It Happened To Me

I have written, re-written, submitted and trashed this post numerous times. I originally submitted as an FYI/Reality Check, then learned some more information, had to update it,   then BAM! learned MORE information ¦so I trashed it and started over from scratch. What in the world am I talking about, you ask?

Well, let me tell you. A few weeks back my purse was stolen out of my car  at daycare “ you can get the back story on my personal blog Part 1 & Part 2, if you wish.

Small recap:

purse stolen out of my car at daycare

went to bank and reported; was issued new cards

a week goes by and I am thinking all is good, I did everything I was supposed to.

Then, I pull up my bank account on the Friday before Father's Day and was completely blind-sided.


That should get you to what I want to talk about today. I am going to tell you what these thieves (I will call them fools, going forward)  have done, how they did it and things I have learned since this all happened. Hopefully, this may help some of you in the future or cause you to be more alert and aware.

The  FOOLS  are part of a crime ring. They are going around DFW and targeting daycares, Primrose Schools are one of their favorites.

When the mom takes her child into daycare, they go into the car and take her purse then drive off.   yes, the door was unlocked.

Here is where it gets interesting. They go to my bank, with my debit card and identification in the drive-thru, to cash a personal check   “NOT my check.

The check is a personal stolen check from another victim   “ paid to the order of ME, with my signature  on the back  and account number (have no idea how they obtained that but, I am sure they have their ways “ FOOLS) and signature of the other victim at the bottom of the check. The amounts ranged from $1000 to $2800.

Once, the bank attempts to collect the funds from the personal check, they bounce because account is closed, then charge-back  to our account to collect the money.

Still with me?

In my case, they chose 3 different Bank of America locations in Hurst, Bedford and Arlington and would cash about two at a time, then circle around and go to another teller at the SAME BANK and DO THE SAME THING AGAIN for eight days in a row. My bank did not take the appropriate security measures in the beginning, nor did they when GIVING this money away and NEVER questioning the suspects. EVER.

How are they doing this?

Well, the ring leaders are a group and they are allegedly the ones taking the purses. They are renting vehicles (generally black SUV's) with stolen IDs.

Then they hire  homeless people to  makes these transactions, and for each successful transaction, they pay them $100 (according to the PD).

Two weeks to the day, from when my purse was stolen, Colleyville Police Department arrested a woman at a Compass Bank in Colleyville. They were in a black SUV and she had a wig on. She was accompanied by a black male. He got away.

I do not know all the details yet, but I do know she was a homeless  person, according the PD and she was cooperating 125% (according to Colleyville PD).

Since, the head-FOOLS have not been caught I do not want to give away too much information. (although, I really do not have much).

We learned a tough, tough lesson about our bank. A detective from the United States Secret Service   “ Financial Division, even told me that our bank has the worst security measures, based on his experience   “ it's awful, I know, but I feel I must warn others. Maybe they will change some  things and implement new rules and regulations. The detective said the Compass Bank in Colleyville did everything right, the FOOLS  came in one day and were highly suspicious, called the police, learned they were FOOLS and waited for them the next day WITH the police. They only made one successful transaction at Compass Bank in Colleyville.

Some things to know and think about:

  • Does your bank offer Fraud Protection with your checking AND savings account? Remember, even if you do not have certain accounts in your purse the FOOLS can get access to other accounts.  After doing extensive research, I learned some banks either do not offer it or you have to PAY for it.
  • Not all drive-thru's have cameras.
  • If this happens to you, make sure ALERTS are placed on all your accounts.  Close ALL of your  accounts and open new ones. It is a pain but so worth it. If the bank doesn't suggest, do it anyway. PROTECT YOURSELF.
  • Make sure the bank opens a FRAUD case immediately and ALL appropriate measures are done.
  • Place a fraud alert on your credit. You can do this through Experian, TransUnion or EquiFax. I recommend LIFELOCK “ it is a paid service, but an amazing service, that I wish I had at the time, but I have it now.
  • Ask your bank what their security measures  are on cashing checks.
  • Ask them about your signature cards and what their policies are on checking them.
  • Lock your car doors and more importantly, take your purse and valuables with you.
  • I highly recommend changing banks, because they can still get access.

Those are just a few things, there really is so much more. You can do checking account comparisons to compare different banks. You will be amazed at what you find out.

This is something we do not think about. That is why they are successful, the FOOLS prey on our vulnerability as mothers. I want to STOP them.

Be aware. Be safe. Do not let your guard down.

Yes, it can happen to you. It happened to me.

 

I do want to mention that after going to three different banking locations, we finally were well taken care of at the Bank of America in Flower Mound on Cross Timbers (next to  Tom Thumb), by a team of amazing people. They did everything possible to help us, to  fix the damage that was done and basically clean up other people's messes. These two ladies really went above and beyond. Thank you Victoria Martin and Mom Ray for assisting us in resolving this nightmare. For that,  I am extremely grateful.

5 Comments

  1. I am so sorry to hear everything you had to go through.

  2. Wow Amber – I’m so very sorry for this entire mess, but thank you, thank you for taking the time to teach us some valuable lessons.

    Off to check out that account comparisons link…

  3. Your welcome, Ashlei. I hope you were able to find it useful.
    Thank you Bobbi Janay!!

  4. Mindy Howard says:

    We were *almost* victims of a craigslist scam that used a similar banking mechanism. I was selling a horse on craigslist for a high dollar amount. They mailed me a check which was less than we had agreed upon, then claimed that had been in error. Would I please deposit the check and they would send me a second check for the remainder of the purchase price of the horse? The clincher was that they would only agree to send me the second check after I had deposited the first one, repeatedly asking for proof that I had deposited that check. I called the Denton County Sheriff’s Department, who explained the scam to me. Something just seemed fishy about the whole transaction, and I would urge everyone to use caution when making these financial transactions with people you don’t know. If something feels off, it’s better to wait and investigate than risk losing thousands of dollars to scam artists. When in doubt, ask for help. The police were familiar with the scam and recognized the pattern immediately, and they were quick to point out that my bank (the same one in your story) would have shown no leniency in collecting their fees, even though I was the victim. Thanks for sharing your story! Be careful out there…

  5. What a breach of security on the Financial Institution’s part (Bank of America). Chase Bank is very alert and has ongoing training on fraud prevention. I will keep an eye out, and thanks for posting this.

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