Citibank Sends “Hey, You’ve Been Hacked” Postcard

Maybe the debit scam isn’t over. That’s what Jon thought we he got the pictured notice. You may recall through memory’s hazy veil that scammers stole thousands of debit cards and their PINs in weeks past, creating counterfeit cards and withdrawing cash from ATMs around the world.

Well, they caught the main perps but Jon writes in to say he got a postcard from Citibank, letting him know his account was compromised. Yes, a postcard.

Read more, after the jump…

Jon writes:

    “Dear Consumerist:

    You guys kick ass. Keep up the incredible work. But enough vacuous ass-kissing.

    I have been reading about the hacking and smacking going on with banks like Citibank cancelling people’s debit cards because their account information has been compromised by hackers. I thought it was pretty much limited to checking accounts, but last weekend I found out it’s not. Personally.

    The Citibastards sent me a little postcard, via pre-sort mail no less, saying I “urgently” needed to call them. Ha, I needed to call them urgently, but the best they could do to notify me about an urgent matter was the cheapest possible method of contact, bulk-mail pre-sort? And the US mail is such a personable way to do business, don’t you think?”


    “I actually thought it was a scam at first, given how cheesy the postcard looked (see attachment). So I called the number on the back of my card instead of the number on the card. After the automated voice asked me the usual verification info, I was immediately transferred to a live human, amazingly one who appeared to be in the U.S. if I guessed right from his East Coast accent. Being sent to a live human pretty much told me right away I had a problem, because usually they put you on hold forever or send you through further automated mazes.

    The Citibastard confirmed that my account info was compromised but wouldn’t confirm which “third party” was to blame when I pressed him for the info. He said I needed to close my account immediately. When I told him I had a few automatically debited bills I would need to clear up first, and would need a few days to do so, he hesitated and seemed surprised I wasn’t going to cower do what he said right away. He put me on hold for about 20 seconds, then came back on and “confirmed” that I had “approval” to cancel my account “within two days.” He was generally friendly, but about as informative as a deaf mute amputee when I asked specific questions. He just had to stick to the script.

    I plan to do cancel my account tonight, but only after I decide if I’m actually going to open another account with them. I know the hacking probably isn’t their fault, but they have handled this in such a demented way that it’s hard to have any faith in their ability to protect my security in the future.

    – Jon Ehret”

Most likely, Jon’s account info getting stolen is not the same as the PIN block attack because he says that it wasn’t his checking account that was compromised, but it’s still scary nonetheless.

You have to wonder what’s going on at Citibank if their commitment to protecting your account information is anything like their commitment to informing you about their failure to protect you.

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