Account Wiped

Let me just say – thank goodness for text alerts from our bank, or I may not have found this until tomorrow.  Not that it helped resolve anything today, but at least we were aware.

5:15pm I got a text alert from my bank:  Low balance alert.  Your available balance for account ending in ### is $0.00.

WHAT!  No way.

Immediately got on the computer to check our account, and sure enough, $0.00 available balance.  And nearly $800 taken from savings due to overdraft protection thanks to various charges from AWireless.  We’ve never heard of this company.  We never approved any such charges.  The charges were put through as debit card transactions.

DH called the number on the back of our card from the fraud alert line.  He was on hold for 57 minutes!! Do you know how easily a crook could wipe out an account in 57 minutes?  We were livid about that.

While holding, I googled AWireless, and found many posts regarding fraudulent charges.  Also discovered it’s the phone insurance that wireless companies partner with.  I found the number for AWireless and called.  They make it hard to reach a human being and kept saying my 10-digit mobile number was “invalid”.  Finally reached someone and they requested my name and phone number, then proceeded to ask if I needed to file a claim for my Verizon phone?  I don’t even have Verizon!  I explained the charges, and they told me I needed to contact AT&T.

AT&T phone service closed at 5pm – convenient.  I hopped online for live chat.  They stated if we made an insurance claim for a phone, or were paying anything for the insurance, it would be billed directly to our cellphone bill.  Not taken from our account.  That we needed to contact AWireless.  AT&T provided a new number, I called it.

They denied ever making charges to our account and that we needed to handled it with AT&T.   DH is still holding with the bank.  Contact AT&T again, new chat rep escalates it to their insurance department manager (or so they said), and apologized.  Said there is no record of a claim and we should have never been billed and:

“Rest assured that the charge will be removed today and this will not happen again.”

Doesn’t that contradict AWireless and AT&T telling us no charges were made in the first place?  Just reading from a script I’m sure.

Finally DH gets through to our bank and they told him to CALL BACK AFTER 6AM TOMORROW!!  Oh he was furious.  These are CLEARED payments, not pending, and they refused to dispute/freeze/whatever any of the charges.  Had this occurred on our credit card, we’d have a rep on the line in 5 minutes flat, and they’d immediately remove the charges.  The bank?  NOPE.  Wouldn’t even cancel our cards!!  After that call, two more charges appeared.  I am livid.

This wiped out our checking account ($1200) and emergency fund account ($850ish).  Leaving us with $72 – assuming no more charges are processed.

We’ll be showing up at the local bank branch when they open at 9am.  Then shopping for a new bank.  Terrible customer service.  Just what we needed this weekend….a holiday weekend, so who knows when our damn funds will be returned!!!

Update:  Bank told us we had to wait until next TUESDAY for them to be able to process a dispute!!!  Again – most of these charges are CLEARED not PENDING!  I am LIVID!!!!!!

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14 Responses to Account Wiped

  1. Sluggy says:

    Incredible. This is why I don’t have a debit card or ATM card and never have anything auto-pay out of my bank accounts, so something like this can’t happen.
    Good luck getting this straightened out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We don’t use our debit card for anything other than groceries and copays. I never use auto-pay. Learned our lesson with that years ago when a car payment was processed 100 times from our account. Never again! Hopefully we have better results going to our local bank branch today.

      Like

  2. WOW! I am so sorry this is happening to you! That would make me so panicked! The bank should clear it up first thing this morning though – what a mess you have to deal with – like you need this!

    Like

  3. Ms Sandie says:

    So very sorry. This is devastating on so many levels. Please keep us posted.

    Like

  4. Lucy says:

    OMG. I hope you are able to get this resolved quickly!

    Like

  5. Patti says:

    I’m so sorry. I have had a double charge with my debit, but nothing like this…although I only use it at the bank these days and use my credit card elsewhere.

    Like

  6. Julie says:

    Wow, that is very scary. Do you know how they got your debit card information?

    Like

  7. Michelle says:

    This is terrible!! I hope it gets resolved soon.

    Like

  8. Anonymess says:

    Holy mackerel. I’m so sorry. You have had just the worst luck for months running now. I hope the streak breaks soon.

    Reading this confirms my paranoia about debit cards. Fraudulent use of a credit card can be contested and isn’t usually paid automatically, but you won’t even find out about fraudulent use of a debit card until after it’s withdrawn real money from your account.

    When you get your funds back and set up your new account, maybe you could set up a second feeder account as a security measure? I know someone who did this with Ally bank — direct deposits are sent to the feeder account, and she transfers money to the public account to pay bills, withdraw funds, etc. Neither account has automatic access to the other, and since they’re at the same bank, transfers are debited/credited the same day. Essentially, her feeder account is private — it’s only ever used to receive deposits and feed money into her public checking account or her savings. There’s no debit card for the feeder account. If her debit card were compromised, they could only access what was in the public account — whatever she’d budgeted to spend for the next two weeks.

    Like

  9. Anonymess says:

    Infuriating and scary. Have they made it right yet?

    Like

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