What to do if you receive a debit card you didn’t apply for? – TightFist Finance

What should you do if you get a debit card in the mail that you didn’t order?

call your bank right away if you receive a debit card you didn’t order. the bank will be able to clarify why you received the card or tell you if it is a scam.

the new debit card could be a legitimate replacement. however, it could also be the result of something much more sinister, such as a scam, a fraudulent order, or a sneaky sales scheme.

Luckily for you, I’m going to show you what to do if you receive an unsolicited debit card. I will show you different reasons why you may have gotten one. After this article, you will be able to tell if the debit card you received is legit or a scam.

TFF22-067 - What to do if you receive a debit card you didn

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what to do when you receive an unsolicited debit card in the mail

Most consumers are used to receiving unsolicited credit card sales pieces in the mail. credit card companies often send you what appears to be a real credit card so you apply for the real card.

but an unsolicited debit card? well, that’s different.

Debit cards are connected to your checking account. There are just a few good reasons why you should get an unsolicited debit card in the mail. however, most of the time you will only get a debit card if you apply for one.

If you receive a debit card that you did not request, take the following precautions:

  1. Do not throw the debit card in the trash or cut it up. call your bank immediately. This is good practice if you received a debit card that you did not request. if it is legitimate, they can confirm it for you. if not, they will receive an alert that the scam or fraud has occurred and will tell you what to do next.
  2. Please refer to the accompanying documentation. Does it explain the reason for the new or replacement card?
  3. verify the sender and mailing address. make sure the card comes from your bank.
  4. check the recipient. was this card sent to you by mistake?
  5. place a fraud alert on your credit with equifax, transunion or experian. debit cards are not reported to the 3 major credit bureaus. however, a scammer may now have access to other important personal information that they can use to open lines of credit in your name.
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reasons you received a debit card you didn’t apply for

You may receive a debit card in the mail that you did not request if your banking information has been compromised, your debit card is about to expire, your bank or another company is trying to sell you a new debit card, or the debit card was sent to you in error.

1. your information was compromised

Someone may have gotten your banking information online or been able to convince someone over the phone at your bank that you need a new or replacement card. she may receive a new debit card in the mail because the thief requested one in her name.

The scammer will try to intercept this card when it arrives in your mailbox, since you never expected it in the first place. then they are free to spend their cash with the convenience of a debit card or empty their account at an ATM.

Call your bank immediately to report the activity if you suspect this is what has happened. can better protect you and your accounts.

2. your debit card is about to expire

If you receive a debit card you didn’t order, it may be a courtesy from your bank because your current debit card is about to expire.

Typically, a bank will send out a new debit card one to three months before your current card expires, but they often let you know that this process is occurring.

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You may receive an email or online banking alert that your debit card will expire soon. You will then receive another alert when a new debit card has been issued and is on its way through USPS. this way, you’ll know to take care of it.

If you receive a debit card in the mail and your current card is expiring soon, but you never received an email alert, you may have missed it. It’s always best to call your bank to verify why you received a new debit card before activating it.

3. a bank is trying to sell you something

Although marginally legal, some banks (yes, even your own bank) will send you a new debit card in the mail to sell you a new debit card product. often this new product comes with hidden fees.

for example, chase bank would have sent customers a new unsolicited debit card. According to Consumerist, an accompanying letter told the customer to activate the card immediately, an independent source of consumer news and information. They didn’t know the new debit card had a $25 annual fee attached that allowed customers to earn rewards for their purchases.

Always read the fine print.

4. the debit card is addressed to the wrong person

You may receive an unsolicited debit card in the mail simply because it was not intended for you. while this is rare, it happens if the person the card is addressed to has recently moved and hasn’t updated their mailing address. in this case, return the mail to the sender by returning it to usps.

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5. the debit card is a stimulus check

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the government issued stimulus checks to certain individuals to help boost the economy and help people cover basic expenses. but these “controls” are not always physical controls. some people got debit cards instead.

Suppose the unsolicited debit card is addressed to you and has a US Treasury bill attached to it. In that case, it’s probably a legitimate Metabank cash card, which you can use like you would a debit card. it’s not connected to your checking account, but preloaded with cash.

final thoughts

There are several reasons you may receive a debit card you didn’t order, but it’s important to recognize when the debit card is legitimate and when it’s not. If your card is expired, you don’t have to worry when you get a new card in the mail.

But if you get a new debit card for any other reason, always discuss the reason with your bank. you could be a victim of fraud.

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