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Identity Theft Liability
Old 04-09-2014, 12:06 PM   #1
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Identity Theft Liability

I just got off the phone with my bank today which is a large regional east coast bank. After I got done with my issue, I got a pitch from the girl, stating because of the type of account I had, I was entitled to $25,000 Identity Theft Protection. I questioned her about it, asking her what do you mean $25,000. I was under the impression that if someone stole my identity, I may be the responsible party for clearing my name, but not the amount stolen.

She informed me this was not correct. She transferred me to someone else who wanted to sign me up for the "Free Service". I questioned her. She proceeded to tell me that if someone stole my identity and transferred funds, wrote checks on my account via a debit card number, I would be the responsible party. I argued with her about this, and she insisted I was wrong. She then proceeded to tell me that she knows of a person who's identity was stolen to purchase homes, and cars, and that they are the ones who will be responsible.

I declined, feeling she was not a person to be trusted, and said I wanted to do some research first. I went on line and Googled it. I found one article stating the following. That the protection offered by some banks (depending on state) was a "promise" not a law, and therefore, if they chose not to honor that promise, you could be held accountable.

Other articles I read, said that if your example you lost your credit card, and did not report it within 2 days, you would be liable for $50. If you reported it after 2 days, you could be liable for $500. Also, if you did not report erroneous charges to your credit card within 60 days of your statement, you could be responsible for the entire amount.

Anyone have any experience with what is the truth in this matter. It seemed every article I pulled up stated something a little different.

My son had his bank account compromised this past year. But in this case I got a notice from my bank to call them. Sure enough, there were charges made on his "debit" card totaling about $600 all made within a couple of days, before they froze his account. We had no idea how this happened, as our debit cards are never used on line, nor given out to sales people. We would only use them on a machine when checking out of a store. We were asked where the last two places were that it was used.
One place was a grocery store, and the other a gas station.

The bank told us that it most likely occurred at the gas station, with hidden cameras placed to take pictures of the card. We no longer use the debit card at stations anymore.

Anyway. Anyone know any factual information on all of this? I heard on the news last night there was a new potentially dangerous bug out there that is getting on people's computers and is able to steal all of their passwords. Unfortunately, they did not elaborate.
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Old 04-09-2014, 12:52 PM   #2
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On Credit Cards according to Wikipedia :Credit card fraud - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
the limit is $50 if reported within 60 days by federal law Articles indicate similar protections with debit cards but since the money leaves the account in the case of a debit care checks can bounce until the money is refunded. I have refused to have a debit card, had a long discussion with a bank rep who tried to push one on me. Credit cards are generally regarded as safer, and if you pay them off every month work just as well as debit cards. Note that if an issue is detected on a credit card, they put the charge on hold and no interest is charged while the investigation is underway. If a check is forged and you review your statements regularly and report within 60 days you are not liable. I heard these facts also on CNBC about an hour ago. They noted that the main costs a consumer would have would be time to deal with the issue, notarization costs and postage.
So I would say the bank rep was trying to scare you. How long did the free period last and what was the fee thereafter? If it was forever free take it since its no cost.
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Old 04-09-2014, 01:09 PM   #3
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I've had credit card identity stolen, caught by the credit card company and never lossed a penny. On the other hand I always hear that it's tougher to recover cash used on a debit card so I refuse to use one except when getting cash from an AMT. I'm not sure who I would believe but I'm totally comfortable with my AMEX card and my other card through Chase Bank. If you're still in doubt, I'd check with another bank and try to determine if the bank is trying to sell not needed insurance or offers less protection than others. And, your diilema is another reason I don't carry tons of other credit cards offered by retailers.....too much risk. I just use credit cards to get cash back, debit cards, in my experience don't offer as much in this area as credit cards.
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Old 04-09-2014, 01:16 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by modhatter View Post
<snip>
We had no idea how this happened, as our debit cards are never used on line, nor given out to sales people. We would only use them on a machine when checking out of a store. We were asked where the last two places were that it was used.
One place was a grocery store, and the other a gas station.

The bank told us that it most likely occurred at the gas station, with hidden cameras placed to take pictures of the card. We no longer use the debit card at stations anymore.
<snip>
Really don't know about identity theft liability but I do know something about credit and debit cards.

I am not doubting the camera statement, I just don't believe that most theft happens this way.

As soon as you swipe your card (doesn't matter where) the information goes "online". The information goes through several different systems to be processed, where it is available to nefarious trusted insiders, non-trusted outsiders that hacked in, or to unauthorized hardware/software along the path the card information travels.

