Is HSBC Straining Under An "Unprecedented" Wave Of Fraud Activity?

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.'”

First, here’s Emily’s original email from two days ago:

I am sitting here in amazement after reading your post “HSBC Won’t Tell You Someone in Bulgaria is Stealing $2,000 From You” because the exact same thing happened to me today, just substitute Pasadena and Canada for Bulgaria. I logged in to my personal internet banking this afternoon to review my account so that I could pay some bills. I noticed that my bank balance was about $3600 while my available balance was $300. There were no transactions listed after Friday, 2/15. I knew I had used my debit/atm card all weekend, all around Manhattan and Brooklyn. I called customer service and encountered, almost to a script, the same spiel as your reader from someone named “Dar”. There was some sort of hold, but he couldn’t get information about it. Eventually he found that there were two withdrawals of $500 each at a Wachovia bank that seemed suspicious. I confirmed that I had not made those withdrawals. He was not able to tell me what state the withdrawals were made in. I asked if the best thing to do would be to go to an HSBC ATM and take out the last $300 in my account, so that I wouldn’t lose that too- he agreed. So, I left work early to get to the ATM. Dar advised that because today is a national holiday in the US, none of this information would process in my account until at least 6 am Tuesday, but that I would not be able to file a fraud report until WEDNESDAY! He had no answer for me when I asked why I hadn’t been alerted to suspicious activity when my card had been used on opposite coasts and in ANOTHER COUNTRY all during the same weekend.

The ATM did not allow me to make any withdrawals. I tried various amounts from $300 down to $60 and each time got an error message that the “Amount Requested Exceeded the Limit”. I called customer service again and this time was luckily connected to someone named Maria (and I hate to say this, but Maria, unlike Dar, sounded like a native English speaker). Maria went through various fraudulent transactions- $800 withdrawal in Pasadena, $500 twice in Canada, another $62 in Pasadena, as well as $1000 in Santa Monica. She was able to process a fraud report today- interesting, since Dar said that couldn’t be done until Wednesday! My account will not be credited for 10-11 business days and I should receive a new card in 7-10 days. I also was able to immediately change my PIN. I was told that I would be able to withdraw the remaining amount from the branch tomorrow morning. (let’s hope).

And here’s the update sent in today, after Emily was finally able to get some more information from HSBC’s fraud department:

On Tuesday morning, I went to a local branch to get additional information and withdraw the remaining balance in my account. The associate at the local branch was helpful and contacted the fraud department on my behalf. Eventually I was provided with the name of the Fraud Investigator handling my case. I tried calling her several times on Tuesday afternoon, but kept getting voicemail. I left a voicemail around 5 pm. I attempted to call her again this morning. When I got voicemail, I dialed a random extension, to try to get to speak to a person (there is no operator). I did get someone in the Internet Banking department, who was kind enough to get me connected to someone in the fraud department (after both he and I waited on hold for about 30 minutes- no exaggeration). I was connected to someone named Ella _____, who said that she only dealt with Fraud in applications, so therefore she wouldn’t be able to help me. As I tried to explain the situation, Ms. _____ was hostile toward me and escalated the tone of the conversation unneccesarily. I attempted to deescalate the conversation by explaining that I was quite upset that almost my entire bank account had been drained, that I was having a very hard time reaching someone who could help me and that her tone was not exactly helpful. She was then able to connect me to the Investigator handling my case, Sharon _____.

Ms. _____ was kind and helpful and explained that the extent of this fraud was essentially unprecedented for HSBC. She 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.” I asked if the magnitude of the fraud would delay the bank’s ability to get everyone’s account credited. She assured me that the bank’s first priority was to credit every affected customer within 10 days. She explained that the bank was “probably” going to forego its usual requirements of paperwork such as fraud affidavits for affected customers, because the fraud here was obvious.

