Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
For you military & family members: Is USAA "verifying your data" too?
Old 11-13-2008, 12:29 PM   #1
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,620
For you military & family members: Is USAA "verifying your data" too?

Yesterday we got a call from someone claiming to be working for USAA. It's either a classic phishing scam or one of the dumbest wastes of my premium payments corporate ideas I've seen in a long time.

I've been a bit grumpy with USAA because our kid has just passed her driver's license exam. We've been on the phone with their agents more in the last six months than in the last six years, and before I could talk business every rep has been relentless with their "update your personal information", "let's review your insurance portfolio", "may we help you retire with our fine investment products", and other marketing before I could have a turn. But they took care of our policy changes and didn't even raise our premiums, so I hoped we were done talking and could all get back to using the website & e-mail.

Keep in mind that after 25+ years USAA has no trouble figuring out where to bill us or how to send us marketing e-mails, and they have a very robust website for updating our personal data. (You can even "deposit" checks with their bank by scanning & e-mailing, and they're starting to offer better CD rates than PenFed.) We're one of their best customers-- we have never ever submitted a claim.

I've turned off all snail mail with them, so a couple weeks ago it was a little perturbing to get a letter "advising" us of an upcoming phone call to verify our personal data. Our data is already accurate and up-to-date, but why waste the postage to tell us about a call? Why not include a form with the letter and a return-mail envelope, or (*gasp*) just send us an e-mail with a website link? The letter went straight into the recycle bin.

Yesterday an unidentified male left us voice mail claiming to be calling on behalf of USAA. He was addressing "me" (my wife is actually the name on our primary account) by my wife's rank (which always endears a caller's credibility & personal touch). He left a 1-888-872-USAA phone number to "update our personal data".

Here's a sad commentary on today's customer-service society: What made me even more suspicious about phishing is that my call to that number was immediately answered by a live, even cheerful, human being. She said that they're a "data verification service" hired by USAA to update their database. I said that I'd rather deal directly with USAA and to put me on their "Do Not Call" list-- and she immediately-- even cheerfully-- agreed to do so. And I knew they couldn't be working for USAA because they didn't even offer to tell me about their guaranteed retirement annuities.

If USAA was a publicly-held stock then I'd be shorting it.

Gosh, I sure hope we still have auto insurance…
__________________

__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 11-13-2008, 12:37 PM   #2
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 119
Thanks for the heads up!

I just signed up with USAA about 6 months ago, and have my car & renters insurance set up thru them. So far I haven't been asked anything out of the ordinary, but I will be watching out!
__________________

__________________
Boxkicker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2008, 12:46 PM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,134
Nords, I predict you'll die of 'acute curmudgeoness' prior to the age of 75. The official cause of death will be listed as "homicide by spouse", but she won't be convicted because the jury will sympathize her and agree with her "he needed killing" defense.
__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2008, 01:28 PM   #4
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,934
I would have been very annoyed too, Nords!! Especially the part about sending you a letter to tell you that they would call. How ridiculous!!

Sounds to me like you narrowly avoided a phishing scam. Maybe not, but it sure sounds like it.
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2008, 01:45 PM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,134
I don't believe it is phishing.

USAA has been doing these third party audits for a number of years - they did the same with me a year or so ago. From what I understand USAA has found that talking to members and verifying information about insured's homes, cars, etc. turns up a lot of out of date information and allows them to verify they have the correct data for what they've written policies on. Seems people don't always let them know when they add on to their house, switch one of their autos to the primary to/from work daily driver, etc. Until a few years back they did this by mail...but found that many of their letters requesting this info got thrown in the recycle bin trash...
__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2008, 02:01 PM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
OAG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Central, Ohio, USA
Posts: 2,598
I hope PENFED does not do this, unless they send the "Donuts Dolly" to "gather" the information. https://www.penfed.org/affiliates/americanRedCross.asp.

