Cumberland Falls, Cumberland Falls State Park, Honeybee/Corbin, Kentucky

**PLEASE NOTE** - I use no other social media and my comments are closed due to persistent harassment and impersonation by one individual - sorry :(

Thursday, December 31, 2020

The Resolution (And No, Not a New Year's One - Yet) lol.

As mentioned in the below post, my bank account was hit for an authorized wire transfer of $800, using a fund-transfer app service that I'd never heard of called "Venmo" and my bank debit card. 

 We were scratching our heads, because we still had the old card, and I was using new one, believing the old one had been closed and expired since - well, not so, as it turns out - and therein lies the problem.

As mentioned in the post below, we knew the bank admitted error, in that for whatever reason, they never closed the old card, so that was part of the problem - but we couldn't figure out how the thief was still able to do this without the CVC code on the back of an expired card. 

Well, we now have some answers - not all of them, but most of them. 

The bank has just informed me that the old debit card had likely been "skimmed," using apparatus they attach to card readers at stores and gas stations, that read the magnetic strip on your card and any entries you put in such as pins. 

They surmised it was local because "skimmers" do need the physical card to go into a card reader physically  with their skimmer attached to it.  

"Skimmers" that do this almost never use the card immediately to avoid suspicion, and often during the holidays, when banking is more limited, so the actual skimming was likely done months ago.

The reason they were able to drain my bank account is that Venmo does not request the CVC code on the back of the card, does not verify your identity, does not require full financial institution information, and does not possess bank-level security systems on their platform (though they state they do, but have been sued repeatedly over this claim, I learned today).

Even if Venmo did require the CVC code, the security team explained that particularly sophisticated "skimming" apparatus have the ability to get the CVC code off the back magnetic strip of your card, too.

That just left how it was able to go through despite being expired. 

This mystery is solved as well - as mentioned already, the bank discovered they had never closed the card after issuing me new one upon my request, last June, which they admitted was their error, right? 

Then, because they didn't close the old card, not only did they send me a new one as requested in June, but they also sent a replacement card for the old one in August, as the old one was due to expire.

When we received this, my husband saw it on the counter and erroneously thought I'd ordered a second new card for his use for errands, and put it in his wallet - my fault, I didn't put it away immediately/tell him what it was.

(This is the card I mentioned having in my desk, which I noticed among his cards a few weeks ago and told him it was expired and let me just put it away so as not to accidently try to use it, with him forgetting the reason he put it there to begin with was he thought it was a second card I'd ordered.)

Thus, it was this card that was "skimmed."

The security team member gave us a few extra security tips to avoid being "skimmed":

1) Carry your card in an RFID-safe wallet.  Some skimmers use a handheld magnetic reader and wand, reading it right from your purse or pocket, without ever laying a hand on your card.  RFID-safe wallets have a barrier material that disallows the magnetic strip to be read by skimmers.

2) If using a card reader at the store, gas station, etc., if not locked down (which many stores have already done) shake it a little bit, before you put your card in - no matter how sophisticated the skimmer is, attached likely while the clerk was busy, it should fall off.

3)  If using your card at a gas pump, always use the pump closest to the cashier - skimmers are less likely to have time to attach those there, because the cashier can see what they're doing more easily.

Otherwise, it's been reported to the FBI and it is still their jurisdiction, because the actual unauthorized funds-transfer/crime was committed via the internet/phone app.

Also, the bank has refunded me, the old card has been closed as originally requested, so I'm good - and SO ready for 2021.

I still can't explain why it's always me that shit like this happens to - just lucky, I guess lol - but at least we know what happened, now.

I don't know about y'all, but I'm just about over using on the internet much at all anymore - because there's more BS than ever, but it's still just as lawless as it ever was, decades later - and no one has any intention of fixing these problems, because these problems benefit power abusers the most - the internet continues to enable the worst kind of people, ruining it for everybody else!

Regardless, goodbye, 2020 - you totally suck! lol

In fact, I realize I just spent 2 lengthy posts, this week, talking about dysfunction, denial and pretending  -  and yet at this point,  can I just dig out my old dysfunctional-family card and just pretend 2020 never happened? ;)

Hello, 2021 - and Happy New Year!


PS - I'd never even heard of Venmo until this happened, but I've now gotten the education of a lifetime - and they're pretty shady -so do NOT use Venmo.

If you need to transfer money quickly,  there are plenty of other more reputable and secure financial money-transfer apps out there to use, the best actually being through your bank (usually Zelle or PopMoney), and therefore backed by FDIC, with better security, and bound by federal banking laws that require more ID and financial information than Venmo requires.

And if this happens to you, don't even try working with Venmo, because here's what will happen.

There is no live person to answer calls, they tell you to use chat within the app - which of course, you don't have if you have no account, but someone entered one in your name or skimmed your bank account.

If your bank calls to try to resolve it and hits the prompt button for "bank representative," they, too, will be told there is no live person to speak with, and to have their client contact Venmo directly (which of course, you can't if you don't have an account).  The only option that you have is Venmo has a statement on their site that if you are not a Venmo customer, but a Venmo bank charged showed up on your account, resolve it with your bank or have law enforcement contact them. 

This, of course, leaves them completely responsibility-less for everything, including not asking ID verification or more complete banking information.  (Reminds me of FB, Twitter and all that crap, who act like they carry no responsibility for all kinda lawlessness that occurs on their platforms lol)

Considering the FBI likely has even worse cases, I imagine they'll take the form I submitted, and at most, contact Venmo to inquire in case the events add up to one person, but otherwise, they're likely focused on people who had thousands taken, especially at this time of year.

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