Prepaid Mastercard fraud alert

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Friends, 
I bought $200 Mastercard prepaid from Staples to get their $20 ez rebate. I was proud that I am saving few bucks.
Opened the card few days later and used $5 in local electronics(Fry's) store. Then I went to use it at aeropostale store. Store rep told me my card has only 90 cents!!

Not sure who stole the card information and when it is gone, I called the number on the back. They told me $194 was spent in Los Angeles(LA), CA. I am in Atlanta when I was using the card.
Master card rep told me nothing to worry and if he send Staples receipt where I bought the card and my $5 receipt in fax, they will refund my money in 4 to 6 weeks.

Not worth it guys.  

Member Summary
related threads(?)

https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/deal-discussion/1556688 (Staples rebate cards)
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1449348 (much earlier one...there's one more thread that I can't find at the moment that's a little more recent)
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/deal-discussion/1466690 (might be this one...not sure)
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Staples has had a run of stolen cards for the last 5 years.
It's known here.

More recently, so has OM/OD for those cards. Recently, I saw a report of their Visa having similar problems including balance inquiries before purchase activated the card.

did u pick it up from the shelf or Staples  people bring it to you?

I have a similar experience. Can someone post what they did do to resolve this?

It's common practice these days to drain these cards immediately after purchase to avoid fraud. If you can't do that then best not to buy them. There's a very long thread on fatwallet detailing with this issue. And it is just not Staples. Large grocery chains who sell these cards have had these issues as well. Especially in CA.

nahata22 said:   I have a similar experience. Can someone post what they did do to resolve this?
  Start with the number on the back of the card. Believe you have to fax in a copy of the card. They will tell you what to do.

Watch out for Frys. My friend bought something in Frys with his credit card that he hasn't been using for a long time. Then suddenly there was illegal charges after that. He suspected that it's Frys's employee.

mathfaster said:   
nahata22 said:   I have a similar experience. Can someone post what they did do to resolve this?
  Start with the number on the back of the card. Believe you have to fax in a copy of the card. They will tell you what to do.

  
Customer service folks are pretty good but sometimes they "can't read" the faxes. If they don't resolve it within a reasonable time, a CFPB complaint will get you to the right person.

its simple the thief in the Frys store got the info,pin, and balance and texted/emailed/called their accomplice in LA who goes and spends it immediately...very simple..then they split the goodies...Lowes cards have the same problems,,i wouldn't go near any prepaid anything again......
If your smart you wouldnt use a debit card either....Regular CC only....choi

I took it from the shelf.

koteswar said:   I took it from the shelf.
 I prefer to ask Staples cashiers, and they usually bring it from "hidden" drawers.
No one  access the cards except Staples employees = no regrets from buyers (me) 

This has been going on for a while. I bought a $450 Mastercard at a local supermarket a couple of years ago, and a couple of days later when I opened the package and tried to use it, the balance was completely used up. It took me a few months to get a replacement card, but I eventually got it. Since then, I avoid all deals involving prepaid MC's. The problem seems to be much less prevalent with Visa & Amex prepaid cards.

kaktak said:   
koteswar said:   I took it from the shelf.
 I prefer to ask Staples cashiers, and they usually bring it from "hidden" drawers.
No one  access the cards except Staples employees = no regrets from buyers (me) 

  
That assumes the card #'s are compromised in store, most of us suspect it's a much larger problem with the algorithms for the card #'s cracked. It's happening to cards mailed out from the rebate center too which never have open to the public access, so I personally think you're lulling yourself into false security simply cause someone pulls it out of a "secret drawer". 



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