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Not a good week for my wife (possible bank account fraud)
Posted by: pinkoos
Date: January 31, 2008 09:35AM
On the heels of her speeding ticket [forums.macresource.com] this happened yesterday:

She got a call from 701-221-2212 (per Caller ID) and was told that it was the IRS calling. Long story short: the person said that they had sent us a tax rebate check, but it had been returned to them, so they wanted to deposit it directly into our bank account. The caller needed to confirm our banking information. He already had both mine and my wife's full names, our checking account number, routing number and, obviously, our phone number. He just needed to confirm the information before authorizing the direct deposit. He read out the numbers and my wife confirmed everything. My wife didn't actually give out any other information...she just confirmed whatever info the caller had. The caller then said that a computer system would call her right back and verify the info and she just had to answer yes to each question. So, within a few minutes, she got another phone call and, just as the caller had said, there was a voice reading out the information and my wife answered yes to each number.

Anyway, after she hung up, she immediately got a sick feeling and so called our Bank of America advisor as well as our CPA. Our CPA said we are not due anything and that something didn't sound right. So, we had our B of A advisor change our account to "credit only" until we figured out if it was a scam or not.

Well, it was a scam. See here [800notes.com]

We immediately transferred all of our money out of that checking account and are in the process of closing the account down. Bank of America's fraud department is also investigating it.

Although it's too early to tell anything, it seems that we have taken the right action. It will be a hassle to switch all of our automatic drafts to a new checking account number, but that's the least of our concerns. If that ends up being the only trouble we suffer from this incident, we have gotten off lucky.

My wife feels terrible that she let this happen. Neither one of us would normally fall for something like this and we would immediately be suspicious of the phone call. For whatever reason, this one fell through her "mental" cracks and we got burned.

Incidentally, NPR had a little snippet about this very scam this morning (one day too late!). Arrgh! [www.npr.org]

Just thought I'd pass this on to the forum as a warning.



My music blog: [www.auditorymusings.net]


The Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, Colorado
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Re: Not a good week for my wife (possible bank account fraud)
Posted by: pinkoos
Date: January 31, 2008 09:48AM
By the way, after sifting through all the posts in the link, it looks like although the 701 area code is in one of the Dakotas, the calls are actually originating from India via voice over IP. Most people didn't fall for the scam, reporting that it's just an annoyance and they keep getting called from that number.

One person reported that the automated voice asked him/her to authorize a $30 charge to process the rebate check, so maybe they are verifying the banking information to somehow get a deduction of $30 across or something...I don't know.
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Re: Not a good week for my wife (possible bank account fraud)
Posted by: GGD
Date: January 31, 2008 09:54AM
I saw this on CNN.com today, sounds like what happened to your wife.

[money.cnn.com]
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Re: Not a good week for my wife (possible bank account fraud)
Posted by: michaelb
Date: January 31, 2008 10:11AM
That is too bad. If you haven't done this already today, or this year, I would get your free annual credit report from here:

[www.annualcreditreport.com]

and then put a fraud hold on your credit accounts for the next 90 days (renewable after that).
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Re: Not a good week for my wife (possible bank account fraud)
Posted by: pinkoos
Date: January 31, 2008 10:26AM
Quote
michaelb
That is too bad. If you haven't done this already today, or this year, I would get your free annual credit report from here:

[www.annualcreditreport.com]

and then put a fraud hold on your credit accounts for the next 90 days (renewable after that).

Thanks for the link and the note about the fraud alert. Here is the info from the link you provided:

[www.annualcreditreport.com]

"How do I request a "fraud alert" be placed on my file?

You have the right to ask that nationwide consumer credit reporting companies place "fraud alerts" in your file to let potential creditors and others know that you may be a victim of identity theft. A fraud alert can make it more difficult for someone to get credit in your name because it tells creditors to follow certain procedures to protect you. It also may delay your ability to obtain credit. You may place a fraud alert in your file by calling just one of the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies. As soon as that agency processes your fraud alert, it will notify the other two, which then also must place fraud alerts in your file.

Equifax: 1-877-576-5734; www.equifax.com
Experian: 1-888-397-3742; www.experian.com/fraud
TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289; www.transunion.com

An initial fraud alert stays in your file for at least 90 days. An extended alert stays in your file for seven years. To place either of these alerts, a consumer credit reporting company will require you to provide appropriate proof of your identity, which may include your Social Security number. If you ask for an extended alert, you will have to provide an identity theft report. An identity theft report includes a copy of a report you have filed with a federal, state, or local law enforcement agency. For more detailed information about the identity theft report, visit www.consumer.gov/idtheft."
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Re: Not a good week for my wife (possible bank account fraud)
Posted by: datbeme
Date: January 31, 2008 10:43AM
Sounds like you handled is as well as you could. Very well in fact.

I had a sick feeling like that a couple of years ago, but it proved (knock on wood) to be nothing. We took out a line of credit during a home remodel. Since we knew we'd have a loan balance for a year or so, I set up my online bill pay with an automatic payment to cover the minimum plus a small cushion so as not to have to think about that extra bill each month. Sometime after that, I changed the nicknames of some of my bill pay accounts to better differentiate between them, but unbeknownst to me, this wiped out the automatic payment.

