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  1. #1
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    I'm considering a life of crime

    Some miscreants got a hold of our banking information, likely from a security deposit refund. For the last three months they've passed forged checks at small credit unions nationwide. Some more enterprising ones have also tried to use e-checks to draft our account to pay their cable and electric bill, and even the monthly fee for a credit repair firm.

    We've used both our bank's Positive Pay and ACH debit block service for several years and aren't actually out money, but there is a one-day lag before we are reimbursed and our bank statement looks like confetti.

    In speaking to our banker, and also a coworker whose spouse is a police sergeant, we learned

    • No one -- bank or law enforcement -- will do anything if the amounts are small enough. Most of the recent checks have been for $1,999
    • This is being done by an organized ring. They are very persistent and this is just another day in the office to them
    • They use stolen identities to open accounts, courtesy of routine, massive data thefts
    • The most active time is Friday and around holidays, as people have their guard down
    • Given that we have anti-fraud protection in place, closing the account would be an unnecessary headache

    So, given this is apparently a lucrative endeavor with little downside, I'm thinking of changing careers.
    It's Mueller Time

  2. #2
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    Been there.

    Kinda like bike theft, huh? A crime too insignificant for the law to bother with, and the crooks know it.
    ​Huzzah! I've figured out how to put something in the little box under my posts.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teuthis View Post
    Kinda like bike theft, huh? A crime too insignificant for the law to bother with, and the crooks know it.
    Even though nowadays anything above an entry level aluminum bike would constitute grand larceny.
    Ghurarmu shirkush’ agh azgushu. Zant ya apakurizak. Gűl-n’ anakhizak.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtrac View Post
    Some miscreants got a hold of our banking information, likely from a security deposit refund. For the last three months they've passed forged checks at small credit unions nationwide. Some more enterprising ones have also tried to use e-checks to draft our account to pay their cable and electric bill, and even the monthly fee for a credit repair firm.

    We've used both our bank's Positive Pay and ACH debit block service for several years and aren't actually out money, but there is a one-day lag before we are reimbursed and our bank statement looks like confetti.

    In speaking to our banker, and also a coworker whose spouse is a police sergeant, we learned

    • No one -- bank or law enforcement -- will do anything if the amounts are small enough. Most of the recent checks have been for $1,999
    • This is being done by an organized ring. They are very persistent and this is just another day in the office to them
    • They use stolen identities to open accounts, courtesy of routine, massive data thefts
    • The most active time is Friday and around holidays, as people have their guard down
    • Given that we have anti-fraud protection in place, closing the account would be an unnecessary headache

    So, given this is apparently a lucrative endeavor with little downside, I'm thinking of changing careers.
    Before you quit your job and dedicate yourself to a life of crime, maybe just try it out and see if you like it. Maybe start out with a few misdemeanors as a part time thing, and if you like it than work your way up to a Class C felony. It wouldn't hurt to have a cool gangster nickname

    On a serious note, what do you mean by Anti-fraud protection?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by SauronHimself View Post
    Even though nowadays anything above an entry level aluminum bike would constitute grand larceny.
    Yeah, you could have a $15,000 Itallian superbike stolen and the cops would shrug. But they will take you seriously if your car worth $5,000 is stolen.

  6. #6
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    I'd likely try the same, except that I would be the one that gets caught. I have had identity theft also, the police pretty much told the report I filed was just to document it, nothing would ever be done as the sheer numbers preclude them from even trying unless it's a lot of money.
    "I felt bad because I couldn't wheelie; until I met a man with no bicycle"

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveG View Post
    On a serious note, what do you mean by Anti-fraud protection?
    We use two specific services. At the end of each day we send the bank information about every check we cut: bank account, check date, check number, payee, and amount. When a check is presented the bank matches it against what we previously sent. The bank also checks for things like a missing endorsement or duplicate item, and scrutinizes things like the signature on high-dollar items. Anything amiss is flagged as an exception. We have until 5:00 pm to review an exception, and if for some reason we don't then it is automatically rejected.

    Until now, the only "fraud" we had was one incident where a check was deposited a second time after a month or so interval.

    The other service is ACH debit block. We maintain a white list of entities authorized to draft our bank accounts, typically utilities, lenders, and taxing authorities. Again, anything coming through that isn't on the list is flagged as an exception requiring review. Until recently, though, we automatically paid those if they weren't reviewed. That's been changed.

    These services have been 100% effective against the recent activity, but I am still spending a lot of time on it.
    It's Mueller Time

  8. #8
    pmf
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    My tax return got scammed a couple years ago. I got a refund check for $8700 from H&R Block for the tax return I e-filed using their website/software. The problem was, I owed $5000 and didn't file through H&R Block. The check was supposed to be wired to some bank account, but since H&R Block couldn't verify that it was my account, they sent the check to my address. I called the IRS to let them know there was a problem and they told me not to worry about it, we sent H&R Block your return. I told them the situation and the guy said yo just wait, don't file any complaint. I went to H&R Block -- they wanted the check back. I called the Sheriff's office to file a complaint -- they said we get this a lot -- be careful, it'll probably happen again next year. Bottom line -- no one cared. There was no effort trying to catch these crooks. I should have just cashed the check and kept the money. I bet no one would have ever found out.

    It took us almost 2 years to get it straightened out at the IRS. They weren't trying to catch the bad guys -- they were trying to make us pay back taxes based on the fraudulent return.

    My debit card has been scammed twice in the last two years. I always get reimbursed, but God forbid I try to buy something from Ribble in the UK with it. Gets turned down as a suspicious charge every time.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the education. That does seem like a lot of work but its probably necessary. I am unclear why you have to wait be reimbursed. I would assume the bank should not pay out any checks that weren't on your authorized list

  10. #10
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    You already roll through stop signs, right? Entry level crime, right? Speed in an automobile? Speed on a bike on a decent downhill?

