WaMu: You're Lying About Someone Breaking Into Your iTunes Account

WaMu’s crack fraud department is at it again, according to reader Kristin. Someone broke into her iTunes account and bought a couple hundred dollars worth of iTunes gift cards with her debit card information. She disputed the charge and WaMu told her not to worry — they’d take care of it. Two months later, while on a trip to Chicago, WaMu reversed the credits, causing Kristin to become severely overdrawn. No amount of protesting will convince WaMu that she wasn’t lying about the iTunes break-in. Why? Because she never responded to some mail they sent to her old address.

I wanted to tell you guys about my positively sexy Washington Mutual experience. On 6/01/08, someone hacked into my iTunes account, and using my debit card information, purchased two $200 gift cards, something I noticed when checking my online statement. I call WaMu immediately, tell them about the fraud, and they say they will issue me provisional credits, which they do. I then ask the fateful questions that started this mess:

“Is there anything I need to do or give you? Should I call iTunes? Do I need to investigate?”

The answer was a swift, resounding, no. You don’t need to do anything. We will contact Apple and we will investigate.

I’ve had good luck with WaMu, so I honestly had no reason to think that this was not even close to the correct answer. I’ve never been defrauded before, so I assumed that I had done my part, and that if something came up, they have my phone number and the WaMu message center, so they could let me know immediately. This was incredibly stupid.

Fast forward two months and change, I’m taking a trip from LA to Chicago for my very first production of a play I’d written. I check my balance before I leave. I take the red eye, I buy food, gum, etc. I land in Chicago at about 6 AM, and crash. The next day I try to use my card. It’s declined. I have a dress rehearsal in three hours.

I check my balance and the two credits are gone, the withdrawal dated for sometime between when my connecting flight left Las Vegas and when I woke up. I am now severely overdrawn. What’s worse, the four things I purchased while in LA and in transit conveniently all clear in the day after the provisional credits are revoked, each invoking their own overdraft. No warning. No notice. No calls.

I go the bank, the teller tells me that the bank has deduced that I lied about the fraud, and there’s nothing I can do. I throw a fit, he gives me a number to call. I call the number. The CSR tells me that what happened was that affidavits were sent to my graduate housing address on, literally, the day I moved out after getting my master’s and because they were sent back returned, there’s nothing he can do.

This is the first I’m hearing about affidavits, period. This is the first I’m hearing about affidavits being sent to an address I wasn’t at, and the first I’m hearing about them being sent back. I pitch a fit. He tells me that I could try sending proof of my residency claim and info to a fax number, and address it to an Alex Wilson.

I fax my proof of residency, and call CS back to follow up, asking if I could get Alex Wilson’s extension. I am told that Alex Wilson is not a real person. He is just a name for people to fax things to.

What?

Also, there is no way for me to follow up with him, or the office where the documents were sent. I have to be patient and wait for a letter in the mail. I honestly have no idea if any of this is true.

I should mention at this point that due to be being stranded and broke, I have missed the final rehearsal, and half of the shows. I call CS back again. I explain the situation, I ask if there is anything she can do. She notes that the investigation is opened back up, but that now I need to contact iTunes and fax WaMu proof that what I say happened, did.

What about the affidavits? What about the part where I didn’t need to contact anyone? The CSR reinforced that she didn’t know what I was told in the past, but this was what I needed to do now. And I can’t have my provisional credit back, or the four overdrafts.

At this point, I have missed my show entirely. I call Executive Customer Service the day my flight is leaving, and leave a message. No response. I beg for a ride to the airport, and on my layover, write an e-mail to ECSR, explaining what happened. I get an e-mail the next day that is kind and apologetic, and says that this should be resolved in 24-48 hours. I celebrate pre-maturely.

