netSpend: The Story of the Visa Debit Card We Did Not Apply For

By Xin Lu on 29 May 2009 587 comments

This week my husband received an unsolicited Visa debit card from a firm called netSpend. It was certainly an odd experience to receive a card that looked official instead of a pre-approved application packet. This is my story of shock, anger, and finally disgust at the practices of this financial firm. (See also: Credit Cards vs. Debit Cards: A Comprehensive Comparison)

At first, I was confused as to why my husband would open an Visa debit account without telling me. So I asked him if he applied for this card. He was bewildered and said, "No! Did my identity get stolen?" I was equally confused because the card has to have money loaded onto it to be worth anything so it would be worth nothing to identity thieves unless they managed to steal the card after we load money. Additionally, this card came to our address, and it does not make sense that an identity thief would send what they want to steal to us.

So I read the enclosed letter, and it says that some partners of netSpend recommended my husband for the Visa debit card service. The problem is that my husband did not apply for this card, so it does not make sense that a new card is now here waiting for his activation. Even if other financial firms sold his name and address to partners the most they should do would be to send a fake credit card along with an application. So I researched this company a little bit online and it seems that it has sent out cards to other people who did not apply for the card. There is also a slew of other complaints against this company regarding how it handles customers' money.

The next day I promptly called netSpend and asked them to close down this account. According to the representative, someone at netSpend thought that our household needed a Visa debit card, so they sent us one. As long as we do not activate it the account does not exist in their system. Basically, the representative was admitting that we did not apply for the card. By shoving an unwanted card onto us, netSpend pretty much lost any chance of having us a customer in the future.

In conclusion, this is probably the most distasteful customer acquisition tactic I have ever seen because it really made us feel a bit violated. Credit and debit cards are not supposed to be given out like candy and I hope netSpend realizes that. It seems that netSpend's business is basically to get people to deposit money onto its cards and then slowly wittle away peoples' money with fees. When I called their toll-free number it says that it costs 50 cents just to check your balance! So it does make sense that they want as many people to deposit cash onto their pieces of plastic as possible. However, telling people to activate cards they did not apply for is definitely not the way to go.

If you're actually looking for a good prepaid card, we have a list of the best prepaid cards.

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netSpend: The Story of the Visa Debit Card We Did Not Apply For

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Guest's picture
Paul

Hey folks. This is a no-brainer. I got one too. I didn't apply for it so that was my first red light. Therefore, I cut it into pieces and tossed the pieces into the trash. That's what all of you should have done. I would never put money onto a card I've never heard of and didn't ask for in the first place. This is just common sense.

Guest's picture
Guest

I have used Netspend since 2003. I like it for online shopping do to that if there is no money loaded on it no one else can use it. I general do not leave a lot of money on the card. I put it in the netsped savings account which can not be accessed via the card. I can have my paypal money and etsy money directly deposited to the card. I can also tranfer money to my kids who live in another state just by transferring it to thier net spend card no fee unlike wires or western union
I think where people are having trouble is when dealing with amounts over 1000.00. But my card has worked great for 10 years

Guest's picture
Guest

Why are people letting VISA or MasterCard control your money and lives? Pay cash and demand that employers pay by check.
One of these days , possibly sooner than later, you will be mad as hell you didn't listen to me.

Good luck , sheeple

Guest's picture
Laura

I just received this type of card in the mail and was confused since I didn't apply for this card. I had to research this card to determine what is going on. I don't like receiving stuff that feels like a scam and I know that others don't like it either. I cut up the card immediately after reading more about it.

Guest's picture
Guest

It's a little too late for this info...but I want to suggest a few things. NEVER OPEN A CARD YOU RECEIVED IN THE MAIL YOU HAVEN'T ORDERED. NEVER CALL THE NUMBER ON THE STICKER OF THE CARD IF IT'S DIFFERENT FROM THE NUMBER ON THE BACK OF THE CARD. NEVER ORDER A CARD ONLINE AT ANY WEBSITE WITH NETSPEND NAME, MAKE SURE IT'S THEIR OFFICIAL WEBSITE. NETSPEND IS NOT THE BAD PPL. THERE ARE OTHER COMPANIES AND OR PPL WHO ARE MAKING MONEY REFFERING CUSTOMERS TO NETSPEND AND ALSO OUR NAMES ARE ON A SOLICITATION FILE LIST IN SOME ONLINE COMPANY DATA BASE...IT COULD BE APPS YOU DOWNLOAD OR EMAIL SHOPPING YOU'VE DONE. MAKE SURE YOU DEAL WITH ONLINE SHOPPING NETWORKS THAT DON'T AND WON'T GIVE YOUR NAME AND ADDRESSES. IT IS CROOKS GIVING NETSPEND A BAD NAME AND IT'S NOTHING NETSPEND CAN DO TO RELIEVE YOU OF YOUR SITUATION. THEY ARE NOT A BANK. THEY META BANK ONLY SUPPLY ACCT NUMBERS. YOU OR WE ARE OUR OWN BANK. PROTECT YOUR IDENTITY AND MONITOR YOUR CASH. NEVER EVER PUT THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS ON A PREPAID CARD THAT HAS NO FEDERAL RESERVE BACKING. A PREPAID CARD IS ONLY A PURSE OR WALLET...NOT A BANK CHECKING OR SAVINGS ACCT.