Ms. _____ stated that HSBC was trying to contact its customers and would be sending a letter regarding the fraud, but that it was so widespread that it didn’t have the manpower to make a phone call to each affected customer, particularly where the focus was on trying to get the accounts credited. She advised that I monitor my account daily to check for the credit, because I would likely not receive notification from HSBC about it.

I’m appreciative of the information that I was able to receive today, and the reassurance that HSBC’s priority was to get accounts credited as quickly as possible. However, I am dumbfounded that it took me three days to get the “full story” from HSBC, due to no lack of effort on my part. I think that the media needs to be alerted of this fraud, as HSBC is not able to contact all of its customers. People may be affected and not even know it yet. I obviously plan to change banks after this debacle, but do want to see that this is made public.

(Thanks to Corey & Emily!)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Kounji says:

    Well its public now cause of the consumerist,Wonder if CNBC or CNN will be picking this up soon.

  2. ConnertheCat says:

    Glad I don’t have an account with them.

  3. theblackdog says:

    I wonder how this happened, I want to know who dropped the ball security wise.

  4. ChrisC1234 says:

    And this is why I have accounts at MULTIPLE banks.

  5. humphrmi says:

    I wonder why 10 days to get a credit – was it just because of the volume, or is that their standard reaction? I’ve gotten provisional credits for challenged transactions on the spot from Citi…

  6. Juliekins says:

    Has anyone contacted the FTC about this, or are the individual losses so small that they won’t get involved? What about the FDIC?

  7. Buran says:

    There’s no excuse for a bank not being more proactive about fraud. Isn’t that what we pay them for, via fees?

  8. silkyjumbo says:

    wow, i was just thinking of opening a savings account with them. so much for that.

  9. SoCalGNX says:

    I had a 2nd td with them on a previous house. They used to like to have someone in their Indian call center call on Sundays to threaten me BEFORE the payment was due. This outfit is the pits.

  10. are these account local branch accounts or the online high-yield accounts?

  11. HykCraft says:

    And this is why you don’t bank with HSBC.. c’mon people. Get real. Bank with a REAL bank.

  12. coreyk72 says:

    Hi this is Emily’s Fiance, Corey…

    @structuralpoke: Emily has both a traditional Checking acct thats she’s had since college and the higher interest HSBC Direct online savings acct.

    I have already spoken to a Wall St Journal reporter, who is looking into this…and is waiting to hear back from HSBC (good luck with that!).

  13. Myron says:

    That can’t be good for business.

  14. Illusio26 says:

    Now i’m wondering if I should withdraw everything in my HSBC account until this all gets sorted out…

  15. clevershark says:

    Hasn’t HSBC laid off a bunch of people in the USA recently (both Group and HSBCUSA)?

  16. Juliekins says:

    @HykCraft: Yeah! A credit union! /obligatory

  17. Ausarb says:

    Fraud indeed sucks and I feel sorry for those people affected, but on a positive side, only big losses for banks and other financial institutions will make them change.

    I recently had a credit card fraud problem myself, and I use Chase. The fraudster successfully made a $1 transaction at what I think is a subway fare vending machine in New York and then tried to make a $600 then another $400 purchase at a Home Depot in Brooklyn. They caught and denied the Home Depot charges and so only had to suck up the $1 charge. They also called me to verify those charges. I’m not saying that Chase is perfect, but it at least shows that they’re better prepared to handle fraud.

    It would be nice if companies had some sort of fraud preparedness rating you could check out before doing business with them.

  18. mjsager says:

    “I knew I had used my debit/atm card all weekend, all around Manhattan and Brooklyn. “

    I bet it got lifted at a restaurant, bar or a hacked ATM. Never use a card at a restaurant or ATM that’s not at a bank. Its too easy for a waiter to copy the number down. Never use your card at an ATM that isn’t at a bank, its very easy to have another card reader over the real one and a camera that watches you type in your PIN.

