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FTC sues NetSpend over access to funds

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Many people who don’t have bank accounts rely on prepaid debit cards which you buy and add money to so you can make purchases and pay bills. But the FTC says thousands of NetSpend prepaid debit card holders had trouble getting access to cash they loaded onto the cards, or to direct deposits from their paychecks or government benefits. Cardholders who couldn’t access their money often had no other way to pay for necessities, which caused some severe financial hardship, including late bill payments, repossessed cars, and even eviction.

NetSpend markets their cards – in English and Spanish – to people who don’t have traditional checking or savings accounts. The FTC’s lawsuit claims NetSpend’s ads told consumers they would have immediate access to funds loaded on the cards and were guaranteed approval for the cards. Also, NetSpend promised that cardholders disputing transactions would get temporary credits of those transaction amounts, pending investigation.

Despite NetSpend’s promises, the FTC says many consumers also were not able to access their money immediately, and in some cases lost access for days or weeks or even completely. And the FTC says that in reality, many NetSpend cardholders were not automatically approved to use the cards but, instead, all consumers had to go through a sign-up process which sometimes resulted in approval being denied and any funds placed on the cards being lost.  The FTC also says that in many cases, NetSpend didn’t issue temporary credits during transaction disputes in a timely way, if at all.

If you’re considering using a prepaid card, be sure you understand how it works.  Read the terms before putting money on the card, and do an online search to check out the company’s track record. If a prepaid card company deceives you about its terms and services, report it to the FTC.




Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


I'm used Prepaid Card from Netspan 9041

I'm young retired. Just when I thought I knew everything, you have one more surprise tip for me.

When I was 18 (in the 1970s), I easily opened my first checking account, and paid for everything that cost more than $10 with a check, which all merchants took thru about 1990.

Your pre-loaded debit card video makes it sound like this is usually a rip-off product. I don't understand why today's young generation can't just open up a checking account with a normal debit card. Get to keep $157 out of $200 is highway robbery.

The credit card people are wooing unemployed people to their products, so why can't 20 somethings get a normal debit card? Any other thoughts out there?

Getting a checking account in the 70s was easy, just as you said. Now it takes an act of Congress, drops of blood and your firstborn child.
People who use prepaid cards are usually low-income and/or work jobs that pay them cash. It is difficult to maintain a record that way. The prepaid cards are a way for them to have a place to put their money with access to it. Paying bills isn't as simple as it once was either. Not having the qualifications to open a bank account (and yes, now you have to qualify for a bank account) means the person still has find a way to pay bills when there are no local offices, such as utility companies. Those companies have moved their billing and payment services out of the communities (some have moved them to other countries) which makes stopping in to pay the bill with a check or mailing a check unlikely.
Bottom line, don't look to prepaid cards use as due to being uneducated or uninformed or lazy. Sometimes the system makes it the only option. I have worked with students for 20 years and I can attest to how hard it is now.

Because we can’t get an account because we either have low credit scores or owe another bank. And major banks put holds on funds, we can’t all retire young like you did sorry master

Ive been told several times to go to atms and got nothing.I do have a bank account they make you use their sources.

I had a networks card a few years ago and I had been using it for a few years to pay my bills at the beginning of the month, all one month I went to load the card and it would not load my card so I purchased another card and it wouldn't load it either called them and they told me something about someone had tried to access my account, well they never informed me at anytime about that but they refused to load my card! Now why refuse to load my card if someone I did not know about tried to take money out of my account and you never told me about this until I get ready to pay my bills for the month? I no longer use there cards..

Is there a resolution of the dispute available? I and a friend were both deprived of money due to NetSpend.

The FTC just filed the case against NetSpend last week. You and your friend can report problems you had with NetSpend to the FTC. Go to and give details about what happened. The information you give will go into a secure database that law enforcement uses for investigations and cases.

have problem i have no car file on line they did not pick up the paper work off the enternet but i real need to back and some more ed so with being scam and deal with ref starting over is not easy the bank is us bank is springfield mo im pay for school my name got mix when thought id thief paper with irs

on a victim of netspend they have put me in so many financial situations. Just right now I'm going though many losses 324.09 for tickets and show cancel,hotei deposits ,now say I owe for a state check which I get pay ed every two weeks working 15 year the list goes on. Please help to compensate for my inconvenience.

I just received this netspend card in the mail today, I am not sure why I was sent it. I knew it was not a good idea to use it.

I deposited money into my NetSpend card and when I went to withdraw money the money never came out of the ATM but the receipt showed otherwise, I called NetSpend they told me that they couldn't do anything about it , bottom line it 6 months to get my money

Netspend won't give me my tax refund. The numbers are all correct and have been checked. Now I have to file a class action lawsuit. The people over seas and the CEO Mr. Daniel R Henry doesn't seem to care that he just got a single mother who goes to college and has a 8 month old daughter EVICTED from her apartment of good standing for five years. They don't seem to care that you don't receive your direct deposit online.

netspend withheld 19000.00 from me at one point.