    I was thinking we were going to get a Tom Clancy/John Clarke “birth of a vigilante” type story. Maybe a little Liam Neeson “I have a special set of skills.” Instead, if you can beat em, join em.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    The internet is a little like a bar, a wonderful place where we can bullsh(t our past, but it also, is full of reasonably reliable sources of information to be used as ammo to call "bullish)t."

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmf View Post
    .......
    My debit card has been scammed twice in the last two years. I always get reimbursed, but God forbid I try to buy something from Ribble in the UK with it. ....
    Why on earth would you buy ANYTHING online with a debit card? Credit cards limit your liability to a small amount; a debit card, once compromised, will allow a scammer to deplete your account, and short of a court decision saying the bank must reimburse you, there ain't squat that they'll do.

    Never, ever use a debit card online! Only use a credit card, especially on foreign purchases.
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    Why on earth would you buy ANYTHING online with a debit card? Credit cards limit your liability to a small amount; a debit card, once compromised, will allow a scammer to deplete your account, and short of a court decision saying the bank must reimburse you, there ain't squat that they'll do.

    Never, ever use a debit card online! Only use a credit card, especially on foreign purchases.
    You are incorrect.

    Wife's debit card number was stolen. They faked a card or something. I don't know.

    Called the bank. e-signed an affidavit. Got $ back.

  13. #13
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    I can't for the life of me figure out why anyone would use a debit card for any reason. I essentially use all my credit cards as debit cards.
    Of course I'm sure...that doesn't mean I'm right.....

    "There's no sense being stupid unless you show it."

    "that was like trying to teach a goldfish how to play basketball over the phone."

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Touch0Gray View Post
    I can't for the life of me figure out why anyone would use a debit card for any reason. I essentially use all my credit cards as debit cards.
    Lots of banks issue "credit/debit" cards that can be charged either way, but also have say a Visa logo on them and Visa protection.
    "Refreshingly Unconcerned With The Vulgar Exigencies Of Veracity "

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Touch0Gray View Post
    I can't for the life of me figure out why anyone would use a debit card for any reason [besides for cash at an atm].
    yep. floating money for 25 days over an entire lifetime adds up. plus, many credit cards return 2 percent or more for each charge.
    Yossarian: don't worry. nothing's going to happen to you that won't happen to the rest of us.

  16. #16
    hfc
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    An additional benefit of this new life is if it doesn’t work out you get 3 meals a day, gym membership, a roof over your head, all on the government dime.

  17. #17
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    my company got hit by a 1024 bit cryptovirus ransomware disguised as an invoice that was sent to accounts payable /receivable
    one nation, under surveillance with liberty and justice for few

    still not figgering on biggering

  18. #18
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    I wanted to thank you for this thread. Reading it sparked me to check my account, which I normally do every few days but have been busy for the last week or so and it fell off my plate. Lo and behold, two fraudulent charges from Sunday!

    Thanks again!

  19. #19
    pmf
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    Why on earth would you buy ANYTHING online with a debit card? Credit cards limit your liability to a small amount; a debit card, once compromised, will allow a scammer to deplete your account, and short of a court decision saying the bank must reimburse you, there ain't squat that they'll do.

    Never, ever use a debit card online! Only use a credit card, especially on foreign purchases.
    That's not true. It's a Visa debit card issued through my bank. Works exactly the same as a credit card. I've been scammed a few times on it and i always get my money back. Last time someone made two withdrawals of $499 each in New York. The bank reimbursed me. Maybe you need a better debit card. Or maybe you need to know what you're talking about.

  20. #20
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    time for a new account, why play with fire?
    Dr. Cox: Lady, people aren't chocolates. Do you know what they are mostly? Bastards. Bastard-coated bastards with bastard fillings. But I don't find them half as annoying as I find naive bubble-headed optimists who walk around vomiting sunshine.

  21. #21
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    Today there were three, including one for $140. Someone lacks ambition.

    It's Mueller Time

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmf View Post
    That's not true. It's a Visa debit card issued through my bank. Works exactly the same as a credit card.
    i always thought debit cards pay no bonus on purchases and remove the charged funds from your account immediately. but you're saying it works "exactly the same as a credit card." so you are allowed to float the charges for 25 days before they are withdrawn, i assume. and what percentage does it pay back on purchases?
    Yossarian: don't worry. nothing's going to happen to you that won't happen to the rest of us.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coolhand View Post
    time for a new account, why play with fire?
    +1 ^ this
    I'd have a new account number setup pronto. Certainly less headaches to bite that bullet than provide a daily list of checks written.

  24. #24
    pmf
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackfrancois View Post
    yep. floating money for 25 days over an entire lifetime adds up. plus, many credit cards return 2 percent or more for each charge.
    I don't use credit cards very much. Most of my bills are paid on-line and the mortgage comes out of my checking account. Groceries and kid stuff go on my wife's Ann Taylor card which gets her free clothes. The debit card has a nice feature of not charging a currency conversion fee when I buy stuff from overseas (mostly Ribble). That's better than 2% cash back.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmf View Post
    That's not true. It's a Visa debit card issued through my bank. Works exactly the same as a credit card. I've been scammed a few times on it and i always get my money back. Last time someone made two withdrawals of $499 each in New York. The bank reimbursed me. Maybe you need a better debit card. Or maybe you need to know what you're talking about.
    By federal law, you are only liable for the first $50 if somebody steals and uses your credit card. Debit cards are not covered by this law, Visa or not. This is why you never use a debit card for online purchases.
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

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