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Old 05-14-2019, 10:39 AM
Napier is offline
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Is consumer banking just breaking down and malfunctioning, or what?


I just had two more account breakdowns because of fraud and other issues, and lost another less than a year ago. I can't keep ordinary consumer banking, with debit cards, checks, automatic deposit, and online banking, operating! What is up with this?

I always try to keep three separate banks operating because I went through an identity theft problem years ago and learned never to trust just one or two. And only a few years back I had two of the three go down on the same Friday and leave me with one debit card and a few hundred dollars for the weekend.

Now I just closed an account because they cancelled my online access three times in the first couple weeks of April, and then failed to pay a bill online. But then another account had a fraudulent charge which means cancelling that debit card and replacing it "within a couple weeks".

It seems like consumer banking just barely works, and it's a huge effort for the customer. What is up with this?
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Old 05-14-2019, 10:45 AM
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I've actually never had any of the sorts of issues that you describe. Customer service isn't awesome at my bank, but I don't run into many issues, so I rarely have to deal with customer service.

Obviously, anecdote isn't the singular of data, and it may well be that a lot of people are having issues with bank fraud and customer service, but I have no idea if it's so widespread as to be "common." Barring that sort of data, maybe you've just been having a particularly nasty run of bad fortune.
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Old 05-14-2019, 10:54 AM
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My WAG is that either whoever stole your identity is still using it or at the very least your information is being sold on the dark web.
If you haven't already, my suggestion would be to find a small, local bank or credit union. Set it up with a new PO Box, a brand new email address and a login/PW that you've never used anywhere. The more credentials you can change, the harder it'll be to access it. Also, again if you haven't already, change all your email passwords to something new and something different for each one. Just to make sure it's not the same person reading all your emails.

If it's not something along those lines, it's either a coincidence (but doubtful for that many times) or it's something you're doing. Something you're doing is leaking out your info.

Do you get all your mail? You might want to sign up for Informed Delivery to make sure someone isn't stealing stuff from your mailbox. If you haven't run a malware check on your computer (and/or any devices you use), do that as well.

I have never had a problem like yours and if enough people went through anything even remotely similar to you, we'd be hearing about it a lot more often.

My guess is going to be that this stems from the identity theft. With multiple accounts getting hit on a single day, someone, somewhere has access to your information.

ETA, I mention using a small, local bank in case someone is going around to the big places (US Bank, Chase etc) and trying to log in with what they think you may have set up an account with.
That reminds me of something else. Any online accounts that let you use 2FA, enable that as well.

Last edited by Joey P; 05-14-2019 at 10:58 AM.
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Old 05-14-2019, 10:56 AM
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I've never had any of those problems, although I have had new cards mailed to before the expiration date presumably due to a data breech. But it general, consumer banking works better for me today than it ever has in the past.
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:59 AM
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I have accounts in 3 different credit unions. The only problem I've encountered in the last decade was a series of fraudulent charges to my credit card - apparently my info was skimmed when I stopped for gas when out of state. My card was immediately cancelled, the charges reversed, and we got a new card in very short order. I rarely use a debit card, and even then, just at ATMs I know I can trust. We put everything on VISA and pay it off (or close to payoff) every month.
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:04 PM
Joey P is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FairyChatMom View Post
I have accounts in 3 different credit unions. The only problem I've encountered in the last decade was a series of fraudulent charges to my credit card - apparently my info was skimmed when I stopped for gas when out of state. My card was immediately cancelled, the charges reversed, and we got a new card in very short order. I rarely use a debit card, and even then, just at ATMs I know I can trust. We put everything on VISA and pay it off (or close to payoff) every month.
Same for me. In over 20 years of banking and using credit cards, the only incident I've had was a fraudulent charge to my Amex card for a $600 Uber ride. Amex didn't even let it through, but sent me a ton of alerts when it happened (multiple texts, phone call, emails etc) and I had a new card the next day.