I've had absolutely perfect credit for over 20 years, but the following month I got a rather harassing call from the lender saying my payment was 15 days late. The caller was aggressively pushing me to give him my banking information so that he could process the payment. I was extremely hesitant to do so, and I explained that I wanted to call back and initiate the payment myself.

But this bozo was pretty relentless, and he treated me as if I was some kind of evasive deadbeat. As angry and skeptical as I was, I was also caught off guard by the whole thing and upset that the payment may have gotten botched. I'm not sure why I eventually complied, but he started reeling off a string of financial details of everything about us, and I somehow figured I wasn't revealing anything he didn't already have access to. There was no recorded authorization or anything. I just gave him the info so he could do it. The payment went through that day and nothing ever came of it.

I can't imagine ever doing this again. It makes me angry just thinking about it. The lender was National City, so if you do business with them, you may want to keep in mind how lax they seem to be regarding protecting customer information and opening them up to potential fraud.
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Re: Not a good week for my wife (possible bank account fraud)
Posted by: JoeH
Date: January 31, 2008 11:12AM
I used to have a credit card with National City, I closed it. No need to go into details, but my experience with them for a different reason was similar to datbeme's.







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/31/2008 11:12AM by JoeH.
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Re: Not a good week for my wife (possible bank account fraud)
Posted by: Mr. Ed
Date: January 31, 2008 11:33AM
We rest easier since we signed up for LifeLock: [www.lifelock.com]
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Re: Not a good week for my wife (possible bank account fraud)
Posted by: pinkoos
Date: January 31, 2008 11:36AM
Quote
Mr. Ed
We rest easier since we signed up for LifeLock: [www.lifelock.com]

Yeah, my dad signed up for that when we first heard about it some months back.

I'm seriously considering signing up our whole family now.
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Re: Not a good week for my wife (possible bank account fraud)
Posted by: Mr. Ed
Date: January 31, 2008 11:41AM
We found a discount link somewhere. I'll send it to you if I can locate it. No, I'll post it on here for anyone that is interested.
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Re: Not a good week for my wife (possible bank account fraud)
Posted by: pinkoos
Date: January 31, 2008 11:46AM
Quote
Mr. Ed
We found a discount link somewhere. I'll send it to you if I can locate it. No, I'll post it on here for anyone that is interested.

Thanks.
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Re: Not a good week for my wife (possible bank account fraud)
Posted by: Mr. Ed
Date: January 31, 2008 12:03PM
Here it is: [www.lifelockpromocode.net]
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Re: Not a good week for my wife (possible bank account fraud)
Posted by: pinkoos
Date: January 31, 2008 12:07PM
Quote
Mr. Ed
Here it is: [www.lifelockpromocode.net]

Thanks again!
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Re: Not a good week for my wife (possible bank account fraud)
Posted by: Mr. Ed
Date: January 31, 2008 12:15PM
No problem. I hope everything works out for you.
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Re: Not a good week for my wife (possible bank account fraud)
Posted by: Michael
Date: January 31, 2008 01:52PM
Pinkoos-
Clark Howard [clarkhoward.com] just talked about this scam and you might have to take another step, depending on where you opened the new account.

If you opened the new account at B of A, it's possible that they will send automatic withdrawals from your old account to your new one as a "customer service." Obviously, that's not what you want. He said different banks have different procedures, but there is a way to block that from happening. I'm sorry I don't remember the name of the blocking procedure, but surely B of A will know. Clark Howard puts show notes on his website later each day; I'd bet he'll have the specific name of that blocking procedure on his site later. He concluded the smartest thing to do is to open a new account at a different bank if you have "confirmed" the information to scamsters.

If you like dealing with B of A, it might be worth keeping just a small amount of money in a new B of A account and do your major banking from somewhere else for the next several months and then move back.

Best of luck!
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Re: Not a good week for my wife (possible bank account fraud)
Posted by: pinkoos
Date: January 31, 2008 01:59PM
Quote
Michael
Pinkoos-
Clark Howard [clarkhoward.com] just talked about this scam and you might have to take another step, depending on where you opened the new account.

Thanks for the additional info. We will talk to B of A and see if they can block that from happening.
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Re: Not a good week for my wife (possible bank account fraud)
Posted by: wowzer
Date: January 31, 2008 03:32PM
Does lifelock actually work? I've heard their ads, but wasn't sure.



All I ever really needed to know, I learned from watching Star Trek.
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Re: Not a good week for my wife (possible bank account fraud)
Posted by: Michael
Date: January 31, 2008 06:49PM
My understanding is that the Lifelock model works by putting repetitive fraud alerts on your credit reports. Wouldn't the credit freezes that all the credit bureaus now offer be a better move than Lifelock? Apparently 39 states have a statutory requirement with differing costs. The credit bureaus will do it for $10 per freeze/thaw (per credit bureau); I presume if your state has a lower required costs they would comply.

In GA, the House just passed a $3 maximum cost/15 minute freeze/unfreeze requirement [www.legis.ga.gov]. We'll see what the Senate does with the bill. I've emailed my legislators that this is the primary issue that I will use in deciding who to vote for. I'm tired of it.
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