    I learned my lesson after my bank card showed a donation transaction at a montessori school in Arizona soon after a trip to New York where I used my card in the exact same way. I fired an email to the montessori school and they said they didn’t even have a donation page up.

    They got back to me later in the day and confirmed that someone had found their old donation page and had rung up 10,000 one dollar donations with 10,000 different credit cards. They were testing all the cards.

    I was pretty lucky because I caught the transaction right away. My bank seemed uninterested what I discovered. They even told me that the type of transaction required the card to be presented in Arizona, which was impossible because I was in Michigan at the time. I cancelled my card and got a new one.

    What’s interesting is the speed at the fraud happened here, and how quickly the money got removed from the account.

  19. yobitch says:

    I was affected by this fraud as well. The thieves knew what they were doing, verifying accounts first (every affected account started with a $1 bank authorization from AOL – a service I’ve never used). They managed to get $1500 from my account! I went to my branch today and managed to get the 10 day waiting period reduced to 1-2 days. So anybody this happened to should get into their branch and politely (and pathetically) request an expedited resolution…

  20. Ariah says:

    Why, so you have MULTIPLE chances to get defrauded?

  21. mamacat49 says:

    I just tried to do that–the “bank to bank transfer” tab gives me a message that it’s “down.” I’ll keep trying though. I want my money out of there.

  22. coreyk72 says:

    This is Emily, under Corey’s login. Yobitch, how were you able to get the waiting period reduced? I asked multiple times about this and was told that they would do their best to expedite, and that 10 days was a maximum, but there was no way they could give me a shorter timeframe. And trust me, I gave a long but true spiel about bills to pay (including hsbc’s credit card and several student loan payments).. if this branch was in nyc, please let me know and i’ll try them!!

  23. johnnyblastoff says:

    Yeah I just transfer money from my checking into this account. I never use the ATM card supplied.

  24. poodlepoodle says:

    I can’t believe that there is a “10 day window” to return the money to Emily’s account. HSBC seems to have really screwed the pooch on this one.

  25. shadow735 says:

    @theblackdog: someone probably left their lap top unattended at a starbucks and someone ripped it off. Too bad the laptop had all the companies client info on it.

  26. mrspoz75 says:

    I had trouble with a credit card owned by HSBC. I had purchased something on ebay, and filed a fraud claim. I called these goofballs and they even sat at their computer and looked at the item with me. They agreed to chargeback the seller. Well, the idiots charged back the WRONG ebay seller!!! I could not get it straightened out, even on a three-way conference call with a manager and Paypal. I had to tell the poor seller to go to her bank and file a claim against them. I hope she got her money back!

  27. esther_eva says:

    I was affected by this fraud as well, as was a good friend of mine.

  28. cmikea says:

    This same thing happened to me and one of my firends over the weekend. Both on Sunday, both with HSBC, both $2000 stolen from checking, withdrawals in Montreal. Completely sucks, but when it happened to my friend too it was obviously a larger scam. I was also told 10 days to credit. I am so opening an account somewhere else tomorrow.

  29. theblackdog says:

    @shadow735: You think that employee was a former VA employee?

  30. yobitch says:

    @coreynyc: Emily (per coreynyc)… The fraud consultant (Mark) I spoke to at the 800# told me I may have some luck by visiting the branch I opened my account with (5th ave @ 41st). They were adamant about their policy to make customers wait the 10 days, but because someone told me differently on the phone, they agreed to expedite my reimbursement. It wasn’t the branch that finally agreed though, it was a voice on the phone… I guess they didn’t want to be contradictory… Go figure.

  31. huadpe says:

    I just got a call from them tonight about a possible theft of my pin # at an ATM. That was HSBC Canada.

  32. paperson says:

    Does anyone have any specific fax numbers, emails, etc. for HSBC for a carpetbombing? I’ve had an unresolved fraud complaint with them since Summer of 2007, and I’m so sick of their telephone run-around, I’ve pretty much accepted the fact that it’s easier for my sanity to EAT the $100 fraudulent charge. I stopped using their card, but now with this latest fraud news, I might as well CANCEL the card.