Guest's picture
Pamela

I got this card as a gift, as they are now available for sale in grocery stores etc. My friends had loaded money to the card, but it was not activated. I was surprised I had to provide so much personal information for a gift card. Also noticed that the site where the personal information is entered says nothing about the data being encrypted when sent over the internet. Once I had reluctantly given my personal information it asked for me to mail copies of my original documents by a date. Only problem the date was in the past!!!! also noticed that it had already used about $6 of the gift, no explanations given. May be ok for people in place of a bank account, but very inconvenient to use as a gift card. Also, please be cautious in sending your private information via this site, it does not seem to be designed properly, and the issue with the past date showing up means its code was not tested properly either!

Guest's picture
Guest

A netspend card cannot be issued without a valid government ID number attached to it. Drivers license, passport, and a valid authenticated social security number. Whatever was sent to you was not an actual card, and you would have had to give your drivers license number, AND/OR confirm your home address to in fact apply for the real deal. Netspend is an agent of a bank, previously Inter National Bank of McCallen Texas, and now Bancshare Corp. and must follow US government rules.

Guest's picture
Guest

All I can say is "Wow"! First, to those of you complaining about NetSpend, or companies acting in a similar fashion, please- PLEASE educate yourselves on matters of this nature. Let me explain. First, your name (yes, your entire name) is pretty much considered public information. Dont think so- then on your next vacation, see how many homes have names on mailboxes, or on signs above doorways (Smiths Home...), etc- enough to make a point, right? Second, addresses are viewable by the thousands in phonebooks around the world. Heck, sitting here at my PC opens up a world of "public information" (names, addresses, phone numbers, property value, blah, blah, blah) that can be used for less than honorable behavior. Now, having said that, here is the other side of the scenario. DONT share your account information- ANY account (checking, savings, credit card, retirement, investments, etc). DONT share your Social Security Number (ya, this one is a biggie). I could go on for some time, but the point is that although NetSpend may be seeking new clients in a very strange and unprofessional way, the end result lies with you- the consumer. If your worried about the events that COULD unfold if you toss a few dollars on that card- SHRED IT! Save the stress for all the other concerns life has lined up for us. Hope this was helpful, and have a great day.

Guest's picture
Guest

I have a netSpend account and I'm about ready to cancel it. Everytime I buy something using my card, they charge me a fee for using it. I think that's ridiculous.

Guest's picture
Guest

Yup, I got an email saying that they are sending me one. I haven't got it yet, but I did find the Facebook page for NetSpend scam and I alerted Visa about a potential scam. How did they get my email and mailing addresses?

Guest's picture
Van

My lil bro also received a NetSpend MasterCard in the mail and I found it weird because he is only 13 years old. Thanks for your story

Guest's picture
Dodged a bullet

Supposedly in a few days I will recieve my Net spend card in the mail!!! HUH? Wtf???? So I am doing my research. It's not going to happen. I am aware of my credit and I don't qualify for anything lol. I, surely did not ask for this card. Upon, receiving this money trapit will be destroyed. Always try to be realistic about your money and things offered and shoved down your throat attempts. Just say NO!!! DODGED A BULLET 2013 PAYSON, ARIZONA

Guest's picture
Guest

I am glad i read this article. i received exactly the same card and went straight on line to search 'why did i receive netspend card'. it did look suspicious that card looks real and I know for sure that i didn't apply for any. thanks for sharing, and mine definitely will be cut in pieces and end up in garbage.

Guest's picture
Guest

Wow, Americans are quite ignorant. First of all, good for Netspend. Second of all, you can't activate a Netspend >prepaid debit card< in someone else's name because they us the bloody identity verification system which prevents using a different name than the one on your SSN card. It's only advertising, it's what you Americans voted for in 1776; a republic and capitalism lol.

