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Old 07-17-2016, 03:58 PM   #21
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The scary thing is they did it twice.

The first was a routing error I'm sure.

But the second time was just sloppy incompetence.
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Old 07-17-2016, 04:41 PM   #22
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I had a similar thing happen to me at Schwab. Two different debits from two different vendors (a cable company I don't use, and AAA), taken from a Schwab brokerage account. Freaked me out good. One debit had a name (not mine) attached to it; the other one I couldn't get the detail. Schwab could see that one debit had been initiated online, and the other one over the phone, but other than that I couldn't get much detail. After I signed an affidavit saying that these were not my transactions, Schwab refunded the money to my account (about $300), closed the account and moved everything over to a new account number.

In trying to figure out how it happened and how to prevent it, I learned that there's really nothing I could do to prevent it. All someone needs is an account number, a routing number, and a vendor that doesn't bother to verify anything and they can debit any account they want. Disabling checkwriting wouldn't make these transactions impossible - the only benefit would be that if you had no checks in circulation, people couldn't get your account number off of a check you'd written. Two factor authentication? Good to have, but wouldn't prevent this. Schwab said they couldn't flag an account to never accept autodebits, and it sounded like they're not alone in that - it's just the way the system works.

I've always been pretty good about reviewing my statements regularly, but believe me, I'm even better about it now! I shudder to think what the process would be if they'd debited a lot more than $300.
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Old 07-17-2016, 06:38 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dare View Post
I had a similar thing happen to me at Schwab. Two different debits from two different vendors (a cable company I don't use, and AAA), taken from a Schwab brokerage account. Freaked me out good. One debit had a name (not mine) attached to it; the other one I couldn't get the detail. Schwab could see that one debit had been initiated online, and the other one over the phone, but other than that I couldn't get much detail. After I signed an affidavit saying that these were not my transactions, Schwab refunded the money to my account (about $300), closed the account and moved everything over to a new account number.

In trying to figure out how it happened and how to prevent it, I learned that there's really nothing I could do to prevent it. All someone needs is an account number, a routing number, and a vendor that doesn't bother to verify anything and they can debit any account they want. Disabling checkwriting wouldn't make these transactions impossible - the only benefit would be that if you had no checks in circulation, people couldn't get your account number off of a check you'd written. Two factor authentication? Good to have, but wouldn't prevent this. Schwab said they couldn't flag an account to never accept autodebits, and it sounded like they're not alone in that - it's just the way the system works.

I've always been pretty good about reviewing my statements regularly, but believe me, I'm even better about it now! I shudder to think what the process would be if they'd debited a lot more than $300.
Yes, sounds very similar. I still do not know why they could not change the system to indicate that a last name needs to match in addition to the banking and routing number. This may not prevent fraud but would prevent clerical errors.
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Old 08-04-2016, 10:14 AM   #24
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I don't know about auto loan payments but I was shocked to find that a credit card holder can set up a payment with someone else's account# and routing number. Since it was allowed, I have paid several of my wife's CCs. Note, she does not have the same last name as I do. I think it is stupid but it is allowed by the CCs and the banks I did it with.
You need to always keep track of your account either via statements or online inquiries.
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Old 08-04-2016, 10:54 AM   #25
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#1 set up alerts on the account. You'll get an email for every type of transaction of your choosing.
#2 Don't let people have access to the account. I know the OP didn't it was an error, but never let anyone do ACH transactions. Always just set it up as a billpay transaction. Once someone has access to your account, you lose control.
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Old 08-04-2016, 12:33 PM   #26
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I have seen some banks do two small deposits under 50 cents and ask you to verify what they are. Obviously that works only for connections between two financial institutions. But even a biller could perhaps do a test withdrawal of a small amount and ask for verification, then refund the money (I have seen that too.)

I'm glad to hear Fidelity will add 2FA, but that wouldn't protect ACH transactions.
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Old 08-04-2016, 02:44 PM   #27
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Every time you write a check, you give out your bank and account information to who knows how many people. When I was working, we had a check to a vendor which someone likely made a copy and created their own personal checks with our banking info. They could've easily set up ACH withdrawals if they wanted. About the only solution was to monitor daily activity to catch fraudulent activity.
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Old 08-05-2016, 01:08 PM   #28
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That is exactly the problem - routing and account numbers are essentially public info if you ever write a check. I'm surprised that ACH fraud is not more widespread.
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Old 08-05-2016, 10:28 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by akck View Post
Every time you write a check, you give out your bank and account information to who knows how many people. When I was working, we had a check to a vendor which someone likely made a copy and created their own personal checks with our banking info. They could've easily set up ACH withdrawals if they wanted. About the only solution was to monitor daily activity to catch fraudulent activity.


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That is exactly the problem - routing and account numbers are essentially public info if you ever write a check. I'm surprised that ACH fraud is not more widespread.

And this is why we now avoid check writing wherever possible.

Interestingly, the other day we came across an old pad of checks from a few decades ago, different state, bank now defunct. DW said, "Can you believe folks actually used to include social security numbers on their checks?" Wow, I'd forgotten about that too. Talk about laying yourself bare. (Name, address, SSN, account #, routing #, and signature!) And this was back when we wrote checks for just about everything. Yet I don't remember ever being a victim of fraud stemming from such freely shared info. Only the occasional fraudulent credit card charge. But no way I'd let all that out nowadays.
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