  33. thewriteguy says:

    I opened an account with them several months ago, and deposited just $1. I haven’t looked at it since — I was looking into funding it as a savings account. But now I’m just holding onto the account for no other reason than to have it. Looks like I won’t be putting any more money into it anytime soon.

  34. forgottenpassword says:

    I am wondering if there was another gigantic security breach & a whole bunch of customers’ info got stolen and HSBC never reported it?

  35. Kendra says:

    You’d be screwed if you were single and had no one to depend on – much like in my situations with Banks being dicks.

    Ramen and calling in sick, it is!

  36. mamacat49 says:

    UPDATE: I just tried to do a “bank to bank transfer” again. Still not able to do it….I think they have it turned off so people like me can’t take their money out.

  37. sleze69 says:

    @mamacat49: Whew! Boy am I glad I withdrew my money 2 weeks ago.

  38. Angryrider says:

    So… most of the victims are Internet Bankers…
    No way in hell is my account going online!

  39. CornwallBlank says:

    This is starting to sound like a class breach — that is, a systemic problem with a single underlying cause rather than a series of individual problems with multiple causes. The pattern isn’t clear yet (and probably won’t be until many more instances are put on the table for comparison) but I think it’s already obvious that this isn’t the result of one person’s activities.

    @CoreyNYC: if the WSJ runs a preliminary article and provides a response mechanism, it would be interesting to see how many other people report similar problems — and then multiply that by 10-100 to account for the serious undersampling in play.

  40. emilyf says:

    Emily again.. just to clarify, while I do have an online savings account with HSBC, the fraud occurred in my regular checking account. This has nothing to do with an online account not being secure.

  41. scoosdad says:

    @Angryrider: If your money is in just about any bank in the US, your account is probably already online. You just don’t know about it.

  42. coreyk72 says:

    @CornwallBlank:I am hopeful that the WSJ will run the article, the reporter we are speaking to is definitely pursuing the situation.

  43. nirele says:

    Just wanted to chime in that this happened to me as well – over $2000 taken out of my checking account at HSBC this weekend through ATM withdrawals in Canada. I also got the “we’ll try to expedite it but no promises” line when I asked to get my money back before the 10-day window.

    The guy I spoke to in Fraud today said that it was definitely a widespread problem and that they aren’t sure of the cause yet…

  44. plim says:

    this is so stupid.

    HSBC has really “tight” “security” practices, like not letting you set a pin online or on the phone, having to wait for their paper mailing to reach you with a default pin before even starting their account, now all this.

    but for those of you think that HSBC is not a “real” bank, they are actually one of the largest banks in the world, they just have a much smaller US presence. as of 2004-2007, by various measures, they were either the largest bank, or top 5 in the world:

  45. plim says:

    i just put in a bank-to-bank transfer, and it worked. you might want to try again.

  46. sleze69 says:

    @plim: As far as online security goes, yeah…HSBC is near fanatical wrt security. It is a pain in the ass to log on and doesn’t play nice with Quicken automatically downloading records (you actually have to go through the tedious, and it IS tedious, process of logging on to download a .qfx file).

    As for the people teasing about using an online bank vs. a brick and mortar bank…how many of you earned $300 in interest last year from your local bank’s savings account?

  47. clevershark says:

    It sounds like someone installed a card skimmer and camera on a public ATM and got a bunch of matching card-and-pin combinations that way. That would explain why the fraudulent withdrawals apparently took place at ordinary ATMs (as opposed to normal CC fraud, which usually involves people buying things in such a way that don’t necessitate the physical presence of the card).