Guest's picture
Guest

Something is very fishy because with the "Patriot Act" and the government's concern about money-laundering, issuing a credit or debit card has to be verified with the person's social security number, DOB, etc. Don't know about these "partners"; however, the credit bureaus DO sell/rent/share information unless one specifically opts out.

Guest's picture
Guest

YES! Not only did I receive one with my name on it BUT it came to my In-laws House. Where I've NEVER lived or ever had it listed anywhere at any time in my time with my husband. I am very concerned about this. How did they get my name with my in-laws address??? I have NOT applied for anything in 6 years maybe longer NOT even for cable or phone or anything...I'm disable and I have what I need for 6 years ago. So, I need nothing.No need to apply for anything. I do not receive medicare or medicaid my husband takes care of me. How can this happen??? MY name, Their address
Sadly they have people making false Good reviews, over 1000.. of course its A fake site but i saw that site before seeing this one..this one I almost missed

Guest's picture
Aja

I am so glad I found this article. I applied for Care Credit to help me pay off vet bills about a week ago, and I received a netSpend card in the mail today. It looked different than the typical Care Credit card, but I didn't pay much mind to it. I was about to register the card, and then I Google searched "received unwanted netSpend card" which directed me to this article. Thanks so much for the info!!!

Guest's picture
Guest

This is interesting because today I received an alert asking me to contact NetSpend regarding a prepaid card. I did not apply for such a card and when I called the numb, i was asked to enter my 16 digit card number. Needless to say- they need to find another sucker

Guest's picture
leslie

I had a netspend card & there was no problem for awhile. Then I had a charge for $2.00 I didn't authorize so I called to ask what it was. They told me it was possible fraud. They froze my card & I couldn't use it. At that time it had around $40 on it. They told me in order tounfreeze the card I needed to fax my drivers license and social security card to a fax number. No way I was doing that. So I just let the $40 go. Now I get a new card I didn't apply for & when I called to inquire. And also btw what about my $40? They said my old card had a zero balance. So apparently they took my $40 due to "fraud" that didn't exist. They do make money from fees, but I think they make more from freezing accts.

Guest's picture
Guest

I receive credit card offers from lots of different cards / debit cards/ etc. from all of the reputable companies on a weekly basis, so this seems a little strange. I just rip them/ cut them up and dispose of them. I think this is an overreaction to something that I feel is normal for consumers who have good credit scores.

Guest's picture
Guest

My question is how do they know my name!? I never applied for this & then I get a card outta the blue? Im glad I didn't activate it! I thought it was something from my new job!

Guest's picture
Guest

I just received an email stating that if I didn't update my information, my account would be deactivated! Of course, I don't have an account. This is a disgusting way to advertise. They sure won't ever get any of my business!
Thanks for sharing your story.

Guest's picture
Guest

I came across your article researching the very same scenario. I received an uninvited VISA debit card from NetSpend. I can't believe it's 3 years later and this continues to occur.

What's worse is that it came with a privacy notice and they share my data. So I am now forced to speak with them about opting out of said sharing and ensuring i do not have (nor have I ever had) an account with them. And requesting my data be never used again by their corporation.

Unbelievable!!!

Guest's picture
Joey B.

I received one of their debit cards by mail. I also am not using this card. I didn't apply for it. Its just to many scams and I dont just trust anyone with my hard earned money.

Guest's picture
Allie

So glad I researched this NetSpend company and found your article. I am expecting my financial aid refund to show up this month- what if I had activated this card thinking that was it? Because I have heard of my school putting funds on cards, but not of my school also issuing funds on prepaid debit cards. Could have ended badly... so glad it didn't.. I just now saw the e-mail from NetSpend saying my card is on its way in a plain white envelope. I also thought someone used my information to get a debit card.. ugh.. thanks again!

Guest's picture
Guest

My husband just received an "unapplied for" debit visa in the mail from Green.dot - We were very concerned about identity theft - when he tried to contact Green.dot he was unable to get through to a live person without entering in the account number (which he did not want to do in case it activated the account) or entering in his social security number (right!)
We are definitely going to report them. I thought companies were not allowed to give out information like social security numbers!

Guest's picture
Jeff Gillespie

Tonight we discovered two of these cards in my 14 year old son's wallet - a netspend card and an "achievecard VISA".... both prepaid debit cards. he had signed the back of them. He has NO CLUE about credit cards or how to handle money. It's possible that he HAS activated these. He has discussed none of this with his parents. We have not seen these cards come through the mail. They both have his name printed on them. I don't care HOW legitimate these companies are. When they prey on teenagers who are clueless, that makes the companies 100% illegitimate.

