Well, it happened. As the title suggests, I got my banking information stolen. Yesterday was a crazy day, and I want to share some of it with you. Partly as a cautionary tale, and partly because I need to vent. Also, I was talking to Jonah about this at WRRV Sessions and he said it could be made into an interesting article! So here we go:

How It Was Detected

Honestly, it was just another Monday. I'm sitting at my desk working on another daily article. I go to share the latest one to Facebook when I'm given an alert that there was a suspicious log-in. I then used the feature to log every device anywhere out from my account, logged back in, and changed my account settings.

A Trip to the Bank

Since I had a card on file on Facebook, I was concerned about my card information being stolen. Once I finished up with work, I went over to the bank to report that my information may have been stolen. The woman at the front desk was fantastic to work with and understood my concern. She got me set up with a new card right away. Funny thing was that I ran into a friend from high school there for a similar thing: the day before he got a notification from the bank about a fraudulent purchase.

It's Not Over Yet

I go home and start updating all my accounts and subscriptions. I don't get all too far until Google tells me there is a block on the card. I take a look at my phone and see I received a fraudulent purchase notification from my bank's fraud team. It said that a purchase of over $500 was made at a Wal-Mart in Ohio, and asked if it were me. Obviously it was not so I responded no. I thought to myself, "I'm glad I went to the bank to report something." The problem was, my current card was frozen still, which made no sense. Why would my current card be frozen?

Back to the Bank

I walk back in and immediately the young lady who helped me remembered me (it was only 30-40 minutes since I was just there, I hope I'm not that forgettable). I showed her the text message I received. She went into my account and discovered that the transaction was off of the NEW CARD NUMBER. Yes, the purchase was made using the card number that I received only 40 minutes prior! That's insane! We were both shocked. She said that I must have some kind of malware or something if that info got stolen, too, even after updating and changing passwords on my Facebook and other accounts. She printed me a new card, recommended that I do not put it online, and that I take my devices to get scanned for malware.

Help Me, Geek Squad! You're My Only Hope

The saga continues. I drive over to Best Buy to get my devices looked over by Geek Squad. First off, great customer service. Honestly, if the young lady at the bank, and the guy at Geek Squad weren't so good with me, I probably would've been flipping out way more than I was already inside.

I told the guy my story, and he said it was insane, but not all too unheard of. He said there are more and more cases similar to this happening. They were finding that they've had an influx of customers coming saying their data is getting stolen, even saying that hackers have systems to hit specific demographics. I'm not surprised. He said regardless of how good one is about protecting their info, these hackers are just getting all the better. Not just that, but we don't know who exactly is doing it. Is it just a random hacker out in Ohio, or is it something more? That's a conspiracy theory for another time.

We scanned my phone, and fortunately nothing suspicious was detected there. I left my laptops with them to scan and clean and I should be getting those back in the next day or two.

The Moral of the Story

The moral of the story is be careful where you save your data. Keep your anti-virus protection up to date and get something reliable. The less information you have out there the better. I was already pretty careful about all my online interactions, but now I'm going to be on my guard even more. The moment you see anything suspicious occur with any account of yours, look into it right away.

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