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Old 03-17-11, 11:01 PM   #1
pgjackson
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OT: watch your bank accounts

Well, the wife calls me at work this morning hyperventilating sayng that our checking account has been emptied. Several thousand dollars of purchases were made yesterday to some travel agency in England. All of it from my Visa sharecheck card (which draws right from my checking account) which I use almost exclusively when I buy stuff. Luckily, we caught the transactions early, cancelled the card and reported the fradulent charges to the bank. The bank refunded the money within about an hour. Crisis averted.

Moral of the story, don't use a card that is tied to your checking or savings account to buy stuff. If you need to make purchases (especially on-line purchases) use a credit card (or cash or checks). Credit cards and checking cards have totally different means of protection. I went and applied for a basic American Express card this afternoon. Hackers can attack that thing all day and I'm not responsible for fraudulent charges and the bad guys don't have access to my bank accounts.

Moral #2: check your accounts frequently.
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Old 03-17-11, 11:14 PM   #2
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You should of never used a check card to purchase anything online, no matter what website it is.
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Old 03-17-11, 11:50 PM   #3
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well that's not much of a moral to be preached considering your bank was on top of the matter and your money was recovered within the hour. i'd hazard a guess that the reaction time is faster than any credit card company could muster.

i've actually had my bank call me (before i'd even realized) to tell me someone was trying to use my debit card
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Old 03-18-11, 03:55 AM   #4
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i've actually had my bank call me (before i'd even realized) to tell me someone was trying to use my debit card
That happened to me a couple of times, too. One day while I was in Florida, the bank security people called and asked if I was in New York at a gas station. I said no and they said they would take care of it. They're really good about that.
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Old 03-18-11, 04:42 AM   #5
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well that's not much of a moral to be preached considering your bank was on top of the matter and your money was recovered within the hour. i'd hazard a guess that the reaction time is faster than any credit card company could muster.

i've actually had my bank call me (before i'd even realized) to tell me someone was trying to use my debit card
Sounds like the OP was just lucky that his wife noticed the missing funds before any other checks bounced and caused more issues. Yes, the bank will resolve the issue once they become aware of it, but that can take some time if the fraudulent charges aren't discovered quickly and in the meantime other legitimate checks might be rejected and cause problems.

OTOH, with a credit card you don't have such issues since you still retain your own funds in your bank accounts. Even if you don't discover the fraud until you get your monthly statement you haven't lost access to your money and can dispute the charges at that time.

Credit card companies also monitor transactions for signs of fraudulent activity. I've gotten several calls when they thought something was suspicious. Once my wife bought gas and then bought a computer only a few minutes later. Apparently that's a common behavior of thieves with a stolen card; i.e. try it out at an automated gas pump and if it works there then make some bigger purchases. So the card company called me to verify the validity of the charges.

With one of our credit cards this validity checking has become a bit annoying. Our daughter is an authorized user of one of my cards and lives in another state. A few times when we've made purchases at about the same time the card company has questioned the charge and even blocked use of the card until we make a call to verify the validity.
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Old 03-18-11, 05:18 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by pgjackson View Post
Well, the wife calls me at work this morning hyperventilating sayng that our checking account has been emptied. Several thousand dollars of purchases were made yesterday to some travel agency in England. All of it from my Visa sharecheck card (which draws right from my checking account) which I use almost exclusively when I buy stuff. Luckily, we caught the transactions early, cancelled the card and reported the fradulent charges to the bank. The bank refunded the money within about an hour. Crisis averted.

Moral of the story, don't use a card that is tied to your checking or savings account to buy stuff. If you need to make purchases (especially on-line purchases) use a credit card (or cash or checks). Credit cards and checking cards have totally different means of protection. I went and applied for a basic American Express card this afternoon. Hackers can attack that thing all day and I'm not responsible for fraudulent charges and the bad guys don't have access to my bank accounts.

Moral #2: check your accounts frequently.
Already do both. Thanks for posting for those who don't.
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Old 03-18-11, 06:22 AM   #7
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Also the legal protection for consumers against fraud is better for credit cards than debit cards.

http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/cons...dit/cre04.shtm

Assuming you have the discipline to pay off your credit card monthly, there's no reason to use a debit card at all.
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Old 03-18-11, 06:44 AM   #8
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Never EVER use a debit card for online purchases.
I don't even know why anyone would use debit instead of credit, in any situation...
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Old 03-18-11, 06:45 AM   #9
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What's a check?
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Old 03-18-11, 06:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
With one of our credit cards this validity checking has become a bit annoying. Our daughter is an authorized user of one of my cards and lives in another state. A few times when we've made purchases at about the same time the card company has questioned the charge and even blocked use of the card until we make a call to verify the validity.
I had something loosely similar happen a while back. I ordered a laptop online, the secondary check reported a failure but then the site I'd ordered the laptop from came back and said the order was complete.

Shortly afterwards I got a call from the card company asking if it was a genuine transaction, so I confirmed it was. The next time I tried to use my card it was blocked, so I called the company to find out why, and it was due to a "suspect transaction", which proved to be the laptop I'd already confirmed was genuine. So they unblocked the card, but the next time I went to use it I had the exact same problem.

I wouldn't mind calling them so much if it wasn't for the almost inevitable 20 minutes listening to irritating hold music every time and trying to figure out what combination of buttons I have to push to talk to a real person rather than another recording.
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Old 03-18-11, 06:56 AM   #11
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I wouldn't mind calling them so much if it wasn't for the almost inevitable 20 minutes listening to irritating hold music every time and trying to figure out what combination of buttons I have to push to talk to a real person rather than another recording.
Press 0 or speak "customer service", 99% of the time that gets you to a person.
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Old 03-18-11, 07:02 AM   #12
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Never EVER use a debit card for online purchases.
I don't even know why anyone would use debit instead of credit, in any situation...

