I've had all my $$ stolen......

Posted by: starting over

I've had all my $$ stolen...... - 12/21/06 09:38 PM

I hope I'm not posting over anyone but I have to share what happened to me--it could happen to any one of us I'm afraid. I used my debit/credit card to order something from a large and reputable company. I didn't order on line, I spoke directly to a customer care person. That was on 9/2. Since then my house account has been hit for 3 transactions totaling over 1500.00! When I called my bank I was told that the transactions were with this same company and it never flagged since I have an account with them. Ladies, it's 3 days until Christmas and I have 20.00 left in my bank account.

I spent most of today, canceling my card, closing me bank account, opening a new one, begging my boss to give me my paycheck 2 weeks early.....I'm exhausted. I have to go home tonight and do laundry and pack my car to leave early in the morning for my sister's.

I thought I was doing everything right. I never ordered on line. I waited until a customer service person came on and placed the order through them to ensure there were no mistakes ect. Thieves will find a way no matter what to steal. The lady at the bank said she has had more people coming in saying there's a problem related to their debit cards. She told me she won't use one for that very reason.

So I hope this post will help you ladies keep from having this happen to you.

I can't say I wasn't warned though. I dreamt a week ago that someone had stolen my card and taken my money. I spent all night in my sleep working through how to 'fix it'. God had already prepared me for what was coming!
Posted by: Jane_Carroll

Re: I've had all my $$ stolen...... - 12/21/06 09:44 PM

Starting Over,

Have you contacted the company? Could it be a mistake? That is so sad...I wish you blessings and the return of your money 100-fold!
Posted by: chatty lady

Re: I've had all my $$ stolen...... - 12/21/06 09:45 PM

I am just appauled for you and hope there is a way to get the money back. Thats fraud, no way around it. I hope you press charges.
Posted by: starting over

Re: I've had all my $$ stolen...... - 12/21/06 10:48 PM

Hi Jane, Hi Chatty, yes I've contacted the bank and the company involved. Both have started criminal investigations. The bank will reimbursed the latest transaction within 30 days but the other 2 are older and will have to be reinstated by the company involved. So it will be awhile before I have it back. I am just believing that it will be returned to me--with interest!

Have a wonderful holiday girls!
Posted by: mrs_madness

Re: I've had all my $$ stolen...... - 12/22/06 05:56 AM

That's absolutely terrible for you. I had my checking account hijacked and I know what kind of a pit of problems you're looking at. It took me over a year to finally clear it all up. But brilliantly, it was the bank which caught the fraud to begin with. Thank god for friendly neighborhood banking and tellers.

Years ago when I got my first debit card it was clear that using the card as a signature credit card was a bad idea. That money is debited directly out of your checking account. I almost never use the debit card in a situation where I need to sign a receipt instead of using a PIN. Checking account debit cards do not have the same fraud protection that credit cards do, and the laws governing bank/owner responsibility for bank account fraud vary wildly from state to state. In some states it is extremely difficult to get the bank to make any restitution on bank account fraud.

If a signature receipt is required or when ordering over the phone or the internet, use a credit card instead. Most credit cards have a owner liability limit of $50 in the event of fraud or theft. Save your debit card for electronic PIN transactions only.
Posted by: diamond50

Re: I've had all my $$ stolen...... - 12/22/06 08:29 AM

StartingOver, I am so sorry that this has happened to you.
I hope you press charges and get all of your money back
Posted by: Edelweiss

Re: I've had all my $$ stolen...... - 12/22/06 09:23 AM

Good thing you caught them before they did even more damage! We just had to change our Visa card because the airport hotel in Vancouver apparently sold our number! Overnights were booked under other names! We got our money back within two weeks, and of course a new Visa card. Hope they correct it as fast for you too.
Posted by: TVC15

Re: I've had all my $$ stolen...... - 12/22/06 12:49 PM

That is horrible, starting over. I'm so sorry this happened to you.
Thank you for warning us and I hope the company takes care of this quickly for you.
Posted by: Dianne

Re: I've had all my $$ stolen...... - 12/22/06 04:13 PM

What a nightmare for you. Thank you for sharing this because I won't be using my debit card again. Your story might have saved this woman a lot of problems. Hope it all works out for you.
Posted by: Vicki M. Taylor

Re: I've had all my $$ stolen...... - 12/22/06 05:22 PM

I was completely naive about using my debit card too. My husband told me the horror stories about what could happen and that the bank didn't have to return the money because your debit card isn't protected like a credit card is. I never use my check card for online purchases anymore and only use it for things like gas and groceries where I have to key in my pin number.

I'm so sorry that this has happened to you. I hope it gets resolved quickly and profitably.
Posted by: Casey

Re: I've had all my $$ stolen...... - 12/22/06 08:41 PM

Wow. I never realized all this. Thank you all for the heads up.

