Bank Closes Hacked Account Without Telling Me, Goes For Upsell

Virginia discovered her Netflix DVDs stopped flowing because Wells Fargo disabled her credit card, apparently without notifying her. When she called to see what was up, she got an opportunistic upsell. The bank rep told her the account was closed because it had been “compromised” then offered her a $12-a-month protection plan to quell future compromising.

She writes:

So I called Wells Fargo and they said they had to cancel my card because my data was “compromised.” They said that I should have received a letter telling me this. (I have not.) They said that they meant to have sent out the cards before they canceled my card, but they are so sorry that the cards were mailed late (today.) They hope I will get my card in a few days.

Then, this is the most amazing thing — they said that they are offering a data security service and they transferred me to a very inexperienced sales person. For $12 a month I can get data security.

Yes, they said my security was compromised and they wanted to sell me a service to make me feel more secure.

I think the word for this is extortion? It is sort of funny, but sort of terrifying.

For my money the best way to keep your account secure is to check it daily for suspicious activity, not pay for some silly service.


Edit Your Comment

  1. IphtashuFitz says:

    Perfect time to cancel that card and find a better one from a more reasonable bank.

    • sleze69 says:

      Amex calls me at the first sign of suspicious activity (like when my brother-in-law charged $1400 to the card for food to cater my wedding – which was legit). If they silently cancelled my card without telling me, I would drop them like a hot potato.

      That is what Virginia should do.

  2. benh999 says:

    Cancel them. Any time I’ve had a credit card company that arbitrarily disables/cancels my card for suspicious charges, I’ve dropped them. Not sure I blame them that much for the upsell — every other company will try the same.

    • TouchMyMonkey says:

      I don’t know about that. Interrupting customer service for upsells? No. Absolutely not. Cancel them, and when the retention goon asks you, mention it, but don’t respond to any of his nonsense.

  3. TBGBoodler says:

    Shouldn’t they be keeping your cards secure without an extra fee? Oh yeah. This is a bank. Never mind.

  4. peebozi says:

    Free market economics…why do you all hate America and Capitalism?

    This is the bank’s right as an inanimate-corporate-personhood-type-entity to operate and profit at any and all costs!!! They don’t have morals or ethics, so there!

    Keep your commie hands off my, and your corporate overlords/politicians, fascism!!!

    Thank you.

  5. Bob Lu says:

    A couple of months ago Wells Fargo called me, informed me that my card was “compromised”, told me my account was closed and a new card was issued. I was not offered any upsell and I got the replacement card several days later.

    I’d really like to know what happened to me is typical and what happened in this post is an isolated event (the bank forgot to call? OP didn’t answer the call?).

    Do you have similar experiencing?

    • peebozi says:

      Stick with them! They are a fine institution…I have to recognize a company that can receive billions of dollars in interest free loans from the US Taxpayer , only to invest that 0% loan money in 2% bonds that the US Taxpayer guarantees to repay in the coming years!

      Also have to admire the return on investment they make from buying politicians!! A few million will get them billions.

      blankfein should really kill himself…seriously.

      • areaman says:

        I want to clear something up Blankfein runs Goldman “Shitty Deal” Sachs. Wells Fargo’s CEO is someone else.

        But outside of that everything is accurate.

        • peebozi says:

          I am well aware of blankfein’s employer. i just like to reiterate that statement as much as possible. sorry for the confusion.

          blankfein should really kill himself. :-)

  6. Extended-Warranty says:

    What’s the big deal? I didn’t see any mention of this being a requirement to reopen. Why should the bank should have to police everyone’s account and eat all fraudulent charges?

    Remember all that reform everyone wanted? Now you will all get nickel and dimed.

    • peebozi says:

      but, but…wasn’t one of the banking industry’s defense that they were never acting in a way that conflicted with regulations…because there weren’t any!?!

    • Bob Lu says:

      “Why should the bank should have to police everyone’s account and eat all fraudulent charges?”

      That is indeed arguable, however in this case I believe it is WF’s own screw up. There must be a large scale database compromised several months ago.

    • areaman says:

      Now you will all get nickel and dimed.

      This statement sounds like bank did not nickel and dime people in the past. As if everything was fine before.

  7. dolemite says:

    I had this EXACT same thing happen to me with Citibank last year. My card was repeated rejected, so I called to see what was up. The rep told me that a merchant database had been compromised, so the card had been cancelled, and that a new card would arrive in 7-10 days.

    Gee, good thing I was like, on vacation in the middle of nowhere or anything. Thanks for letting me know! Apparently my notification was the fact a new card would show up eventually.

    • TPA says:

      7-10 days for a replacement card? Wachovia overnighted a replacement card for me when a merchant’s database got hit. I didn’t even request it be here that fast either.