Because Financial institutions that make money from their use heavily promote them.
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Old 03-18-11, 07:09 AM   #13
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Never EVER use a debit card for online purchases.
I don't even know why anyone would use debit instead of credit, in any situation...

Better yet - Never use a debit card for anything.
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Old 03-18-11, 07:28 AM   #14
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I just use the debit card to get WAM from the ATM. Which makes it all the more strange when several years ago someone made a purchase on our debit card in Osaka Japan. We told the bank, they refunded our money and investigated the charge. The bank later said they would have to honor the charge since the person physically had a card when they made the purchase. Huh??? It didn't cost us anything but it was still odd.
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Old 03-18-11, 07:35 AM   #15
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What's a check?
A check is something you do to your balance before writing a cheque. If you don't check, your cheque may bounce.
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Old 03-18-11, 07:46 AM   #16
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That happened to me a couple of times, too. One day while I was in Florida, the bank security people called and asked if I was in New York at a gas station. I said no and they said they would take care of it. They're really good about that.
The downside to this is that our credit card (which we use on trips instead of the bank card) regularly gets denied when we are travelling. We travel 3-4 times a year from AL to WI/SD to visit family and we always wind up getting the card suspended ... which means we have to use the bank card > We've tried asking for certain state exemptions where we typically fill up on the way but we still get denied. Ah well...
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Old 03-18-11, 07:47 AM   #17
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Press 0 or speak "customer service", 99% of the time that gets you to a person.
It always used to, but not here unfortunately. It's the first thing I always do because the option is usually "if you know the extension, dial it now". No such luck here, it expects you to say what you want and then takes a best guess what you said and what you might want. Dialing 0 doesn't work but pressing random numbers for long enough usually gets a response like "please wait while I connect you to an operator", at which point the irritating hold music starts.
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Old 03-18-11, 08:27 AM   #18
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A check is something you do to your balance before writing a cheque. If you don't check, your cheque may bounce.
That's the Queen's English. Is it a chequeing account?
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Old 03-18-11, 08:50 AM   #19
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Better yet - Never use a debit card for anything.
Yep. I don't even own one. If I need cash I'll actually go into the bank.
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Old 03-18-11, 09:22 AM   #20
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I don't understand why people use debit cards for purchases, unless they are getting a great APY and the charges are part of the requirement. Forgetting the safety issue for a second, credit cards (the right ones) often have 3% or more rewards and using credit cards builds a strong FICO score so that you can get loans when needed at low interest rates. Just pay off the entire balance every month. But some people seem to stay away from the cards because they think they won't be able to control their spending.

As far as online shopping goes, if you have a PayPal account, you must disclose your banking information. Personal information gets hacked when someone is able to get into your account. This happened to me years ago with PayPal. The solution to this is to use strong passwords and change them regularly: use numbers, letters, capital letters, special characters, and at least 8+ length. There are password quality checkers online.
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Old 03-18-11, 09:47 AM   #21
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About 6 months ago, and several times of fraud against my debit card, cloning etc...I said F' this...no more debit cards for any transactions.

I use only CC now, that way, if there is fraud, your bank account isn't drained of its money.

Sure, the bank refunded the fraudalent money several days later...but the heck with that.

From now on, if any fraud, and if for some crazy reason they try to say it wasn't...good luck getting your money from me CC company...rather you having to fight the bank to get them to refund the cash back to your bank accounts.

Lessons learned the hard way I guess...Debit cards are the worst invention ever for more than just cash withdrawals from the ATM....
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Old 03-18-11, 09:50 AM   #22
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Old 03-18-11, 10:10 AM   #23
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Don't know why this thread got moved. The reason I was using my debit card is bacause I am not a fan of credit cards in general. Too easy to run it up and next thing you know it's maxed out. I liked the debit card because the money comes straight out of the bank account (like a check), and in my mind is easer to manage and control. Anyway, I learned a great lesson and just wanted to throw out a cautionary tale.
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Old 03-18-11, 10:12 AM   #24
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I'm not crazy about either, but BofA and Citibank both offer credit cards that allow you to create valid temporary card numbers, complete with CV2 code and your choice of $ limit and expiration date (2 month min.). These are great for online purchases because they are only good for 1 merchant, up to the dollar limit you choose.

@philski I alway call the customer service number on my card (in advance) to let them know where/when I'll be traveling. They note it on their fraud tracking system so that my "away" charges don't get flagged and denied.
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Old 03-18-11, 11:02 AM   #25
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pgjackson, have you ordered bike stuff online recently?

We remember the Nashbar/Performance issue a year or two ago when the company they use for CC processing got breached. I got a call from Western Union one night after that, checking to see if I really wanted to wire $1000 --

"Hi, I'm Bob with Western Union. Am I speaking to [BarracksSi]?" Me: "Yes..." W.U.:"Was I talking to you about three minutes ago?" Me:"Um... No..." W.U.:"Okay, then we're dealing with a fraudulent attempt to withdraw from your bank account. I'll explain..."

I had my money back within a few hours, but if it was another company who didn't follow such security procedures, the story might've had a different ending.

There was apparently a problem with Chain Reaction Cycles recently, prompting another thread today:
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...dit-card-fraud
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/03...ore_purchases/

The timing makes me wonder if the OP got stuck in this instance.
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