Update on Fraud Issue

Thank you everyone for your prayers. From what we can see, the fact that two of my husband’s co-workers also had fraud on their accounts is purely coincidental. Either that, or we all happened to shop at the same place where a breach occurred.

Our initial cause for concern was because unlike normal transactions, the bank couldn’t immediately tell whether this was a debt, credit, or electronic check transaction. It took more digging than usual, but they did narrow it down to my debit card which has been cancelled and will be re-issued with a new number.

They were able to stop everything that was pending. We did have to file a police report and some paperwork for the bank. Once they receive that, we should get all of our money back. Praise God!

The police said that this is happening to more people lately. We’re very blessed in that I regularly check our online account and caught this before the other pending transactions (totaling over $1500) went through. Had I waited another day, they would have cleared right after his paycheck deposited…and left us unable to pay our bills…and sacked with ve cleared right after his paycheck deposited…and left us unable to pay our bills…and sacked with ve cleared right after his paycheck deposited…and left us unable to pay our bills…and sacked with overdraft protection charges to boot! As it was, part of what did go through only did so BECAUSE of our overdraft protection.

We also have an account with Chase bank and assumed that because they have international holds on your account unless you call them and tell them otherwise that all banks did that. We were wrong. I would HIGHLY encourage you to call your bank ASAP and let them know that you do not go overseas and that no international charges would be authorized. Don’t worry about it causing problems if you buy through Ebay from Canada, etc. If those transactions go through Paypal, they’re still US-based transactions. If you do go overseas, call your bank a week or two in advance, tell them the date you’ll leave, where you’ll be while you’re gone, & when you’ll return. They’ll keep the hold lifted until a week after you return typically unless you instruct them otherwise.

I would also encourage you to check on your account regularly if you (like me) use your debit card as your main way of paying. If you haven’t previously heard, let me explain what happened to us. Heartland (or another processer possibly in our case) had their systems breached. What that means is that all transactions going through their processing system within a certain time system were vulnerable and that information could have been transmitted to a hacker’s system. The reason this is so big is because companies like Heartland handle nationwide transactions for many different companies. For example, Heartland might handle all Target credit &/or check transactions or all Wal-Mart check &/or credit transactions. You get the idea. If it’s electronic, it has to go through one of these processers before it goes to your bank. It was not the store, but the processer that was compromised leaving millions upon millions of people vulnerable.

When the compromise was first announced, it was THREE months after the first breach. (I hear there have been several.) At that time, Heartland refused to state which companies it served citing confidentiality. Many banks as a precautionary measure cancelled and replaced the debit &/or credit cards for all of their customers. Many others sent out letters warning their customers of the possible breach giving them the option to cancel & re-issue their cards, but they didn’t do it automatically. Still others (like my credit union) opted to do NOTHING. They didn’t re-issue cards with new numbers, they didn’t notify their customers, they did NOTHING! I now know that we probably should have taken preventative action on our own. Lesson learned.

Again, thanks for your prayers. We’re temporarily inconvenienced, but it’s not nearly as bad as it could have been.


1 comment:

Cynthia said...

SCARY! Glad you caught it early!