Guest's picture
Concerned Mama

I know people who have and love their NetSpend cards, but no one is questioning the service they provide here. We are addressing a marketing technique that introduces an unnecessary risk for unwilling consumers. My 12 year old received a NetSpend prepaid MasterCard Debit card with her name embossed on it. The card just needed to be activated. This presents two risks I am not comfortable with: 1. If some one manages to gain access to enough identifying information about my daughter they can use they can activate the card and use it for misconduct such as money laundering, etc 2. My daughter, who knows her own identifying information, could open a financial account unbeknownst to me and not fully understanding the terms and conditions. Why can't NetSpend just send out invitations to apply, why do they feel the need to send out actual cards to consumers who did not request them. Given the positive comments here, the company obviously provides a necessary service and has customers willing to promote them. Why not use that for the foundation of some more responsible marketing techniques.

Guest's picture
Guest

I was just sent one of these in the mail yesterday. It was a mastercard debit card, which I never applied for. Glad I didn't activate it.

Guest's picture
Guest

I just received an email from NetSpend saying that the card I just ordered had been sent, but I'd never even heard of them until that point which is when I started doing research and came across this article.

Did anyone else receive an email like this? Saying that you ordered a NetSpend card when you didn't?

Guest's picture
Guest

I received one of these prepaid cards from GreenDot. I never applied for the card it just showed up in the mail. I tried to call them and was not able to get a hold of a person to find out if this was a solicitation or fraud.

Bottom line, they need to stop sending these things out. Nowhere on the card does it say that this is a solicitation. It's sent out as if I had actually ordered the prepaid card. I wasted an hour figuring this thing out...

Guest's picture
Kirk

My wife got the same thing, really weird and random.

Guest's picture
Guest

I just received a card today. I was like, "what? Why did I get sent a card?" the paper said just in time for your tax refund to be deposited onto your New pre paid debit card. But thanks for the info.

Guest's picture
Guest

NEWSFLASH::: If you have enough money to put on a NetSpend card, YOU HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO OPEN A CHECKING ACCOUNT!!! If you are using NetSpend as direct deposit, you can do the same with a Checking Account at any bank!! Also, depending on the bank, there is NO CHARGE for using their debit card, unless it's at an ATM, they don't use. In other words, DEPOSIT YOUR MONEY INTO A BANK. Use the bank's Debit Card and keep track of your money that way. Also, you can open a savings account and put some of you money aside for a rainy day.

Guest's picture
Guest

Thanks for this post. I was worried my identity was stolen. Now I realize it's just typical BS for people who cannot manage their money. I've cut the thing into little pieces.

Guest's picture
WRL

I got one of these unsolicited cards in the mail, reported it, and destroyed it.

Many of the comments here ask what's the harm in getting a debit card you didn't ask for. The harm comes when you use something you didn't want for money transactions with a company with questionable marketing practices.

Even greater harm can come when you contact them with a question or problem. If you use your Social Security number to identify yourself, you've just set yourself up to have your identity stolen.

Guest's picture
Anne

Absolutely a scam. Don't call to activate it, shred it. If you put money in the account, they'll take it out as they also have a card, account number and routing number.

Guest's picture
Guest

Yes, I have been with Netspend for 2 yrs., I have not had any terrible experience so far with my card. It came to me in the mail also, and a coworker had an account before me. I also referred it to a close friend, and we all enjoy our Netspend accounts, we receive or tax refund and paychecks before anyone else.There is no need to panic, when they send you the card long as you don't activate it, you are not obligated to use their services. With any debit/credit card, there will always be people who will be unsatisfied, and what they are unsatisfied about could be something easy to fix, but instead they get on the internet and complain instead of first trying to fix the issue. I am not one of those people, I have had excellent customer service, and no bad experiences with Netspend as of date.

Guest's picture
Guest

Never received a netspend card, but I get emails in someone else's name about the card all the time. Today's was about a pin # change. When I call the 800 number listed in the email, it asks me to input a card number or my social...as if that's going to happen.

Guest's picture
Guest

I just received one in the mail today, and I also never applied or requested one. I appreciate that you posted your experience, so I know this isn't a fluke, or that someone else out there is signing me up for things without my permission. I agree with what you said that this is a horrible tactic to try to gain business. Same with those car loan applications that I receive 4 times a week. Harassing potential customers will do nothing but ensure they will never do business with you. Sending a Visa card to someone who never requested it just makes me think that these people are creepers for using my personal information like this. It's a horrible business practice!

