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2012/08/18: Debit card info stolen


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Apparently at some point on Thursday, somebody used my debit card info and spent $170 at I've phoned up the bank and Newegg, and each of them put together a fraud report (and the bank also cancelled my debit card),1 and I also called the police and got them on the case as well; they got the guy's account number at any rate. The woman at Newegg said that they'd already set up the invoice and whatnot and that it was kind of ambiguous about whether they'd be able to stop it before the item actually shipped, so I'm just keeping my fingers crossed.

And I was just checking to see if I'd have enough money for about $20 worth of games after I paid my current college bills. Now it's ambiguous whether I could afford anything after just one of them ...

1I needed a new card anyway, the magnetic strip seemed to be really scratched to bits.

7 Comments (auto-closed) (rss feed)


Ack! Nasty business that.
You'd think cards are safer than walking around with wads of paper money on you, but then something like this - or the stuff you read about in the papers - happen and you go: Is it really safer to use cards? I mean, at least if you get mugged, you KNOW how much money they snatched from your wallet - with card-theft, you could log onto your bank account one day and stare blankly at the big, fat, mocking 0 sitting where your savings used to be. T~T


Credit-branded debit cards (which I assume yours was) are particularly evil, and this is an excellent example of why. Unlike a real credit card, you're carrying all the risk (since you pay immediately, rather than the credit provider paying first and you repaying them later); to add insult to injury, you have less legal protection and fewer avenues of recourse than if you'd been using a "proper" credit card. (You may have to pay an annual fee for those, but it does actually buy you something...)

As a New Zealander, most reputable online shops here accept (and even prefer) direct-deposit payment - ie, you place the order, they send the bill and their account details, you log on to your bank's site and say "transfer amount X to remote account Y", and they ship the order when payment is confirmed. (I understand this is fairly common in Australia, and to a lesser extent in Europe as well.) When available, this is usually the best option for both the buyer and the seller: they never know your account details, they don't have to pay credit card processing fees, and direct transfers are usually free (or at least the cheapest form of transaction available). However, this does require that all the banks involved talk to each other reliably and quickly, and from what I hear, that still tends to be kind of a problem in the US...


ouch, I've been through that before several times over the last years I've had a debit card (uhh 11 now I think). never for that high of an amount, but I have had to go through the process. my bank was fairly good at getting the money back for me at least.

incidentally I also made an order from Newegg for about that amount on that day. having had different orders from different places never end up getting charged to me in the past reading this ended up making me second guess things and go check to make sure my own order was charged to me.

Formica Archonis

Ouch, dude. Condolences. This is exactly the reason I moved my savings account out of my bank into another. I logged onto an ATM, withdrew $200. Didn't have enough (well, I did, but they snafued on my paycheck and held it over a week) so it merrily offered to take it out of my savings account. I went to the bank and went "WTF?" and they said "You can take money out of your savings via ATM!"

To which I said "No." and they didn't seem to understand, so I said "transfer it into my chequing account and close the savings account". THAT they understood, at least. Then I went to another bank and opened a savings account there with the funds from my newly-fattened chequing account.

I really should switch banks completely. They've got this new thing where for "ease of use" you only have to give a PIN on debit transactions every $200. And to trigger it, they mailed me a new preactivated debit card.


So someone who steals my wallet - or who happened to steal my mail that day - could get between $1 and $199 of free junk without even having to put effort in defrauding me. Again I went to the bank and said "WTF!?" and they didn't seem to understand why I was annoyed. Fortunately that they could turn off, and when I complained about the massive security hole they were making they said "Not many places use it anyway." and I had to resist throttling the idiot customer service rep for not only advocating security through obscurity, but security through obscurity that they were advertising to their entire mailing list and in huge posters in their branches.

Gods, I hate RBC.

Kimiko Muffin

Yeah ... I haven't really encountered any actual stupidity at my bank (aside from having a maximum password length), so at least it wasn't directly their obvious fault.

Formica Archonis

Well, that at least is good, then. But when I think of having to change all the stuff tied to my account should I switch banks... eugh. Inertia is the bane of free choice.

Anyway, enough ranting about me. Any good news on your end?

Kimiko Muffin

No news whatsoever. (Except that my dad's going to let me borrow $170.)

I'm seriously considering putting up a real donations-page ... still got a boatload of college bills shouting at me ...