Family's bank account hit with $63,000 in fraud charges

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by Jesse Jones / KING 5

Bio | Email | Follow: @getjesse

KING5.com

Posted on November 26, 2013 at 12:49 AM

Anne Annis' is a busy mom who was saving for a new car.  But a scammer wrecked her bank account, stealing $63,000 after compromising her husband's debit card.

"I'm just amazed you can spend that much one day in a store and not have any questions about it," said Annis.

The bad guys stole the account information, created another card and started shopping at a Target store in Brooklyn, New York.  A look at Ann's bank statement shows purchases coming out at $2,000-$4,000 a clip.

"One of the transactions was two, $2,000 gift cards.  I didn't know you could spend that much on a gift card for that much money without showing your ID," said Annis.

Plus, wouldn't the bank authorization system flag the account after that many purchases?  That's what Todd Pietzsch with BECU says it's setup to do.

"It's saying is this a valid account, in good standing, is there fraud, is it closed.  If it's any of those it will deny the transaction," explained Pietzsch.

But this group has found a way around that process and hit customer’s accounts directly.

"If a transaction is forced through it's going to come through without us being able to do anything," said Pietzsch.

BECU quickly refunded Ann her money but the guys in New York kept hitting her account.  Nothing would make it stop.  Anne even tried called Target for help.

"They wouldn't talk to me.  Someone can spend 63,000 of my dollars at your store, but you won't talk to me? So they took down my information and no one ever called me back," explained Annis.

I called Target who sent this response:
    "At Target, we take these concerns very seriously, and are committed to helping combat and reduce fraudulent purchases through various processes and procedures. To ensure these processes can be effective, we do not share specific details or information."
 
Target says it's working with law enforcement on this case.  BECU refunded Ann and will move the debt to Target.  Here is another reason to use your credit card for purchases. If you do use a debit account, check it daily because every holiday season brings the same three things - Santa, sales and scammers.

 

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