Identity Theft - My wife's bank account swiped clean!!!

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Music_Producer, Oct 2, 2005.

  1. Music_Producer macrumors 68000

    Sep 25, 2004
    Never thought this would happen to us, especially since we're so careful with online shopping and banking.. but my wife discovered today, as she logged into her bank of america account.. she saw 3 atm withdrawals from some weird place "Hansa something something" for a total of $450. Turns out they were atm withdrawals in Estonia!!!!

    The worst part is, they had her pin number (its a boa check card) and the bank support rep said that they probably have a duplicate card!! I know a lot of credit card fraud goes on, but how the hell did they get her pin number? We both use our powerbook, with all the security updates.. she doesn't click on any 'spoof' email or site which asks for banking info, etc etc. I'm quite puzzled and worried.. I told her to change everything.. her social security #, checking accounts, etc etc. Her card's been cancelled and the bank is going to deposit the withdrawn funds back to her account.

    Has anyone had this experience? I still can't understand how they could have acquired her pin number.. it can't be brute force hacking.. keylogging maybe? If there's a keylogger on my pbook.. surely they would have gone after my cards because I have a lot more money in my accounts than she does.. arrghh!!! And the stupid bank should have some sort of geographical restriction on atm withdrawals!! I mean geez, she just withdrew $20 today in los angeles.. she couldnt possibly reach estonia in two hours!!!!!
  2. Lacero macrumors 604


    Jan 20, 2005
    Has she used an ATM recently? Crooks will set up fake fronts on ATMs that grab the magnetic information of debit cards and record the PIN. They use this information to recreate the cards, and voila, account gets cleaned out.
  3. iMeowbot macrumors G3


    Aug 30, 2003
    Look up ATM skimming. There are ready-made machines on the market that drop on top of ATMs just for carrying out this kind of theft. :(
  4. Sedulous macrumors 68020


    Dec 10, 2002
    I have serious concerns about Bank of America. They like to brag about their investment in technology and all that... but not too long ago they lost over a million accounts. Perhaps yours was one of them. I too have experienced strange things with my accounts. The other day every penny of one account appeared to be gone and a line of credit taken! The next day I went to deal with this and everything had reverted.

  5. clayj macrumors 604


    Jan 14, 2005
    visiting from downstream
    Bank of America makes a big deal in their ads about the protections available on accounts there (I've been banking with them since '92, when they were just changing from NCNB to NationsBank). You should be able to get a full refund from them for any moneys illegally removed from your account... when someone spoofed my debit card a couple of years ago, they caught it right away and made sure I wasn't out a penny.
  6. Music_Producer thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sep 25, 2004
    Wow.. so it is widespread. I think they should do something about this.. implement protective measures to atleast restrict atm withdrawals from far off places. Yeah she uses her atm card quite a lot.. at gas stations and supermarkets and stuff. They're all you know.. the major retail type of stores so its weird that they won't secure their atm/pin-pad devices. Thanks for the input people.. especially the fact that Boa returns the money.. she was getting quite worried about that (as its an atm withdrawal.. not a credit card transaction)
  7. Deepdale macrumors 68000


    May 4, 2005
    New York

    I have not had an opportunity to read it yet, but a friend at work gave me a magazine that has a lengthy article that should be of interest to some. It is the July 4, 2005 issue of Newsweek and the cover story is entitled "The Scary New World of Identity Theft."
  8. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    We recently got a leaflet at work warning about identity threat and suggesting that we shred all personal papers before putting them in the bin and warning that there were people going along streets and raiding the household rubbish bins to see what they could glean... a couple of nights ago, I was lying in bed and I could hear what sounded like the bin lids being dropped. Our apartments have 4 bins sitting in the area outside the front of the house. I figured I should get out of bed and just check; only to discover that it was the horse chestnuts falling off the tree and banging off the lids...