Netspend never put my stemulus payment on my card and u cant get a hold of anyone

Netspend withheld my funds that are direct deposited 2 months in a row over$2k each month in feb & March 2017 caused me to go homeless and i couldn't even sleep in my car because i had my car repossessed because of it and now i am unable to rent an apt or get any kind of loan. I went from living in the streets after this as a disabled woman with a child to now finally living in a van but i can't get a loan for a used RV which before they were the fault of my repossession,i had no prob getting loans and I have to ztay in a junker 89 Chevy van because no onewill rent me an apt without a fortune in security deposits and im on a fixed income. Even after this 2 month period i have gone weeks to months without my funds i receive that are not theirs to freeze or to tell me that i transferred over a specific any that month only because They screwed up transferrrung to my old inactive Accts and then having to transfer to my other existing accts is what brought me over their limit to begin with because they dont cancel old inactive Accts makinv it easy to transfer to them by mistake! Uts happened so many times but going homeless living on the streets and now for a year living in an old junker van all because of a company not allowing you to have your own cash you had direct deposited is just disgusting! I never got notice and neither.Did my husband from netspend about this so im just now finding out about it way after and look they went thru all this and still continued to do it to ppl making them homeless abd getting their cars repossessed even after this happened. Shows how much they cared that they had to fork put the money and i won't ever vet back even close for what they did to me and they dont care

They would not give me my tax return it took over 3 week to get it..

Started selling on eBay last year.
first $600 sold in 3 weeks went smooth, net spend had my funds immediatly .
After that net spend started putting a hold on my money for a few days.
It finally got to the point where all my money was tied up in transactions.
I stopped selling because of the delay in funds....I pray that I have some type of refund

I loaded a netspend western union card 2 YEARS AGO went 2 used it bkuz I 4 got one of my password they lock my card and blocked me from using it I just got a letter in the mail saying I can get my money back as long as I do the paper work n email my complaint this was 2 months ago ive yet 2 here anything from this people ITS MY MONEY AND I NEEDED IT THEN 2 PAY BILLS 2 YEARS IM JUST NOW GET CONTACTED FROM THIS PEOPLE WITH A LETTER IN THE. MAIL 2 MONTHS AGO AND IVE YET 2 GET MY REFUND WHAT DO I DO???

NetSpend Corporation is providing refunds to people.  NetSpend is sending notices by email and mail to people who are eligible for a refund. Read more about how to get a refund.

You have to apply before October 7, 2017.

I'm a netspend card holder .

NetSpend Corporation is providing refunds to people. NetSpend is sending notices by email and mail to people who are eligible for a refund. Read more about how to get a refund.

You have to apply before October 7, 2017.

over charged for same time transactions multiply, never refunded, one time 12$ for one transaction that was suppose too cost 1$

NetSpend Corporation is providing refunds to people. NetSpend is sending notices by email and mail to people who are eligible for a refund. Read more about how to get a refund.

You have to apply before October 7, 2017.

I recently received an unsolicited Netspendcard, in addition to several emails to which I have unsubscribed. I am wondering how they selected me for a card for which I did not apply or request? They provide an email address and phone number for "declining" their offer; however, I assume I can just ignore them and destroy the card and their mailings?

I'm not sure what to do. My Direct Deposit has not show up on my Netspend account which should have gone through yesterday. I have written them 3 times with no response. I don't know what to do. My rent it do and I am very upset.

I have a bank account and received mail from netspend ,I have never requested any thing from them at all

Wish I knew this beforehand. Now they haven't sent my SS. I have to wait until Dec 3rd to get my money. Does anyone know who I can call?

Mail came today with BIG surprise I did not apply for! Netspend actually states that I applied for the card, NO
I can't OPT OUT, I can't use the website to Opt Out, phone number-can't opt out. Mastercard-ARE YOU REALLY SUPPORTING THIS? What do I do to get rid off this. Even if I cut up the card and shred the info it is still out there somewhere in the ether. MAD

Why can't the FTC shut down this crooked organization? They sell these cards in 99 cent stores in NYC. Friend sunk $600.00 in it. He had to give all his personal information- including ss# to cashier. He went to activate card but had to give the same information again. His money won't be available for 10 days! Store won't refund his money!

I received a refund check for Netspend. I never even applied for a Netspend card.

today i tried to pay a bill and my card was declined. i called netspend and was told there was a "suspicious" charge on my card so they put a block on it. i asked them what was the amt and merchant name. it was for 45.00 and the merchant name i could barely understand what she was saying. then she asked me if i recognized the name and i said no i dont understand what you are saying then she said she blocked and cancelled my card. (when in all reality, it was already done before i even called). then i asked her to spell the merchant name. it turned out to be an authorized transaction for my yearly sams club subscription and i told her (well screamed at the lady) to unblock it because it is their fault. i was told no we cannot do that.

this is the 2nd time netspend blocked my account due to "suspicious activity". the first time i was on vacation in another state and i had to argue with them to unblock it that there was no unauthorized purchase. if it was not for my mom my kids and i would have been stranded in another state. i am seriously considering sueing them for this type of practice.
Has anyone else had this happen to them?

