HSBC Helping Out Mail Thieves By Sending Out Pre-Activated Debit Cards

Legitimate businessmen aren’t the only ones who need stimulus packages to get their games rolling again. Dudes who dig through peoples’ mail and steal debit cards can also use a little loving. HSBC understands this fact and is helping out by sending out pre-activated debit cards, Knowzy reports.

There are reports that HSBC did this sort of thing back in 2004 as well. The good news for HSBC members who receive the pre-activated cards is they won’t have to go through the tedious process of calling the phone number or using the card at an ATM before they can blow their entire checking accounts on lottery tickets and malt liquor at the convenience store.

HSBC Bank Sends Pre-Activated ATM/Debit Cards in Mail [Knowzy via Slashdot]
(Thanks, Randy!)


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  1. Excuse My Ambition Deficit Disorder says:

    Great…like I needed another reason to hate HSBC. So glad we will finally be done with the bastards now that we switched to the local credit union. I was really hoping I could have used my HSBC debit card to open the new account, but they told me I couldn’t.

  2. FatLynn says:

    How could this possibly be a good idea? And who is responsible for the fraudulent charges?

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Of course you, the consumer, are not responsible. What a silly question.

    • Knowzy says:

      Since these are debit cards, any fraudulent transactions come instantly out of your account. You then have the pleasure of convincing the bank that these are indeed fraudulent charges. Assuming the bank agrees, you should have your money back in a few weeks time.

  3. Polish Engineer says:

    At least these customers won’t have to listen to five minutes of advertising trying to sell them credit protection before they can activate their card… oh wait… maybe they need that now.

    In all seriousness, at what point does it become more economical to simply cash your checks and put the money under your pillow? You probably spend more money on ATM fees, maintenance fees, and wasted time calling these idiots every other week with a problem than you earn in interest keeping your money with them.

    • Whiskey Tango Foxtrot says:

      I’ve seen so many banking glitches happening lately to myself and friends/family that I’ve taken to doing just that – cashing checks and saving the cash at home in a safe. A family friend had her account drained due to a BANK error, and it took 2 weeks for her to get her moeny back. In the meantime, her car, rent, and credit card payments all bounced, incurring hundreds in fees, hurting her credit report, etc. She had to depend on her family to get her through those 2 weeks. She got her money back, but I’ve read stories (even here) about people who have had the same thing happen, and after months are STILL fighting their banks to get their own money back! I think the interconnectivity of all the banks along with internet banking is hurting the economy, not helping it. I also think 3rd party billing should be outlawed.

    • chris_d says:

      They do this? I’ve only dealt with a CU, and when you call the 800 number it just says, “thank you, your card is now activated. goodbye.”

  4. packcamera says:

    I once got a renewed credit card card from HSBC that had an activation telephone number printed on the sticker that the number for an adult film distributor. I contacted their security center in Buffalo, NY and they took my info but did nothing, so this latest security failure is not a surprise at all…

    I will give HSBC’s owners credit for not being too greedy during the housing loan boom that caused most of their banking competitors to fail. Not the best service, but I still trust them with my meager savings.

  5. H3ion says:

    Can I get one of those cards if I don’t have an HSBC account?

  6. marsneedsrabbits says:

    I’m sort of disappointed that CitiBank didn’t think of this first. It sounds like something they’d be at the forefront of.

  7. MailBoss says:

    This is not a new thing, or surprising. Many credit and debit cards come activated, or simply take a (800) phone call to activate. You can get mad at the banks and start hoarding cash under your mattress… or you can take necessary steps to protect your mail and your identity. In the world today, with identity theft at an all time high and thieves increasingly turning to your mailbox to steal your personal information, a high security locking mailbox (that can’t be fished by hand or easily pried open with a screwdriver) is a must. Thieves can find everything from pre-approved debit cards to your social security statement in your mailbox, and they use this information to steal your identity and ruin your good name. (1) Secure your mail with a locking mailbox. (2) DO NOT send checks from an unsecured mailbox – bring them to the post office or better yet use online bill pay. (3) Everyone knows this one… shred all sensitive documents (most of which come in your mailbox!) before discarding them.

    • Conformist138 says:

      The phone call requires me to verify my info, though. Usually I have to either call from my primary phone number or input my account number. If they didn’t, there would be pretty much no point in the activation process.

      I refuse to be blamed because the house I rent space in has a mailbox right on the street. I can only protect myself so much, HSBC needs to do their part as well. Sending me an envelope of risk and liability directly linked to my personal checking account is exactly the opposite of what any company should do in this age of easy identity theft.