I'm so sorry that you have been ripped off, Starting Over! I hope 2007 is a blessed year for you, beginning with the return of all your money with interest!
Posted by: chickadee

Re: I've had all my $$ stolen...... - 12/22/06 08:52 PM

Starting over, this is such a hard time to have this happen. I hope you get throught this and have all your funds returned soon. Thank you for posting so we all can be more careful with our cards.

Posted by: klmr13

Re: I've had all my $$ stolen...... - 12/23/06 03:01 AM

Hi - I don't know if it's different with a debit card, but my father had his identity stolen a few years back. In fact, the credit card company was on the ball - they realized my father only used his card for food shopping and the occasional dinner out...and when they saw over $500 for tires and other items like that (purchased in Brooklyn, NY, and we live in NJ), they called me to verify that he did make these purchases, and I told them he did NOT!

I am happy to say that the company was wonderful! They issued a new credit card (different number) and took away the charges. Of course, he had had an excellent credit rating and always paid on time too.

I hope things work out for you...
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: I've had all my $$ stolen...... - 12/23/06 03:21 AM

Starting Over, I know you're taking the appropriate steps to correct this theft and pray they catch the thief(s). Does a debit card offer protection similar to a Visa, M/C, or A/E? For instance, can you file a report and have the money returned?
Posted by: starting over

Re: I've had all my $$ stolen...... - 01/03/07 09:35 PM

Just to update everyone....All I can say is God is Good! On Dec 20th around 4:30 I realized there were transactions on my account that weren't mine. When I called the bank they said it was too late to do anything that night. I wasn't ready to settle for that answer so I called the 800# on the back of my debit card and got it closed over the phone. Then I called T-Mobile to let them know someone was using my debit card to make purchases.

The next day Dec. 21 I went straight to the bank and arrived as they opened. I closed my account and opened a new one. Then I went to my boss and asked to get my paycheck 2 weeks early, thankfully he agreed. I rushed back to the bank and put it in to keep me from bouncing.

T-Mobile called and said they had verified that the transactions weren't mine and that they had actually found another transaction for over $400 that I had missed! By Dec. 28th the money had been returned to my account.

Then this morning the bank called to let me know that they would not be paying my back the final and latest error of 798.00. T-Mobile was going to pay for that one as well. I called the bank and the funds were already in my account.

In addition to having all the funds returned within a week and a half, PLUS the additional $400+, the rebate I was trying to get was credited to my account and over 100 free minutes were added to my cell phone time. The bank is reimbursing me for all bounce fees.

God is so good! Thsi could have been a real nightmare but it hasn't been! I made a few calls, sent one e-mail and the money has already been restored. I shared this as a testimony in church on Sunday and Pastor said, "When God returns He returns with interest!" With all the extra that has come to me I feel like that is exactly what I received!

I hope this excourages everyone today. Whatever you have lost turn over to God He will return with interest!!! Now that I have seen God do this, I am going to begin believing that the home I lost last year will be returned to me with interest--meaning a better place with more blessing! I hope you all can believe for something too!
Posted by: Saundra

Re: I've had all my $$ stolen...... - 01/04/07 12:32 AM

I'm so sorry this happened to you. I refused all debit cards offered by banks because I've heard about these things. I hope you recover everyting that is yours and the bad people are put away so they don't hurt anyone else. They should also have to pay you back. Would that teach them that crime doesn't pay?
Posted by: jawjaw

Re: I've had all my $$ stolen...... - 01/04/07 01:36 AM

I'm confused. Isn't T-Mobile a phone company?

Aside from me being confused, I'm so sorry this happened to you and I too hope they are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law! Bless your heart!
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: I've had all my $$ stolen...... - 01/04/07 02:03 AM

Starting Over, such a wonderful testimony to God! Congratulations! Are there any strategies/precautions in which to catch the thiefs?
Posted by: Jane_Carroll

Re: I've had all my $$ stolen...... - 01/04/07 02:16 PM

Yea! I love happy endings!
Posted by: Dianne

Re: I've had all my $$ stolen...... - 01/04/07 03:41 PM

I'm confused...what part did T-Mobile play in this?
Posted by: chatty lady

Re: I've had all my $$ stolen...... - 01/05/07 09:35 AM

I am happy for you too but am very confused here. My debit card is also my Visa card. Whats the difference? You mean if I give someone my Visa card number they also have access to my checking asccount? How is that possible? Jump in here ladies, holy moly, I need an answer.
Posted by: Dotsie

Re: I've had all my $$ stolen...... - 01/05/07 12:21 PM

I never use a debit card so I am also lost. My kids use them so I was telling them this story. I am forever telling them to save every receipt and match it to their statements. I hope they listen.

