Do I have to talk to my bank again?

Mr. Detective

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Long story short: someone apparently hacked into my BoA account, and took out a lot of money and transferred/paid to another credit card. I already called the bank last night, and the agent told me they'll investigate it and see where the money goes and get it back for me. I asked if I need to call back today, and he said no, will let me know in case anything happens, or something along that line. All of this happened on the same day. The transaction happened in the morning, bank called me a few hours later, I checked my account in the afternoon, and I filed the claim in the evening.

My mother is nagging me to go to the bank directly and "remind" them again. I think I should wait at least a few days and let them investigate this. Is it gonna do any good to go to the bank and complain again? How long does this usually take?

Hope I'll get my money back soon...
 

Shaz

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So I had fraudulent transactions on one of my cards a few months ago. I reported it to the bank and they said they'd get it all back for me. I cancelled the card straight away (before reporting it) so it stopped them doing more.

It took a couple of days before I got an email from them, and it was a couple of months before I got all the money back. Mine were all card transactions so they had to go through Visa to get it all sorted. If yours was a transfer, it might be a different situation. Was it a transfer to another account with the same bank, or a different bank entirely?

I'd wait one more day and then call them for an update. If they can't tell you anything, get them to at least let you know how long it will be before they'll contact you again, and if they don't contact you in that time, call them again.

Do you have 2FA set up on your account? This is how I found out, long before the bank did, that my card number had been used by someone else. I suggest getting it, if your bank uses it. When I want to transfer funds to an account I haven't transferred to before, it sends me an OTP that I have to key in before it will be processed.
 

Rubescen

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First, sorry that happened to you. Fraud is extremely frustrating.

Fraud cases often take some time to investigate, so I don't think you need to contact your bank again. I've had it take weeks to get any update from situations like this. Then again, appeasing mothers is also important....
 

kaukusaki

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I had that happen to me before. I suggest you get fraud protection service so every time there's something going on with your account you'll be notified.

I'm with a credit union and there's auto holds on my account until I approve the transaction. However if I go outside my "normal" activities they'll block it and I'll have to call them to confirm yes it's me and yes I just bought XYZ at this price . It's annoying but useful.
 

Mr. Detective

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OK... The situation has gotten worse. Way worse. Just checked my email and bank account today when I went home for lunch. I found a few more problems:
- Somebody used my Amazon account to purchase something which I don't know, for $14, and a gift card for $200. I tried to change my password immediately, but Amazon sent me an authorization code (OTP) which was supposed to go to my email, never came. I tried to get the code sent to me many times. It never did. I don't know what else is the problem here since it's supposed to be sent to my email and nowhere else. Checked spam folder, too. Gonna have to contact support when I get back tonight.
- My credit card now has a $200-charge for foreign transaction. No idea where it goes to or what. Possibly Amazon, but I don't think it said the seller was Amazon. I don't remember this very clearly, but it was a charge for 200. Definitely gonna have to contact them again and request for new cards, both debit and credit.
- My Paypal account, which has over $800, is also wiped out clean. There were a dozen of orders for bed sheets, duvets, ect. from Zazzle. Two were processed, while the others are still pending. They were done last weekend. Already changed my password. Will try to contact Zazzle and ask them for help. But I'm not sure if they will help... If they will, maybe they can work with BoA and the police, since they must know the address of wherever those things were sent to.

The top priority for me right now is to change my email address's password ASAP. Paypal sent me alerts about suspicious activity on the 10th, about my billing address being changed. And today, another one for temporary restriction. Where were they? In the spam box. Now this might be a coincidence but I am not taking any chances. Sheesh... More money lost... Might take even longer to solve this mess...
 
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Shaz

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Cancel your card. I'm surprised you didn't do it after the first time. That is always THE first step to take. You can dispute all the paypal transactions. Change your paypal password and ask them what else you can do to prevent it happening again.
 

Mr. Detective

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Actually, after checking it again, there was no $200 charge on my credit card. That was me not looking at it carefully. There were an order for something $14, and $2 for Prime. Got them cancelled. So this time it's not Bank of America, but Paypal and Amazon. Hell, he even changed my Amazon password, it seemed, as I couldn't log back in.

The son of a gun was slick. He has access to my email address and blocked all emails from Amazon, Paypal, Zazzle, and even Bank of America. That explains why none of the emails from Amazon reached me, until I cleared the block list. I already changed password for all of them. Even added 2-step verification process. My Amazon account has my credit card linked to it, so that explains the charge. The $200 gift card and the earbud were still in the shopping cart. Good thing I caught onto this before he causes anymore damage.

I just contacted Zazzle about those transactions. Told them to cancel all and refund all the money to me. If they have the address, give it to the police. Hope they will respond soon.
 

Mr. Detective

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Thought I should bump this thread for some advice.

