Thursday, August 8, 2013

How scammers drained $1,700 from my bank account using Starbucks cards

Scammers walked away with more than $1,700 from my bank account, without the bank finding anything suspicious. Here’s how they did it.


I don’t know about you, but I find bank-account hacking the ultimate bogeyman. As a 20-something living in the uber-expensive New York City, the thought of a late-night ATM run for taco-truck money turning into an avenue for crooks to take my hard-earned cash always keeps me on alert. To say I’m diligent about checking my account, especially around paydays, is an understatement.

And that vigilance has paid off, because this past weekend hackers walked away with roughly $1,800 from my account — and my bank did nothing to alert me or stop it.

That sounds crazy, right? That somehow $1,800 would slip out of my account, under the radar from a financial institution that’s known to ring me when I buy subway passes from station vending machine. But scammers are taking advantage of modern conveniences to rapidly drain and launder money, utilizing some of the places we commonly shop — online and offline.
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