Investigate unsolicited cards in the mail before tossing them

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Tim Wright found a prepaid debit card offer in his mailbox but says he knew he hadn't applied for any new cards. (Source: CBS 5) Tim Wright found a prepaid debit card offer in his mailbox but says he knew he hadn't applied for any new cards. (Source: CBS 5)
Wright says NetSpend also told him they initially flagged the card because it was opened in Georgia but mailed to Arizona. (Source: CBS 5) Wright says NetSpend also told him they initially flagged the card because it was opened in Georgia but mailed to Arizona. (Source: CBS 5)
NetSpend told CBS 5 News that, in some cases, they do send prepaid cards out unsolicited, but that wasn't the case with Wright where fraud was involved. (Source: CBS 5) NetSpend told CBS 5 News that, in some cases, they do send prepaid cards out unsolicited, but that wasn't the case with Wright where fraud was involved. (Source: CBS 5)
GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

A Glendale man says he's concerned about identify theft after getting an odd card offer in the mail that he initially thought he should just toss in the trash.

Most card offers you get in the mail require you to take some action to activate the card so many times just cutting it up and throwing it out is fine. But other times that card may have been opened by an identity thief and you'll only know if you investigate.

A couple weeks ago, Tim Wright found a prepaid debit card offer in his mailbox. It was from a company called NetSpend. Wright says he knew he hadn't applied for any new cards.

"I had two concerns, one, did someone order this in my name, or is this just a marketing stunt on their part trying to get people to sign up," Wright said.

Wright thought he better check it out. He says he called NetSpend and a rep told him it was strictly a marketing promotion. Wright wasn't satisfied so he wrote to NetSpend's legal team asking, "Did anyone request this card or did you send it out unrequested?"

"And his response, very clearly, was, yes, somebody requested the card, that somebody initiated the account in Smyrna Georgia by putting $10 on the card," Wright said.

Wright says NetSpend also told him they initially flagged the card because it was opened in Georgia but mailed to Arizona.

"You were concerned that this was fraud when this account was opened on Sept. 28, but you never notified me and you sent the card out," Wright said.

Companies should contact any person they think is being defrauded but they don't always do. Wright did right. He didn't assume harmless marketing, he assumed someone had applied for the card in his name.

"If you get something in the mail that you didn't request, look into it very closely and find out where it came from," Wright said.

NetSpend told CBS 5 News that, in some cases, they do send prepaid cards out unsolicited, but that wasn't the case with Wright where fraud was involved. NetSpend says once they suspected fraud, they restricted the use of the card pending further verification but still mailed it out because the crook in Georgia had most of Wright's pertinent personal information. The card has now been closed.

Again, thinking an unrequested prepaid card in the mail is just a promotional offer is a bad assumption that could get you in trouble. Investigate and have it closed, don't just toss it.

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