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Choking back the frustration...(need to vent before I explode)...


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Four times in the past, we've been victims of fraud on our checking account. Each time, it's been from seemingly random parts of the country. Each time, the bank has instituted fraud claims and returned the money. Great, but each time it happens, we have to change our debit cards as well as all things that "draw" from the account, like Netflix, Audible, Internet provider (which usually seems to bill right as the account is frozen, then they cut our service), etc. I have to change my buyer and seller info on Amazon, etc.

 

Because it's happened to us in the past, I check our online banking frequently. Today our account shows a $600 withdraw done through a teller (vs. online/debit). $600!! It's frustrating, and what's worse is that even though the bank covers the charges eventually each time, they never *ever* give me any indication that there's anything I can try to prevent this from happening again. I guess I don't understand fraud/banking enough to know myself. We've changed debit cards multiple times, we've changed checking accounts...what more is there? Do we need to change banks? {sorry, now I'm just ranting}. :cursing:

 

Are we the only ones who have this much trouble? I try to only use my debit card with reputable companies, and rarely write a check other than to my local church. Is it just us??

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Sounds like you should probably change banks. Clearly, this bank doesn't do much to protect their customers. Just my opinion.

See, I just don't know...it makes me angry that it keeps happening, but at the same time, the bank *does* cover the charges every time. It's just a frustration and an inconvenience. The last time was in July. I was at a homeschool convention and went to check in at the hotel and my debit card was declined. :001_huh::eek::o:crying: The only way I got to stay was because my dear friend stepped in and paid with her credit card. I was mortified. When I called the bank, they told me my account had been "flagged for fraud" and frozen. Apparently they'd sent me an email that morning, but it was after I'd left home to travel to the convention. I'm glad they noticed charges that were from Puerto Rico and did something about stopping them, but sheesh! That was embarrassing!

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We do not have debit cards at all because we believe them to be a risk. However we do have credit cards. Our credit card numbers have been stolen three times in the past year - three different cards, two different banks. It is beyond frustrating. :grouphug:

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We do not have debit cards at all because we believe them to be a risk. However we do have credit cards. Our credit card numbers have been stolen three times in the past year - three different cards, two different banks. It is beyond frustrating. :grouphug:

Some of the times, it was with our credit card (from the same bank). We just don't use credit cards any more as a way of life because we've decided to stay completely out of debt.

 

ETA: I'm sorry it's happened to you too but at least I don't feel so alone. :-(

Edited by Julie in CA
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So...yeah...I'd be switching banks.

Even that would be problematic. We live in a dinky little town with two basic bank choices. Years ago we used the other bank, but they kept sending our statements to my dh's brother by mistake. :confused: That's why we switched to the bank we currently use. :glare:

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Wow.

My debit card has never been compromised and I use it everywhere.

 

So...yeah...I'd be switching banks.

:iagree:

If these withdrawls are being done through a teller at another branch of your bank, then clearly this is an issue with employees of that bank. Either they are not checking IDs and allowing people to cash bad checks, or bank employees themselves are doing it.

 

I've had many different checking accounts and debit cards with many different banks in several states and two foreign countries, plus I buy tons of stuff online, and I have never had my account compromised. I would definitely find a different bank!

 

ETA: I just saw your post about the limited banking options in your town. One alternative might be to get a card that you pay monthly, like Amex, and use it for everything. Then you make one payment per month from your checking account, and if your Amex card gets compromised, Amex will jump right on it, and at least your account stays safe. I'm so sorry this has happened to you. :(

 

Jackie

Edited by Corraleno
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I really only write checks to people I know. I've used mostly cash for the past few years. I use my credit card but rarely use a debit card at all, because they seem to me to be easy access to fraud. We've never had any sort of problem with our checking.

 

We both had fraud occur to our credit cards during the same week this past summer. It's the first time that has happened. We both have our cards through the same company, which makes me think that they must have had a large number of card numbers lifted at the same time (although they haven't admitted this, to my knowledge). We were lucky that they are very vigilent and helped us catch it quickly.

 

So I don't know the answer, but if I were in your position I would certainly be talking to my bank about the number of problems that have occurred with your account. I just don't feel comfortable using debit cards or online banking, etc. I don't even like using my credit card online and rarely do that. I'm not sure what the answer is, sorry....

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It's amazing where fraud can come from. We had one card that the ONLY thing it was used for in an entire year was automatic payments to Dish Network. I called them to make some changes to our programming and about 3 weeks later, the card was charged for $300 for a dating site. Hmmmmm......now how could that have happened? The card never leaves the house and is used for ONE thing only. That one was pretty easy to figure out.