I don't use my debit card either. I'm not even totally sure where it is and I likely never activated it anyway. Like you, I put everything on my credit cards and pay it off right away. Typically, I pay them every day or two. I'd much rather someone maxed out my credit card than took all my money. And the bonus points are a nice as well.
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:38 PM
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I too haven't had any problems yet. But I fully expect it to happen at some point because I think every single one of us is screwed due to the massive data breeches over the last few years. Read this and pee your pants: https://www.digitalinformationworld....s-of-2018.html

I have no idea what to do about it. I don't think storing cash under the mattress is really viable.
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey P View Post
Typically, I pay them every day or two.
*Record scratch sound*

Wait, what? What is the benefit of paying them off every day or two? Sounds like a headache for you and for them.

When most people say "pay it off immediately" they mean at the end of your billing cycle. If you pay it then, you accrue no interest.
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:54 PM
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I’ve had the same checking account for 35 years.
I’ve never had any type of fraud on that account.
I have had various credit cards compromised over the years, but they always get canceled and a new one sent out the next day. Never lost any money.
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Old 05-14-2019, 01:26 PM
Joey P is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermitian View Post
*Record scratch sound*

Wait, what? What is the benefit of paying them off every day or two? Sounds like a headache for you and for them.

When most people say "pay it off immediately" they mean at the end of your billing cycle. If you pay it then, you accrue no interest.
I don't accrue any interest this way either. For me, personally, it's a very good way to keep my spending in check, since it's essentially like using a debit card.
As far as it being a headache, it's really not. When I'm at home after work watching TV and mindlessly surfing the internet, I'll check Chase and Amex. If there's a balance, I pay it. I'm not terribly concerned if it's a headache for them.
It works out well for me, keeps me out of trouble and since I got myself out of credit card debt 9 or 10 years ago, I've never carried a balance.
Granted it's not for everyone, but it works well for me.
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Old 05-15-2019, 08:39 AM
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I've had a checking account with one of the big-name banks for 20 years now. They keep getting into hot water for this scandal or that one (and their pointless little marketing efforts after each news story breaks are amusing, in a pathetic way) but in all this time I've never experienced even one of the issues OP describes.
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Old 05-15-2019, 05:09 PM
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It sounds like your experience is a pretty extreme outlier. Which sucks for you, but it isn't necessarily indicative of a major problem with the system.

My experience is that about once a year on average a credit card company contacts me to ask me about some charges. About half the time it's me buying something out of the ordinary, and half the time it's actual fraud. If it's fraud they mail me a card and I have to go update a half-dozen websites that are auto-charging that card (if I forget one, they just send me an email when the charge fails to go through). Sometimes I have to sign an affidavit and mail it back.
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Old 05-15-2019, 09:38 PM
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Similar to other responses but OP I've never had a problem with a bank account itself. I have a couple of checking accounts in case one gets frozen for some reason, besides some CD's at various banks (to cherry pick best rates, not mainly about fraud protection), but it's never happened. There are fraudulent charges on our credit cards every once in awhile and that's a hassle if it's the main card and we have to change all the autopays when we get the new one. But never any actual money lost.

Thinking about it though it's kind of surprising cards aren't subject to fraud even more often. You're giving the info constantly. Even if the poor security of magnetic strips is being improved somewhat with chips, there are still people working at the merchants (or their data processors) who can see that info and some, like any group of humans, are dishonest.

Which is one reason among several that using a bank debit card to pay for stuff has never seemed a good idea to me. Some people dislike credit cards 'on principle', others have trouble getting them. But they are IMO clearly superior to debit cards, if you can control your own spending. With a CC that number you constantly give out is not a path back to *your* money, just the CC company's money. As well as the practical advantages of having an itemized bill delivered at the end of the statement period, not having to write it down yourself charge by charge, the float in paying for stuff ~30 days after you buy it even paying off in full each month, and last but not least 2%+ cashback you can get with a CC which you're leaving on the table by using a bank debit card to buy stuff.
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Old 05-16-2019, 12:12 PM
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Part of the issue some people see is that banks pretty don't much want the business of small time consumers for the most part ... except for the various fees they get to tack on when someone does an overdraft or something.

People who keep a small balance, never get themselves into trouble, etc. are a waste as far as the big banks are concerned. So some of them don't put a lot of effort in customer care for them, including on the preventative side.
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