More problems reported with tax refunds on Green Dot cards

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- It's happened again! Another person cannot get access to their tax refund after having the money sent to a Green Dot Prepaid Debit Card. We told you about this a couple of weeks ago and Action 13's Jeff Ehling was able to help. Now another person is in the same situation.

For a lot of people their tax refund helps pay bills so that money is needed right away. But a woman in Trinity, Texas says she could not access her money for nearly two weeks, so she called us.

When Kathy Thompson's tax refund landed in her Green Dot Prepaid Debit Card account she had no trouble accessing the money, at first.

"About 30 minutes later Green Dot sends me an email saying they froze my account for suspicious activity," said Thompson.

Thompson says she immediately called the bank and was told to submit her ID online. which she did.

"They said it would take two business days. Well, I waited two business days and I called them back and they said they were still reviewing my account," said Thompson.

Thompson says she was told her ID was not in the system so she sent it in again, and again, and again.

Thompson then saw the story we did on Peggy Vega. Like Thompson, Vega had her refund sent to a Prepaid Debit card issued by Green Dot Bank. And like Thompson, Vega's account was frozen on suspicion of fraud until we called Green Dot Bank.

So Thompson called us.

"I contacted you because I didn't want to wait anymore," said Thompson.

Just like with Vega, within hours of contacting Green Dot Bank, Thompson's account was no longer frozen.

Green Dot says the company must ensure the funds deposited into a Green Dot Prepaid Card are getting to the correct person.

As for how card holders can keep it from happening to them, Green Dot Bank could not elaborate. But officials with the Houston Better Business Bureau told us since fraud is so rampant with tax returns this year, Green Dot customers without an established account may see delays in accessing their returns.

In both cases, the tax refund was one of the only deposits placed in the account. Keep that in mind if you plan to have your refund sent to a prepaid debit card account. You may be able to avoid the delays if you make a couple of deposits into the account before the tax refund is deposited.
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