I know this response is no longer PC but WTH.
__________________
Vietnam Veteran, CW4 USA, Retired 1979
OAG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2008, 12:34 AM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,555
If you do find out that it was phishing please let us know, so that I can let my son-in-law to be on the look out. He just got his car and renter's insurance through them a week ago. I suggested that he check them out since he is in the Navy and they were cheaper. This was some more good advice that I received from this site. I need to get my info together and call them for myself.
__________________
Dreamer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2008, 12:59 AM   #8
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11,044
It hasn't happened to us yet. Thanks for the heads up. We have our home mortgage and all insurance policies with USAA and obviously they'd be the first to know if we moved... Oh well, still generally happy with them.
__________________
FIREd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2008, 09:55 AM   #9
Recycles dryer sheets
beowulf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 466
No calls about this from USAA yet. I generally get confirmation requests by mail from them every 6 months for mileage usage on my cars when they renew the auto policy. I do call USAA with questions/changes once or twice a year and they verify everything then, mainly contact info, so maybe that satisfies their requirements.

Never got a call from Navy Federal or Pentagon Federal either about audit verification, though I get a snail mail inquiry about once a year.

I generally will not give any info to anyone who calls me - I do have a fun time referring them to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for further details. Also, jot down the number of your local FBI office and have the caller contact them :-).
__________________
beowulf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2008, 11:08 AM   #10
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 397
USAA has called me three times in the last few months wanting to update their records. Each time they left a message requesting that I call them back. They are still waiting.

I will have been with USAA 40 years in Mar '09. Has anyone started receiving their additional SSA distribution?
__________________
2soon2tell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2008, 11:24 AM   #11
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,620
Hey, I'm not a curmudgeon, I'm trying to be a hermit!

OK, I agree that it's probably not a phishing expedition, but this is one heckuva way to heterodyne on your customer's paranoia. After years of losing our personal data and educating us on exploitation methods, it seems a bit ingenuous to hire a contractor to fulfill both those purposes. In fact if they spent half as much time listening and asking about my personal information as they do trying to sell get me ready for retirement...

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2soon2tell View Post
I will have been with USAA 40 years in Mar '09. Has anyone started receiving their additional SSA distribution?
I'm going to have to defer to REWahoo on that!
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2008, 01:58 PM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
OAG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Central, Ohio, USA
Posts: 2,598
SSA (SSA name will be changed, if approved at the national meeting, to something like Subscribers Account) disbursements on or about 12/10/2008. Distributions (to increase SSA) on or about 3/10/2009.
__________________
Vietnam Veteran, CW4 USA, Retired 1979
OAG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2008, 11:41 PM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
SecondCor521's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Boise
Posts: 2,405
I strongly doubt it was USAA, personally.

First, although I think they've slipped a tiny bit in the past few years, USAA has had top notch customer service for my father for over 40 years and for me for over 20 years. This just doesn't sound like something they would do. The fact that you even thought it might be phishing means it probably was.

Second, they usually don't waste money proactively sending letters and doing outbound phone calls like that. I have had them check my address and similar items during phone calls that I've initiated, but never the other way around. [1]

Third, all the USAA phone numbers I've ever had to call were 1-800-531-XXXX.

If it were me I'd probably call USAA (using one of the phone numbers from their website) and let them know about it.

2Cor521

[1] The only call I can ever remember receiving from USAA was earlier this summer when they called to advise me that my HELOC had been suspended due to the housing slump. I actually appreciated that phone call.
__________________
"At times the world can seem an unfriendly and sinister place, but believe us when we say there is much more good in it than bad. All you have to do is look hard enough, and what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events, may in fact be the first steps of a journey." Violet Baudelaire.
SecondCor521 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2008, 07:01 AM   #14
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,134
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2soon2tell View Post
I will have been with USAA 40 years in Mar '09. Has anyone started receiving their additional SSA distribution?
Not yet, I won't hit 40 with them until 2010.
__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2008, 12:01 PM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
SecondCor521's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Boise
Posts: 2,405
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2soon2tell View Post
I will have been with USAA 40 years in Mar '09. Has anyone started receiving their additional SSA distribution?
My Dad has for a year or two. It's a really nice benefit and I was surprised to learn about it. Only 19 more years to go for me!