 

The point is that a LOT of people have access to your card information all the time. If it was just your card that is compromised time after time, I wouldn't blame the bank because that's just random bad luck, imo. Withdrawing from the teller would make me very worried and would cause me to believe that someone out there has an id with your name on it. Don't all banks require photo id in order to cash a check or make a withdrawal from a teller?

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Get a different bank, especially if you bank with Bank of America. Why?

 

We rented a room to a young mom once. She decided to steal a couple of checks from my box of checks (deep down where I wouldn't discover them) and write them to herself. She didn't write pay to the order of her name. She wrote pay to the order of cash, signed my name, and took it to her bank. Now tell me, if you were going to write a check to someone, wouldn't you put their name on it? Apparently, Bank of America thought I would write it out to cash before I gave it to her because they cashed two of them.

 

And my bank, which was Washington Mutual at the time, let it go through. I found it that day and went in immediately. They flagged the account and removed all of my money out of the account into a new one. They told me that they could not close the account until the investigation was over and had to leave 1 cent in it. Because I had two checks still outstanding, they made note of those specific checks so they could reroute them to the new account. Well, her second stolen check was put through to my new account despite the red flag on the account the check was written on. Ah, no! I eventually got them to refund the money from the 2nd check ($200) but they refused to refund the first check ($400). Their argument was that by having my checks where she could find them (in my own home), I was responsible for it. We moved ALL of our banking from Washington Mutual immediately.

 

We eventually got our $400 back. We had to get our city councilman involved to get the police to do anything. We had plenty of evidence..."my signature" matched her handwriting perfectly, her bank account number, bank video of her cashing the check. She chose a diversion program that required her to pay it back. She had to send us $25 a month, and if she missed a payment, she'd go to jail. Well, she missed plenty of payments but they allowed for reasonable circumstances to cause her to miss payments. It took a couple of years to get the money back...not in time for Christmas though (this happened in October/November).

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You could get another account...

 

and use cash for future transactions.

 

Most people purchase on-line for convenience sake.

I wish that would work, but did I mention that we live in a dinky town with only one small grocery store (and only two banks)? Not ordering online would be more than an inconvenience. :001_unsure:

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Some of the times, it was with our credit card (from the same bank). We just don't use credit cards any more as a way of life because we've decided to stay completely out of debt.

 

ETA: I'm sorry it's happened to you too but at least I don't feel so alone. :-(

 

We use the credit cards like cash, paying off each month.

 

Even that would be problematic. We live in a dinky little town with two basic bank choices. Years ago we used the other bank, but they kept sending our statements to my dh's brother by mistake. :confused: That's why we switched to the bank we currently use. :glare:

 

Why is it important to stay within your town? The last time I was physically inside a bank was.... years ago.

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Why is it important to stay within your town? The last time I was physically inside a bank was.... years ago.

'Cause my dh is a throwback to generations of old. :tongue_smilie:

He cannot conceive of a world in which he doesn't hand carry his check to the bank, smile at the teller, and make his deposit. :001_smile:

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My debit card was flagged last week because there were three attempted charges at a furniture store in Egypt. Lovely! Thankfully, they caught it quickly and called me immediately to let me know the card had been blocked. It's nice that they can catch it, even better if it could be prevented in the first place.

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Julie,

We've lived in three different areas and bank with two different banks currently. We've never had an occasion of bank fraud. We have had some incidences of credit card fraud connected to online use of credit cards. Are your debit cards used online?

 

I think it's highly unusual to have that many random occasions of compromise of bank accounts. I think you've got an issue with either the bank or a regular company (least likely in my mind) or someone you know with regular contact with you or your home--someone who has information about your accounts each time essentially.

 

Fraud with a teller withdrawal is really unusual. For good reason. They should be able to figure out who stole that money. First, they should have a time on the withdrawal. Can the bank view security cameras at the time? Beyond that, there should be a paper trail for a teller withdrawal at least around here. I wouldn't think a bank employee would be foolish enough to do a teller withdraw unless they somehow wanted to get caught. Other than that I would really be wondering about bank employees. But at any rate the teller withdrawal should be able to answer what's going on in my mind. If for some reason that's a dead end I'd be asking that bank if this is happening to anyone besides you.

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I use to work at a bank. The fact that you have had repeated compromises with debit, credit and check with the same back points to a problem with the bank. The check is real give away. A person should not have been able to cash a check on your account at a teller especially in a very small town with limited business. There is a major paper trail there though and they should have no problem solving this.