  48. g.b. says:

    this same exact thing happened to me, 3 grand stolen, and now come the overdraft fees. hsbc has been called, fraud has been flagged, new card’s in the mail, 10 business days my money will be refunded. i suspect I will have to fight them with the overdraft fees, as this fraud hit me right when an automatic bank-to-bank transfer was taking place…

    my fraud originated in san diego and LA. but i’m from the east coast….it LOOKS like an atm transaction, but i’ve never come across an atm that lets you withdraw 802 bucks, 3 times in a row…there was even a googleable address, showing some shitty strip mall looking area. couldn’t have been atm strip, because i never use this card for credit card transactions, just purely for actual bank atms and online banking transaction. so something was definitely screwed up on the security side…

  49. Bozman8 says:
  50. fraudfighter says:

    This is an FYI for the ignorant people who would like to place blame on their bank & not the criminals. A bank compromise can take place many different ways, a merchants systems that have been hacked in to, a skimming device on an unsafe ATM (one without camera’s which ALL banks have camera’s)just take the time to watch Prime Time once in a while & they will explain it to you. Also you are dealing with cash here people not a credit card which there are different regulations for. Federal Banking Regulation is 10 business days to issue a credit on a debit card. It has nothing to do with the amount of fraud the bank has or how overwhelmed they are. As a person that deals with this type of stuff everyday, I suggest that all of you do something useful with your time & watch television programs about fraud or just go online & read about it. Don’t make such ignorant comments unless you have knowledge of what your commenting on.

  51. fraudfighter says:

    @g.b.: If you did any research or asked the correct questions than you would know that your overdraft fees & everything will be refunded to you.

  52. fraudfighter says:

    @humphrmi: Federal Banking Regulation is 10 business days for a credit to be made on cash that was taken from your checking account. When it comes to a credit card, the credit can be made immediatley.

  53. fraudfighter says:

    @SoCalGNX: Don’t you think that you are the pits for not paying on time. The FDCPA (which is really for third party agencies) allows collection calls to be placed Mon-Sun from 8am til 9pm. That is the law. It has nothing to do with the organization.

  54. fraudfighter says:

    @Ausarb: When your using a credit card or a debit card as a credit it is easy for any bank to track the fraud. Hsbc works closely with Chase Bank & has the same prodedures in place. When your talking about ATM fraud it is a whole different ballgame. There is a whole different way to monitor it, & it’s not as easy as you make it. Hsbc Bank as well as many other Banks (including Chase) use the exact same fraud monitoring systems.

  55. fraudfighter says:

    @coreynyc: Just so you know the branch doesn’t make that decision, that’s just what the branch rep was told by a Service Rep. The rep can request a rush provisional credit but it is up to the investigators working the case. One person can only approve & issue so many credits at one time. The reps & the investigators would love to work with you but there are laws in place & people are only human. There are higher ups that make the rules, we little people just have to follow them. I would think the credits get issued in line of when the fraud was actually reported. The report starts when contact is made with the customer. It’s like a lottery if your fraud was reported first, than you’ll get it first. Someone may tell you 2 days but wait & see if it is actually there in 2 days. The branch rep will tell a customer anything to appease them. They’re not the ones dealing with all the madness.

  56. fraudfighter says:

    @cmikea: Federal Banking Regulation is 10 days which ALL banks have to follow. Do some research before you go through the trouble of changing banks. If you research hard enough you’ll discover how wrong you are & what a great bank HSBC is. Go Ahead & research!

  57. NYCFit says:

    I too have been a victim of this fraud with over $4000 taken from my account. The money was taken from San Diego , Los Angeles, Hollywood, Ventura, and Fullerton. Aside from the large withdrawals there were about 8 balance inquiries so whomever it was consistently checked how much money was left in the account. The bank called me the next day. When I was finally able to speak with someone that was able to assist me all I was told was that they needed to conduct an investigation and pending the results that is when I would receive my money back. They are sending a new card but would not expedite the shipping. I will definitely be contacting the Freud department immediately. What I do not understand is what ATM allows people to take out $1000 at a time and allows multiple transactions of over $500.