Guest's picture
Vernon Watson

I recently received a netspend debit card as a gift... I really am very leary of activating it... they want my social security no. I had that stolen several years ago and it took years to get that problem solved.. the social security administration told me it is illegal for anyone else to use this no. for identification... they told me that if anyone insist that all they need is the last four numbers..net spend insist to activate it they must have it all. I would like to get the money off the card but do not know just what to do safely...

Guest's picture
Guest

I received a netspend card yesterday, to someone else's name at my home address. I've lived there for over 20 years, and I don't know the person it was addressed to. It's impossible to talk to anyone by calling the 'customer service' number, so I emailed them and they called me. They said not to worry and to destroy the card. They would not say whether someone had requested the card. It really has me worried, and I can't figure it out.

Guest's picture
Drew

Yeah, this just happened to me, too. I have been struggling with getting out of credit card debt. I have 3 debit cards that I use regularly, and I need another one? Unreal. I am so fed up with the mindset of financial slavery that our country is riddled with. It's hilarious that our schools leave out the most important lesson that our kids could possibly need, financial responsibility and debt avoidance. This could solve a ton of problems that we are facing now. Thanks for posting this story.

Guest's picture
Guest

Ok...so I have read the story and many of the replies...what boggles my mind is the fact that anyone here thinks that a PRE-PAID DEBIT card is going to cause your identity to be stolen. Your SSN is not connected to it...they send it to people who have applied for loans, bank accounts, credit cards, financial assistance through college or a hospital..It is a PRE-PAID card...its just like going to Walmart and buying any of the visa or mastercard gift cards their...ya some times this company messes up. But they arent stealing your identity...

Guest's picture
Guest

I received the same debit card from Netspend today that you were talking about. Even funnier it was addressed to my dog. Yes, that's what I said, my dog. While my two year old Australian cattle dog would love to go on a spending spree at PetsMart, it lets me know they do no research on the individual before sending out that card. She is not employed and does not have a checking account or social security number. If anything, it was good for a laugh when I got the mail today.

Guest's picture
Guest

I got this card in the mail never applied for it. Dont want to ruin my good credit but the only number offered for help was to activate it & give my social security number. I never called to activate it but I would like to know how this company got my name & address. Western union debt card sounds legit but the fine print says they have high fees for something I never applied for. Be careful of scams.

Guest's picture
Guest

I too did get this net spend debit card and did not apply for one as you said true do not activate this card. Thanks for your information. This is a scam.

Guest's picture
Linda

Hello,,, My comment on receiving unsolicited credit cards is brief. Back in the 70's, 80's, and I think even the early 90's, I cannot tell you how many actual credit cards would show up in our mail box. The whole gambit came from store cards to gas cards and the 2 big ones. All you had to do was sign them and use them to activate. Also call the company to see what your credit limit was, unless it was mentioned on the letter the card was attached to. It was also very obvious what was inside your envelope. They started out calling them "Bank Cards". Prior to that I think in so many ways, the credit system for consumers was so much better. Most things were paid by cash, lay-a-way (even kids could do) or store credit departments, such as stores like Sears, Penny's, Montgomery Wards, and most furniture, appliance, electronics, and auto shops did themselves. You would either go into the credit departments (counters) or mail your monthly payments in. People managed their money 100% better in those days and knew exactly what they owed and how they spent their money. I wish I could say financial progress with the times has gotten better, but plastic makes it incredibly easy for so many younger people to start out and stay in a financial mess. Many, many progressive things in our world has my deep admiration such as medicine, many foods, varieties of almost everything including electronics.. But I have to say, except for medical advances I must admit, I would go back to the lifestyle pre-70's in a fast minute if I could turn back the clock..

Guest's picture
Guest

THIS CARD IS HORRIBLE......I purchased a netspend debit visa yesterday from local Fred's I wanted to pay a bill online without using my own debit or credit card. This had to be my worse mistake which made me feel horrible all day. First I called to activate and the gentlemen which not one I spoke with which I spoke with three spoke any English which made it ten times difficult to understand. He asked for my date of birth, address, social security, and name. I IMMEDIATELY said NO! I don't give this information out like that which is why their is so much Identity Theft anyways he said well if you don't give information then I will have to set you as limitless which I couldn't do anything BUT go inside the store....and I told him You guys are scam artists, rip offs.....I need to pay an important bill and you tell me unless I provide my most prised, personal information then I can't do what I want with the money I loaded onto the card.....NO! SO, he set st limitless I called back and and I was going to bite the bullet and trust the people then the gentlemen I spoke to this time tell me NO YOU CANT CHANGE YOIR MIND IN OTHER WORDS...its set at limitless and I can't change...I said sir I have an important bill to pay I need this money....Well we can't change it so I asked to speak to a supervisor floor manager what ever on hold a long period of time got hung up on.....call back spoke with a lady she said the same thing the second person said these people are coached and train on what they need to tell people....finally spoke to someone that was suppose to handle my problem and THEY DIDNT......LISTEN DO NOT GET THIS CARD..... FREDS, VISA, WALMART whoever carry this name NETSPEND card needs to pull away from them I will contact every chain that sells this card....and if you've been got by NETSPEND contact everyone you can so it doesn't happen to anyone else.....Netspend left a bad taste I'm my mouth and this taste I want out.......HORRIBLE BUSINESS and I don't see why VISA or someone else isn't looking into their practice....

