CHICAGO (CBS) — When you lose your debit card, you usually get a replacement in the mail with your money still on it.
But a Calumet City woman said that was not the case for her, and a company with a history of problems has held onto hundreds of dollars of her money for months.
CBS 2’s Tim McNicholas took Danina Moody’s problems to the company, and two a financial expert.
Moody doesn’t have a crystal ball, but by now, she can predict what the RushCard customer service reps will send her when she reaches out.
“She’s actually going to say the same thing that all of them say,” Moody said. “She’s going to say she doesn’t see anything. They have not received the documents.”
The documents RushCard wants from Moody include copies of her ID and Social Security number, as she tries to get a replacement for a prepaid debit card she lost with more than $200 on it.
They sent her a new card to use, but it doesn’t have any of her funds on it.
Moody said she has already sent the information about five times since April. She even showed us a fax receipt from earlier this month.
“That’s my money and I need it, you know?” she said. “My living situation is not good at all. I’m on a fixed income already.”
Just as Moody predicted, the rep told her this most recent time that RushCard did not have her documents.
Another rep told her the same thing earlier in June, and asked her either to fax or mail them again. Moody has no car and no fax machine, so she has been walking nearly two miles and spending her own money on the faxes.
“This is a person’s livelihood, and that’s nothing to play with,” she said.
Prepaid debit cards like RushCard are a draw for people whose credit history or income disqualifies them from a traditional bank account.
Moody, for example, said she is struggling financially after dealing with heart problems and other health issues.
“This shouldn’t happen,” said Kimberly Palmer.
Palmer works for the personal finance website NerdWallet. She said Moody’s story isn’t the only red flag for RushCard.
“A lot of similar competitors make it a lot cheaper to use,” Palmer said. “With RushCard, you’re actually paying a monthly fee. You’re also paying a fee anytime you use an out of network ATM, and also the first time you load money onto the card, you’re also paying a fee.”
Federal regulators fined RushCard $13 million for a 2015 outage that cut people off from their money for days, while customers said they were struggling to pay for food and bills.
The company was founded by Russell Simmons, but he is now out after Green Dot bought RushCard in 2017.
Today, most of the pictures on RushCard’s website show Black or Brown people.
“I do think they were targeting Black people. They were,” Moody said. “It’s a card that’s convenient for people – minorities with meager means. It is. It’s sad that they’re treating us like this.”
Now, Moody is left with a useless card and her money in limbo.
We reached out to Green Dot and RushCard to ask what’s going on. They said they’d contact Moody to try to figure it out.
Green Dot said faxing is not a requirement for a lost card, but could not say why Moody had to fax documents repeatedly.
They also failed to address any of the other issues we raised in this story.