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Will Pre-Activated Credit Cards Encourage Mail Theft?

LOS ANGELES ( — Putting his brand-new Chase Southwest Visa into his wallet, Jason Wood was surprised he was able to use it at a gas station without activating it first.

It went right through and worked.

He called Chase to learn that his card was pre-activated.

"I asked them, 'Do you realize that this is promoting crime?' " Wood said.

He's concerned it'll drive thieves to break into mailboxes.

"It certainly is surprising to me to see that banks would do this," he said.'s Matt Schulz says most credit-card companies do require activation. But what if your card is already activated?

"If somebody gets ahold of the card and uses it fraudulently, (consumers) won't be liable for any of those charges," Schulz said.

CBS2/KCAL9 News reached out to Chase, which said pre-activated cards are an industrywide practice. A spokesperson said customers are not liable for unauthorized transactions made to their accounts.

But what about Wood's concerns about mailbox theft?

"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," a Chase spokesperson said.

It still makes Wood uncomfortable.

"The whole practice makes me feel a little bit angry," he said.

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