Thursday, December 22, 2016

Protecting Your Bank Accounts From Hackers

Some tips here on protecting your bank account from hack attacks. They start off telling of recent multi- million dollar hacks, then get more into how you can protect your own accounts. Some good tips, I suppose, but mostly they explain how you can be recompensated for someone ripping you off. 

One thing they don't mention, that I've read elsewhere, is using a credit card is safer than a debit card. Not only can they clean out your checking account if they hack your debit card, credit card companies will often take care of losses due to illegal activity.

Some of the recommendations seem to me easier said than done, at least if you're one who does most of your banking or shopping online. Read the tips and decide which ones would be best for you.
I'm actually going through a bit of a hassle over online banking right now, although whether I was ripped off remains to be seen. 

Earlier this month I went to pay my monthly Obamacare premium with Anthem/ Blue Cross. I was surprised when I got to their web site to see not just the $83.00 I owed for my premium listed, but some other account for $800+. No mention on the site of what the over $800 was for so I e-mailed them and was told days later it was for my 2017 premium. I wasn't planning on making that payment.

A few days later I checked my bank account to find my checking account empty and we would have bounced checks had I not had overdraft protection. Looking closer, I saw a withdrawal for $800+- the same amount as Anthem wanted for that other account, except I didn't make that payment, unless I totally screwed up and made a mistake.

I e-mailed Anthem to ask what gives. They never really answered so I e-mailed again, explained that if I made a payment of $800+ it was a mistake and asked for a refund. I also e-mailed the credit union for advice and they said for $20.00 they could stop any further payments to Anthem but not much they could do about one already made.

Anthem e-mailed back and said I had to call Covered California (Obamacare) as it was an Obamacare account thus was in their hands. I called Obamacare and the girl said they couldn't legally accept a payment for a year in advance like that and it was solely Anthem's responsibility to refund my money. I went back, e-mailed Anthem and told them that. They told me I'd be getting something from them via postal service.

I get their letter and it said something about my case being in the hands of their grievance committee, or some such, and I needed to call them. I called the guy yesterday. He seemed to understand but said he needed a "second tier" agent to handle something of that order, that my case was in que with the Grievance Committee and it would normally take a couple weeks to resolve it.

So here I sit waiting for my refund. I'll call them back after two weeks if I haven't heard from them. If they don't refund my money, I will have been ripped off.


At 3:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not pay any bills online nor do I receive any statements via e-mail. I want hard copy bills mailed to me and I will send a paper check for the amount due. If I ever have questions I call the company rather than e-mail so that I can have a direct conversation. All this may seem old fashioned, but (1) I am not affected by hacking incidents and (2) I help to keep people employed rather than do business with machines.

As to a credit card vs a debit card, I cannot remember when I last used my Coast Central debit card. I treat my Coast Central Visa credit card like a debit card and at the end of the year receive around $100 from the credit union for using it.

At 7:04 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

" If I ever have questions I call the company rather than e-mail so that I can have a direct conversation."

Easier said than done as most businesses have automated phone systems that won't let you call straight through. Never mind sometimes lengthy wait time. Anthem Blue Cross first told me I had an expected wait of 18 minutes. I hung up. Then I was told 20 minutes. I hung up. Third time was the charm. They said 17 minutes so I just set the phone on the table and went about my business. After a couple minutes I heard someone answer and was able to take care of business.

Anthem often asks you to call them, but make sure you have plenty of time available when you do.


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