HSBC’s core banking system has been hosed for almost a week, preventing thousands of customers from knowing how much money is stashed in their accounts. The widespread problem is limiting access to HSBCDirect accounts, and at least 8,000 Catholic Health System employees up in Buffalo are still waiting for their direct deposit payments to materialize.
HSBC sent around a big cheery email to let everyone know that they’ve extended the promotional 3.5% rate on their online savings account until September 15th.
EECBs are scoring direct hits on HSBC and Best Buy. Reader Chad was having the same problem with his Best Buy credit card that reader Jason wrote in about. After he saw Jason’s successful EECB he launched one of his own. Reade Chad’s letter and Best Buy’s response inside.
Reader Jason just finished paying off his 0% Best Buy/HSBC credit card, or so he thought, because this devilish card just sucker-punched him with a load of hidden fees. He did some research and found out he was entered into a program that makes him pay for “debt cancellation,” something Best Buy never discussed with him. He also discovered that there are many other people who feel tricked into joining this strange program. To make matters worse, HSBC, the card issuing bank, is giving Jason the runaround about reversing the fees. Jason’s letter, inside…
I used to work at HSBC’s call center in Tigard, Oregon.
I made an electronic payment online with my one of my bank’s check card. Turns out this was the wrong one, and I immediately canceled the payment (as there’s a very easy to find and large button allowing you to do this immediately as well), and resubmitted it through the correct bank. So, to sum up, the payment was made, about two weeks before it was due. I figured all was cool and I was being a good customer for paying more than the minimum balance, way ahead of the due date, online, so there wouldn’t be any “problems” with a check or the postal service. Then I look on my statement and I’ve been charged a $35 Returned Payment Fee.
Last week reader Keith told us how scammers in Bulgaria siphoned $2,000 from his account, and his story snowballed into an entire HSBC class breach. Now Keith tells us that he has all the money back. He writes:
Once I was able to get in touch with Robert Olejniczak of corporate security he was extremely helpful, concerned and empathetic. The missing money was credited back to my account on 2/25, 6 business days after it went missing. I just received a letter in the mail stating that the “investigation is complete.” I guess they figured they didn’t need to do much investigating to determine that I couldn’t be swiping my card at a diner in Manhattan and in Bulgaria withdrawing large sums from an ATM at the same time.
They even gave him $.02 in interest, how nice.
If you live in the New York Metro area, tune into NBC channel 4 like right now to see a followup on the widespread HSBC fraud story we broke. They interview Corey, the fiance of Emily, a Consumerist reader and HSBC fraud victim. WNBC tells us that the FBI said they they were generally aware of fraud in the area, but not this specific HSBC matter, and will be looking into the case. It’s par for the course that the bank would be more interested in avoiding bad publicity quiet than going after the scammers stealing your money. UPDATE: Just watched it, HSBC is saying that a credit card payment processor lost the customer data and so other banks could be affected too. However, when WNBC contacted other banks, Chase and Citi said they had not heard of missing money, Mastercard said they have not issued a system-wide alert, and VISA said they’re looking into it.
HSBC confirmed that thieves stole card payment data from the bank and they were reissuing 6,000 atm/debit cards to customers affected by the breach. One Consumerist reader, Keith, had $2000 stolen from him via an ATM in Bulgaria, and another, Emily, had $2,800 siphoned from her account from ATMs located clear across the country. (Emily also got interviewed on WCBS and we got a mention and a screenshot). Checking the comments section, it looks like 11 other Consumerist readers were affected by the HSBC fraud as well, with a number of the fraudulent withdrawals being made from Montreal and Canada. Sounds like the thieves stole the data, which contained both card numbers and PIN codes, and then cloned ATM/debit cards. If you’re an HSBC customer, might be a good time to change your PIN number.
If you’re a customer with Bank of America or HSBC, you’re more likely to be a victim of identity theft, according to a new report. Chris Hoofnagle, a senior fellow at the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology at the University of California at Berkeley, compiled a list of all the banks mentioned in identity theft complaints filed with the FTC for January, March and September of 2006. Bigger banks obviously have more incidents, so Hoofnagle factored in their total number of deposits.”I’ve been working for years to try to spark a market, a true market, for competition on preventing fraud,” Hoofnagle told the NYT. “Some of these institutions have attempted to compete based on advertisements, but I’m a real believer in the idea that if you give consumers information, they can make better decisions.” This is only a fraction of the banks included, showing the worst offenders. Full graphs, inside…
If you’re an HSBC customer, check your account, as there may be a wave of fraudulent activity hitting your bank. Two days ago we wrote about the guy in the U.S. who discovered his account had been drained by someone in Bulgaria. Later that day we received an email from Emily in NYC who was having similar problems, only her fraud-buddy was in California and Canada making withdrawals on her account.
Emily’s fiancé wrote back to us today with an update, and according to Emily, the HBSC Fraud Investigator who spoke to her “said that their fraud department was so overwhelmed, it was ‘still in the developing stage of how we’re going to handle’ it. I asked if she knew how many customers were affected and she stated ‘We don’t even know.’”
On Friday February 15th I called HSBC customer service. I explained that there was a $1,000 difference between my “Bank Balance” and I was concerned because I hadn’t used my ATM card. They said that the money was “on hold.” They could give no further explanation. I pressed them and said “How is it possible that $1,000 of my money is out in space” They had no reply. I asked to speak to a supervisor to which the person I was speaking to refused and said “They have the same information I do and they are not available.” I was talking to outsourced “customer service reps” from the Philippines so I hung up and dialed 716.841.7212 again. I kindly explained my store from scratch to Helga REP # 6124, also in the Philippines, not Buffalo, NY. She said the same thing as the guy before (at least they were consistent), and refused to let me speak to a supervisor.
Over at InfoWorld they have a story from a guy who was trying to sell something on Craigslist, and because he is savvy in the ways of the internet, did not fall for an obvious “overpayment scheme.”
Your savings can earn upwards of 4 more percentage points of interest, if you put it one of these high-yield online savings accounts. Here’s seven to check out.
Several major credit card companies were successfully and recently class-actioned for charging unnecessary fees for overseas transactions.
First we just liked our HSBC Direct account for its 5.05% APY. Then we found its security system pretty neat.
Reader Chandra wrote to us today about her short-but-tumultuous relationship with HSBC’s credit card division. In the span of two months Chandra applied for a card, made a $300 payment (mailed 8 days early) on a $700 balance, got hit with a $35 late fee and a $15 pay-by-phone charge, and cancelled her account. She claims to have good credit and is just baffled by HSBC’s inability to process a payment without assigning a penalty.