  58. dakota521 says:

    I had this happen 3 weeks ago with my bank Wachovia. 11 people who I hang with at a local watering hole were compromised and we have filed a report with the Secret Service(yes, that is who takes care of this type of fraud from fraud “rings”). Local police agencies are useless at least in Florida. However the good news is that Wachovia took care of my situation right away. The $1400 that was taken out of my account from Woodlands Casino (they tried to also get $2000 and then $550, but I didn’t have it after the first so it flagged my account and my atm card was suspended immediately for fraud). I actually only had to wait until it posted to my account and it was immmediately refunded by the Loss Management dept. rep. She was awesome. She was on top of it and I suffered only for worry and nothing bounced as a result. So with Wachovia the result was only at most a 2 day turn around! I could never imagine the stress of 10 days would do to my life with bills and such. I had no idea how good Wachovia was until I read this article and all of your posts from this issue. I’d never bank with HBSC because of how they have handled this situation. Wachovia rocks! Fraudfighter, all of your information is great, but when your checks are going to bounce who gives a rats butt about anyone’s 10 day federal banking regulation…HBSC should step up and do whats right…the customer must come first.

  59. yamahagrand says:

    For those who try to stay away from giving your money to the Chinese you might want to know what HSBC stands for. I had no idea until my buddies wife was working for Household Financial and it sold out to HSBC.

    HSBC = Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation.

    From the HSBC website:

    HSBC Bank (China) Company Limited (HSBC China) was established in April 2007 as a wholly foreign owned
    China bank solely owned by The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC). With its headquarters based in Shanghai, HSBC China incorporated the previous mainland China offices of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited.
    Established in Hong Kong and Shanghai in 1865, The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited is
    the founding member of the HSBC Group and the Group’s flagship in Asia. HSBC is one of the largest investors
    amongst foreign banks in mainland China. Its total investment amounts to over US$5 billion, including an 8% stake in Bank of Shanghai, a 16.8% stake in Ping An Insurance, and a 19% stake in Bank of Communications.

    Several of the banks that it owns stock in are state controlled by the Chinese Gov’t.

    Moral of the story: When you bank with HSBC you send more US $’s to China.

  60. emilyf says:

    fraudfighter, what’s with the attitude? Sounds like you might work for HSBC. I am sure that the bank is NOW doing whatever it can to resolve the problem within the Federal Banking requirements; however, the bank is CLEARLY at fault for failing to notify its customers that their accounts had been breached, as well as not stopping the fraud until entire accounts were drained. That’s negligence, my friend.

    You should seriously reconsider your tone: “As a person that deals with this type of stuff everyday, I suggest that all of you do something useful with your time & watch television programs about fraud or just go online & read about it. Don’t make such ignorant comments unless you have knowledge of what your commenting on.”

    As someone who IS CURRENTLY DEALING WITH THE FACT THAT HSBC LET SOMEONE ELSE STEAL $2800 OUT OF MY ACCOUNT, I, along with many of the other helpful commenters, am trying to do something productive- figure out what happened and how to fix it. It’s very easy for you to recite the policies and procedures, but what if it was YOUR money stolen? Would you really have no problem with waiting 10 days to get it all back and in the meantime having to call every single utility company, credit card, landlord, and loan company that you owe money to and have to ask for additional time to pay?

    Think about that.

  61. fraudfighter says:

    @emilyf: Emily, You are right! I wouldn’t like any of it. I read many negative comments & was just lashing out which felt really good at the time. From what I was taught, federal regulation is that the money has to be in no later than 10 business days but why not sooner? I didn’t think it was possible but from family & friends I have talked to I learned their bank did credit “checking accounts” immediately & caught the atm fraud immediately. I thought this was only possible when dealing with credit cards, my bad. It does sound like HSBC does need to update their systems to be able to regulate this all better. If they would have better monitoring systems than they wouldn’t have to suffer such major losses. Spend the money & be proactive. Emily, sorry again to you & ALL that I lashed out to.