2Cor521
__________________
"At times the world can seem an unfriendly and sinister place, but believe us when we say there is much more good in it than bad. All you have to do is look hard enough, and what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events, may in fact be the first steps of a journey." Violet Baudelaire.
SecondCor521 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2008, 12:16 PM   #16
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
mickeyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: South Texas~29N/98W
Posts: 5,884
Quote:
Here's a sad commentary on today's customer-service society: What made me even more suspicious about phishing is that my call to that number was immediately answered by a live, even cheerful, human being. She said that they're a "data verification service" hired by USAA to update their database.
Very interesting Nords. I agree that it is suspicious. Have you called USAA directly and asked them if this is legit? I would be interested in the response that you get from them.

I do not recall getting a call from them about this stuff and I have been on board since 1966. I hope that they call me now and I will get back with USAA and cause a stink.
__________________
Part-Owner of Texas

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. Groucho Marx

In dire need of: faster horses, younger woman, older whiskey, more money.
mickeyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2008, 05:20 PM   #17
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,620
Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeyd View Post
Very interesting Nords. I agree that it is suspicious. Have you called USAA directly and asked them if this is legit? I would be interested in the response that you get from them.
I'm concerned about saying anything to USAA that would set me up to be a GEICO customer.

First I'd have to go through USAA's voice-response-from-hell system. If they're worrying me about phishing then they're probably getting a lot of other calls from annoyed customers, so I'd be on hold for a while.

Then when USAA confirmed that it was indeed them using a contractor to verify their database, then I'd have to bite my tongue politely ask them not to do that anymore due to phishing concerns. Then they'd say "As long as we have you on the phone, can we offer to help you get ready for retirement? What type of annuity would you like?"

I thought about an e-mail but decided not to for pretty much the same reasons.

I posted here on the chance that this has been going on for a while, but it sounds like they're either only talking to a few customers or just getting started.

I'm just going to chill until their apology letter arrives in the mail, or the story show up on Reuters, or USAA contacts me directly...
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2008, 07:09 PM   #18
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Bimmerbill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,631
They have upped their marketing quite a bit. I always polietly listen, then say no thanks. They never push beyond that, or I'd tell them their mutual funds are too expensive etc.

I still get great service out of them and save tons of money on insurance. I usually get a letter in the mail yearly asking to update my info, with a postage paid return envelope.
__________________
Bimmerbill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2008, 07:28 PM   #19
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 4,764
No, have not been bothered yet.
__________________
Notmuchlonger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2008, 12:52 PM   #20
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,620
Looks like everything's OK.

Got a postcard yesterday from USAA (postmarked San Antonio) that essentially said "Your policy is due for renewal, we want to verify your records, please call us." It gave the same number as the original voicemail.

This time they identified themselves as a USAA contractor. They told me all the info they were verifying and I just affirmed that it was correct. If they were phishing then they already had everything they wanted.

They had a little trouble with two retirees driving two cars less than 3000 miles per year. But then we started talking about Oahu, that reminded them of their last Waikiki vacation, we swapped weather reports, and the conversation fell into that typical groove we get with Mainland customer service reps. They agreed not to bother me anymore and we both hung up happy.
__________________

__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Military medical questions and "early retirement": help me write a FAQ archive post Nords Health and Early Retirement 3 09-01-2008 08:34 PM
Ping Chinaco: "America's Military Population" study Nords Other topics 2 03-22-2008 11:22 PM
Army declares new spelling of "Family" Nords Other topics 13 05-02-2007 07:10 PM
Book reports: "Blink" & "Tipping Point" Nords Other topics 2 12-04-2005 05:15 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:38 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.