Sunday, March 23, 2008

Fun with ATM fraud

Hey guys, I just got back from the bank, where I found out some dirtbag cloned my ATM card somehow and went on a mall shopping spree.

Yesterday I was using an ATM that I have used many times before in a CVS Pharmacy by my work. This time though the machine reset itself, right after I had entered my number in. I thought that was kinda strange. I watched it for a few minutes as it went up through it’s boot cycle (which it ran OS 2 warp, for some reason.) Unfortunately, I’m not super computer savvy enough to be able to tell what’s going on with a machine just by looking at it’s startup process (never mind the fact that I’ve also never seen an ATM starup before, I wouldn’t know if something’s wrong with it or what.) I shrugged it off, and checked my balance later in the day at a different machine. Everything was cool.

Earlier today at lunch after eating quite possibly the world’s best hamburger for some reason my atm card didn’t work when I went to pay. The girl gave me the "Sometimes these machines don’t work" spiel. I wouldn’t have been suspicious except for the freak resetting ATM thing that happened yesterday.

So on the way home from work I stopped in at the bank to check my balance, and sure enough someone had spent $300 out my account. Whoever it was somehow managed to hack or otherwise compromise that ATM in the pharmacy, then cloned the card and went shopping at the stupid mall (Macy’s and Fredricks of Hollywood, fucking lingerie of all things...)

Luckily I caught it early, and whoever it was apparently didn’t have my atm pin number as all the transactions were credit transactions (i.e. they had to sign for them like a credit card.) So luckily my savings were protected. So now I just got to spend the last hour closing out my account, opening a new account, and having the guy explain to me in intricate detail exactly what I need to do in order to file a fraud claim and get my $300 back.

I guess I should consider myself lucky as it was "only" $300 that the bank covers during the fraud investigation, my account was not frozen, I still have access to the money I have left, I hadn’t deposited my paycheck for this week, and I caught it early enough to prevent any more cash from disappearing. This same shit happened to a friend of mine and his bank totally froze everything.

So anyway, if you’re out using a money machine and suddenly it reboots for no reason, you know what’s going on.

No one ever gets to make fun of me for being paranoid ever again.