Remember the Target hack?

It is far safer to use credit cards than debit cards.

Edit to add: Your bank does not want you to know that your data can possibly be stolen from within their systems. I can assure you beyond any doubt it is entirely possible. If you have ever seen how these systems work from the inside out it would be very obvious.

Is it wise for someone to try this? Absolutely not, but throughout history, some of the most successful people on Earth have experienced massive failures and the fact that they are not afraid of failing is one of the elements that helped make them successful. Likewise some of the most successful criminals are not afraid of getting caught, or they think they will never get caught.
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Old 04-09-2014, 01:32 PM   #5
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I only use debit cards to get cash from ATMs that are indoors and monitored by cameras. I also use a bank that allows me to set up email or text alerts for any transactions over an amount I can set. I use an app for my bank to monitor activity daily for everything including stock transactions or credit card payments to checking account activity. I choose to pay off my credit cards as transactions appear on the account so I can easily review them for legitimacy. It really isn't that hard to monitor finances daily with modern technology, and only takes a couple of minutes each day. My bank (USAA) also promises us zero liability for fraudulent transactions. If I were you, I'd shop around for a new bank.
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Old 04-09-2014, 02:01 PM   #6
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Well I called my bank to talk to the manager who was in a meeting, so I spoke with one of the other officers on line, and reiterated the story. She
told me that what the woman said was not true, and that she would have the manager call me which he hasn't. But then told me, I was eligible for the free sign up.

So, I said that's fine, but the person I spoke with initially is a representative of your bank, and if they are telling people information that is not true, don't you think it should be of some concern? She didn't seem to want to address that and just said the manager would call me.

Yes, I think I will stay away from debit cards unless I need some cash back. I do use the credit card more as I get points for using it, which have gained some nice Amazon Gift Cards.

It just bothered me that a large institution would go to such lengths to be deceptive.
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Old 04-09-2014, 02:08 PM   #7
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I suspect the person is an outside sales person, not a bank employee. You could find out who the ceo of the bank is and write him a letter. Or if you have the time buy one share of stock of the bank show up at the annual meeting and ask the question there. That will get the CEO's attention.
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Old 04-09-2014, 02:31 PM   #8
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Some good information on your liability for identity theft. Varies from State to State.

Statement of Rights for Identity Theft Victims | Consumer Information

Quote:
You have limited liability for fraudulent debts caused by identity theft. For example:
  • Under most state laws, you are not liable for any debt incurred on fraudulent new accounts opened in your name and without your permission.
  • Your liability for unauthorized use of your credit card is limited to $50. If you report the loss to the credit card company before your credit card is used, you are not responsible for any unauthorized use.
  • If your ATM or debit card is lost or stolen, your liability for unauthorized transactions depends on how quickly you report the loss to your bank or credit union. If you report the loss within two business days after you realize the card is missing, you could be responsible for up to $50. If you report the loss after two business days, you could be responsible for up to $500. However, if you donít report the loss within 60 calendar days after the bank or credit union sends your statement showing unauthorized transactions, you could face unlimited liability.
  • If unauthorized transactions are made from your bank or credit union account using your debit card number (not your card), you are not responsible if you report the problem to your bank or credit union within 60 days after they send your account statement showing the unauthorized transactions.
  • Most state laws limit your liability for fraudulent checks issued on your bank or credit union account if you notify the bank or credit union promptly.
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Old 04-09-2014, 03:11 PM   #9
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Brief story about identity theft: investor mailed a substantial check to an investment firm. Check was expected but didn't arrive. Investment company contacted investor (which took a couple weeks because investor was traveling out of the country). Investor said the check has been processed by the bank. Check was cashed at a casino in LV ("payable to" had been washed). Bank held casino liable. A few weeks later a body was found in the desert in NV, thumbprint matched the guy who presented the check. Police said, "Case closed."
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Old 04-09-2014, 03:28 PM   #10
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Well now I'm doubly pi...d at my bank. I need to be able to make mobile deposits, and my smart phone will not work with this institution, so I asked if I could use a tablet, as I was thinking of buying one and then would not have to buy a new smartphone. Was told yes, so I asked them if they knew the Nexus 7 2013 would work with it. They said it would. Guess what. It doesn't. Called up the mobile banking site I was directed to, and they said it should work, but can't say for sure as they have no list of compatible devices.

