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Most of our money stolen but we will get it back (super hassle)


TravelingChris
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So I am shopping for athletic shoes to replace the ones I had where the fabric has worn down and the metal can be felt.  I can still wear these but obviously time for new ones.  I go to Zappos and try to order some shoes.  I enter in my debit card number and it says something is wrong.  I try it two more times thinking I have typed something wrong.  I then change to my AMEX card.  I proceed to log onto my bank account and see that neither my savings account nor checking account balance is available.  I call the bank.  They tell me they can't talk to me since my husband is primary.  I call him and he is skeptical of me at first but I tell him he needs to call the bank now.  In the meantime I start investigating on the banks website.  I find I can see the transactions that were made and see that someone stole thousands of dollars both from our checking and our savings.  When he calls he finds out that someone hacked his debit card and he is getting a new one sent.  I hope this gets resolved very quickly because we need to show New Zealand that we have several thousand dollars available in order for our daughter to get her student visa.  She is traveling to New Zealand for study abroad and is in the process of getting her visa.  I think the last thing she needed was the proof of monetary support and here comes this hack.  

 

This is the main reason that I always believe everyone should have a credit card or two.  You need to have access to money if something happens to your bank account like this thing.

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No, we are in a state where they have no branches- they only have a few.  It is USAA bank and we haven't had problems in the past when our account was hacked- always dh's card for whatever reason- and money has always been returned.  They did ask me to upload a signature card which I didn't have or didn't really know what they meant so I scanned a copy of my military ID which has my signature and also wrote it on a note from a note pad and scanned that too.  

 

I am just perplexed why they let the charges go through.  They were huge charges at a Hispanic grocery chain that is only in existence in southern FL which isn't where we live nor where dh routinely travels to and I call the bank when we are traveling together on vacation.  But we have never made any purchase at any grocery anywhere close to the charges they did at the grocery and we have not been shopping at Hispanic grocery stores anywhere let alone one nearly a thousand miles from us. 

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IWhen my dh comes home today, he is calling the bank and telling them that I need to have full access including talking with security.  I thought I had talked with security in the past but it may have been when dh was home and I handed over the phone to have him say okay.  I know he doesn't want to deal with things like this and he travels so I want to be able to deal with everything without him if the need arises.

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Dang, that stinks. But, wth, you can't talk to the bank because your DH is primary?!? Huh?!? No way would I bank there if that were the case.

That's really common now. It makes dealing with any kind of utility, credit union, etc a huge pain. Even our cable company is like that.

 

I'm so sorry that happened, OP. My credit union recently shut my debit card down due to fraud--thankfully the theif was denied every time he tried to use my info. Still, it feels like a huge violation, and of course it's a hassle to deal with the fallout. I hope it's resolved quickly for you!

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I don't do debit cards because they are directly connected to my savings.

 

One of my credit cards was stolen recently. I think the person only had the number not the verification code because there was only one place accepting the card (a fast food place in Toronto). I'm in VA and have never been to Canada. The bank had records that showed the person attempted to charge many more places, but was rejected. Anyway, the bank knew there was a problem and contacted me before I knew anything.

 

OP I hope your situation is straightened out quick and your DD gets her visa with no glitches in the way.

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Holy cow, Chris! I hope it's resolved QUICKLY and without further hassle. Put your name on the account as a person equally entitled to information and account reviews.

 

This is exactly why I use mainly my credit card now for all purchases. My debit card was compromised twice over the last Thanksgiving  / Christmas season and I was lucky they left something in the account!

 

ETA: We have a larger savings account at a different institution than where we have short-term savings and checking accounts. We do not use a card for the larger savings. It may help to spread accounts out a bit just in case. These days, nothing seems safe.

Edited by Liz CA
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Dang, that stinks. But, wth, you can't talk to the bank because your DH is primary?!? Huh?!? No way would I bank there if that were the case.

 

This is perfectly normal, or has been in my experience.   The primary person just needs to give the bank (or whatever institution) the authorization to talk to the secondary or joint owner.  My husband and I forgot to have him do that when we refinanced our mortgage, but corrected it quickly when the bank couldn't answer a question I had. And, when I was the primary on the health insurance, I had to give them authorization to talk to him.  Etc.   It's not a big deal and nothing to get upset over. 

