CapitalOne Sends Blank Checks From Someone Else's Account

Remember Brenden, the reader who got an unsealed envelope full of blank checks in the mail? Well, WaMu is still at it, and this time Brenden not only got his regular mailing of an unsealed envelope full of blank checks from WaMu, he also got a surprise from Capital One: Someone else’s checks were included in his envelope:

So, I wrote in recently to mention that WaMu had sent me blank “checks” in an open, unsealed envelope. I complained, of course, and got a generic reply. Today I got another unsealed envelope of blank checks from Washington Mutual. Hmm.

Today I also received blank checks from CapitalOne. They have a different strategy: in addition to the checks for my account, they included in my envelope the checks (the whole mailing, in fact) for some other customer in some other part of town. Don’t worry, Rachid; I won’t be using them.

Good job, CapitalOne. Can we get a sponge for WaMu? Something? Anything? —MEGHANN MARCO


Edit Your Comment

  1. acambras says:

    Nice of them to make identity theft easier for everyone.

    A couple of years ago I received from Wachovia my checking account statement, plus someone else’s statement.

  2. tvh2k says:

    I’ve always worried about those checks. I get them in the mail all the time — they’re great for getting no-fee cash to invest in a high-yield savings account or short-term stocks (if you like risk) or whatever. The only problem is that my account number is printed right on the bottom, and they’re listed on my statement as “Purchase check #x” so they’re difficult to track.

    In their defense, however, I always seem to get a call from their fraud department when I try to write a check for > $1000. They never verify any information, but I guess they figure I would be the one to answer my cell phone.

  3. SOhp101 says:

    You can call your bank and request that they stop sending you convenience checks.

  4. gorckat says:

    When I worked at MBNA, we had to tell customers it could take up to 90 days to ensure that no mroe checks ro direct mail pieces were sent out. Even though they do all their own printing/processing (after buying up the contractors some 20 years ago, iirc), the reason for the delay is that marketing campaigns and their databases could be readied 90 days prior to the mailing, meaning if someone missed their name, they’d get checks/mail at some point when the campaign went live. Requests to cease phone calls took 30-days. To my knowledge, no deliberate “let’s do it just in case they change their mind” calls/mails were done.

    Also, if people had multiple cards through various affinity groups and they weren’t linked up (missing/incorrect info on some accounts) then they could get stuff 8 ways to Suanday and until a rep figured it out the customer’d be mighty pissed.


    1) Make sure you don’t have multiple cards (mergers and stuff are common ways to get them, as well, since both parties want things to be seamless and mostly transparent to the consumer)
    2) Get the timeframe till mailings actually stop

    As for the crappy envelope glue- no idea.

  5. winnabago says:

    Yesterday I received my UPS account statement together with two other people’s statements in the envelope. All you need to charge a UPS account online is the number and billing zip code, which was included, handy. Not going to use them, but it’s stupid for any company to use public information as a “security” measure.

    Sticky paper strikes again!

  6. kerry says:

    Discover sends me these checks a few times a year, usually in rapid succession. I’ll get four sets over the course of 2 months and then nothing for 6 months. I always shred them. I sure hope nobody’s been getting mine by accident, too. Good thing I always read my statement vewwwwy cawefuwwy (say it like Elmer Fudd).

  7. RichAndFoolish says:

    The post man is just as bad. He often gives my mail to the house next door and vice-versa.

    I stop as much of it as possible but there needs to be a law, apparently, holding these companies responsible for any unsolicited checks, etc., they send.

  8. SadSam says:

    Yes, I had to give out my SS# but the 1-800 number to opt out of preapproved credit card offers, insurance offers, etc. from the web page has dramatically reduced the amount of time I spend shredding the 5 or more daily offers I used to receive. As for the banks, credit cards that I already have relationships with, there is generally a way (on-line) to provide mailing preferences (stop sending me blank checks) that seems to work.

  9. timmus says:

    I sure wish that Consumerist would expand from its “daily gazette” format into something more durable and long-lasting, like adding a vbulletin board or wiki, where we can ding these companies and keep rap sheets on them. The blog format just discards the incident with last week’s news.

  10. NeoteriX says:

    I get them too and it drives me insane.

    I called and had them stop sending them, suggesting I would cancel my card if they couldn’t stop it. Then after a brief respite, I got another.

    Hopefully they’ve stopped after I called them up for the 2nd time and asked them to “connect me with whoever it was at Capital One that wanted me to cancel my credit card.”

  11. dohtem says:

    I sure wish that Consumerist would expand from its “daily gazette” format into something more durable and long-lasting, like adding a vbulletin board…

    I have always hoped that. A proper forum would be a lot more effective and easier to follow and older news won’t be pushed to the back burner.

  12. mschlock says:

    I once received someone else’s stock options statement from Etrade (their name, my address). Gee, database management is hard, guys…

  13. kalikidtx says:

    call the local media, get some attention on this, this is newsworthy…especially the someone elses checks, lol

  14. jaredharley says:

    Both CapitalOne and Bank of America send my wife and I blank “convenience” checks every few months. I didn’t know that you could, so I’ll be calling these companies this afternoon and telling them to cut it out!