 

The only other possibility is someone in your life has access to your personal information (checks, debit cards, credit cards, PINS, etc.) If that is the case, it doesn't matter how many times your change things if they still have access to the info then they will just repeat the same process until they are caught.

 

I never use cash. I use my debit card exclusively and pay all bills on-line and do a great deal of purchasing on line. The only time my info has ever been compromised is when a major company like say Amazon has been hacked. In those situations, the corporations handled it before any problems transpired. I have never had my info individually compromised and I use cards exclusively. I never use cash for anything and I pay almost all bills on-line.

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Something similar happened to a friend of mine. She was able to put a higher level of security on her account which meant showing ID at the bank in addition to another document I believe. I know there are "flags" they can put on your account but I would suggest talking to the manager of the bank. If it's a large chain, I would go directly above the branch and talk to someone in customer service. Good luck!!!!!

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'Cause my dh is a throwback to generations of old. :tongue_smilie:

He cannot conceive of a world in which he doesn't hand carry his check to the bank, smile at the teller, and make his deposit. :001_smile:

 

Sounds it is time to take advantage of the physical presence of the bank manager.

 

Fraud can happen with credit cards if the scammers are willing to run thousands of numbers through, looking for one that works. We had some fraudulent charges last year that started with a small credit and were followed by the charges.

 

But I agree that the issue with it happening through a teller withdrawal indicates that it is an employee. I would request a meeting with the manager and whoever is their loss prevention specialist. Be firm that this has gone on long enough and indicates shoddy service and attention to detail.

 

And I'd very much look into direct deposit an a different bank or credit union. Supporting local institutions is great, but not at the expense of your families finances and credit rating.

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Hey Julie, remember I said earlier my debit card has never been compromised?

 

Well, I went to use it today and it was declined :001_huh:

I checked my account online and couldn't see a problem so I called the bank.

Apparently there was a suspicious charge, which I confirmed did not come from me, so they put a hold on my card. When I commented that I did not see the false charge on my account, they said their fraud department spotted it right away and declined it. My numbers were invalidated and a new card is on its way.

 

I *heart* my bank! Hope you can get yours to work for you or really...find a new one.

Edited by Sophia
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Hey Julie, remember I said earlier my debit card has never been compromised?

 

Well, I went to use it today and it was declined :001_huh:

I checked my account online and couldn't see a problem so I called the bank.

Apparently there was a suspicious charge which I confirmed did not come from me so they put a hold on my card. When I commented that I did not see the false charge on my account, they said their fraud department spotted it right away and declined it. My numbers were invalidated and a new card is on its way.

 

I *heart* my bank! Hope you can get yours to work for you or really...find a new one.

Well, that is what happened the first two times, they spotted it before it was even posted in my online banking. The third time I saw it online, the fourth time is the time they froze my card while I was out of town. This is the fifth time, and only the second time I've caught it before they did. This has all happened in the past two years or so. Before that, I would have been one of the people who said they've used their bank for years and never been a victim of fraud. :001_huh:

 

I sure do hope that this isn't the beginning for you, and that it ends with just this one occurrence! :grouphug:

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There has been issues where people can attach something to an atm/gas pump that will read numbers.

I have heard of that, but because we have a farm, I tend to fill up from the tank at home. I don't think I've ever run my card at a gas pump. The only places I actually run my card through a machine are mainstream stores like Target, Walmart, or the grocery.

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I think it's highly unusual to have that many random occasions of compromise of bank accounts.

 

I would be switching banks. This shouldn't happen more than one time, ever!

 

The fact that you have had repeated compromises with debit, credit and check with the same back points to a problem with the bank.

 

:iagree::iagree::iagree:

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How frustrating!

 

Change banks if possible. Stop using debit cards. Use a credit card instead, and pay it off in full every month.

 

When someone accesses your account via a debit card, the money gets taken out of your account immediately. Even if the bank eventually returns the money to you, imagine the potential disaster if your account was drained, but you've got bills that need to be paid.

 

Credit cards are just as likely to be compromised, but the difference is that the credit card company won't force you to fork over the money while they investigate. Instead, they'll temporarily credit your account, and then they'll permanently reverse the charge once they determine it was fraudulent.

 

Good luck stopping this madness!

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I sure do hope that this isn't the beginning for you, and that it ends with just this one occurrence! :grouphug:

 

Oh yeah, definitely hoping that!

Actually, I was in Key West last month and got a creepy feeling when shopping at a particular store. I was tempted to grab my card and skip the purchase...should have followed up on my instinct.

I'm sure that's where the attempt came from.

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Stop using debit cards. Use a credit card instead, and pay it off in full every month.

