As if legit prepaid debit cards weren’t rigged with enough booby traps as it is, Richmond, Va. consumers have sounded the alarm over an influx of fraudulent card offers turning up in mailboxes, NBC News 12 reports. The offers are usually addressed to fictitious names and are fashioned as products from well-known financial products like Turbo Tax, Western Union and even celeb-backed cards like the Rush Card.
But just call the 800 number listed in the letters and you could find yourself a few steps away from identity theft.
When resident Bob Beukema called to have the incessant mailings stopped, he told NBC the agent who answered wanted one thing first: his Social Security Number.
If you’ve received prepaid debit card offers you think are fraudulent, the Better Business Bureau advises consumers to rip them up and not even bother calling.
“If the first thing they’re going to ask when you haven’t even given them your name is asking for your Social Security number, they’re going for the kill right there,” the BBB’s Tom Gallagher told NBC. “These folks are professionals. They can go in, find out what you got, where you have that information and they’ll be able to strip your account.”
Prepaid debit cards can be a handy tool for consumers looking to watch their budget, but they’re loaded with fees that can add up to hundreds of dollars over the course of a year.
If you’re in the market, try NerdWallet’s prepaid debit card comparison tool online to find the right fit.
Contact the FTC if you’ve received fraudulent offers in the mail or by phone or email: 1-877-438-4338 or www.ftc.gov. Better Business Bureau: 804-648-0016.