On Tuesday May 16, I received in the mail a “Way2Go Card Debit Mastercard” with my name and an account number on it. I was suspicious because I did not request this card, and I do not have any account with Comerica Bank, the card issuer.
This was not a credit card offer, it was a Debit card. On the paperwork that came with the card, in the upper right hand corner of the paperwork in large bold print was “North Dakota”, implying that it was issued on behalf of North Dakota. But there was not any explanation or even a hint as to why I was being issued this Debit card.
There were two telephone numbers to call in order to activate this card and choose a PIN number. I was not about to give out my social security number over the telephone to someone that I did not know anything about, but I did try to call both of these two telephone numbers to try to find out what was going on. Both of these telephone numbers were currently disconnected at that time, which made me even more suspicious about this Debit card.
I looked up the Way2Go Card on the internet, and I read several pages of search results. The states of Virginia and Oklahoma had begun issuing Way2Go Cards in approximately 2012 in order for tax payers to receive income tax refunds. I also read that the states that had begun issuing Way2Go Cards, had frauds and scams where people would fraudulently telephone tax payers and ask for their personal information in order to “activate” their Way2Go Cards.
I telephoned the State of North Dakota Tax Commission, and I spoke to three people in this office. The State of North Dakota Tax Commission does not issue Way2Go Cards, they do not cooperate with any bank to issue Way2Go Cards, and they have never heard of the State of North Dakota ever issuing tax refunds onto Debit cards.
I telephoned a Dickinson Police Detective and left a voice mail message explaining that I had received a Way2Go Card, and that I thought that it was a scam. I telephoned a Dickinson Press newspaper reporter and left a voice mail message explaining that I had received a Way2Go Card, and that I thought that it was a scam, they should make a notice in the newspaper warning people. I wrote an internet article about this scam.
On the following day, Wednesday May 17, I had a brief telephone conversation with a Dickinson Press newspaper reporter. She said that she had received a telephone call from a State of North Dakota employee, saying something like they had recently begun issuing Way2Go Cards for child support payments, that my internet article was a mistake. I explained to the reporter that I don’t have any children, I don’t owe child support, and I am not owed any child support.
I again did internet searches about the Way2Go Card, Way2Go Card North Dakota, Comerica Bank, Way2Go Card Fraud, and Way2Go Card scams. For each search term, I read each search result that was listed, for several pages. I never once found a search result that North Dakota was issuing Way2Go Cards, and I searched and read for about two hours.
Then, I went to the North Dakota Department Of Human Services website, Child Support Enforcement, and this is what it said:
“This fall, the North Dakota Child Support Enforcement Program is changing the way payments are sent to families. To meet state requirements that payments be sent as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible, Child Support Enforcement will send payments by either direct deposit or electronic payment card. Paper checks will essentially be eliminated…..
What does this mean for me? You will no longer receive a paper check in the mail. Your support payment will either be direct deposited with the bank or credit union of your choice or added to an electronic payment card from U.S. Bank®, known as the ReliaCard® Visa®.”
The North Dakota Department Of Human Services, wrote on their own website that the support payments will be “added to an electronic payment card from U.S. Bank, known as the ReliaCard Visa.”
On Wednesday night I continued to do internet searches to see if anyone else had reported Way2Go Card frauds in North Dakota or elsewhere. On Thursday morning, I saw an announcement on the the first page of search results for Way2Go Card North Dakota, that North Dakota Job Services will begin paying unemployment insurance benefits using Way2Go Cards:
“Starting June 1, 2017, Job Service will begin to deposit unemployment insurance benefit payments to the Comerica-issued Way2Go Card™ prepaid debit Mastercard®. The Way2Go Card prepaid debit Mastercard will replace the ReliaCard® Visa® prepaid debit card.”
If you are expecting to receive a payment from North Dakota Unemployment Insurance, or perhaps even North Dakota Child Support Enforcement, these two State agencies may be switching to Way2Go Cards.
When I received a Way2Go Card that I did not request, knew nothing about, with no explanation on the paperwork why I was issued the card, when I called both of the telephone numbers on the paperwork the numbers were disconnected, when I looked on the internet to find out why I was being issued the card and found no explanation, when I called the North Dakota Tax Commission and they did not issue the card, I cut the Way2Go Card up, and I threw it in the garbage.