Guest's picture
John559

They sent me one today and I read the fine print, directly under the card, that states to opt-out and get off the mailing list call 1-866-753-6409. (select option one)

What worries me is who sold them my information for this bull&%$# and who else is going to get my information? I'm pretty sure all of the positive comments on here regarding this company are fake (pretty obvious) and there really should be a law where they will have to let you know how they got your information.

Guest's picture
Guest

Thank you for this!! I received this card in the mail today and I was so confused. I thought my information got hacked.

Guest's picture
User

I got one of these damned cards in the mail today too, only it's a MasterCard. I tried to call them to ask why I got it when I didn't apply for it, and they wanted me to input the 16-digit card number first! Not on your tintype, Mister! I'm glad I found this page; now I know it's some sort of scam. I sent them an e-mail, but I doubt that I will get an answer. So I guess as long as I don't activate it, I should be OK, but I wish I knew how to report them. It sounds like their practices are deceptive. I tried to find something out about them at Snopes.com, but there is nothing there.

Guest's picture
Bruno

I just received a net spend card in the mail in my deceased mother's name ( who has been dead for the past eleven years ). I couldn't even reach a live person to ask questions, all I was able to do was cancel the card and remove her from the mailing list. What leaches!!!

Guest's picture
Caroline

Yes, I just received a debit card today from Netspend that I did not apply for. Thankfully, I decided to research this company before activating it, because I was actually considering doing so! I came across your article, and I am very thankful to you for writing it. I am cutting this card up and throwing it directly into the trash!

Guest's picture
Melanie

I just got one in the mail and was freaking out, so glad your article was the first to pop up!

Guest's picture
Guest

The retail business is very desperate - nothing like throwing lures to the poor.

Guest's picture
Ross

I live in AUSTRALIA and was invited to get a Debit card from NetSpend and to apply for a scholarship with NetSpend Foundation.

I don't know where they got their mailing list!

Guest's picture
Kevin F

The same thing JUST happened to me !!! It was insane. I called Netspend and they told me the same thing. A partner that I do business with, shared my details with them and they sent the prepaid card. I told them I did not apply for it and did not give permission for anyone to do this. They put the blame on the partner company. So when I asked who the partner was, first she told me she has no way to tell me who the partner was and then I asked to speak to her supervisor, was put on hold for 40 minutes and then he said they are not allowed to tell me who the partner is. But they're allowed to send me a freakin card I did not apply for ?!?!? WTF.

I told them to remove me from their system, cancel the card and I don't EVER want something like this to happen again. Got Both their names and filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.

Guest's picture
Guest

Funny thing is that we received one under our 12 year olds name

Guest's picture
Ann

I have poor credit due to a divorce and Netspend has been wonderful for me! I get my payroll check 3 days early! I am charged a $5 monthly service charge but I do not have to pay a fee everytime I use my card or check my balance. I have the Premier card and I am very satisfied!

Guest's picture
Cuppajoe

BBVA did the same thing to me. I've also gotten one from another company that the name escapes me right now. I demanded they close the account and they acted like I asked them to explain in vivid detail the creation of the universe. I think this I an appalling tactic in getting customers. I mean really, who gets one if these and says "wow a free debit card I gotta put money into to work and I didn't even ask for it! Thank you Lord!"

Guest's picture
Guest

I am so glad I found this piece. I just received one of these cards in the mail and I've been going crazy trying to figure out what was going on. I called but the only way to get passed the voice prompts is with an active account. I sent off emails and was searching the internet for what to do when I came across this. This type of practice should not be allowed. Had the wrong person opened that letter, they could have activated the card, put money on it, and purchased whatever in my name. How can they be so irresponsible?

Guest's picture
VyButeyn

Feel so great to read your article. I just got this card in my mail. My husband and I were freaking out too. I was nervous and thought that somebody use my identity. I'm going to shred this. Thanks again!!