 

When someone accesses your account via a debit card, the money gets taken out of your account immediately. Even if the bank eventually returns the money to you, imagine the potential disaster if your account was drained, but you've got bills that need to be paid.

 

Credit cards are just as likely to be compromised, but the difference is that the credit card company won't force you to fork over the money while they investigate. Instead, they'll temporarily credit your account, and then they'll permanently reverse the charge once they determine it was fraudulent.

 

Actually, my debit card is a Visa Debit, and it has been handled exactly the same way as fraud on a Visa Credit card. I haven't had any problem getting them to credit my account, it's just the inconvenience of switching over of services and getting new cards so often, which appears to be the same regardless of which card I use. :confused:

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Sounds it is time to take advantage of the physical presence of the bank manager.

 

Fraud can happen with credit cards if the scammers are willing to run thousands of numbers through, looking for one that works. We had some fraudulent charges last year that started with a small credit and were followed by the charges.

 

But I agree that the issue with it happening through a teller withdrawal indicates that it is an employee. I would request a meeting with the manager and whoever is their loss prevention specialist. Be firm that this has gone on long enough and indicates shoddy service and attention to detail.

 

And I'd very much look into direct deposit an a different bank or credit union. Supporting local institutions is great, but not at the expense of your families finances and credit rating.

This. It definitely sounds like it's a problem with the bank security or a bank employee.

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I would put a fraud alert and possibly a credit freeze at all 3 credit bureaus.

 

Is your internet secure? Do you have the lastest virus software to prevent trojan horses? I would make a mental note of all places you have used card at IMHO. My dh card was compromised after using it at a restraurant.

 

I would ask the bank too if the problem is at their end, but it could also be someone skimming your info when you use the card.

 

 

http://clarkhoward.com/liveweb/shownotes/category/7/42/

Edited by priscilla
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Well, that is what happened the first two times, they spotted it before it was even posted in my online banking. The third time I saw it online, the fourth time is the time they froze my card while I was out of town. This is the fifth time, and only the second time I've caught it before they did. This has all happened in the past two years or so. Before that, I would have been one of the people who said they've used their bank for years and never been a victim of fraud. :001_huh:

 

I sure do hope that this isn't the beginning for you, and that it ends with just this one occurrence! :grouphug:

Yeah, hon, it sounds like more of a problem with who has access to your info than a problem with the bank. The bank is doing what they are supposed to. You've been saved from fraud 3 out of 5 times by the bank. Five times in 2 years is a lot. Most people never experience cc fraud.

 

Yes fraud happens, it happens fairly often, but not that often to the same people within such a short period of time.

 

IMHO you should re-evaluate how and when your card is used. You should also put your info under lock and key (or password protect them).

Edited by Parrothead
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Oh, forgot one thing. Since you know the last transaction was with a teller, consider filing a police report. This certainly qualifies as identity theft, as someone went into a bank and impersonated you. If the department isn't stretched too thin already, an officer may be willing to obtain the bank security videos and open a criminal investigation.

 

Edited to add: you'd think the bank and/or Visa would do this themselves, but usually they don't bother.

Edited by jplain
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Today I re-checked the online banking, and that transaction (which I reported to the bank as fraud yesterday afternoon) is gone. It's not highlighted as a disputed charge, there is no notation of a reversal of charges, it's just *gone*. That seems almost stranger than the fact that it was there to begin with...:001_huh:

 

ETA: And yes, I do know that sometimes there are charges listed as "pending" that are later dropped, but this was not that. It was clearly processed and not just pending.

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Today I re-checked the online banking, and that transaction (which I reported to the bank as fraud yesterday afternoon) is gone. It's not highlighted as a disputed charge, there is no notation of a reversal of charges, it's just *gone*. That seems almost stranger than the fact that it was there to begin with...:001_huh:

 

ETA: And yes, I do know that sometimes there are charges listed as "pending" that are later dropped, but this was not that. It was clearly processed and not just pending.

I would speak with the manager. I think someone at your bank is taking advantage of their position.

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Today I re-checked the online banking, and that transaction (which I reported to the bank as fraud yesterday afternoon) is gone. It's not highlighted as a disputed charge, there is no notation of a reversal of charges, it's just *gone*. That seems almost stranger than the fact that it was there to begin with...:001_huh:

 

ETA: And yes, I do know that sometimes there are charges listed as "pending" that are later dropped, but this was not that. It was clearly processed and not just pending.

 

Put together some notes on the timeline for all these events as specifically as you can. March over to the bank in person and request to speak with the most senior manager there. Be firm and repetitious (in the nicest way possible, of course). I think this is a problem that needs to be dealt with in person.

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