I haven't had a problem with NetSpend until now and wonder if upgrading my account to all access is the cause? Where is my direct deposit?

Me too, I took the upgraded all access card. And now my check wasn't direct deposited.

My social security money was put on a NSC my friend then removed my name from the account. I want to sue net spend for not telling me about what happened or give me a statement of the account. The person stole my money now NS can pay me.

Have not been able to access my SSDI for 10 days

I have had a NetSpend prepaid card for years my paycheck has gone on my account direct deposit on the same day of the week between the same time frame for years recently offered an upgrade to the all access account I decided to go for it the prepaid account was closed and the money on that account was transferred into my all access card account well yesterday my paycheck was supposed to be put on my card direct deposit between 4 and 10 p.m. as it always has and it never showed up as a result I end up $45 overdraft fees because I didn't get my paycheck I called customer service they're telling me they saw no sign of a pending deposit and that it should go into the clothes prepaid card account and then roll over to the new all access account that I should not need to give to my employer the new routing number and bank account number which makes no sense to me I can't shake the feeling that NetSpend is playing games with my paycheck yes I've called payroll for my company and I'm still waiting a call from them I've asked other employees who have their check deposited direct deposit and they got all their paychecks yesterday so I'm not

NetSpend is a rip off they should be shut down.

I loaded a netspend card for 60 dollars so i could pay a friend for helping me out across state
they keep erroring me when i try to activate it online and when i tried to do it over the phone without fail it hangs up just as the recording says its transfering me to a representative. I have it recorded too but idk what to do now. it's been 70 days and i cant get any responce from support so basically ive been scammed 60$ by netspend and it's considdered legal.

You can report the problem to the FTC at The details you give will go into a secure database that the FTC uses for investigations. You could also report that to your state Atttorney General.

I just got my SSI 5 days ago and NetSpend is refusing to give me the money. Said I had to "verify my identity". I verified it twice, still have nothing. That is my rent money!!!

my account was close have veterans and social security bbecause my mother pass away and she was only an authorized user with no card or use because her name was in the account they close my account and did not notified or just removed her since i was the Primary account holder.

In addition to closing account they cancelled my card and my husband card leaving us with no access and refused to contact account to transfer money to the new account they told me to opened.

tried to login to my netspend account
netspend says account locked what is going on? i just purchased a pair of vans shoes 20 min before why is this?


The worst company ever!!! I had to email documents to verify identification. After that it kept rejecting the documents. Finally I called to find out the card was canceled. Had to speak to a supervisor to get the card activated. Such a hassle for the money you have already worked for. Stay away from this company. Horrible

i waited for my money during a fraudulent claim. i reported it immediately, yet i had to repetitively contact netspend about it. They never kept me informed about the investigation and meanwhile i was out of the money. The money should hsve only been yet pending and when i reported it right away, the money should have been withheld from the offending company and released back to me. Instead i waited 3 months for the money after netspend continued to parrot that it was under investigation. i repetitively posted the screenshots of the company transaction and data i collected along with reviews of many many people being scammed by the company in question. i finally was reimbursed the money by netspend after 3 months. I was glad to get the money back, however, i could no longer shop for the item originally ordered because all the sales on the product were no longer available.

I requested avretirement refund to be direct deposited and i did not know there was a limit on the deposit monthly, however, i was told to send deposit information to Netspenf. The issuing agency is a state agency and they only mail info out. I have emailed and tried to speak the the direct deposit dept. I cannot speak to anyone. The time limit to submit info is today or they will send deposit back, which stated will take 6 days to send back. I calked to get addutional time to privide and emailed and they will not acknowledge the request so i will be waiting 30 days for my monies because they will not read or listen. And my account shows direct deposits from previous 9 years from the same people.
But cannot tell the direct deposit is mine and will not read any onfo or reques via phone or emIl to understand. This is so stupid. 30 more days coz they will not read or listen..

I have a couple of prepaid cards AND a bank account. I only use the bank account when I absolutely must. I had checking and savings accounts with a bank before and lost a lot of money to “fees” once a 2 week deposit hold cost me almost $900.00 in fees and once following a hurricane , my account was frozen when FEMA deposited a reimbursement check into my account. Since I used automatic bill pay mostly, again I incurred serious fees, which were immediately deducted from my social security check leaving me with about half my money and incurring more fees. At least with my prepaid cards there are no $35 fees, nor have any “holds” been placed on my account with out my knowledge. I haven’t been ripped off by a prepaid card, only a FDIC insured bank.

Hello all, I am a person who was scammed by netspend recently. I put a large amount on my card and have been trying to get my money back for two months now. I have spoken with multiple people and their stories started to not be true. Is there any way I can get my money back from these scam artists?


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