Identity Theft Drains Woman's Checking Account in Single Day
Discovery of rapid loss of funds reveals compelling
reason to monitor accounts automatically.
A Utah woman, who fortunately had already been set up
with on-line banking, came home one night to find out her
bank account was overdrawn --- after she verified
there would be sufficient funds that morning!
It seems, as reported by WSU Signpost, her husband had
become a victim of identity theft and fraud from "phishing".
Apparently, the husband had received a phony email
from someone claiming his Paypal account needed to be
updated. However, the phony email requested
confirmation of his personal information and including
his checking account data.
Ouch! At that exact point in time, the identity thief
had just stung the couple.
He now had all the information, collected
fraudulently, to commit theft in their name since
Paypal accounts are commonly linked to a checking
account which means it can directly deduct payments.
A side-note, depending on how fast you discover and
notify your bank, the amount of your checking account
funds you can lose will greatly vary.....especially after
72 hours of an incident of theft.
Fortunately, for this Utah woman, because she was
already enrolled in online banking, she was able to
work with her bank to quickly limit the damage by
freezing her account, thus requiring her approval
for any withdrawals from those Paypal linked funds.
So, our tip for today, is get yourself setup for
on-line banking. It will benefit you in the following
- Enable you to monitor your balances and activity
more frequently than monthy mailed statements will
- Depending on your institution, many online banking
services feature the ability for you to set up
"alerts" which will automatically email or text
message you when suspicious transactions take
- Also, with your online banking service, you also
eliminate the potential for identity theft
resulting from your monthly statements and
processed checks being intercepted from your
mailbox by id theft data "collectors"
As always, we further recommend you institute a
comprehensive credit and non-credit monitoring system
to protect your personal identity across all of your
non banking relationships as well.