Justin Bieber Becomes Pitchman For Debit Card Aimed At Teens

Justin Bieber Becomes Pitchman For Debit Card Aimed At Teens

10:07 AM EDT, April 12, 2013

It's the controversial ad that's causing serious embarrassment for Justin Bieber.

He's now a pitchman for a company that offers a prepaid debit card for teenagers.

In the ad, Bieber says, “When I was a kid, we didn’t have a lot of money. So, me and my family had to watch the money that we spent.”

Now, financial experts are slamming Bieber.

"Parents beware! Justin Bieber backing new debit card for kids," says one headline.

"Bieber endorses much-criticized product," says another.

Bieber is being paid $3.75 million by a company called SpendSmart that offers the prepaid cards.

The firm was once known as "billmyparents."

In the ad, Bieber advises teens about financial responsibility, stressing that he hasn't always been filthy rich.

Bieber links to the ad on his Facebook page, his website and his Twitter account.

But ConsumerReports.org says prepaid cards pose "dangers and traps" and says people who use them "will be at risk of losing all their money" because of "high and sometimes confusing fees."

The Bieber card's fees reportedly include a monthly charge of $3.95 and even a $3 charge if you don't use the card for 30 days.

INSIDE EDITION spoke to personal finance expert Lauren Lyons Cole.

Lauren said, “In the case of the Justin Bieber debit card, it’s actually going to cost parents almost $50 a year just to own the piece of plastic.”

She also said, “They also charge fees for ATM withdrawals, for funding the card, anywhere they can squeeze in a fee, and they’re going to squeeze in a fee.”

A spokesman for SpendSmart said, "We're helping families to teach youth better spending habits."


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