While I was in Maui, my wife received an email saying her Bluebird account had been suspended due to “unusual/irregular activity”. This was incredibly odd, because her account had just been open for a few days and had no transactions other than having $3,000 loaded via Vanilla Reload Cards. (Note: This post was contributed Thrifty Tourist.)
Once we got settled into our hotel, I sat in our lanai at the Grand Wailea (full review of this hotel coming soon) and called the Bluebird Customer Service Number to see what the issue was. I asked their representatives numerous times what the unusual/irregular activity was, but they refused to tell me, due to the sensitive nature of their security review procedures.
He did finally tell me that it could be “any number of things, such as invalid attempts to login, suspicious transactions and linking of bank accounts.” Since it was a new card, I quickly realized that the suspicious activity was due to the bank account that we linked just before leaving for Maui. I linked our joint bank account to my wife’s Bluebird account, right before we received the email.
What caused it to be suspicious was that same joint account was linked to my own Bluebird account last month. Now, we hadn’t conducted any transactions with the bank account as we were still waiting for the two deposits to show up in the account for verification purposes, yet they still suspended her Bluebird account. I guess they find it suspicious/irregular for two people to link to the same bank account.
To rectify the issue, I was asked to fax a copy of my wife’s social security card to their offices for identification purposes. Being in Maui, we didn’t have a copy with us, so we waited to return to the mainland to do so. After returning, I faxed a copy of the card and called the Customer Service line for further instructions. I was told that the fax was too “light” and they couldn’t read it.
I asked if I could email a scan, but again, due to the sensitive nature of their security procedures, they can only accept faxes. I faxed another, darker copy and another even darker copy and finally, on the 4th call to Customer Service, they acknowledged receiving and identifying my wife and subsequently released the suspended account. I again asked the representative how I can avoid this situation again and again they said “….we can’t tell you, just know that your account is fine and you won’t have any problems anymore…”. That was good enough for me!
Moral of the story, be careful linking the same bank account to two separate Bluebird accounts as it might trigger a security review of your account, resulting in a temporary suspension.