I check in with her at 24 hours, she is still working on it. I check in at 48, no response. And then, at about 76 hours, I get an e-mail that diplomatically informs me that I am lying about how I was informed and guided after the fraud, and that it was my fault for moving (and I guess, by proxy, getting my masters) at the wrong time, and my fault for not having a future address at that time, despite my not having any idea what that address would be used for beyond account identity verification. It was phrased: “According to our policies, what you have suggested could never f*cking happen and you are full of sh*t.”

And that, despite the fact that I faxed the required info when I returned to LA, that I have repeatedly referred to this as fraud, and not a dispute, that I have a f*cking phone and access to a message center that they use to inform me of other important things, I got the dreaded “we have insufficient information to dispute the charge with the merchant.”

Not having the presence of mind to disbelieve what the debit fraud CSR says costs about 536 dollars, priceless memories, and a week and a half. Took a screenshot of my message center inbox, just in case. What other evidence do I need to start assembling so that I can nail these bastards?

-Kristin


The Electronic Funds Transfer Act, which governs debit card transactions, is pretty clear on this issue. If you report the theft of your card or your code within two business days, your liability is limited to $50. We’re pretty sure that someone stealing your debit card information from your iTunes account and ordering gift cards with it counts as fraud and not an “error.” Here’s some more information about the law from the Federal Reserve.

With this in mind, why not file an official complaint with their regulator? It’ll be valuable later on if you have to keep fighting with them. Here’s how you do that:

  1. Contact WaMu with a formal complaint. You can do this in writing, or by email. Keep a copy of this complaint for your records.

  2. Figure out which agency regulates your bank by calling or using FDIC’s Bank Find. We happen to know that Washington Mutual’s primary regulator is the Office of Thrift Supervision.
  3. Write a formal complaint letter to the bank’s regulatory agency. Follow the FTC’s instructions for writing a complaint.

    This document also has the correct contact information for the various regulatory agencies. Keep a copy of this complaint for your records.

    By filing a complaint, the regulating agency will investigate whether WaMu actually violated any banking regulations.


That might be enough to get their attention. If not, you might want to locate some free legal help in your area and see if they have any ideas. You could also try sending an EECB to Apple, since it was their website that got broken into. Maybe they can help you deal with WaMu, or provide some additional evidence for you. …And who knows? Maybe you can sue WaMu in small claims court. This small claims advice page says you can serve a small claims lawsuit to a bank teller!

For more information about launching an EECB, click here.

(Photo: Stirwise )

UPDATE: 9/02/08: In response to our email inquiry, WaMu has said they’re interested in checking out this story.

Comments

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  1. Mfalconieri says:

    My wife and I just started a joint WaMu account due to the fact that we loved our Providian credit card that showed us our credit score.

    After reading the Consumerist for 2 months now and seeing the feedback about WaMu, I think it’s time to get another joint account!!!

  2. starrion says:

    Yes, proceed to your local credit union in an orderly manner. There is no need to panic.

    But do it now.

  3. sleze69 says:

    Lesson learned here is to never, ever, ever, never, ever use a debit card for anything. Get a credit card and use that bank card for ATM transactions only.

  4. techstar25 says:

    What a coincidence. I just called Wamu to file a claim for a fraudulent charge on my debit card. I talked to a CSR who said the amount would credited back within 7 days. She also said that it’s very important that I check my mailbox for blue envelope which will contain an affidavit that I MUST sign and return to them, or else I will forfeit the credited amount. She even made sure to confirm my mailing address and said I’d get the affidavit letter within 10 days. I’d say she very thorough and explained every detail. It sounds like the OP missed a few details from her original call. When dealing with a large amount of money like that, it’s important to sweat the details and write everything down. I hate to blaim the OP, but clearly this was not Wamu’s fault. The CSR likely confirmed her address (at college) and told her when to expect the letter.

  5. starrion says:

    The OP got screwed. I had to do this with my credit union and they also reversed the charges because they didn’t get the affidavits. We faxed them over again and the charges disappeared once and for all.