Guest's picture
Guest

I used to be a netspend customer. The reason you got that card wasn't entirely the firm. The firm offers it's current customers a $20 reward for getting people to.sign up. Someone you know.may have one and all they have to do is.put your name and address on a piece of paper, and nestled sends you a card once you load $20 or more onto this card, the person who referred you gets a free $20 added to their netspend account

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GC

My daughter just got one of these "Debit MasterCard" netSpend cards in the mail today. I have REAL DISDAIN for netSpend and/or any company that sends out cards in this manner. Hopefully, most people will not fall for this. They are basically just attempting to steal people's money through all types of fees. My daughter's reply to netSpend is "NO THANKS!"

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Guest

I got one of these cards too, from netSpend but it's a MasterCard, not VISA. It's been tossed in the junk drawer for I don't know how long now, ran across it looking for something else.

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davidc

My 12 year old son received this card which was mailed to HIS SCHOOL. Thankfully I have a child that was smart enough to bring card home. The idiocy of the school giving him the mailing aside, no legitimate company would operate in this manner.

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MB

I received a NetSpend card pre-loaded with $100 from my coworkers; I believe they thought it was a gift card that I could use anywhere like a VISA gift card but it is definitely not like that. When I tried to access the funds, I had to create a bank account through their service. Thank goodness I didn't try to use it! The fees are ENORMOUS and I almost definitely would have been hit with a transaction fee + overdraft fee. Such a scam - especially because they are marketed in grocery stores exactly like pre-paid VISA cards or other giftcards.

Anyway, this is how I avoided being hit with any fees, and still got my $100 (which was pre-loaded on the card). I activated/created the NetSpend account (ugh) then from my PayPal account, I linked the two via "Add a Bank." The NetSpend FAQ states that transfers from PayPal into the NetSpend account are free - but conveniently don't say anything about the opposite direction. Legally, the transactions between "banks" have to work both ways, free of charge. So after "Adding a Bank" on my PayPal account and verifying the small deposits (about 2-3 business days), I requested a bank transfer (using PayPal) from my NetSpend to my PayPal account. Request was completed in about 3 more business days. After the transfer was complete and my NetSpend balance was 0, I then called NetSpend to close my account.

TLDR; Free transfers between NetSpend and PayPal work both ways. Link accounts, transfer $ into PayPal, close NetSpend.

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Guest

NetSpend was associated with TurboTax and when doing your taxes (if you used TurboTax or another program to do your taxes) it was listed at the end of doing your online taxes if you wanted your return to be sent via check, deposited to a bank account or money be put on a debit card, these were my three options, I first picked the debit card as I knew I would not be getting a return, filled out my info for the card, then did not finish my taxes, I later went back to finish them and chose a different method of direct deposit - although I was not getting a return back and did not opt for the debit card option at the end....I still recieved the debit card that is a VISA card that looks like a credit card but indeed is a debit card/prepaid card.

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Amber

So I'm 17 years old and my dad handed me this envelope in the mail and he was super confused as to what is was. I told him I had no idea what is was for or who it was from. After reading this article it makes a lot more sense now. So on that note, thank you! Why would a 17 year old need a pre-paid debit card from some random company?? I was super scared, I was already being hacked on my phone so I thought something else was happening and it freaked me out even more. But thanks to this article it makes so much more sense and I will be shredding everything that was in the envelope including the envelope.

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Chris

I received my NetSpend card in the mail about a week ago. I've been waiting on at least two mail in rebates to come from online purchased I've made recently so I originally was excited that my $50 rebate came so fast. You can understand my disappointment and then confusion after activating this card and realizing it was not the mail in rebate card I was looking for. This is really a weird way to market to people. I will be cancelling this card immediately. I feel as though I was tricked into activating this card. I do not need another debit card in addition to my credit union's debit card. I mean really, who needs more cards? Especially one where you have to load money onto it. That just seems like a hassle.

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Guest

Just got a card from them with my name on it too. I've recently been a victim of identity theft and had to freeze my credit through the agencies so when I got this I was caught off guard. Maybe they got my info from our recent move, but I will be reporting it.

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Andrew R.

I just want to make sure people who come here to get help actually gets it. Call 866-930-9924 to get a Netspend customer service representative. They'll ask for info, so give them only the card number of the card that you received. Tell them to never send you any more cards, and confirm your name and address. They'll actually have your name and address once you provide them the card number. Now, this is important. Reiterate to them that you will NEVER receive another card again (if that is what you wish). Done.

