Beware of unsolicited First National 'credit cards' in the mail
Consumers need to be wary about any unexpected credit cards they are sent in the mail, following recent reports of individuals receiving what looks to be a traditional credit card bearing the First National logo.
In this case, what appears to be a normal Visa or MasterCard is in fact no such thing. Rather, these unsolicited cards are in fact merchant cards which are only good for buying merchandise from a specific catalog.
An accompanying letter explains that if the credit card is activated immediately, the standard $200 activation fee will be waived. Unfortunate consumers who activate the card without paying attention to the fine print discover too late that they have not been preapproved for a traditional credit card at all.
Anyone who is sent such a card or similar unsolicited credit card should be sure to read all the fine print before they take any action. Additionally, they may want to research the company that is offering the card through the Better Business Bureau, which can be found online at www.bbb.org. They should never provide an unknown company with personal or financial information.
Meanwhile, consumers who want to block credit card mail solicitations altogether can choose to opt out by visiting the Direct Marketing Association online at: www.dmaconsumers.org/consumerassistance.html.
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Published: May 10, 2007