I love on-line banking. It helps give me a secure feeling that I know exactly how much I have to work with without worrying too much about my math in the check register. Most days I look at my on-line statements for my checking accounts and it is a good thing I do.
Recently I noticed some weird charges on my account. For example: $148 worth of Pizza Hut pizza at one order (I kid you not). There were charges to wireless service companies, and just odd charges in a town I had not even been to recently. This happened on a Saturday when the bank was closed. There was about $600 out of my account, and the notation indicated it was debit card use.
I rushed to my purse, thinking my card had been left somewhere and was being used. No, it was there. How, then????
I called the 24 hour banking number without success. It eventually (after all the button pushing) directed me to call the bank at weekday business hours. Big help. I e mailed them right away so I would have a record of my report.
On Monday I went to the bank at the earliest opportunity. The bank put the money right back into my account and took the debit card, ordering me another. Their investigation revealed that the debit purchases were not in person: they were either on-line purchases or telephoned orders (as in the pizza orders). These did not require a PIN, only the debit card number, the expiration date and the security code.
Here’s the only the explanation the bank can give: They theorize that when I made a purchase (such as giving my debit card to a waiter at a restaurant), that person jotted down the information from the card. This enabled him or her to go online or call and purchase using that information.
So, word to the wise: keep careful tabs on your accounts if you use debit cards. My bank was greatly cooperative, but just think what a mess if those purchases had overdrawn my account! And my money was just flying out the window!!
This could also happen with credit cards, so it is a good idea to establish on-line capability for those accounts so they can be checked regularly. Never again will I go a month without looking at all my accounts. C