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Guest

I just received a Netspend card the other day. My mom thinks there's no big deal, it's a prepaid card. It's my choice to activate it or not. You act like someone broke into your home. They didn't. It's a prepaid debit card, you can use it, or not. Me, I'm probably gonna add money to mine. I also have a bank account if something goes wrong.

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Guest

My 14 year old daughter was sent a credit card also. I have no idea why and I was so confused when the card came in the mail.

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Jason

I thought this was an account card for my HSA benefits but knowing the web affiliate marketing game I realized what has happened.

First of all the card is useless unless it is activated.

Ok the game. Affiliate marketers of Netspend get commissions and residuals to sell cards. The probably get a small fee for the lead and then a small residual on transaction fees.

So what happened to me is I was looking for an auto loan online and filled out an application I am 100% sure that website passes my information to Netspend so they can create a prepaid card account for me where they would get credit for a lead sale if I activate the card and actually use it.

Just do not activate the card and make sure you cut it up. Yes it's a bunch of crap that some affiliate uses customer information to sign people up for accounts like this but hey in all honesty companies and places of employment do the same thing instead of paper check writing because they say it saves paper and is good for the environment but they are actually an affiliate making residual income.

Again some tax preparers do it as well.

Bottom line is that I am going to find that website were I filled out an auto loan application and complain that's all I can do now. Next time I will be more careful.

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Guest

I have never heard of this company and did not apply for a Debit card so it went strait to the shredder...I did not know who they were and certainly would not send my direct deposit info to them???

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Michelle

I just got the same card from them in the mail saying it can be use for financial aid ect. Witch i thought was odd because i need financial aid for college? So what you intiled is they are a fraud? I havent actived it, but they dont have any access to any of my accounts ? Correct?

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Guest

After thoroughly reading all of these reviews I shredded that card. I had to stop and think when I opened up the after envelope. Did I order this card ? But then I realized I haven't even applied for any card. It really bothered me that it at had my name and address. I'm reporting this as well !

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Vharley

Happened to me too.. sooo angry with them!!! Their phone number dont even work -.-
I want to tell them off ......

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Guest

I too received what I consider to be a fraudulent card from at best a very shady company (NetSpend) and at worst outright fraud. I've filed a complaint against them with the BBB and would love to see this shady practice shut down. Such utter crap preying on people who might think this is somehow a valuable service.

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Abhishek

Just got one today and landed here.. :)

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Guest

Wow! I was one of these people as well, they sent me one without ever requesting it, so as long as I shred it and don't activate it, I'll be fine? Sorry if it's a basic question but I'm still new to this.

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Guest

Stay away from Netspend. This unscrupulous company mined my 11 year-old child's name from some list and sent a card in her name even though you need to be 18 to use the card! This is a seedy high interest, hidden fees company. I will be filing a complaint against these clowns.

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Guest

Ask your credit union for a credit card backed by a collateral account. While it ties up some cash (usually a few hundred dollars, if you can spare it), it will help to establish credit. This is important for some of us who are trying to re-emerge financially after the economic mess we've been trudging through for the last 2 decades.

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Alan

To be so incensed about this perceived wrong is just ludicrous. All it took is Netspend knowing your name and address. To actually activate, you have to go online and provide more information. Get a life writer... if there ever was a first world problem, this would be it!

I love wisebread in general, but the drama over such a small thing is completely ridiculous.

And as for Netspend in general, they do charge some ridiculous fees, but it is easy to avoid most of them. The one or two you can't avoid (primarily the monthly fee), is/are completely reasonable given they provide a valuable service to those who can't get bank accounts or who regularly overdraft their account, or want to be able to create temporary virtual cards for secure online shopping, or who want an amazing savings account rate.

Please, focus on the important things, not this type of unnecessary drama... much ado about almost nothing.

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Guest

Just received a card today under my maiden name which I haven't used for just under 10 years. Very unnerving and I am not happy about this. All of you people saying this isn't a big deal are crazy, WE DID NOT APPY, they have no business sending us anything. It's going straight to the shredder and a letter is going to the FR!

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Ticked Off

I just received an email letting me know that a NetSpend card was on its way. I do already have a pre-paid Bluebird card, and thought for a brief moment that in a drunken haze maybe I ordered such a card as a backup but no. This was the first result when I Googled unsolicited NetSpend cards.

I hate the idea of someone just giving out my address like that, but I often switch up my name/address by a single digit or number in order to figure out which company released by information to a third party so I can get to the bottom of that. Does this tactic actually work? Seems slimy. When I went with Bluebird, I did my research and that card seemed to be the best for my needs (yes I'm aware of the negative reviews, so far so good for me). If I wanted a NetSpend card, I would have ordered one. I will be filing a complaint.