It's been 4 months. My claim has been denied twice. I filed a police report and haven't heard anything from them. I constantly had to call the bank to ask them for status update. Otherwise, they won't contact me in anyway to let me know whether they have denied it or not. Sometimes, the call is disconnected while I'm being put on hold. Many times. Even the associate I spoke to today at the financial center had trouble reaching the fraud department. They hang up on their own coworkers. The only thing I keep hearing whenever I call is "The device used for that transaction is the same one used for others. Please submit any additional documents that can help your case." I submitted a copy of my police report and the officer's name, case ID, and phone number. There's nothing else I can do.

The best thing I heard: I can only reopen my case 3 times. After the third time, they will stop investigating. So this is the last time I can contest their decision. The bank expects me to shut up and walk away from $15k. Lol. According to the laws, I was supposed to get my refund back in 10 days. And even if they deny my claim, they must contact me. Neither was done. The last time I call was on a Friday, 2-3 weeks ago. First call was at 1, was told my claim is still being looked at, then got transferred and disconnected. Two hours later, called again, only to be told my claim was denied. So someone decided to deny it in just that two hours?

There's nothing else I can do. The people at financial center did what they could and said they don't know anything more than that. It's like someone is asking for a lawsuit. At this point, I'm actually kind of hoping it'd be denied again without informing me, so I can sue for extra compensation. Bank of America. You'd think with the name of the country in their name, they'd be pressured to do their best. More like Shame of America. Taxpayers shouldn't have bailed them out in 2008.

Can someone recommend me a good bank? Coworker had similar incident with Chase. Credit Union seems hard to join. Someone recommended Ally. Union Bank and Bank of the West are two others I am considering.
 

Shaz

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The proof they are asking for is proof that you didn't make those transactions, not proof that you've reported it. They should contact all the stores where the card was used (you shouldn't have to do this yourself) and find out the delivery address, if physical items, which will prove that it wasn't you who made the purchases. Your purchase history may be enough in some cases, if the stores purchased from or the items purchased are way different to stuff you've ever bought in the past. Is your credit card a Visa? Visa, the company, will do investigation if they have reported it correctly, but your bank should also investigate at that level.

What is the body that governs banks in your country to make sure they're doing the right thing by their customers? In Australia we have a few, and the one you would go to depends on whether you're talking about savings or lending or what - I'd have to look it up myself.

Basically now you are at the stage of telling them if they don't give you assistance, you will go to the ombudsman (or whatever the authority is) with your complaint.

Document all of your communication with them. Date, time, what was discussed, what you requested, what they promised, what they did. Make it really thorough. Submit it to them with your complaint, and tell them that you are ready to submit the same to the <whatever-it's-called> banking authority as a complaint against their handling of your case. Maybe you can call the financial center and ask them who you need to escalate to - it will be someone not connected with the bank - someone the bank has to answer to.

Once they realise you're serious and it could cost them a lot more than 15 grand, hopefully they will try harder.


What happened with Zazzle?

This might be helpful: https://www.usa.gov/complaints-lender
 
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Mr. Detective

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Who's "they"? The police? The bank? The bank will absolutely do nothing to investigate anything. I thought they would, but I was naive and that won't be happening. It's not their money that they lost. It's my money. They won't even work with law enforcement. I had to contact the police myself. And even the police probably won't look at a case like this, either. The officer I spoke to said the complain will just go straight back to the bank and my money might have been used to buy bitcoins and transferred back to whoever did this. Was told that they'll contact me if they need more details in the next few days. Nothing after 2 months.

However, I did include all of those details in my police report. From showing them the transactions on my accounts and where the address was being used (on Zazzle and Amazon). Whether the police bother to investigate them is up to them. If the bank wanted to investigate, they wouldn't have throw me this "The device used for that transaction is the same one used for others" crap. I don't know what or who governs the banks. Nor do I have recorded conversations with them. The calls I made were recorded, at least they claim, but only the bank has them. But I can still remember the overall details of the calls I had.

The people at the financial center know no more than I do. All they can do is make phone calls to other departments, and hope they themselves won't get disconnected as well, and ask people in those departments to look at my case. Those people would then pass the details on to another group of people who "do the investigation" and decide whether to honor or deny my claim. I called them a dozen times already, even went to financial centers myself and this is really how they work. If I press them more details, they'll just say they don't know. First I was guaranteed that I'll get my money back, now it devolves to "I don't know, sir".

Amazon, Zazzle, and Paypal have refunded all of my money back. So the only issue left now is the bank. Amazon and Zazzle most likely didn't bother contacting law enforcements, either, as simply refunding is enough for them.

What's scary is that this shows the bank can just take anyone's money away, place the blame on someone else, then walk away with free cash.
 

Shaz

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Did you check the link in my post?
 

Mr. Detective

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Yes, I did. At this point, it might be worth a shot writing a complaint to the OCC and CFPB. But my confidence in them is very low, and my family has been talking about looking for a lawyer who specializes in cases like this.
 

Shaz

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Not a bad idea. Try lodging a complaint first though, as lawyers are expensive.

