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Prepaid credit card offer for Ender Wiggin?
August 7, 2014 7:46 PM   Subscribe

Today in the mail we received an offer for a prepaid MasterCard addressed to Ender Wiggin, the hero of Orson Scott Card's book, Ender's Game and the recent movie of the same name. I can't find another instance of this online and wonder if it would be safe to throw it up on eBay for kicks and see what happens. I ask about safety because our address is on the offer, but not our name. Only Ender's name appears on the paperwork and the plastic offer card that comes with it. Thanks much for your thoughts.
posted by anonymous to Society & Culture (14 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'm a little confused as to why you would want to do this. Shred it.

Seems to me that in the eyes of a credit card company, someone who has an application with a bogus name on it is a potential fraudster. Someone selling a bogus credit card application is probably a level beyond that.

Sounds like a pretty poor idea to me.
posted by Old Man McKay at 8:15 PM on August 7 [6 favorites]


There's no good outcome from doing anything but keeping it safe somewhere or shredding it.
posted by Sebmojo at 9:02 PM on August 7


I'd put it on eBay but censor your address in the images.
The credit card company clearly didn't check their information, which means the offer was made blindly, perhaps based on nothing more than your location (if that). They sent a sales pitch out into the ether without any regard for the recipient. If they cared, they would have checked Mr. Wiggin's credit and address and noticed the mismatch (assuming there even is a real Ender Wiggin out there).

So you've got mail no one cares about, addressed to a fictional person. Of course you can sell it. It's not unethical and you have a good legal argument if it came to that.
posted by hjo3 at 9:05 PM on August 7


It's a prepaid? What's the balance on it?
posted by JoeZydeco at 9:13 PM on August 7


JoeZydeco: Prepaid means you have to put down the full credit amount first. They're not actually extending you credit, but using one can help build your credit if you're starting out. It's basically a debit card with some credit card perks.
Edit: Sorry if that sounds patronizing, I'm being earnest. You may already know all this but simply have misunderstood his phrasing. Also possible that I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure on this one b/c credit reporting's my bag.
posted by hjo3 at 9:20 PM on August 7 [1 favorite]


I ask about safety because our address is on the offer, but not our name.

You only know what's written on the mail you received. You don't know what additional information is lurking in the computer that generated this offer. For all you know, according to the bank's computer this particular Ender Wiggin might also share your date of birth and Social Security number. You already know he shares your address. No, there's probably not a lot of hassle to be caused by playing around with this...but as Old Man McKay says, why would you want to? For what gain? Assume you put it on eBay, and it sells: what, seriously, do you imagine the closing price would be? Realistically, not in "I saw once on CNN"-land.

For future reference and if you're curious, I don't open mail that isn't addressed to me. If it's addressed to "Resident" or some dumb misspelling of my name, it goes in the trash. Otherwise it goes back into the mailbox. What the USPS does from there is of no concern to me. I'm not sure I'd bother assessing whether this particular proposal is unethical or illegal. It's just dumb.
posted by cribcage at 9:23 PM on August 7 [2 favorites]


When I was in college some porn company started sending plain-paper-wrapped catalogs to "Warren Pease". There was no Warren Pease living there. Then we said it out loud and figured it out. Hey, it was a liberal arts college.

We didn't auction the envelopes on E-Bay, and neither should you.
posted by alms at 9:42 PM on August 7


I wouldn't sell a credit card linked to my real address on the internet, no matter whose name was on it. Nope.
posted by Salamander at 9:54 PM on August 7 [3 favorites]


Don't show your address in the eBay photos. No one is going to buy your junk mail so that should handle all the safety concerns.
posted by leopard at 9:58 PM on August 7


Is it prepaid, or secured? If it's prepaid, there should be a way to check for a balance online or thru an 800 number. If that's the case, why not just use it? Is it some kind of rebate you forgot about? For ordering the movie maybe?

If it's an OFFER, it's probably a secured card & you should shred it.
posted by peep at 10:19 PM on August 7


Also, you do realize you can add anyone as an authorized user for your credit card, yes? So anyone with a credit card could obtain a credit card in the name of Ender Wiggin. I don't know who would purchase such a thing on ebay given that they could obtain the same thing themselves, for free, from their own credit card company. The off chance of finding a clueless buyer doesn't seem worth the risk of having a credit card offer linked to your address posted for sale on the internet (as others have mentioned).
posted by pecanpies at 11:36 PM on August 7 [2 favorites]


Prepaid means you have to put down the full credit amount first. They're not actually extending you credit, but using one can help build your credit if you're starting out. It's basically a debit card with some credit card perks.

Prepaid can also mean "a Visa/MC gift card with a balance of cash on it", right? I've received these from time to time as rebates for things or promotional items. If OP gets a card with some fictional name on it and $20 gift credit, that's a lot different than a debit card tied to his checking account or a credit line opened in his name. I was just asking for clarification.
posted by JoeZydeco at 7:52 AM on August 8


Anonymous - if you MeMail me, I might have a good idea for you.
posted by tacodave at 3:17 PM on August 8


Prepaid can also mean "a Visa/MC gift card with a balance of cash on it", right?

That's all it means. Prepaid and secured are totally different. Prepaid cards are anonymous and cash-based and never tied to your credit. hjo3 is wrong.
posted by peep at 3:59 PM on August 8


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