But two different reps. tell me, we have no record on file however, that there is any problem with this device. So, I keep wasting more and more time trying to figure out what the problem is. Then I think to go on line and look at the comments on the Android MarketPlace.for the app. And there they are, one after another. Will not work with Nexus 7 2013. Will not take a picture of check. All you get is a series of horizon lines.

Just as I explained the problem to them. But they have no known issues.
Guess someone is not reading the reviews under the app software.

I want a new bank. Problem is this one gives me photo copies of my hand written checks with my statement. Other major banks are not doing this, and since I have more than one bank, I don't want to have to be downloading copies of each individual check I write. This is too time consuming. Downloading into Quicken doesn't help, as when it is a handwritten check, it will appear blank, and I still will have to go online and print out each individual check separately if I want to keep a record of checks. You can only download copies of checks for about a month, and I don't want to have to do this all the time.

I have checked with both Chase and Wells Fargo, and they do not offer it.
Any suggestions?
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Old 04-09-2014, 03:41 PM   #11
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Go to a credit union and get an iPhone. Mobile deposits work great, they take take care of all the fraudulent charges without a fee, and copies of what? (not sure what a check is)
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Old 04-09-2014, 04:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan View Post
Some good information on your liability for identity theft. Varies from State to State.

Statement of Rights for Identity Theft Victims | Consumer Information
This is correct. AFAIK this is regulated by federal, not state law although states can supplement it. One addition about credit cards - you have 60 days to notify the bank of an unauthorized transaction. That 60-day clock doesn't start until you learn of the transaction. Therefore if the transaction happened today, April 9th, and you don't get your paper statement in the mail until the 30th, then you have 60 days from April 30th, not the 9th, to notify the bank and be held harmless.

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Originally Posted by modhatter View Post
I want a new bank. Problem is this one gives me photo copies of my hand written checks with my statement. Other major banks are not doing this, and since I have more than one bank, I don't want to have to be downloading copies of each individual check I write. This is too time consuming. Downloading into Quicken doesn't help, as when it is a handwritten check, it will appear blank, and I still will have to go online and print out each individual check separately if I want to keep a record of checks. You can only download copies of checks for about a month, and I don't want to have to do this all the time.

I have checked with both Chase and Wells Fargo, and they do not offer it.
Any suggestions?
Try smaller community banks? FIL had an account at one in MD and they send copies of the checks, about six to a page with the statement.
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Old 04-09-2014, 04:09 PM   #13
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.....and copies of what? (not sure what a check is)
Check: it's a payment device used a long time ago which required you to fill it out to the payee and then send it somewhere using a process call "post office". You had to glue paper currency called "stamps" on the front of the sending device to make it work (not reliably, though). You can find examples of these "checks" in some museums.
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Old 04-09-2014, 05:04 PM   #14
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Check: it's a payment device used a long time ago which required you to fill it out to the payee and then send it somewhere using a process call "post office". You had to glue paper currency called "stamps" on the front of the sending device to make it work (not reliably, though). You can find examples of these "checks" in some museums.

Very funny. Awesome comment. Made my day with a good laugh Guess I'm giving away my age. Well, sometimes I need to use checks. Like to pay the handyman who comes to do all my remodeling projects, etc. I use on line banking, and sometimes they are electronic transfers like to utility companies, but sometimes they must mail out a check. Also, there are times you need to pay people, where only a check will do. Think the housekeeper, the plumber etc. I have rentals, so it is important I can keep track of what I am paying - to who - for tax purposes. Then there's the occasional screw up, where you have to send someone a copy of the front and back of the actual check they say they never got and cashed. I send in a check for my Federal Taxes and Pre-Payments, cause I want a record of it, and don't like the idea of giving the IRS my credit card. So there are still a few uses.

On the I-Phone. I purchased a Samsung Android phone, which my bank said would work. It didn't (turns out not one of their compatible phones-though it was comparable before I bought it) Next when they said there new app for tablets would be out in two weeks, I asked if the Nexus 7 2013 would be comparable. They said it would. It isn't.

So I'm real anxious to go out now and buy a third device, just so I can deposit a few lousy checks cause I moved across country and don't have access to my bank anymore. (the one I can get copies of checks with my statements)

For those who left sources on the laws. Thank you. I did find those and read them before myself but appreciate the input.
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Old 04-09-2014, 05:18 PM   #15
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Very funny. Awesome comment. Made my day with a good laugh Guess I'm giving away my age. Well, sometimes I need to use checks. Like to pay the handyman who comes to do all my remodeling projects, etc. I use on line banking, and sometimes they are electronic transfers like to utility companies, but sometimes they must mail out a check. Also, there are times you need to pay people, where only a check will do. Think the housekeeper, the plumber etc. I have rentals, so it is important I can keep track of what I am paying - to who - for tax purposes. Then there's the occasional screw up, where you have to send someone a copy of the front and back of the actual check they say they never got and cashed. I send in a check for my Federal Taxes and Pre-Payments, cause I want a record of it, and don't like the idea of giving the IRS my credit card. So there are still a few uses.

