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Check Your Junk mail

July 17th, 2007 at 10:03 pm

Just last week my wife was going through the mail and noticed an envelope from Bank of America. We have a couple of accounts with them so she opened it up. To her surprise, inside she found a new credit card. The reason that she was surprised is that we do not have a credit card account with Bank of America.

She called to complain and was told by a condescending service agent that she must have applied for the card. No one should be treated like an idiot. But especially my wife. She's been a CPA for 25 years and I suspect that she's more knowledgeable than the service agent!

She asked for someone in a supervisory position. That person, too, insisted that she must have applied for the card even
though she explained that she would remember and did not complete any application.

Finally, she remembered that she had used the drive-through at the bank a few weeks earlier to make a deposit. The teller mentioned that she qualified for a special card, but my wife responded that she did not want the card. Although there's no way to know for sure, it would appear that the teller hit the "yes" instead of the "no" button on her screen. Instant credit card application!

Why is this worth your time? (outside of the fact that I feel better for telling it?) Opening a new credit account would
probably reduce our credit score. Not by much, but we shouldn't be penalized for something that we didn't request or want.

Second, it's a good thing that she didn't toss the mail unopened as junk. I'd hate to think of what could have happened if the wrong person got their hands on the unsigned card. Also, I don't like the thought that we'll probably need to be more careful sorting the junk mail in the future. Like we don't waste enough time doing that already.

Third, I guess we'll all have to be very careful with our conversations with banks. An off-handed reply and you could be signing up for a credit card without even knowing it.

Once again, I guess the bottom line is that you really have to watch out for yourself financially. To do otherwise is to take unnecessary chances.

5 Responses to “Check Your Junk mail”

  1. boomeyers Says:

    Hey Gary! Glad to see you on the blogs!

    Wow, it is scary that a credit card could be issued so easily! One would think you would at least need to SIGN something! Good thing she checked the mail! I often just run my hands down the envelope and feel for a CC in an envelope. You never know when the bank will send a new ATM card or something.

  2. Carolina Bound Says:

    Wow! I get a lot of solicitations, but never a card sent outright. Good warning.

  3. fern Says:

    Lesson noted!

  4. scfr Says:

    Thanks for a good cautionary tale.

  5. katwoman Says:

    This calls for a complaint to the FTC and your local congressman/senators.

    Don't laugh folks. This morning I was watching Bernacke take questions from members of congress and even they were asking him about credit card issues. They are finally getting it!

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