Bluebird “Suspicious Activity”

This is a guest post by contributor Thrifty Tourist, who will be making frequent posts on Travel Summary going forward. Thrifty Tourist is just getting started in social media and can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

While I was in Maui, my wife received an email saying her Bluebird account had been suspended due to “unusual/irregular activity”. This was incredibly odd, because her account had just been open for a few days and had no transactions other than having $3,000 loaded via Vanilla Reload Cards.

bluebirdEmail

Once we got settled into our hotel, I sat in our lanai at the Grand Wailea (full review of this hotel coming soon) and called the Bluebird Customer Service Number to see what the issue was.  I asked their representatives numerous times what the unusual/irregular activity was, but they refused to tell me, due to the sensitive nature of their security review procedures.  He did finally tell me that it could be “any number of things, such as invalid attempts to login, suspicious transactions and linking of bank accounts.” Since it was a new card, I quickly realized that the suspicious activity was due to the bank account that we linked just before leaving for Maui.  I linked our joint bank account to my wife’s Bluebird account, right before we received the email.  What caused it to be suspicious was that same joint account was linked to my own Bluebird account last month.  Now, we hadn’t conducted any transactions with the bank account as we were still waiting for the two deposits to show up in the account for verification purposes, yet they still suspended her Bluebird account.  I guess they find it suspicious/irregular for two people to link to the same bank account.

To rectify the issue, I was asked to fax a copy of my wife’s social security card to their offices for identification purposes. Being in Maui, we didn’t have a copy with us, so we waited to return to the mainland to do so. After returning, I faxed a copy of the card and called the Customer Service line for further instructions. I was told that the fax was too “light” and they couldn’t read it. I asked if I could email a scan, but again, due to the sensitive nature of their security procedures, they can only accept faxes. I faxed another, darker copy and another even darker copy and finally, on the 4th call to Customer Service, they acknowledged receiving and identifying my wife and subsequently released the suspended account. I again asked the representative how I can avoid this situation again and again they said “….we can’t tell you, just know that your account is fine and you won’t have any problems anymore…”.  That was good enough for me!

Moral of the story, be careful linking the same bank account to two separate Bluebird accounts as it might trigger a security review of your account, resulting in a temporary suspension.

 

 

Comments

  1. That sucks. Do you know if this is true with other types of accounts as well? Like mortgage and stuff?

    • Yes it does. I reported my bluebird card lost/stolen. I was reticent to do this because I feared that my direct deposit would be screwed up. I was assured by Amex that it would not because the card number and the account number are both different, well even tho I fulfilled the ” security verification” my account was suspended just at the moment when my direct deposit hit, and was rejected……DO YOURSELF A FAVOR….AVOID THE COSTLY HASSLE of dealing with Bluebird….EVEN THOUGH THE ACCOUNT IS FREE remember, YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.

      ps btw….my dd has been in limbo (Amex stiil has it) and not forwarded back to the originator for days now…..

  2. We had the same problem. I thought it may have been something in the T&C but they said they just do it as a security check. My wife had to talk to them for a few minutes and then I talked and it was done. It was not as painful as I thought it would be. Now we are using both of our accounts linked to the same checking account.

  3. Why do you link your BB to a bank account?

  4. Thrifty Tourist says:

    @jripper: Because of the high threat of fraud out there, each financial institution tries as hard as possible to keep their seucrity review procedures a secret, so it’s hard to know if this type of linking of accounts would trigger a similar response by mortgages or for any other accounts.

    @El Jefe: There are many reasons to link your BlueBird to your bank account, but mainly for transfering money. You can either load your BlueBird card directly from your bank account or you can do the opposite and withdraw money from your BlueBird card to your bank account.

  5. Thank you for the heads up. It’s good to know.

  6. Yikes, a married couple sharing a bank account is “suspicious”? What is the world coming to?

    • Travel Summary says:

      haha i don’t think they can see the name on the account…just the account number.

      • We also have same JT account linked to our BBs.

        It was linked to my account several weeks before linked to my husband’s account. By then I have used the withdrawal function twice – one small test withdrawal to make sure the linkage was working and another for a few hundreds after BB kept rejecting US Bank’s Club Carlson card being a valid payee from its data base (seems no one was able to.).

        Then after the linkage of the JT account was activated on DH’s BB, I did a test withdrawal of small amount. That took 5 business days to change from Pending to suddenly Complete without going thru the usual In Process step. I called in the middle of the period to find out if there was anything wrong as the pattern did not match with the experience gained from doing it from my own account. I asked BB if the delay is due to the same JT account being used? BB rep refused to comment on that but was adamant to insist the transfer would go thru in 5 business days despite the web site said 2 to 3 business days. It finally did go thru after 5 business days but then it also dawned on me that the same JT account may be the culprit in causing the delay.
        I have not done any withdrawal from husband’s account after the successful test. It simply not worth the time and effort to call BB.

  7. hi I received a email today after my first purchase on this card at walgreens saying that there was suspicious activity on my card and said my card was frozen but I was still able to use it afterwards should I ignore the email ?

    • Travel Summary says:

      If you are able to use it then I think you can ignore it. If it stops working then you may have to call them and provide some info.

      • Thanks For having this up for people who are confused like me and i think this happen because i linked my BB card to my PayPal account and did a transfer of funds

  8. I Don’t Like when i called and they say oh ya we do this for EVERY BB Member they say to protect our identities, if that’s the case then have the email be written differently I still do not believe the reps i spoke to on the phone and they also want ALL of your personal stuff which some people to feel comfortable giving out like my self. If there was a card like BB then i would switch to that instead

  9. @TravelSummary

    Should I wait while until i use the BB Card Again to play it safe ?

    • Travel Summary says:

      You should be safe, but maybe try doing one significant transaction and then wait a week to see if anything happens. If nothing happens, then you should be good to continue as you were previously.

      • @TravelSummary

        Hi Again I just made a payment to ebay that I owed them in seller fees and I did a small deposit to test and see what happens it was 0.25 and it went through so you kindly and quickly replied back saying I should wait a week and see what happens is there something I should expect or ?

        • Travel Summary says:

          If it went through without issue you should be fine going forward. Good luck!

          • @TravelSummary Thanks Again one more question though why do think my card still works even though the BlueBird reps said my account is suspended i hope its Good Luck

          • Travel Summary says:

            Pure speculation, but perhaps they were able to figure out that the names on the accounts matched and therefore there was nothing unusual going on. Keep using it until they say otherwise!

          • @TravelSummary Thanks again for your quick replies

          • @TravelSummary When made a purchase at walgreens the lady did not ask me credit or debit i think she might have messed up and made Amex suspicious at whats going on

Trackbacks

  1. [...] How Your Bluebird Account Might Get Suspended for “Suspicious Activity” [...]

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  3. [...] Then in post 22 the poster mentions, "They told me they thought there was something suspicious going on." That sounds similar to this report of a card temporarily locked due to suspicious activity. http://travel-summary.com/bluebird-suspicious-activity/ [...]

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