T Nation

Identity Thefted


#1

So yeah, couldn't buy groceries last night because some asshat ganked a huge of my bank account. Almost $1300 just fucking vanished. Part of the charge has gone from hold to clear to some fucking www.bhphotovideo.com bullshit. And there's still about $800 left in the pipe to not be in Vash's "Full Time Not Working for Another Motherfucker Fund."

My bank does not open until 8, and today is a pre-scheduled karate-only day, so I've got about 2 Hours, 17 Minutes to kill. My questions to the wise in T-Mag Land:

  1. What's the best identity protection service? I figure, the horses have left the barn, so let me lock that fucker down.

  2. When I find the fucker/fuckers responsible, what torture-porn should I use as inspiration for the unGodly wrath which will be visited upon the suicidal fuckers who touched my coin? I'm thinking early-run Hellblazer comics, Hostile, and Inglorious Basterds.

  3. For anyone in the banking industry or, less luckily, anyone who's had a similar problem, how hard was it to reclaim your stolen loot? I personally have a great working relationship with my bank, and my family has done a huge amount of business with the same bank for the last 20+ years. I don't forsee a problem in getting my money back, but I know it's not an overnight process.

Okay, I gotta chill. I saw this shit start at 8:30 last night, and I still have time to kill. To karate, then to the waiting.

Peace, love, and the most painful death to e-Thieves allowable by human physiology.


#2

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


#3

Usually you get your money back from the bank, as long as you didn't give out your pin number. And chances are, you will never find out who got your debit card info. The faster you dispute it, the faster your bank account returns to normal. I work at a bank and this shit happens all the time and the only people who didn't get their money back were business account owners.


#4

Score.

I've never given my PIN out, and have actually had it changed at irregular intervals over the last four years, to prevent this sort of thing.

BBB, that's some shit. Glad they got it straightened out for you.


#5

Yeah Vash I wouldn't worry. One time I got a call from the security branch of my bank and they started asking me all kinds of questions like what my last large deposit was, when the last time I withdrew money was etc and after they were like ok so that wasn't you who took out $1500, falsely deposited $1000, then tried to take another $2000 out? This all happened in some town I'd never heard of so they said I would be reimbursed and I just had to sign some thing saying it wasn't me who did it and replace my card.


#6

So let us know when you get your money back. Usually you get provisional credit within 10 days (but usually sooner) and then you get a letter a few weeks later that says your dispute has been settled and the money is yours.


#7

Bank locked the account; provision credit available in a week. Need to have new debit card issued, drive 95 miles to nearest location to sign dispute claim.

So, I'm not out any money, 'cept the gas to get to town. Good thing I didn't want to do anything productive.

Thanks for the info, tootles!


#8

Vash,

I feel for ya buddy. Had someone get ahold of my CC and somehow they even changed my personal info to the point where the primary address was in NC (I live in NY). Very long story short, they bought big ticket items in NC and Florida, to the tune of about 10k.

The bank credited me back all the fraudulent transaction expense, but it took a boatload of phone calls to convince them I wasn't trying to pull a scam of my own. If you're concerned about hunting the offenders down, let it go. I called the sheriffs dept., stores where the purchases were made and even the cops in the city (ies) where the crimes were committed, and it didn't get much attention.

ID theft is somehow a victimless crime if the bank covered the bad charges. Kinda sucks. The worst part is just the punk bitch way it goes down. I'd rather have someone break into my house and have some control over the outcome.


#9

Yeah, I don't anticipate recompense from the trash responsible, but its fun to think.

I'm just glad I won't be short the cash.


#10

Same thing happened to me while when I got back from holiday - I'd used my credit card in 3-4 places including a hotel and a car rental place. Nearly $2000 got taken from my credit card - bank flagged it up with me, payed me back and that was that.

I wish you could get a hold of those bastards, but chances are next to none.


#11

Dave Ramsey recommends Zander Insurance ID Theft Protection plan. http://www.zanderins.com/idtheft/idtheft.aspx

It looks and sounds pretty comprehensive, and they haven't been sued like Lifelock.


#12

A while back someone managed to get about $16k out of my parents account. I think the bank realized something wasnt right when someone spent $800 at 7-11... lol

Took a couple weeks but everything was returned and the guys were actually caught. They went to enough places with security cameras..


#13

Also, if they used your debit card, as long as it has a Visa/MC logo, you are covered under their fraudulent charges provisions.


#14

OP make sure you fill out a credit card fraud/identity theft report at your local police department. You'll likely need a copy of your bank account history that shows the transactions that you're disputing (if your bank hasn't made you already). This kind of thing left undocumented could potentially come back and haunt you if you're looking at jobs that check your financial history before employment. Also, it may help law enforcement agencies in determining what new methods are being utilized to gather this information.

I don't think identity theft protection agencies are worth the money - just the hassle from filing all kinds of paperwork. I've heard the CEO of safelock or Lifelock or whatever the major company is got taken for something like $200 million.

The best thing you can do to protect yourself is develop good, safe banking/buying habits. Check out stores before buying anything online - make sure they have a physical address and phone number - and answer that phone when you call them. Otherwise use services like paypal for your purchases. When you're sending out bills to be paid take them directly to the post office yourself - people will steal them out of your mailbox and then have your account number and routing number from the check. Make sure your online banking is done from home or a trusted location, and make sure you don't write your bank account numbers or credit card numbers on anything, and don't keep account numbers in your wallet in case it gets lost.

Finally, watch out what you talk about in public. I can't tell you how many times I've heard people give out their financial information over a cell phone on a bus or merely walking to class on campus. While they're talking to a parent, other people could be listening in.

Sorry it's a long post.

Cliff notes: watch your mail, physically take bills to USPS yourself, watch your phone conversations, guard your bank info and don't write it down anywhere, and check online stores physical address and phone numbers before ordering from them.


#15

Shit, I was gonna sign up with Lifelock later this week.

Thanks for that. Think I'll tap the bank and see if they have a recommendation, too.


#16

Just pray they haven't opened any credit accounts with your information.

My wife's identity was stolen by some illegal immigrants who went on a shopping spree, and then apparently sold her info to other illegal immigrants who work for chicken processing plants in Arkansas. Every year the IRS contacts us to ask why we didn't report the approximately $23K that the illegal immigrant made in Arkansas on our taxes. The IRS is actually pretty easy to deal with, but it took several years to clear her credit report and get her score back up in the 700s.


#17

Will be going to the PD tomorrow with the history.

Thanks for the info!


#18

I wouldn't bother with that stuff unless this goes farther then your debit card. Chances are, these people have a whole list of debit card names and numbers and they just move on to the next when they can't use yours anymore.


#19

No troubles. Good luck!