  62. WetHotAmericanSummer says:

    I was a victim of this too. My money was scammed in Montreal, and I live in Brooklyn. I was just told that I will not be getting my money back until the 5th of March. All of my payments bounced back- except for the student loan payment to HSBC!

  63. Vivi777 says:

    So I just got hit by this fraud this past week-end ($3000 withdrawn in Montreal). I had actually read this post last week and checked my accounts at that time and everything was fine. But, alas, I am now a victim. They said it would take 10 days to be reimbursed. No exceptions even though I will be leaving the country before then without an ATM card! After telling my family about this I found out this also happened to my sister a few years back with HSBC and at the end they did not credit the full amount (!!)
    Does anyone know if this is only affecting nyc customers of HSBC??? And why is this not a bigger story??

  64. algormortis says:

    oh great and guess where my tax refund is going?

    you guessed it, my HSBC account. i’m like parker lewis in reverse this week.

  65. coreyk72 says:

    For those of you in the NY area….

    CBS 2 News should be reporting on this story tonight, I will give further details (as to what time/newscast) after we do the interview

  66. andrea1973 says:

    I’m glad I found this site. It was given as a link in the comments section of a report on ID theft in today’s New York Times. I was the victim of ID theft last fall when $1500 was taken out of my HSBC account. Like Steve, someone had accessed my card number and PIN, created a new card and withdrew the money over 2 days! I also spoke to Jeremy in Security (yes, a very nice guy). HSBC seemed to readily agree that I was the victim of fraud, because I got the money returned in 2 weeks, but not before HSBC’s debt collection hassled me about the missing money (one hand doesn’t talk to the other, it seems), and not before my rent check bounced.

    I’m seriously going to investigate placing my money in another bank. I’m not sure if it will be a smaller, more local bank, because my coworker, also from Brooklyn, lost her money through ID theft, and her bank has been dragging its feet for months.

    Maybe I’ll just keep it all under the mattress.

  67. briannyc says:

    Happened to me too. 3 withdrawals made in California while I had my card in NYC. Beyond my balance, they were somehow also allowed to an additional thousand dollars since HSBC considers it a ‘special service’ to their clients to allow withdrawals for more than the available balance.

    If this is soi widespread, there is no reason that the fraud investigator could not have gotten back to me within a day to explain that they are aware of the situation and taking steps to resolve it.

  68. coreyk72 says:

    Here is the news clip from CBS: []

  69. StarWhores says:

    Happened to me yesterday. I found out about it today.
    Debited a small charge to the name of an actual business
    in Tennessee (I’m in California.) The business has a message on his phone that states it wasn’t him , call your bank.
    I’m with WAMU. I called account support 3 times hoping to get ahold of someone in this country.(I was talking to people in the Philipines – nice people btw)
    I was told the 10 day thing too. I asked if they had other calls about this same thing. They were trying to duck my question but finally said they had “many” calls.
    Fortunately currently my account is so low they wouldn’t get much. I asked if it was just my debit card and they said yes that my account wasn’t compromised. We’ll see I guess.
    Time to start putting all my money in my mattress.

  70. Seamonsta says:

    I got hit last Friday (2/22) and lost $2600 of real money and it even went into overdraft 4 days later and I am $700+ in the select credit account now. I called back really angry bc I thought the card had been closed on the 22. That was the case but apparently those withdrawals were made before the acct closed and it took as much as 3 days for it to post on their website.

    1. I can’t believe that there wasn’t a red flag with all these huge withdrawals at non HSBCs in different states and countries across the world.

    2. They said they will strive for 4 days to return the money. The second time I called, he said maybe 10 which I assume is business days and I prob won’t get my money til early March.

    I’m just lucky I have a Chase acct also with money in it so I’m able to live and eat but I can’t believe that it takes so much time for the bank to respond to this kind of fraud happening to MY money.