  6. zentex says:

    @starrion: not all CU’s are better than normal banks. There one’s where I live SUCK (and by suck I mean they are stuck in the 1980′s) compared to normal banks.

    @Mfalconieri: WaMu isn’t the doom you read about here all the time. I’ve had some pretty spectacular people do some pretty amazing things for me…all I did was ask.

  7. ameyer says:

    For what it’s worth, if I recall reading the federal regulations correctly, they can’t charge overdraft fees or reject transactions for 5 business days after reversing a provisional credit.
    That was almost 9 months ago when my mom was going through this crap, though.

  8. shocker says:

    @techstar25:

    It’s certainly not possible that the CSR she spoke with at WaMu failed to mention anything about the affidavit, is it?

    No. Large companies rarely make mistakes. It’s the consumers who’s life is on the line who often don’t sweat any details.

  9. cf27 says:

    The original call with WaMu was probably recorded. Ask them for a copy of the recording to verify that you did what they said to do.

  10. brettt says:

    She should sue them for pain and suffering.

  11. tasselhoff76 says:

    @techstar25: I wouldn’t be so sure about that. Having used WAMU now for years, I can attest to the fact that the level of knowledge of their CSR’s is a lot like Sprint’s and results may *significantly* vary.

  12. samurailynn says:

    @starrion: Credit unions aren’t necessarily better. I opened an account and specifically told the banker that it would be an account that I wouldn’t be using very much and that I needed an account which would not charge me any fees for having it open with money sitting in it. She assured me that there were no service fees on the account. After a few months of having the account open, I started getting a $5.00 per month fee for the account not being active. They wouldn’t remove the fees and said that it was typical of all banking institutions. I quickly closed the account and said goodbye to credit unions because I have never had a fee like that from my big name national bank, even when I did leave the account sitting for months at a time.

  13. cotr says:

    no address change at the local USPS? I prefer to do mine online because i get a nice printout and it bypasses the inept workers.

  14. Indecent says:

    @cf27:

    Most companies will refuse to give you a recording unless you have a subpoena or other legal matter pending that requires it.

    And even then, you better believe its going to be a hell of a hassle.

  15. Corydon says:

    @techstar25: There are good CSRs and bad CSRs. Sounds like you got a good one. Perhaps the OP got a bad one.

    Or maybe the OP’s CSR just had bad information, or there was a change in policy.

    We expect a company’s CSRs to be up-to-date on all of their company’s rules and procedures but the fact of the matter is that at best CSRs are slightly better educated generalists who may or may not make a concerted effort to research how to handle your specific problem depending on any number of factors, including how their handle time stats look, how much experience they have, the quality of the tools at their disposal, whether they are having a bad hair day, etc.

    It doesn’t help that most companies seem to view customer service as an expense to be trimmed as much as possible rather than an opportunity to retain those customers that are so hard to obtain. Alas, when times turn bad, it’s the expensive (but experienced!) CSRs who are actually pulling down a decent salary that are often the first to go.

  16. Aeroracere says:

    Both times I’ve been defrauded, the affidavit has been number one on the list of things covered by the CSR. I can’t imagine this shaking down any other way.

  17. CountryJustice says:

    @cf27: I wouldn’t count on it.

    I work in a large call center and it’s not like there’s a big data bank where every single phone callis logged. When the automated prompt tells you your call may be recorded, it’s likely with nothing more high-tech than a mini-cassette recorder plugged into the phone.

  18. floraposte says:

    @phnxamg: Maybe she was in university housing? Usually universities have what’s called a “hotel agreement” with the PO, which means they won’t do individual forwarding.

    Just to be clear, she’s really saying that the email said, verbatim, “You are full of shit?” Wow.

  19. zerj says:

    While certainly a crappy situation, I am not sure you would be able to get your money back from WaMu via the EFTA.

    To me it seems like technically this may be Apple’s Fault, and not WaMu. If you have Apple preauthorized to charge your credit card whenever they want to and then they charge your card $200, WaMu has no way of knowing if it is legitimate or not. Your card or card info wasn’t stolen it was your Apple Account Info.