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I'm so sorry. This is unnerving.  

 

We got a second card after our credit card number was stolen one week before Christmas, THREE years in a row.  Great timing.  Argh.  

 

Mercifully, our bank was all over it--they noticed it before we did in 2 of the cases.

 

I can always tell when it's about time for our credit card number to get stolen--it's about 3 minutes after I get it memorized.  

 

I hope this gets resolved quickly and *completely* for you.

 

 

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We had our account hacked and quite a lot of money taken. It was actually the bank who called us to check if we knew about the transaction. We had to do a stat dec to say we didn't know the person then the money was returned. It was a fairly painless process. You may need to check your computer security as we were running a high quality antivirus but someone still managed to get a key logger program on to it.

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Yes, we are both doing virus scans but here is what bugs me.  They got dh's password and pin changed and used his debit card number for the purchases.  I suppose they either bought gift cards or wire transfers at the grocery store.  Anyway, that means it didn't come from my computer since I don't have his password and pin on my computer and he uses his own for banking.  It probably got hacked when he was using his cell phone someplace to do banking.  He travels and he tells me he doesn't use the hotel internet but uses his cell phone.  He seems to keep forgetting that I am the person with the training in criminology and I am the person who has time to read all the security precautions out there.  WE have gotten fake charges before but nothing on this scale and no time were our passwords and pins changed.  My dh asked who has been in the house lately and only people who have been coming here for years so it isn't one of them.Furthermore, none of them have connections to either Brooklyn (where the password and pin number IP address originates from) or Southern Florida.  He reluctantly agreed it was probably from his cell phone.

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I am sorry this happened to you and your DH and I hope it will be straightened out quickly. You are not the first or last people to have this happen to them. If New Zealand gives you any flack, hopefully your bank can give you a letter confirming that you were victims of a crime.  

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How very frustrating, Chris!  I hope that all will be well soon.

 

...   we need to show New Zealand that we have several thousand dollars available in order for our daughter to get her student visa.  She is traveling to New Zealand for study abroad and is in the process of getting her visa.  I think the last thing she needed was the proof of monetary support and here comes this hack. 

 

I remember this visa requirement from when my daughter did her study abroad in New Zealand. My daughter went to the University of Otago and very much enjoyed her time there.  If you're willing to share, where is your daughter going?  I hope she has a great experience.

 

Regards,

Kareni

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A little off topic, but is this needed for all students studying abroad?  Does anyone know specifically for Jordan - 'cause that's where my guy is planning on going in the fall and I've heard nothing about needing proof of money in our account (yet).  We don't keep much money in bank accounts.  Our assets are elsewhere, so if I need something like that, I've got to do some pre-planning.

 

I asked my lad and he said no one had mentioned anything to him about that.  Is it a New Zealand thing perhaps?

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A little off topic, but is this needed for all students studying abroad?  Does anyone know specifically for Jordan - 'cause that's where my guy is planning on going in the fall and I've heard nothing about needing proof of money in our account (yet).  We don't keep much money in bank accounts.  Our assets are elsewhere, so if I need something like that, I've got to do some pre-planning.

 

I asked my lad and he said no one had mentioned anything to him about that.  Is it a New Zealand thing perhaps?

 

It's definitely a requirement for a New Zealand visa for those studying abroad, and it was spelled out quite plainly in their documentation.

 

If your son is unaware of the requirement, it likely is not a requirement for Jordan.

 

Regards,

Kareni

 

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Yes, we are both doing virus scans but here is what bugs me.  They got dh's password and pin changed and used his debit card number for the purchases.  I suppose they either bought gift cards or wire transfers at the grocery store.  Anyway, that means it didn't come from my computer since I don't have his password and pin on my computer and he uses his own for banking.  It probably got hacked when he was using his cell phone someplace to do banking.  He travels and he tells me he doesn't use the hotel internet but uses his cell phone.  He seems to keep forgetting that I am the person with the training in criminology and I am the person who has time to read all the security precautions out there.  WE have gotten fake charges before but nothing on this scale and no time were our passwords and pins changed.  My dh asked who has been in the house lately and only people who have been coming here for years so it isn't one of them.Furthermore, none of them have connections to either Brooklyn (where the password and pin number IP address originates from) or Southern Florida.  He reluctantly agreed it was probably from his cell phone.

