On December 21, 2011, upon checking e-mail, I noticed a fraudulent charge in my bank account. I waited until the "customer service" people were in the office and called to dispute the charge, I was told it was removed immediately. Later that same day, during my lunch break, I checked my account online. There were three other charges, I again called "customer service", and was credited the amount in question. Today, I received an e-mail that I had cancelled text and e-mail alerts on my account. I did not! So, once again, I called "customer service", during that call, I found out that not only were there more "balance inquiries" that I did not generate, but, also, there were two "cardholder to cardholder" transfers! Leaving me a balance of $1.49!
The lady I talked to gave me the name of the person I had transferred the money to. I said not only did I not transfer this money, I don't even know this person! she then attempted to reverse the charges, of course, all the money was gone from this persons' account at this point.
I digressed, at 9:00 a.m. CST, I had almost the right amount of money in my account, there was $15 or so unaccounted for, no big deal to me, just assumed I had forgotten I spent it. At 1:23 p.m. CST, when I was headed out the door to get groceries and pay some bills, I checked my e-mail again for my balance (just so I didn't overspend), at which point I discover that "I" had cancelled my text and e-mail alerts, at which time I called "customer service" (see above paragraph).
This time when I called, they could not verify who I was, it seems as though my PIN had been changed! I changed my PIN online last night, and got the perfunctory e-mail alert telling me my PIN had been changed. I falsely thought that by changing my PIN, this person could no longer call and inquire as to my balance. Well, was I ever mistaken! Not only did it not stop them from calling, they were able to change it as well! So, here I am, trying to get access to MY account, and it is being denied! Then I got the bright idea to go online to my account to see what was going on-dead end, my password had also been changed! So, after what seemed like an eternity, I finally got ahold of a live person. Although she spoke perfect English, she had a very strong Indian accent, and, at this point, my stomach is churning and my blood is beginning to boil, so I had alot of trouble understanding her, and vice-versa.
Finally, I was transferred to someone in the disputes department. He was nice enough, but, like the rest of the Netspend people, he sounded much like a broken record. Repeating "You should be more careful with your card, and who you give information to. At that moment, I blew a gasket!! After repeating to him three or four times that no one but ME knows my password, etc., I just gave up and hung up on him. I'm supposed to file a dispute, he told me to FAX it to them, I said "How the (expletive deleted) am I supposed to send you a FAX when I have no FAX machine, and now, no money?
I know I will never get a penny of my money back, but what nobody has been able to tell me is, how did they let this person transfer my money to their account, and she has all of my information, but all I'm allowed is her name?
I've been a customer for about ten years, and, up 'til now, the only problem I've had is when I got married and they wouldn't accept a marriage certificate as proof of a legal name change!
And, one final thought-the only way you can transfer money to someone's account is 1. You have to have the User ID and Password, 2. You have to know the PIN, and 3. You have to have the three digit code from the back of the card. And this is the scary part, I'm the only one who has ever handled my card, when I shop, I swipe it myself, when I buy lunch or cigarettes, or anything else for that matter, I swipe it myself. The only time I've ever been asked for the code is when I make my car payment to United Acceptance Corp. They are the only people besides Netspend that knows that number. This has made me sick to my stomach! I can't even feed my family this week, and more scary still is my paycheck is direct deposit only, and now my account is blocked (probably only to me), my company does not do paper checks. Merry Christmas to me, indeed!
EDitor's Suggestions on how to get your money back!
HERE IS WHAT RIP-OFF REPORT SUGGESTS YOU DO:
Go to your bank within 60 days of the charge, or as soon as you know about the charge, don't delay, and tell them that there has been fraudulent activity within your account. Explain that you wish to file a dispute, and demand that they assist you in accordance with Federal Regulation E.
According to the majority of victims interviewed by Rip-off Report, those who immediately called their banks to dispute the charges did not get very far. Many victims got the following responses from their banks: we could not do anything for you or you waited too long; it has been more than 60 days.
If the bank is says that you have waited too long, explain to them how you called their 800 number as soon as the charges were found, and were told by the bank that nothing could be done. Remind the bank that they failed to assist you properly at the 800 #, and instead, provided you with an inadequate explanation of your right to dispute. Tell the bank that it's their fault time has expired, and since they gave you the wrong info to begin with, they will just have to deal with it, take the loss and reverse the charges.
Tell them the truth; this was unauthorized and your account was NOT to be charged! Keep emphasizing how you never authorized anything! Direct them to the hundreds of victims reports that were filed on Rip-off Report.com. And if you're at the bank, walk them over to their computer and make them go to this site! If you are on the phone with them, tell them you will wait while they access this site! Either way, be persistent!
DO NOT TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER!
Let them know nicely, that you were advised to Report them (the Bank) and this situation to the Banking Commission in your state. Since each state has a different name for the agency/controller over banks, find that name before you call or get to the bank so you can throw it in their face. The more knowledgeable you appear to be, the further you will get.
And just continue to demand the Federal Regulation E form! The bank CAN, MUST and WILL reverse the charge! But, you must be persistent; ask to speak to the supervisor or the area manager for all the branches in the state.
Let the bank personnel know you are meeting with the media later in the day, that you would much rather they do the right thing (as most other banks have) by looking at the complaints and immediately reversing the charge(s) to your account; no matter how long ago it was. Be sure to call the Media if necessary so you are telling the truth.
If you have to, be loud (but nice) in front of other customers. If you are just calling by phone, the above tactics should still work. The bank can easily fax or mail to you the Federal Regulation E dispute form.
CHARGES TO YOUR CREDIT CARD
If the charge was to your credit card (not debit card, check card, or checking account), contact the credit card company as soon as possible to request a dispute form. Consumers usually have a little longer to dispute fraudulent credit card charges (up to 6 months), but it is better to act right away. In this type of situation, credit card disputes are usually successful since fraudulent companies often won't contest the disputed charge. In rare cases, credit card companies will review disputes, but refuse to reverse the charges. If this occurs, complain to a manager and let them know you will be filing a report here.
Remember Don't let them get away with it! Make sure they make the Rip-off Report .. The more Reports filed on a Company or individual, the more likely it is that the authorities, media and attorneys will want to take action.
And good luck Let us know how you do!
ED Magedson Founder
Author of www.ripoffrevenge.com
PO Box 310, Tempe, Arizona 85280