    The only thing WaMu did was give some very bad advice and let them take care of it.

  20. nffcnnr says:

    Yet another reason to avoid iTunes. And crappy banks. And old addresses. And affidavits. And CSR’s. I guess just stay home and play records.

  21. sonicanatidae says:

    BBB is another good resource, if you’re looking to stir the pot. I’ve only used them in one instance, but filing a complaint with the BBB got action in my instance….

    Good luck..

    [welcome.bbb.org]

  22. MercuryPDX says:

    Not to completely absolve WaMU, and to add upon sleze69‘s comment:

    Never link your Debit/Credit card to an online store (like iTunes) and store the info on there.

    This seems to be the second time this has happened to an iTunes user who linked a Credit/Debit card to their account and had it compromised.

  23. techstar25 says:

    @shocker: I just wanted to give an example of how it worked for me and how it’s supposed to work. Wamu likely has multiple call centers, with various levels of competency at each.

  24. BrianDaBrain says:

    @zerj: First, to respond to this, it is not Apple’s fault that somebody hacked their database per se. True, their security could be stronger, but the blame lies solely with the hacker.

    Second, though it is not WaMu’s fault, they are required, as the providing bank, to reimburse for anything above $50 as long as the charge is reported right away, which it seems the OP did. It is also their job to contact Apple to resolve the situation. I used to deal with banks on a regular basis when customers disputed charges on their credit or debit cards. It wasn’t the customer calling to look into it. It was always the bank.

  25. nicemarmot617 says:

    Yikes. I’m glad I took WAMU’s empty ATMs as a bad sign and changed banks. Oh credit unions, how I miss you.

    And Zerj is right, the OP should have called Apple. Sorry but identity theft isn’t something to sit back and let an incompetent bunch of morons at a bank deal with. I know, I had my identity stolen about a year ago. Take some frickin personal responsibility for your own well-being.

  26. Hohoemi says:

    When I worked as a fraud investigator for both business and consumer accounts at a computer company, I was required to explain about the affidavit, the estimated time for it to arrive (7-10 business days), confirm the address to send it to, and explain when we would need to get it back. For consumer accounts, if the victim was too impatient to wait for our form to arrive, they could also print out and send in the affidavit located in the ID Theft section of the FTC website. We also required that it be notarized and include a copy of a police report, but WaMu probably wouldn’t need that. I am very surprised that the WaMu CSR did not mention an affidavit at all during the initial fraud complaint. It’s a pretty vital part of a fraud claim.

  27. coren says:

    I’m not following as to how the OP missed her show. It sounds like she got to where it was ok? I’m just wondering what happened, not blaming, not saying what she said is wrong, just curious

  28. SHUDUPAHYOFACE says:

    I can’t believe the CSR was so incompetent as to NOT tell you that you would be receiving and affidavit in the mail! I had a fraudulent bank charge once and was told that I’d be getting the letter immediately. They are at fault for not disclosing this important information. Wow – this blows

  29. lolababy says:

    OP here.

    Thanks for the advice, well-wishes, and even snarky truisms. I’ve learned about fraud protocol, debit cards, and banks in general since this ordeal started. Not knowing and trusting others to know really does get you.

  30. lolababy says:

    @coren: I honestly had only the cash on my person once I arrived. No way to transport myself.

  31. NoWin says:

    @BrianDaBrain: “It is also their job to contact Apple to resolve the situation.

    …but if the OP never followed through with a signed affidavit to WaMu, that is moot. WaMu would have contacted Apple, who would simply have confirmed/verified the transaction “as it appeared” on their side, thus confirming the WaMu activity, buuuuut, if no formal and legal declaration of un-authorized use of the card from WaMu comes through (vis a vis the OP), no reversals are made in final determination whether they contact Apple or not.