 

So, my banker just advised me to get the mobile banking app to deposit the one check that does not get auto-deposited (my regular paychecks are auto deposited) into my account. Now I am wondering if it's worth the slight inconvenience of taking the check into the bank...

Edited by Liz CA
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We had this happen to us many times.  

 

Once we noticed something weird on Friday evening before Columbus Day (does anyone besides banks close on Columbus Day?) and we got to watch our primary checking account drain over the 3 day weekend.  We called the 800 # on Friday evening but customer service said nothing could be done to freeze our accounts until the actual bank was open on Tuesday.  The money was returned to the account, but because it was under $10K the bank didn't pursue the matter.  There were several charges for online items that had to be delivered.  I wanted to say, "There's an address!  Go get 'em!"

 

We had it happen again less than a year later but the bank caught it before we did when I used my card at my local grocery at the exact moment the card was being charged at Dominos Pizza in New York.  If I were in New York, surely I could find a better pizza place than Dominos.

 

The very best one was when Dh called me to ask if I had used the card recently for a large purchase.  I had just bought a couple pairs of jeans for myself and paid more than I wanted to so when he called I was feeling defensive and I said, "Yes!  I used the credit card to buy jeans!  Do you know how long it has been since I bought myself clothes?"

He said, "$4K worth of jeans?"  I said, "What!?!?!?!"  and now we joke about what would make jeans worth $4K.

 

Sorry this is happening to you,

Amber in SJ

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A little off topic, but is this needed for all students studying abroad?  Does anyone know specifically for Jordan - 'cause that's where my guy is planning on going in the fall and I've heard nothing about needing proof of money in our account (yet).  We don't keep much money in bank accounts.  Our assets are elsewhere, so if I need something like that, I've got to do some pre-planning.

 

I asked my lad and he said no one had mentioned anything to him about that.  Is it a New Zealand thing perhaps?

 

It's the case for the UK, at least in some cases.  Do ask, because for the UK the money needs to have been in there for a certain period of time to count.  I've had postgraduate students run up against it when wanting to come to the university where I work.

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It's the case for the UK, at least in some cases.  Do ask, because for the UK the money needs to have been in there for a certain period of time to count.  I've had postgraduate students run up against it when wanting to come to the university where I work.

 

He's at home with us on spring break now, but I have told him to specifically ask when he returns.  All I can find via google is that they need to purchase a student visa once they land there - and that rules change all the time.

 

I didn't realize anyone kept significant amounts of money in their bank account(s) any longer considering the (lack of) interest one earns there.  If they want to see more than a thousand or two, I need to rearrange - esp if they want it there for any length of time.  In general, we live on hubby's income with just a couple grand in extra for emergencies (and credit cards if we temporarily need more).  Savings are out (trying to) earn money.

 

I'm hoping Kareni is correct when she says they'd have told him already as this has been in the planning stages for some time now - application and a decent (but not super high) downpayment are in, etc.

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I'm so sorry this happened, especially given the timing of your daughter's travel visa.

 

 

This is why we have a separate "working" account. Monthly budgeted amount goes in and is attached to a debit card. All else goes into another unattached account. So only a certain amount can bleed out.

Sorry Chris, what a pita.

 

 

I was going to suggest this, too, in case there are others like me out there who avoid credit cards (or even if you do have credit cards, it's still a good idea).  We have several accounts, at two different institutions, in order to avoid putting all of our eggs in one basket.  

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So, my banker just advised me to get the mobile banking app to deposit the one check that does not get auto-deposited (my regular paychecks are auto deposited) into my account. Now I am wondering if it's worth the slight inconvenience of taking the check into the bank...

 

I think the  mobile app, if you use it at home over your protected home network (vs using it out & about over your data, or a potentially spoofed wi-fi), is fine.

Edited by TheReader
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I'm so sorry this happened to you. 