    • BridgetPentheus says:

      Citibank did the same thing to me last year, no notice, nothing until I got new cards in the mail, wouldn’t tell me the merchant and didn’t agree with me that I thought they should protect my account for free instead of selling me the service (this was your fault Citibank) so Amex and I have become a lot closer

  8. joshua70448 says:

    Ugh, this reminds me of my recent dealings with Bank of America’s HSA department. They disabled my HSA debit card around July 1 because of a fraud transaction at a Bed Bath & Beyond in PA (I’m in TX), but never told me until I tried to pay off a medical bill a week later and found that my card was declined. Even the phone rep I spoke to had no idea what was going on; I got a call back the next day telling me what had happened. I had to wait for dispute forms to be mailed to me, which I had to fax back, before they would issue new debit cards. A week after I faxed the forms back, I called BoA to confirm that the cards had been sent out, and guess what? Yeah, their stupid system didn’t send out new cards. I finally got my new debit card a few days ago, but the morons only sent one card (my wife also has a debit card under her name, which has been in their system for two years). Fortunately, once that medical bill clears, I’m moving my account to a credit union (Connexus) with no fees and a better interest rate. Screw BoA.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      I had a similar problem with my Mellon HSA account.

      You have to be extremely careful when an HSA account has been compromised. In my situation, the bank fixed the unauthorized transactions but failed to repair the tax aspects of it. It turned into a very lengthy problem trying to resolve the issue with the IRS.

      • joshua70448 says:

        The transaction never appeared on my statement (online or print), so I’m hoping that because they caught it before it posted, it won’t cause any problems. That’s probably the only thing BoA did right in this situation, although I would have appreciated a call about the problem…

  9. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    “It is sort of funny, but sort of terrifying.”

    Nothing could explain this better.

  10. MickeyG says:

    I was shocked when I worked at a bank (inbound call centre) to repeatedly get calls from people asking what was up with their bank cards (because they wouldn’t work). Apparently, it is common to NOT call the customer and tell them their card has been flagged for whatever reason. I had people screaming at me so much!
    I would have laughed at the person trying to sell me “security protection”! What a scam!

    BTW – if this happens when you are on vacation (card being flagged as “compromised), it was most likely your own fault. Call the bank before you go and let them know you are going away. Sometimes you may get flagged if your card is used far from where you usually use it!

    • jtheletter says:

      The fact is I have called ahead and had travel notes placed on my citicard in the past and that did not stop them from suspending the account. Luckily they didn’t close it, merely lock it temporarily, and I was able to call in and have the card reinstated and asked again for the travel note to be put on my account. Which worked fine until 24 hours later when my card was locked for the same reason.
      The left hand does not know what the right hand is doing at these banks and CC companies. They have two dozen different flags that an automated system can set on your account without human oversight, but the CSRs don’t have matching flags to enable/disable, they can only add text based notes. Notes which do not seem to be available to CSRs in other departments, and notes which are not required to be checked before some action is taken.
      Don’t tell us it’s OUR fault when YOUR system fails even when we take the appropriate steps.

    • e065702 says:

      That is a waste of time. Commercial banks are notoriously unreliable concerning this issue. Fire ’em all and use a credit union/

    • Galium says:

      Gee, I always wanted to put a bank on my list of places to tell when I am on vacation. They can not even keep information that is pertinent to their business straight. You wish to tell them something from outside of their box, good luck. The only thing that would happen to the information, is that the person, from the bank on the phone with you, will most likely die from laughing?

  11. kataisa says:
  12. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    This reminds me of the stereotypical mobster who goes into a small store and offers to sell protection. When the shop owner asks “protection from what?”, the mobster then smashes out the glass of the jukebox and says “protection from that”.

    I’ve had similar issues that the letter writer has. Every time my personal data is compromised (it happens once or twice a year), I get free identity theft protection from the company the breach happened at. In every instance, they buy the cheapest, lowest end package available and if you actually call to activate it, you get endless upsells for better protection.

    • mikec041 says:

      Under Federal law as long as the company uses MINIMAL security to protect your information from theft they don’t need to even offer Credit monitoring if their data bases are compromised. NYC lost a laptop a few years back containing current and retired employees personal data. NYC resisted offering the Credit monitoring until the press picked up the story and embarrassed them into it. Companies offer the monitoring for P.R. purposes only.

  13. says:

    If you have ties to the bank (e.g., mortgage, CDs, etc.) and need to retain your account, I recommend that you open a savings account with the minimum balance. Next, withdraw all funds from your checking and find a new bank.

    Information security should come standard.

  14. Mackinstyle1 says:

    Checking daily also helps you not overspend. You have to keep looking at that balance! =)

  15. bethSMASH says:

    I just had a stolen cc issue with WF. When I called to activate my card, they did they same upsell. I just said, “No thanks!”.

    If they still auto-enrolled me, you’ll see my complaint next month…

  16. mikec041 says:

    Recently opened a Shell gas card. When i called to activate it, the call was answered by what I’m guessing was a 3rd party selling some type of credit card protection. When i told her i wasn’t interested she became annoyed and nasty then she hung up. Called Citibank who actually issues the Shell card to both complain and find if the card was activated. After talking to a “supervisor” I came to realization that my encounter was pretty common and Citibank condones it.

  17. roguemarvel says:

    Ok what it sounds like happened was her card was closed because either her card data was stolen on a skimmer or she has used her card at a store that had costumers data stolen so they closed it down with a batch of other cards. sucks when it happens but all banks do it as a protection method. Sounds like the rep, who has high sales goals, was trying to sell her ID theft protection because it was the best thing they could think of.