    Hey, debit cards may be a great convenience, but if it’s compromised from ANY aspect, it becomes a liability for the user for ANY activity. My guess is “somewhere”, a friend or shared user saw or found out her IT password and either used it or gave it out for a giftcard withdrawal. The OP didn’t say if the giftcard registry name was local, etc…

  32. lolababy says:

    @floraposte: Whoa, no. The e-mail had no profanity. The format for the refuting of my claims was “Our policy is this. Our policy is this. Our policy is this. Because you claim something alternate to our policy, what you claim is inherently untrue.”

  33. lolababy says:

    @NoWin: You’re right. So done with debit cards.

    The receiving e-mail for the gift cards was apple my ass [at] g mail [dot] com. And the name given to receive one the gift cards was a modified version of a curse words. Obviously, I can’t prove this, but I’m willing to bet it was a hacker.

  34. Bryan Price says:

    My son’s bank account got tapped two weeks ago. Somebody in Budapest was draining his account. Now the bank has frozen his account completely, he can’t even get any money out himself. And now it’s under investigation. It’s still under investigation 14 days later after he told them about it.

    The real problem is that it’s a German bank,and now he’s back in the States. So now he has to deal with them overseas. His old cellphone still has minutes, so calling them isn’t an issue. But he has now made sure his direct deposit goes 100% into the American credit union he is a member of. I have no clue how long they are going to “investigate” and freeze his account.

  35. ChuckECheese says:

    @sleze69: It’s a nice idea so long as you are not among the 1 in 4 adult Americans who don’t have a single credit card. There are many reasons people don’t have them.

  36. Tzepish says:

    @techstar25: “I hate to blaim the OP, but clearly this was not Wamu’s fault.”

    Right, because it’s unreasonable to suppose that the CSR may have neglected to confirm her address with her. I know from working as a CSR that that never happens. It’s a lot more reasonable to assume that the customer was playing fast and loose with the facts and simply not paying attention. I know that as a customer, that’s what I always do. Especially when reporting fraud on my accounts on the order of hundreds of dollars.

  37. dragonfire81 says:

    @brettt: She should sue them for something. They are trying to make her pay for fraudulent purchases.

  38. opsomath says:

    I had to send in my affidavit four (4) times and spend about eight total hours on the phone with Citibank (over a credit card fraud, not debit) before finally getting them to reverse the charges. It’s not something they run after enthusiastically. I suggest certified mail and getting the name of everyone you talk to…

  39. brent_r says:

    @techstar25: Just because a CSR told you everything you needed to know does not mean that the OP’s CSR told them everything they needed to know.

    Get a clue.

  40. fafi says:

    wamu is the worst bank ever. i opened an account through my previous job like 4 years ago. i only had a portion of my check go into the account. luckily, i have several accounts elsewhere. i disputed charges on my account and seriously a year later they send me a letter that was fwd from my prev address. telling me they reversed the credits because the merchant stated the charges were valid. no real information…just that they were valid. A YEAR LATER. FU WAMU. i guess the debt has been “charged off”. i don’t see it on my credit bureau report though. thanks for stealing my money dirtbags.

  41. crashfrog says:

    @sleze69: Lesson learned here is to never, ever, ever, never, ever use a debit card for anything.

    I love how when it’s a story about banks screwing you over with your debit card, the advice is “always use your credit card. Never use a debit card” and when it’s a story about predatory credit lenders screwing you over, the advice is “cut up all your credit cards. Don’t spend money you don’t have.”

    How about some fucking regulation to address the fact that we’re being defrauded by our own banks through nickle-and-dime microtheft?

  42. RStewie says:

    @techstar25: Just because YOUR CS was doing her job correctly doesn’t mean that the OP’s CS did, too. If that were the case, there would NEVER be a complaint filed. It’s a little short-sighted to blame HER because YOU were provided the correct information.

    Also, check USAA. Their member policy has changed. They rock the Casbah.