    I’m definitely dropping the bank as soon as they return my money.

    Also I am almost certain that it was this shady bodega in my neighborhood with the hacked ATM. Does anyone have any advice on how I should report this? I want to prevent this from happening to others.

  71. Uh-Oh says:

    I don’t have an HSBC account, but I received a letter from HSBC today turning me down for a loan that I never applied for. (I guess I’m glad I didn’t get approved!) The real scary part is that I just moved and it is one of the few pieces of mail I’ve received addressed directly to my new address (sans yellow postal re-routing sticker). Wherever whoever is getting their info, it is very current!

  72. BeachGirl11 says:

    This just happened to us! I noticed $1000 coming out of our checking account on Friday, 2/29. I called HSBC and told them I didn’t know of a $1000 withdrawal. You would think they would have put a red flag on our account or told me about this scam going on. Instead, they told me to call the next day when the details of the trasaction were visible to them. By then, another $1000 had been taken out. Both from a bank in Ontario, Canada. I had no knowledge that this was happening prior to today when I googled HSBC fraud. I am horrified. Once our money is credited back (10 days), we are otta there!

  73. MichaelM76 says:

    This happened to me as well! HSBC REALLY needs to get better at alerting their customers to this. One morning in October, I took $200 out of my checking account from an ATM in Manhattan. Not more than a few hours had passed and someone had taken $600 out of my checking account from RUSSIA! This person then took an additional $1400 out over the next 3 days.

    When I called HSBC and asked about these charges, all they told me was they were connecting me to their investigations dept. Not once did anyone from HSBC feel the need to alert me that my account was being drained from Russia!

  74. Seamonsta says:

    Anyone get their money back yet? It’s business day # 7 for me. Nothing yet. I’m getting annoyed. Friday will be the 10th day. If I still don’t see my money in my account, I’m calling and raising hell.

  75. nirele says:

    Just wanted to follow up – my money was back in my account when I woke up this morning. Yesterday was the 10th business day for me, and I was upset when I hadn’t gotten a credit, but HSBC informed me that they process credits in the middle of the night. So while the credit is listed as having been given out yesterday, it didn’t show on my account until now. Just FYI.

  76. freedom69 says:

    @Uh-Oh: if you never applied for a loan, check your credit report and with HSBC loans make sure that no one else has tried either

  77. freedom69 says:

    @MichaelM76: i hope you had your card closed. it seems that the safe acounts are the savings. everyone in here lost money out of their checking. so you might want to move th money to the savings and do a transfer into the checking for the money that you need.

  78. Anonymous says:

    My father’s just had a horrible experience with the bank. He’s been an HSBC premium business and personal finance customer for close to 30 years in three different locations. He lives in Dubai but maintains an HSBC checking account in the US in New York for business purposes. He has had the account for several years. Recently he found he wasn’t getting any account statements and called the bank’s Broadway branch to ask why. To his utter shock, he was told that he didn’t have any money in that account because over $100,000 had been wired out to various accounts in China and Taipei. Someone systematically changed first his phone number, his mailing address and then telephonically transfered the money over four transactions in February 2009! The bank says it has set its investigations team on the job of tracking the money, but we’re not sure if that really means anything. And I am pretty sure that my father is not the only one this has probably happened to. Looking at the manner in which the fraud was perpetrated we also suspect that it could have been an inside job, though, of course, we have to no proof.

  79. equuscasus says:

    I am an HSBC account holder with my account in the UK but I live in America. I tried to sell some shares through them in early september which they managed to do in early November. At the time of writing December 21st they still havent credited my account and refuse to do a credit transfer to my account in America.
    They have libelled me pretty seriously and I believe they are indulging in fraud. I am suffering severe financial hardship as a result of their behaviour.
    Anyone know any solicitors in the UK who specialise in dealing with this kind of bank behaviour? I would so appreciate it if anyone can help me with this