Fraud alert suspends woman's Green Dot account set up for tax refund

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Plenty of people are getting their refunds. But for some, spending the money is impossible because a fraud alert suspends their account (KTRK)

Tax season is here, and while you may not have filed your return yet, plenty of people are already getting their refunds. But for some, spending the money is impossible because a fraud alert suspends their account.

We've seen several people get their refunds caught up in a fraud alert after having the money sent to their green dot money card and its happened again.

Amanda Lundeberg filed her taxes weeks ago and needed the refund for a very personal reason.

"My mother died in January," said Lundeberg.

At the time Lundeberg could not fully pay for the cremation service. Her tax refund would be used for the remaining balance. When the refund landed in her Green Dot Money Card account she knew exactly what needed to be done, but there was a problem. Her tax refund would be used for the remaining balance. When the refund landed in her Green Dot Money Card account she knew exactly what needed to be done, but there was a problem.

"Went to spend some money and they denied my card," said Lundeberg.

Lundeberg says she was told her account was frozen due to potential fraud. To get access to her account, she was asked to verify her identity. She did, but the account was still frozen.

"Nobody called me, they can't get in touch with nobody from the processing department; they got to email them, corporate can't even call their own people to ask what's up, y'all got it, it's on file," said Lundeberg.

After two weeks, Lundeberg called us and we called Green Dot Bank, the bank that issues Green Dot Cards. Within hours Green Dot removed the hold. The company says due to fraud, it must verify who is getting refunds and insists the problem is not widespread.

Lundeberg says she's happy her account is no longer frozen but still upset it took extra time to access money that is rightfully hers.

"Media should not have to get involved, but thank God for you, we got our money or I would still be...if you go online there are people waiting three, four, five weeks," said Lundeberg.

Green Dot Bank sent us the following statement:

"More than 90 percent of all tax refunds deposited by the IRS into Green Dot cards are available immediately to our customers. Of the less than 10 percent that are held for verification, the vast majority are cleared within two minutes to two days.

"We know that this may be inconvenient for our honest customers whose deposits require additional verification, but we believe our customers understand that we are doing the right things to protect them and our nation's tax system from fraud."
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financetaxesrefundHouston
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