  43. RStewie says:

    Also, I CC through Chase, and they are the BEST when it comes to chargebacks. I had one for $450. Called them up, told them I had been scammed (it was a pyramid scheme, I was young and stupid) and they took it off that day, and I never heard about it again.

    I’ve been with them for over a decade now. They are great.

  44. godlyfrog says:

    I received a really good credit card offer from WAMU, but thanks to consumerist, I tore it up so I wouldn’t have to deal with them.

    @techstar25: Part of my job involves digging through our help desk tickets to look for trends to fix underlying problems. Believe me when I tell you that if you have 14 CSRs, you have 14 different ways of answering the phone and dealing with the customer. Some truly want to help, some go completely by the book and won’t go outside of it, and some are just trying to get off the phone. You just happened to get lucky on your first try.

  45. Consumerist-Moderator-Roz says:

    @techstar25: I tend to agree with RStewie; just because your experience was positive is no reason to blanketly blame the victim. In particular, doing so is expressly indicated as a no-no in the comment code, so please make sure your future comments are in line with our guidelines. Helpful suggestions are fine.

  46. huadpe says:

    Um, the link in the post looks broken. You forgot the ‘a’ in the angle brackets to start a link.

  47. RodB says:

    Clean this up and send it to the Comptroller of the Currency in Washington, DC. They take a while but they carry a big stick and get things done that the BBB can’t touch.

    Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
    Customer Assistance Group
    1301 McKinney Street
    Suite 3450
    Houston, Texas 77010

  48. Dyscord says:

    In the future, never link your card to anything. I wouldn’t do automatic bill pay either. Call me paranoid, but I don’t like the idea of money being taken out of my account without my consent

  49. lolababy says:

    @RodB: Thanks.

  50. rbcat says:

    @crashfrog: THANK YOU. I was working my way to the bottom of the comments to see if anyone had posted this, or I was going to do so.

    The “lesson learned” is not to avoid debit cards, it’s to keep complaining until your bank–which ripped you off–gives you back your money as they are supposed to do. For many of us “just use a credit card” is NOT AN OPTION. Are all of you here seriously saying that if a person does not have the credit score, desire or even religious beliefs for a credit card, he should not participate in online shopping?

    NO. You and your bank have an agreement. You are also protected by federal (and many state) laws. You and Apple are also covered by these same agreements. Like it or not, BOTH sides have to honor those agreements. Neither Apple or your bank is supposed to allow unauthorized persons to remove money from your method of payment. The lesson learned is that banks (and many credit unions nowadays) either maliciously or apathetically don’t care.

  51. freedom69 says:

    All you have to do is get them to fax the affidavit to a branch,complete it and get it notorized and send it back. As for giving them proof of your residence, you did not need to do that the fact is you did not get it and that’s all they need to know. Furthermore they should have told you that when they were closing your card. Wamu is full of poo. They do not have any proof that you made the purchase because merchants do not give banks that information due to privacy laws.

  52. iCanhasLs2plz says:

    Why is this department still functioning? Countless times I have called and sat waiting for over 30 minutes, while the phone broke up, over some sort of faulty connection, leading me to believe it was definitely being outsourced. You would think something as detrimental as the ‘fraud department’ would have easy access to speak to a representative as soon as possible.

  53. consum3rist says:

    Looks like OP screwed up big time. You have to take things seriously, you called and WAMU told everything will be fine is as ignorant as it could get.

    Any financial institution requires you to file a affidavit with respect to fraudulent charges. If its not signed and submitted you have no where to go.

    I got 2300$ back from Citibank based on following proper procedures.
    (and it would be same with WAMU)

  54. BrendaNerq says:

    The bank has 120 days to file the chargeback for this transaction. What date did this transaction take place? If it was before May, then the OP is out of luck, unless the bank will take the loss (which technically they have to do for 2 years from the transaction date. Threaten to call the OCC (Office of the Comptroller of the Currency) and file a complaint. That should help.

