this has to be a scam for cloning your ID.
    I had a spoof email purporting to come from Amazon last week. It said that my password had successfully been ‘reset’. But, if I had not initiated the request I should press a link below…
    Since I had not asked to change my password, I did press the link which immediately asked me to confirm my identity. Only when it asked for my mother’s maiden name did the penny drop that I was being ‘phished’.

    I had to go through the endless hassle of replacing my cards and warning my banks and sorting it out with the real Amazon.

    The spoof email was a very good fake, it used all the correct Amazon Prime colours but I was a mug for not noting that it came from Australia.

    • Phishing has become pretty common and everyone falls for it at least once. I admit I’ve clicked a few things I probably shouldn’t have. But I never enter any login information or personal data. And I agree: some of them look VERY real.

  3. Do you subscribe to any of the various credit monitoring services? If so, I’d check to see if any new cards or loans have been applied for or approved in your name. If not, you’re entitled to a free credit report at least once a year, so this might be the time to get one and see if there’s been new activity that wasn’t initiated by you. The time it take to check your credit record is irritating, but cheap insurance. If anything is afoot, nipping it now is better than later.

    • I highly recommend Credit Karma. They keep track, send you monthly emails, very helpful, and absolutely free. They have a great reputation, are credible, good company …

      I keep tabs all the time to stay on top of it for identity theft and credit reporting, and more. Part of the deal these days, IMO.

What do you think?