How to protect your finances from bank account takeover fraud

Victims of bank account takeover scams express how terrifying it was to wake up and see $5,000 stolen from their checking account.

Bank account takeover fraud is happening all over the country, and high-tech thieves are making their way to your bank account without having possession of your debit cards.

The Kuberiets don’t know how someone nearly drained $5,000 from their checking account overnight.

But the way that these thieves stole this couple’s money is what secret service agents say is a classic case of bank account takeover.

For the Kuberiets, someone used Wayne’s debit card and PIN and made two withdrawals four minutes apart.

The bank told his wife, Allisa, that someone ordered a new ATM card with their banking information and overnighted the shipping. The couple said they are thankful they signed up for text alerts and were notified right away about a large withdrawal.

Below are tips from the Secret Service field office in Detroit on how to best protect yourself:

  • Monitor and check your financial and billing statements monthly whenever they get in.
  • Make sure you’re using best practices when you’re on the computer, which means strong passwords and an antivirus firewall.
  • Don’t use WiFi at hotels and restaurants. Make sure to use secure networks.

Read more: Weird text, email or call? Here’s how to know if it’s a scam or not

About the Authors:

Hank Winchester is Local 4's Consumer Investigative Reporter and the head of WDIV's "Help Me Hank" Consumer Unit. He works to solve consumer complaints, reveal important recalls and track down thieves who have ripped off metro Detroiters.

Elizabeth Washington is a Digital News Editor and has been with Local 4 News since April 2022.