By Kurtis Ming

ELK GROVE (CBS13) —  Jason Wood was surprised his replacement Southwest Chase Visa showed up pre-activated. He realized it after swiping the card at a gas station.

“And it went right through and worked,” he said.

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Upset considering his prior card was compromised, Jason called Chase.

“I asked them, ‘do you realize that this is promoting crime?'”

He’s concerned it’ll only drive bad guys to break into mailboxes.

“It certainly is surprising to me to see that banks would do this,” said Matt Schulz of CreditCards.com.

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Schulz says most credit cards do require activation. Although he says you shouldn’t be concerned if a car comes pre-activated.

“If somebody gets ahold of the card and uses it fraudulently, they won’t be liable for any of those charges,” he said.

CBS13 reached out to Chase, which claimed pre-activating cards is now an industry wide practice. A spokesperson assured us customers are not liable for unauthorized transactions made to their account.
Chase says it encourages people to call up to say they received the card. If they don’t, transactions may be declined.

When we asked specifically about Jason’s concerns about mail theft, the spokesperson responded, “I can’t comment on mail theft other than to say that we have seen no increase in customer complaints on this topic or fraud related to this topic or fraud related to this.”

“The whole practice makes me feel a little bit angry,” Jason said.

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We reached out to the American Bankers Association which told us many banks make this decision based on the fact that customers like the convenience of not having to make a phone call for authorization before they can start using their cards.