  55. Qu33nZR3p1n9 says:

    Don’t even have to Read the Hole story; Its not WaMu fault u moved! :) kidding but yeah its a fraud issue if they send u a letter to get notarized and u don’t answer back what do u think they going to do? send u a candy!? Its a legal paper, its like curt day if u don’t show up don’t expect them not look for you, yeah its not your fault that wamu didn’t have your address, neither was there’s

  56. jennej says:

    @consum3rist: Not true about every financial institution requiring an affidavit.

    About a year ago, I discovered a fraudulent charge on my Bank of America credit card. They did not require me to submit an affidavit or sign anything. The charges were removed immediately, and several weeks later I received a letter stating that their investigation was complete and the matter was closed.

  57. lolababy says:

    @consum3rist: I was actually beating myself up over the same thing, that if I’d known the procedures, and not been an idiot, this would have been OK.

    But then my sister reminded me that when she had debit fraud on her WaMu card, she never signed anything, and it was resolved. I’m getting the sense that it is situationally sensitive.

  58. gatewaytoheaven says:

    I wish you luck with dealing with WaMu. I had a situation with them in which they didn’t place my credit card in a rewards program which it was supposed to have been and it was nightmare to have them rectify that situation. Perhaps Apple might be willing to step up and come to your defense.

  59. abigsmurf says:

    One thing I see a lot in these stories is people getting into trouble because banks or utilities sent an important notice to an address where they didn’t live at.

    I’m afraid it’s your responsibility to tell these places that you’ve moved or won’t be at that address. How are they supposed to know if you’ve moved or not or if you’re going to be away from the house for a while?

    Whilst she should have been made aware she’d be asked to take further action, it could’ve easily been a notice for something unexpected that required action.

    If you’re moving you sort out address changes with companies in advance so you have a painless switchover, failing that, get your mail redirected for a period until you get things sorted, it’s pretty simple to do.

    Companies aren’t psychic and you never know when you’ll receive an important letter. If you tell them you’ve moved (and a letter arrives after they’ve had a fair chance to update their info) and you still get letters sent to an old address, that’s a different matter as they’ll be in the wrong.

  60. crashfrog says:

    @lolababy: Yeah I had more than 5 grand stolen from my checking account by some Taco Bell employee that grabbed my wife’s debit card number and bought two plasma TV’s from it, the day after we deposited an insurance disbursement. (Our apartment had burned down three weeks before.) I only noticed when my card wouldn’t authorize for lunch.

    Bank of America canceled the transactions by phone, I never had to sign anything or return anything in the mail. But then again we caught the fraud when it was still pending. Maybe the procedures are different after it’s already gone through? Regardless, WaMu is deeply in the wrong here if service personnel directly stated that you wouldn’t have to be sent anything.

  61. Ilovemygeek says:

    I had a Wamu account when I was in college, my Mom used to deposit checks her paychecks into my account which was allowed at the time. Then they changed their policies and decided that instead of mailing the checks back to my Mom, they would send them to my old address (a dorm) despite the fact that I had updated them with my new address. The dorm didn’t forward mail so I lost about 600 dollars in checks. I switched banks the following week. My husband and I have BOA and despite the horror stories, we’ve been pretty happy with them.

  62. RhymePhile says:

    As soon as I read this I immediately logged into iTunes and took my debit card off and put a credit card on.

    At the bottom of the “Edit Payment Information” page is this cute little note:

    “Apple uses industry-standard encryption to protect the confidentiality of your personal information.”

    Yeah, right!

  63. BrendaNerq says:

    @ jennej: They might not have required the affidavit because they had no chargeback rights. If an internet site is “Verified by Visa” or it was a counterfeit, lost, or stolen card, the only items the bank can chargeback are pay at the pump items and any items the merchant cannot provide a signed sales slip for. There is no reason to require the affidavit if once it is received, the items will simply be written off by the bank.