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Nearly 84,000 Americans reported new account bank fraud in 2021 compared to about 51,000 in 2020 which is a 65% increase.
If you’ve received a random Chime card in the mail, there’s a decent chance you’re a victim of new account bank fraud too.
This is a potentially serious matter and it’s important that you take action as soon as possible.
Failing to take action COULD result in someone successfully opening a Chime account in your name and wreaking havoc on your financial history.
There are steps you can take to protect yourself from this type of fraud.
In the post below, I will show you what to do if you get an unexpected Chime Visa debit card in the mail and the important steps you should take to protect yourself.
What is Chime?
Chime is an online-only financial company that offers a number of features that can be helpful for consumers.
Some popular features include the ability to overdraft without a fee (known as Chime SpotME) and getting your direct deposit up to 2 days early^.
In addition, Chime offers a “round up” feature that rounds up transactions to the nearest dollar and deposits the difference into your savings account.
This can be a helpful way to save money without having to think about it.
The Chime App is also well designed and extremely easy to use.
Don’t call Chime a bank though as they don’t offer loans or other products/services found at other true banks.
Long story short, it’s a very popular financial option.
Why You Probably Received a Random Chime Card in the Mail
You might be wondering why you recently got a Chime Visa debit card in the mail even though you don’t have a Chime account.
It’s likely because someone has committed fraud and has tried to open a Chime account using your name and information.
Chime is a legitimate online-only financial service that has millions of active members.
Many people consider it the future of financial services.
This time the Chime card associated with the new account was sent to your mailing address instead of somewhere else where you wouldn’t have known about it.
I wouldn’t count on that happening again, so it’s crucial for you to take action as soon as you can to keep your history and finances as safe as possible.
The first thing you should do is contact Chime support to notify them of the issue.
They’ll be able to help you close the fraudulent account and make sure that your information is safe.
Related: Chime SpotMe Questions Answered
Contacting Chime Support (What’s the Best Way)
Getting a hold of someone at Chime over the phone is often nearly impossible.
While Chime is a really good company, it has its drawbacks like any service, and the lack of in-person customer service at times like these is often one of the main drawbacks.
Help IS available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so you should be able to get ahold of someone to help you.
You can call Chime support at +1 (844) 244-6363 which is how I recommend you contact Chime because it will be easier to explain that you received a Chime card in the mail that you didn’t order.
That way they can ensure any account opened on your behalf gets closed, etc as quickly as possible.
You can also email Chime support at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to Close the Chime Account
Chime makes it easy to close an account. Just give them a call or shoot them an email, and they’ll take care of the rest.
They may ask for your social security number and a picture of your ID, but that’s just to verify your identity. Once they have that, they’ll close the account for you.
How to Prevent this From Happening Again (Crucial!)
Once you’ve closed your Chime account, the next step is to flag the account as fraudulent with Chime support. This will help prevent anyone from using your information to open a new account.
In addition, it’s a good idea to add a fraud alert with all three of the major credit bureaus. This will give you added protection against identity theft. I will show you how and where below.
How to Check Your Credit Reports
Your credit report is an important document that contains a lot of information about your financial history.
Lenders, landlords, and employers often look at it when making decisions about whether or not to extend your credit, offer you a lease, or give you a job.
That’s why it’s so important to make sure that the information on it is accurate.
The good news is that you can get a free copy of your report from each of the three major credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – once a year at AnnualCreditReport.com.
This site was set up by the government to allow consumers to get their free credit reports in an easy and convenient way.
So if you’re looking to check your credit report for accuracy, this is the place to go and since someone is trying to open a Chime account on your behalf, it’s a very good idea to look for anything else that might not be right on your credit report.
Adding Fraud Alerts
Adding a fraud alert is a great preventative measure to take if you believe that someone has tried to open a Chime account without your knowledge.
Fraud alerts basically add a red flag to your accounts, telling potential creditors or lenders that you may have been the victim of fraud or identity theft.
This extra layer of safety can help to protect you from incurring debt or other issues as a result of fraudulent activity.
While fraud alerts are only temporary, they can give you peace of mind knowing that your information is better protected.
So if you think someone may have tried to open a Chime account in your name, be sure to add a fraud alert right away.
Adding a fraud alert on Equifax
To add a fraud alert on Equifax, go to the following website: https://www.equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services/credit-fraud-alerts/.
Then click on “place an alert” and fill out and submit your information on the following online form.
Adding a fraud alert on TransUnion
To add a fraud alert on TransUnion, go to the following website: https://www.transunion.com/fraud-alerts.
Click on “add fraud alert” and then choose the right fraud alert for your situation (either 1 year or 7 years).
For most people, choosing the 1-year option is what you need unless you have a valid identity theft report from law enforcement in which case you can choose the 7-year option.
On the following page, you’ll need to “create an account” or login to your TransUnion account to add the fraud alert to your account.
Adding a fraud alert on Experian
To add a fraud alert on Experian, go to the following website: https://www.experian.com/fraud/center.html.
Click on “add a fraud alert”. Then select the length of time that you’d like to have the fraud alert on your account (either “temporary” 1 year or “extended” 7 years).
In most cases, you’d choose the temporary 1-year option unless you have a copy of a valid identity theft report from law enforcement in which case you can add an extended 7-year fraud alert on your account if you choose to do so.
Then on the resulting screen, you would just fill out the online form with the relevant info and then click submit.
Wrapping Up – Why Did I Get a Chime Card in the Mail?
- If you get a random Chime card in the mail, it’s often a bad sign that someone has fraudulently used your info to try to open a new Chime account.
- If this is the case, you definitely need to take action to protect your history and finances. Failing to do so could be a costly mistake.
- The first thing to do is contact Chime customer service and have the account opened with your information closed as soon as possible and have them mark the account as fraud.
- As an added layer of protection, it is recommended that you add fraud alerts to the 3 main credit bureaus also – at this point you really don’t know what else this person has access to, so it’s best to protect yourself.