A Wave of Online Banking Frauds Soaks HSBCNews to everyone who uses HSBC online banking: We’ve heard of four different people who mysteriously had a couple of thousand dollars withdrawn from their HSBC checking accounts this week. When they called the bank to figure out what was going on, they discovered that it’s been happening to hundreds of other people. So much so, that the bank’s fraud department can’t keep up with the reports. A quick Internet search turned up this consumerist.com post on the subject, which explains that it’s a widespread problem among online banking users. According to the Website, a fraud investigator told one customer that the bank’s “fraud department was so overwhelmed, it was still in the developing stage” of how to handle it. When we contacted HSBC, they acknowledged there was an issue but reassured us:
We are ensuring zero liability for our customers and are reissuing ATM/debit cards to those impacted. HSBC has well-established internal security measures to prevent fraudulent activity. We take fraud of any kind very seriously and are continually monitoring customer activity to identify and avert fraud.
“I don’t what angers me more, the fact that I am missing all this money or that this crook only got charged a $1.50 withdrawal fee!” one customer, who lost nearly $3,000, told us. “They tell me it will take 10 to 20 business days to get my money back in my account. This is not a very impressive turnaround for the ‘world’s bank.’” So, if you have an HSBC account and use online banking, you should probably check your accounts today. You’d rather deal with it today than stew over the weekend about it. You’ve got guacamole to make for the Oscars!
Is HSBC Straining Under an ‘Unprecedented’ Wave of Fraud Activity? [Consumerist]
DHS Now Officially Full of Shit• The federal formula used to allot New York its pitiful share of anti-terrorism funds has been officially discredited. A new GAO report says — in as many words — that Homeland Security officials lack methods to assess risk. Actuarial math aside, failure to classify the Empire State Building as a landmark was a bit of a giveaway. [NYDN]
• In related news, the Empire State Building is America’s favorite piece of architecture, according to the American Institute of Architects poll. The White House is number two. [WNBC]
• Meet Tom DiNapoli. As New York’s Chris Smith reported yesterday, state legislators reneged on a deal with Governor Spitzer and installed the assemblyman as the new state comptroller. On the upside, according to the Times, DiNapoli is apparently the nicest guy in Albany. [NYT]
• The plot thickens in the Long Island fake-cop case. The con man in question not only wore fake uniform and a prop badge; he owned a car complete with a siren, maintained the cop identity 24/7, and shook down criminals for a living. [NYP]
• And it’s official: The bankrupt Air America now belongs to real-estate mogul Stephen Green, brother of Mark. The price tag on the voice of the American Left? $4.25 million. We assume they threw in The Nation. [amNY]