I once had a brand new crdit card stolen through the mail, before it was delivered to me. I was shocked when I got my statement. Someone had a quick one day shopping spree with my card. Fortunately, the bank understood and credited my account for every purchase that wasn't mine. That's why interest rates are so high.
Posted by: Jane_Carroll

Re: I've had all my $$ stolen...... - 01/05/07 12:31 PM

My take on this was that she had done business with T-Mobile and given them her numbers over the phone and then had multiple charges made to her card that weren't hers, possibly through error...and that T-Mobile and her bank have worked together to ensure that she got all her money back and that all overdraft chargees were cancelled. I could be wrong...but that's what I surmised...StartingOver, where are you?
Posted by: starting over

Re: I've had all my $$ stolen...... - 01/08/07 10:34 PM

Hi all, sorry I've been down with a bug. Your debit card can be a mastercard or a visa--whichever your bank chose to use--however that debit card is tied directly to your checking account. If someone gets your card number they then have access to your checking account balance.

Yes, T-Mobile is a cell phone company and in my case this person somehow got a hold of my debit card info, set up with T-Mobile to pay his account through an automatic withdrawal--using my account to pay his bill! I was hit 4 times.

Since I also had my account at T-Mobile, I didn't catch it right away. (Also I was behind balancing my checkbook) And every once in a while I still find something totally weird that I've done that I can only relate back to stress from the divorce. So when I first saw those transactions I was beating myself up as being 'not on the ball' and telling myself to 'get it together'. Once the last transaction of $798 appeared on the last page of my statement I knew something was WRONG--I would never spend that kind of money at one place. That's when I called the bank and they checked all my 'weird' transactions, and they were all to the same place. Once I had that I knew I'd been taken.

Since I never lost my purse or my card, I can only theorize that I gave it to a waiter at a restaurant and they left to run it, took down my info and then returned my card. It would have been the ONLY time that card was out of my sight.

So....things I've learned to start off 2007
1. NEVER have debit card
2. ALWAYS balance checkbook as soon as statement arrives
3. TRUST MYSELF--I know when I haven't spent extra money
4. Maintain more than one account, at more than one bank

Hope this clears up any confusion. Yes, it is possible for someone to set up autowithdrawal with your card--I can't beleive it's possible but T-Mobiel told me the 'safeguards built into phone system for payments is only there for the honet people--anyone who knows how can bypass the system's doublechecks!' Therefore ladies, nothing is safe!!

FYI, CNN had a report last Fri or Sat about people accessing investment accounts and cleaning out everything people have saved for retirement. AND brokerage houses aren't guaranteed by the government, so their only reason to cover your losses is to keep their name clean. this man got nowhere recovering his assets until he got the media involved. It was a very large and reputable broker. Something to think about....

Also FYI, I talked to my Insurance agent and was able to add fraud protection to my homeowner's policy for only $25 a year. Seems well worth it. If the bank or card company won't pay back your insurance would kick in. Any fraud. That was with American Family Insurance, but I would think other's would also offer it.

Hope this helps!
Posted by: CrosstitchQueen

Re: I've had all my $$ stolen...... - 01/09/07 01:07 PM

We had a problem recently with our bank and this seemed like a good place to post about it. Sometimes no matter how careful you are and how many safeguards you put into place, stuff happens that you have no control over. My husband went to the bank drive thru to cash a personal check before we went on a trip and they tried to tell him that account had no money it it (and believe me we knew better!) He went into the bank and finally convinced them that there was plenty of money in the account, at that time they said it was a computer error. We have several bills that go thru automatic payment and of course the next thing you know we got a notice from the electric company that the bill was overdue.....after SEVERAL calls to the bank it turned out that for some reason a piece of mail from the bank to our home was returned to them,(or at least that's what they're saying......we think somebody made a computer error and closed the wrong customer's account....our's!!) so they put a hold on the account (nobody tried to contact us though!) We've sure been getting other mail from the bank and everybody else! If my husband hadn't gone to the bank to cash the check that day, it would have taken us longer to discover the mess. There were a couple of bills that tried to charge us for late payments, all because the bank messed up, but the bank took responsibility for it.....but several times they told us it was all straightened out, and it wasn't. We think they finally got it right. I will say that the gal from their corporate offices bent over backwards to try to help us, calling us several times a day and even after working hours, trying to get the mess taken care of. But it was really scary when we knew our money was in that account and we couldn't get to it when we wanted, or to think that our bills weren't being paid (I kept waiting for the power to go off.....didn't happen).
It's a scary world we live in these days.
Posted by: starting over

Re: I've had all my $$ stolen...... - 01/09/07 03:04 PM

Gosh Ann, that is scary! What a nightmare! I have been very blessed to have this whole mess cleaned up quickly.
Posted by: Dianne

Re: I've had all my $$ stolen...... - 01/11/07 07:18 PM

A friend got verified on ebay. This means the payment thru paypal comes out of his checking account. He bought a computer and they withdrew the same amount four times! He called them and they said they would put two of them back into his account but the third one would take longer. Now, that stinks! I guess we have to be careful with everything and every one.