 

One thing I haven't seen mentioned yet, see if your bank has any alerts you can set on your account. We have ours set to automatically text us for any gas station purchase, any online purchase, and any purchase in general over a certain amount. This way we are alerted immediately, and can catch any fraud before it becomes a big problem.

 

I'm not sure if all banks/cards have options for this, but it can be a simple way to get peace of mind if they do. 

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Our money is back into our account today.  As to the visa issue, we didn't know this financial proof requirement until last week and dd has been working with the school handling the study abroad since January, I believe.   On the application, NZ asks for 6 months of records but the school says they never have anyone not get a visa and often times they turn in less documents.  The easiest for me to do is our savings account because it is a tremendously less amount of pages than the checking account.  The proof can either be from the student or the parents or financial guarantors.  My dd currently has about 10 bucks in her checking and maybe 40 in her savings so definitely not enough.  New Zealand doesn't want people arriving and not having money available.  

 

Creekland, check the Jordanian Embassy website and see what requirements are needed for a student visa (if that is what he needs).  Because he may need to show proof of funds on arrival.  As an immigration officer back in the early 90's, I know we did occasionally detain people to check on finances for travel.  At the desk, I would often request to see a return ticket if I felt they were at all questionable.  

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As to why it wasn't flagged, I have no idea.  My dd's card was stopped when she was in New Orleans at the zoo trying to buy postcards.  Not sure why at all since she lives only a few hours from New Orleans and visits there at least once a year and has been to that zoo I think three or four times.  OTOH, my dh does not travel to Hialeah, FL for work, he does not go into Hispanic grocery stores while he travels for work (or any other time), he rarely goes into a grocery store when he travels for work and if he does, it is for small purchase, and neither dh nor I have even spent thousands at any grocery store.  So I am not sure why it wasn't stopped.

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Our money is back into our account today.  As to the visa issue, we didn't know this financial proof requirement until last week and dd has been working with the school handling the study abroad since January, I believe.   On the application, NZ asks for 6 months of records but the school says they never have anyone not get a visa and often times they turn in less documents.  The easiest for me to do is our savings account because it is a tremendously less amount of pages than the checking account.  The proof can either be from the student or the parents or financial guarantors.  My dd currently has about 10 bucks in her checking and maybe 40 in her savings so definitely not enough.  New Zealand doesn't want people arriving and not having money available.  

 

Creekland, check the Jordanian Embassy website and see what requirements are needed for a student visa (if that is what he needs).  Because he may need to show proof of funds on arrival.  As an immigration officer back in the early 90's, I know we did occasionally detain people to check on finances for travel.  At the desk, I would often request to see a return ticket if I felt they were at all questionable.  

 

I'm glad you got your money back so quickly!

 

And thanks a ton for sharing your experience with the visa requirement.  I'm off to check their embassy website now, and in general, at least it's on my radar.  I wish things like this were always spelled out in advance!

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Looking on this form - from their embassy:

 

http://jordanembassyus.org/sites/default/files/A.%20Visa%20Application%20for%20American%20%26%20Western%20European%20Citizens.pdf

 

I don't see a requirement - and the fact that he seems to be able to get his visa at the airport makes me think they are probably pretty lenient - esp since he'll be with an approved college program.

 

That's what I'm "banking on" at this point anyway.  ;)  

 

And I'll still have him ask when he gets back to school - just to hopefully double check.

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Creekland, what you really may want to verify are the two conflicting statements on the visa application with regards to US citizens.  On the upper portion it says that US citizen visas may take up to five days to process.  On the lower portion, it details that people from certain countries or areas like US and Western Europe, can get a visa at the airport.

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Creekland, what you really may want to verify are the two conflicting statements on the visa application with regards to US citizens.  On the upper portion it says that US citizen visas may take up to five days to process.  On the lower portion, it details that people from certain countries or areas like US and Western Europe, can get a visa at the airport.

 

That part actually doesn't bother me because I know he is getting his visa ahead of time - this summer.  I just thought since they offer an "at airport" option then they aren't likely to be expecting to see 6 months worth of bank account info.  If they wanted that, he's already sunk - or needing an exception.  If they wanted three months, there's still time to transfer funds, etc.  If they don't need anything, I don't want to transfer anything - preferring to keep going monthly due to better interest rates.

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