On getting hacked

Desert lavender
This has nothing to do with my post, but it’s such a beautiful desert lavender plant in our yard I had to share.

I had an issue with my emails and wrote about it HERE last week. I was afraid I was hacked. Or in the very least someone was playing fast and loose with my email address. I set up a new email account and so far everything is going peachy.

But then I heard from someone today that their bank account got hacked. Listen to this: someone got into their bank account online and changed the user name and password so they couldn’t access their account! Then the hacker transferred money out using Zelle. This friend didn’t even use Zelle. But. if a person can get your username and password by hacking into your computer, they can turn on Zelle.

I found a few articles about the scam. Here’s a quote from one:

Stealing money using Zelle is apparently as easy as adding a phone number to a consumer’s checking account, and then telling the bank to “Zelle” money to a hacker-controlled account — at least in some cases.

When following up my story earlier this week about consumers who don’t even use Zelle get hit by Zelle fraud, a bank official told me that’s how it’s done. Criminals — potentially using stolen online banking credentials or credential stuffing attacks — add a cell phone they control to the user’s profile, then send money to the hacker’s account.

After the hacker’s mobile number is added to the bank account, the banks’ confirmation code to verify the transaction is misdirected to that fraudulent number, and the hacker confirms the transaction. So once the account is compromised, a fraudster is able to transfer money out of the account.


I decided that changing my password wasn’t enough. I turned on two-factor authentication.

Have you ever had a credit card, bank account or email account hacked? What did you do about it?

24 thoughts on “On getting hacked

  1. I would hope that the bank would become suspicious and verify using protocol. We have had out debit card compromised twice, and both times the bank put an automatic hold on the transaction until they used pre-established phone numbers to text for confirmation, and used our pre arranged security questions to double verify. It worked. Both time.

  2. Our bank accounts are really good at tracking our spending habits. The moment a fishy charge or payment surfaces the transaction gets flagged and my wife is on it in seconds. In one moment, all is OK. In the next few seconds, the bank and my wife are on it, and all remains OK. The biggest issue for most folks is being on their toes, both by using a bank that boasts a strong algorithm that spots patterns and by checking email when stuff gets flagged.

    I have no clue how the banks are so good at spotting fraud, and allowing legit payments through, but they are. Fabulously predictive algorithm. Kudos to them.

  3. I don’t know if you have them in Arizona but in restaurants in California they had electronic devices on the tables so you could pay for your meal when you were done. I was skeptical but used it at the prompting of my daughter (we were visiting her at college in Sonoma). By the time I made it back home that same day and tried to get gas, my card was declined. Fortunately I had another way to pay for the gas and immediately called the back who told me that someone had tried to charge a $700 room in a hotel in Sacramento! Thankfully the bank caught that and denied the charge so there was no money lost but it made me even more determined not to use the machines in restaurants. My daughter didn’t agree with me and we had some tense dining moments a few times because she was embarrassed when I politely told the servers that I would not use the machines. Since the pandemic I haven’t seen any of those machines, although we haven’t really been dining out either.

    • I haven’t seen those machines at restaurants. Good thing 🙂 You made me remember a few years ago we were on vacation in Laguna and I bought a few things in a surf shop. After we returned home, I got a call from our bank saying that there was $2000 in charges at that surf shop for surf boards!

  4. Our Amazon account was hacked right before Christmas one year! What a hassle. They would make purchases using our credit card and account but the purchase wouldn’t show up so we didn’t know it was happening. It took six months to get Amazon to reopen my account. Now that was painful. Hugs, C

  5. All of my Bank transactions are Monitored when any transaction takes place I am notified. For example before I have left the gas station I receive notification that a transaction has taken place.

  6. And technology is supposed to make our lives easier. Right. This was a really good reminder to be vigilant about how you use your credit cards and how you do your banking. If Zelle is notorious for stealing people’s money, why do they even allow it? Great post. I’m going to let everyone I know about this post. Mona

  7. We’ve had credit cards hacked, but the last time was years ago. This feeds into my posts about security…how do we become secure yet not get mired in red tape?

  8. We’ve also had credit cards hacked. I have no banking info on my phone for this reason. Our bank does require two-step authentication. I’m not sure anyone is completely safe.

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