Probably a silly question, but do you have lawyers who offer "no win, no fee"? (you only pay them if you win the case)
 

Mr. Detective

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BoA finally refunded me the money on Friday. Not sure if it's because of the police report I sent them 3 weeks ago or because of the complaint I filed to the CFPB last week. I was contacted by someone from BoA's resolution team (or whatever it was) on Tuesday. In his email, he said to give him a call first to confirm who I am. I wasn't able to call until Friday, but couldn't reach him. The same day I went home and found that my money was refunded. Huh. What timing. Guess I should still respond to his email? Still thinking what to say to him.

Well, in any case, I'm just glad to have my money back. Was wondering if I'd be compensated if lawyer is involved, but oh well. Now, I need to find a new bank. Enough with these people.

Thanks for helping me, Shaz.
9.gif
 

Shaz

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It'll be because of the CFPB. So glad you contacted them! They tend to move pretty quickly to resolve issues when you bring in someone that they have to answer to.

I'd still give the guy a call - he might just want you to confirm that you've got the refund. Or he might want to give you something a little more by way of apology and to keep you happy, so your complaints don't go any further and tarnish their reputation.

Although ... ring the bank first to make sure he actually works there and ask them to put you through, rather than ringing the number in the email. Just to make sure it's not a phishing email and you end up losing it again ;)
 

Mr. Detective

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Huh... I sent an email to him and didn't get any response back. Guess he didn't need to because the matter is resolved, anyway.

But I got this email on Monday.

01.jpg

Tried to open it but couldn't. I tried to download it, but when I opened the file, it opened a new blank tab in Chrome. Clicking on that link in the message gave me the same result. Hope that wasn't some Malware link. Windows Defender detected nothing, though. I hope it's okay to just ignore this?
 

Shaz

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If you want to confirm that that's all there is, find his previous email to you that was sent around the same time you got your funds back. It sounds like there's a phone number there. I'd give him a call just to see if it's anything more than "here's your money" and if says no, ignore it.
 

xDRAGOONx

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I am glad this all worked out with you getting your refund in the end.

I've been a member of a credit union for over 10 years now, and while this kind of thing isn't any less likely to happen while banking with a credit union, I do believe the customer service would have been a lot better. The main difference between a credit union and a bank is that, with a credit union, you are considered a member, not a customer. Personally, I wouldn't bank with either BoA or Well's Fargo after all the scandals they have been caught up in over the past decade.

I've heard good things about the bank Ally, but have not used them myself. Just remember that you have many options where to bank and if you don't feel like you're being treated fairly or respectfully, you should absolutely find another place to do your banking.
 

Celestrium

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I worked in a bank and a credit union in the United States, and I am sorry I am just seeing this now. The biggest reason from what I can read as to why they denied your claim to begin with is that Amazon either provided proof that you indeed made the transaction, OR that the financial institution accessed that the online merchant was responsible and therefore they should credit you. Claims can be denied from people who used Paypal for example and such because it can be determined that the entity was responsible for your information being taken or that there service provided could be to blame, and that excuses the financial institution from fault. Financial institutions look to protect themselves.

Banks are businesses looking to profit, something to remember in our capitalist society. Credit Unions are non-profits and are generally better, but if their board (the people who make decisions) are trying to run the credit union like a bank, sometimes they run the credit union the same way anyway. Small banks and credit unions are usually better though, but do some research on them before joining is my suggestion. Look to see how they are within their community and what people have to say about them.

If you ever have an issue like this again, please feel free to reach out by direct message. I am sure I can help, and just to be frank, I would explain what you should do and ask you not give me sensitive information. It's all about the information you present them and how, but "bothering them" also does show that your "issue" wasn't resolved another way. Also, fraud has been INSANELY high since COVID hit, so banks are trying not to give stuff back if they don't have to...

Police reports almost never go anywhere I am afraid, as most of fraud cases are overseas and it is a terrible waste of resources to try and convict anyone for them. Police in the United States already have their hands full with domestic stuff. In the United States, it's difficult to even get someone convicted if they are out of your state. That doesn't mean you should not do a report, it is an important part of the process and should be done and sent to the financial institution so they can keep it on file.

Another thing to take note of, is that "security" for debit cards is truly theatrical. You trust the waiter with your card number the moment they walk away, the sites you buy things from the moment you put your number in, etc. Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and the like are more secure, as they give merchants alternate credit card numbers only good for that purchase. It's also contact-less. If the merchant's information is compromised, the hacker doesn't have your financial information.



Hope this helps somewhat in the future...
 

Mr. Detective

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@Celestrium I think you misunderstood a little detail. The money stolen from my debit card had nothing to do with Amazon. The Amazon transaction was a much smaller one, even way smaller than Paypal's, and that was done with the credit card information I saved on my account. Not that I expected the police to catch anybody, but maybe they might give information to the FBI, who knows...? Maybe I could have reached out to the FBI myself? Nevertheless, it's disgusting how the bank didn't even bother to work my law enforcement. These ****ers can rot in hell and not get bailed out ever again.

@xDRAGOONx You ever had any fraud issues? My coworker has credit union, so does his wife, and his daughter works there. They've been recommending credit union to me, and I'm tempted to make the switch. Do they provide service at overseas airports, like ATM machine?
 

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