Recently, I was buying a few groceries and a text popped up on my phone, asking if I was trying to spend $41 and some change on my debit card at the store.
I texted back “Yes” but the reply back was that it would take a few minutes. The quick run to the store was not that at all.
Curious, when I got home, I pulled up my checking account to which my debit card was linked.
Imagine my shock and horror to see that the balance was deep in the red. Like four figures deep.
Quite a few words not suitable for children and probably even some adults spewed internal and externally,
I normally check my balance every other day, but I had waited an extra day. That was a mistake.
As it turns out, my account was hit with some three dozen charges that weren’t mine at all. Eighteen of the charges went to one online shoe store that totaled some $2,000. The other charges were to sporting goods stores and clothing stores.
More than $5,000 in fraudulent charges came though all in a few moments. How did it happen? I’ve tried to backtrack where I’d been the previous few days and where I used my card. All were familiar places I’ve been to before except a couple. I suspect, but can’t prove, that the card was skimmed at a gas station I’ve never used previously.
It’s the second time in six years that something like this has happened, and those of you who have been through this know the fun in redoing all those automatic bill payments you’ve set up earlier.
Kudos to my bank for getting all my money back within days, but I’m wondering why I got a text about the grocery store charge and not the 18 charges in one day at the same online site. Maybe it’s time to fix the algorithm?
Anyway, a recent LendingTree survey revealed nearly a third of consumers have had their linked banking accounts hacked. I’ve been welcomed to the party with a red carpet it seems.
Key findings if that report:
• 57% of those with a linked bank account would consider conducting their banking through a connected service instead of a traditional bank account.
• Nearly a third (32%) of those with a linked bank account have been involved in a data breach due to the connection. Yet, most (64%) continued to keep their account connected despite the breach.
• 39% of consumers rely on budgeting apps to keep track of their finances. And 84% could name at least one banking app feature they would use.
• 53% of Gen Zers and 48% of millennials would be excited if their bank teamed with a company like Google or Apple, and 37% of those 40 and younger would rather bank with a fintech company than a traditional bank.
“Financial apps can be a huge help,” said Matt Schulz, LendingTree chief credit analyst. “For example, seeing a big drop in your credit score for no apparent reason can be a sign that you’ve recently been a victim of identity theft.”
Naturally, LendingTree would love for you to use their app. I’m not pushing any app; what I am pushing is for all consumers to monitor their accounts daily.
Unless you really want $2,000 worth of shoes.