On the I-Phone. I purchased a Samsung Android phone, which my bank said would work. It didn't (turns out not one of their compatible phones-though it was comparable before I bought it) Next when they said there new app for tablets would be out in two weeks, I asked if the Nexus 7 2013 would be comparable. They said it would. It isn't.

So I'm real anxious to go out now and buy a third device, just so I can deposit a few lousy checks cause I moved across country and don't have access to my bank anymore. (the one I can get copies of checks with my statements)

For those who left sources on the laws. Thank you. I did find those and read them before myself but appreciate the input.
I am no spring chicken either and still use some checks, for the same reasons you do. Our checking account at Ally Bank (online bank), lets me scan a check for deposit with our desktop scanner. I scan it into a .jpg file (photo). We have not teied using a phone or tablet camera to make a deposit, but also have android devices. (no IPhones here).

We use Bill Pay at Chase for monthly bills and have a checking account with them, but we have our SS payments made into that account electronically. Any checks we get I can just go thru the drive thru.
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Old 04-09-2014, 05:24 PM   #16
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I want a new bank. Problem is this one gives me photo copies of my hand written checks with my statement. Other major banks are not doing this, and since I have more than one bank, I don't want to have to be downloading copies of each individual check I write. This is too time consuming. Downloading into Quicken doesn't help, as when it is a handwritten check, it will appear blank, and I still will have to go online and print out each individual check separately if I want to keep a record of checks. You can only download copies of checks for about a month, and I don't want to have to do this all the time.

I have checked with both Chase and Wells Fargo, and they do not offer it.
Any suggestions?
We get imaged checks from our checking account, DW is paranoid. I does come with an additional fee for the privilege. PM if you want this major banks name, it's in America.
MRG
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Old 04-09-2014, 06:24 PM   #17
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aja8888. I have an account with Ally. I like the scanner option better than the picture. I don't get checks that often, but when I do, I would much rather be able to just scan them in and save a trip to the bank.

Short of buying a 3rd device, I could scan checks in there and then do an ACH out if need be.

MRG. I assume that is a Bank of American decent.
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Old 04-09-2014, 07:42 PM   #18
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This is correct. AFAIK this is regulated by federal, not state law although states can supplement it. One addition about credit cards - you have 60 days to notify the bank of an unauthorized transaction. That 60-day clock doesn't start until you learn of the transaction. Therefore if the transaction happened today, April 9th, and you don't get your paper statement in the mail until the 30th, then you have 60 days from April 30th, not the 9th, to notify the bank and be held harmless.
My understanding is the 60 day clock for anything other than credit card charges begins when the monthly account statement is mailed or notification of availability is made electronically. This is why it is critical to review account statements at least once a month.

I thought Wells Fargo sent check images with the monthly statement. USAA does for sure, and I think BBT does as well.

I've dealt with fraudulent transactions three times, two involving large frauds with extended family members, and am shocked at how badly some banks act. In all cases funds were eventualy recovered, but twice took over a year and required a significant and well organized effort.
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Old 04-09-2014, 07:44 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by modhatter View Post
...
On the I-Phone. I purchased a Samsung Android phone, which my bank said would work. It didn't (turns out not one of their compatible phones-though it was comparable before I bought it) Next when they said there new app for tablets would be out in two weeks, I asked if the Nexus 7 2013 would be comparable. They said it would. It isn't.

So I'm real anxious to go out now and buy a third device, just so I can deposit a few lousy checks cause I moved across country and don't have access to my bank anymore. (the one I can get copies of checks with my statements)

....
Maybe I'm the one who is old fashioned. I scan my checks on the printer and send the images to the bank to do an electronic deposit. (I don't have a smart phone.) I can also get images of all my checks (front and back) from my on-line transaction listing.
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Old 04-09-2014, 08:50 PM   #20
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The rules are different for credit cards and debit cards.
I believe they are also different for personal cards and business cards.

If you fear identity theft the best and really only defense is to freeze your credit with the three reporting agencies. It's a hassle but a small one compared to untangling the mess if somebody does steal your id.
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