It happened in a very unusual way to a woman from the northern California town of Hayward who found an amazing delivery in her mailbox.
It was disturbing – and almost surreal.
This woman suddenly received a stack of mail containing not one or two, but 70 Chase bank credit cards, issued to 70 complete strangers, all in her credit card account. Even more troubling, it never raised any red flags when someone added 70 names to their account. Instead, the bank went ahead and issued all these fraudulent credit cards.
The pile of envelopes suddenly arrived in Tina Kumar’s mailbox.
“I’ve never heard of anything so outrageous. I’ve never seen anything so outrageous,” she said. “I was devastated when I saw the envelopes. I had no idea what was going on. And ever since then I’ve been in shock.”
What was the most shocking? Each envelope contained two Chase bank credit cards, each with a different name on the front – and its account number on the back.
“This one is Derrick White and Taylor Thompson,” Kumar said as he showed the cards to our sister station, KGO-TV.
“I was just, like, I was really dumbfounded when I saw it. It was just beyond belief,” she said.
She immediately called the number on the cards to find out what was going on, and suddenly realized that she had just activated the account!
For 70 foreigners!
“And when I heard my card was activated, I freaked out. It’s like, ‘Oh no, oh no,'” she said.
She called Chase customer service – and received more upsetting news.
“He said that on March 25 someone logged into my account and added 70 names. And I said, well, how can this happen? And, and, and how come- I wasn’t warned? Isn’t it? Kumar asked.
The bank closed the account, gave him a new card and a new login.
Luckily no one had used the cards.
“I’m sure, you know, people who were waiting for it to be activated would have just gone wild loading things,” Kumar said.
But no one has explained how 70 fraudulent credit cards escaped detection as bank fraud.
“It’s outrageous. I mean, how can you not have red flags in your system to prevent this from happening? Where are the checks and balances?” Kumar asked.
“I can figure out two, three, maybe four or five. But 70? Come on now,” she said.
Chase promised a call from a manager. He never came.
“You’d think someone from upper management would contact me and say, ‘Let me check this, and I’ll get back to you, this should never have happened. Something like that would have calmed me down,” Kumar said.
“Why isn’t anyone contacting me? You know, at least apologizing that this happened? Tell me something for God’s sake, you know, but no, no one apparently cares,” a- she concluded.
Kumar contacted KGO-TV.
They asked Chase Bank how it happened and why no one alerted Kumar that she had 70 new authorized users on her account.
The bank did not provide specific answers, only general banking information, saying:
“For more flexibility, we allow customers to add other users to their credit card account. A confirmation of any new authorized user and the additional card is sent directly to the account holder at his address. In this case , the unauthorized cards were quickly closed after Ms. Kumar received them.
“Cardholders are not responsible for unauthorized charges made to their card, and we encourage customers to alert us if they notice anything unusual with their account.”
Which was hardly comforting for Tina Kumar.
“What’s going to happen next, you don’t know. It’s scary. Very scary,” she said.
Kumar says an executive from Chase just called him to apologize, promising to investigate what happened.
She had just renewed that credit card when the extra 70 cards arrived in the mail. She still hasn’t activated hers.
Chase did not say whether it had modified its fraud detection systems to detect this type of crime.
For more information about Chase Bank on their security measures, click here.
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