    I agree that the fake ATM is most likely. Always watch out for a container of leaflets (often bank related) attached to the ATM - it apparently is a favourite way for the crooks to put a camera in place that captures your PIN since it means that the area around the card slot doesn't look too bulky or suspicious.
  9. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Oh crap, last night I withdrew money from one of the dodgiest looking ATMs I have ever used. I'm in Taipei right now, and it was raining, and it was the closest ATM.

    I just checked all my bank accounts. You got me worried. :(
  10. Music_Producer thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sep 25, 2004

    You should be.. I've always been careful when it comes to ATMs and online commerce activities.. but after this incident, I'll be even more alert. If you can change your atm card's pin online.. do it.. or via the phone. Just a precautionary measure.
  11. skubish macrumors 68030


    Feb 2, 2005
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    Generally, the fake ATMs don't give out money. Think about it the crooks are trying to steal YOUR money not give it out. They usually say stuff like "funds unavailable" or "network down" something like that. The crooks are just looking to scan the back of your card and get your PIN. They usually set up a small camera to record your PIN.
  12. Compile 'em all macrumors 601

    Compile 'em all

    Apr 6, 2005
    Getting the PIN code of your wife's ATM card isn't really a big deal, You
    would be amazed how easy shoulder surfing can be. There are other
    much more sophositicated methods of course but not as easy, see below.

    Attached Files:

  13. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    This may not have been identity theft, but simple theft of the debit card number.

    Convenient, but dangerous little things -- since that $2.50 coffee can quickly suck all the money out of the checking/savings account.

    Some of the employees at gas stations and all the little stops have scams running to grab the PIN number and card numbers from the swipe machines at the registers (earn much more than wage slavery.)

    Cash is a PIA, since you have to go to the bank to get money -- but it does stop you from spending as much as using the debit card everywhere.
  14. XNine macrumors 68040


    Apr 7, 2005
    Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?
    Damn, Compile. That's pretty sweet how they do that. A lot of effort, but sweet! I hope I run into one of these things, cos then I'm going to take all of the equipment! When stealing it I'll pull out my johnson and shake it at the camera and flip them off. IT'LL RULE!
  15. Music_Producer thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sep 25, 2004
    Thanks everyone for your input.. esp. Compile.. that was crazy! Anyway, BOA has been really nice and they refunded the entire amount rightaway..didn't think their customer service would be so efficient but apparently they are!

    So who goes in a loss here? Bank of america? I mean, the scamster in estonia probably got the money, is now blowing it up on whores and gambling.. or is the money insured by BOA.. and they get it back from the insurance company? I hope they catch these bastards!!
  16. Lacero macrumors 604


    Jan 20, 2005
    Banks don't really care too much about identity theft from ATMs. The cost to re-imburse theft victims is much less than re-tooling their entire banking and security systems and re-issuing new cards for their customers.

    Unfortunately, unless there is government intervention, identity theft will continue to happen, so it's up to the consumer to protect their identity and keep up with all the security precautions issued by industry watchdogs and privacy advocates.
  17. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    That sucks. I was a victim of identity theft. It takes hours and hours and hours to deal with. You got a lot of work to do if anything other than her ATM was compromised.

    Contact all 3 credit bureaus and notify them. You are entitled to a free copy of your report from each of them every year.

    Make sure they have not opened any accounts in her name. You might want to have them disable instant credit so they can't just go into stores and open accounts easily. You can also have them stop credit card offers from being mailed to you.

    Might want to ask all your creditors to issue new account numbers for all your credit cards.

    Good luck.
  18. garybUK Guest


    Jun 3, 2002
    It is pretty bad, you put your pin number in for everything over here now, they have little machines they bring over to you in restraunts .. wireless ones to do the card transaction at the table.... anyone can see what numbers you put in.

    I always laugh when people automatically blame online fraud... what about all those foreign call centres taking down credit card numbers... or in the restraunt when they take the card off for a few minutes.. or when some machines print the full card details on the receipt.

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