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Posting this here because maybe I can help someone else NOT fall for this BS.

Going down the road today on my way home and I get a phone call; caller ID says its my bank, USAA. I answer and this nice young man and I had the following conversation:

THIEF: Mr Sumo, this is USAA's fraud department. Have you just attempted to make a $1000 purchase in a Target in Denver?

ME: Ummm... nope. I'm literally in Texas right this minute, so no.

THIEF: OK, sir, I'm going to quickly authenticate you with our system. You're going to be getting a text message from us with a PIN, I need for you to read that to me.

(I get a text message from USAA, my phone recognizes them from previous security checks, so I think I'm good, right? Nope.)

ME: I read the PIN

THIEF: OK, thank you.... hang on my computer is being slow....

We had a little more conversation but here's the gist of this: While he was calling me, his buddy in the next room was on the phone with the real USAA telling them that he needed the account PW reset. They, of course, sent a two-factor authentication PIN to my phone. I read that PIN off to my guy, who fed the other guy and BOOM, they were in. Clever girl.

Before I could pull over to handle this I had a flurry of emails from the bank in my mailbox:

  • Your account PW was changed.
  • Your account name was changed.
  • Your security questions were changed.
  • You added Joes Blower as a payee (the literal name they used!)
  • You transferred XYZ to Joes Blower (this one repeated for several attempts)

Understand that I work professionally with computers and am super skeptical about most things. I stay up to date on scams and security. My radar was up the entire time I was chatting with him and I STILL walked into it. From my POV this was the real deal.

The part that I missed, and the part I want to convey... Large companies like this will almost NEVER call and start asking you for info. What I SHOULD have done was this: As soon as he mentioned the Target transaction, I should have said thank-you and hung up, then looked up the number for USAA's fraud and called them. I thought this was them, I fell for it.

The credit union is already working on returning the cash. Because these guys didn't try transactions here in TX the bank shut things down pretty good and the thieves only got a few hundred. I'll get that back. But now I've got a shiney new login that I have to use and worries about what info they might have seen while in there. Yay! Plus, USAA is sending me one of their nice two-factor key fobs that would have stopped this.

Strangely enough I just read a few weeks ago that SMS PIN's were hackable. I thought the article meant that you could hack them electronically. I never expected a literal man-in-the-middle attack!!


Last year, I got a new AT&T fiber connection and the rep on the online chat said that I would get a lifetime price on my connection. I told them, it wasn't listed anywhere on the website or on my receipt so how would I prove it to you guys later? They replied, request a chat transcript after we're done and use that as proof of coverage for this offer. And so I did.

Fast forward to 12 mo's later and predictably, my monthly charge went up, so I called them. After being kicked around on the phone, waiting for 50+ mins on hold, I got on the chat again and gave them the Id number for the chat transcript from last year. Ten minutes later, boom, got my lifetime pricing back, and this time again, they said, if this happens next year, provide the transcript for this chat and it should be resolved quickly.

So, keep a paper trail, y'all!

1 comment

25 right now, going to be 26. I have been working full-time for almost 3 years now and commuting from my parents house in the suburbs. I've chosen to live at home since working to build up savings ($27k in retirement accounts and $18k in savings). my job paid the following: first 6 months $35k, then $40k, now $50k at the start of this year. Rent near work or in area that provides a short commute will cost me at least $1500 for a room only (I'm in one of highest COLs in the US).

Did you see benefits moving closer to work? As in better opportunities for development or networking? My current commute is an hour and a half each way which doesn't allow me much in the evening. Out of the house by 5:30 AM back home by 6 PM.

I should also mention I'm trying to leave my job due to depression, but have had it hard in the job search, searching for more than a year now and i keep getting rejected.


Hey /r/personalfinance

I'm a recent college graduate about to start a new job that pays $2,400 biweekly ($62,400 annually) with full benefits and a 401k. I'm currently about $7,000 ($4,300 at 23.74% and $2,500 with 0% APR for a year)in CC debt, $20,000 on a car loan, and $40,000 in student debt.

I'm also going to work part time at my current job (min wage) on the weekends to make some pocket change. My current course of action is to pay off the $4,300 ASAP, then focus on the car loan and student loans in preceding order. How should I allocate how much of my paycheck shall be towards CC debt, benefits, etc.

Many thanks and much help is appreciated!


My parents (mother and step father) are complete and utter failures when it comes to managing their finances. I have been a lurker on this sub for a while, and given them as much advice pertaining to personal finance as I have been able to, but I no longer know how to help them after learning the real horror that is their financial situation.

What I have done so far:

  • calculated and and averaged out their monthly income
  • added together all of their monthly expenses
  • advised them on a few cost cutting measures

Here is a breakdown of their monthly finances based upon the information they have given me:

  • Monthly take home between the two of them, after insurance etc= $3,150
  • Bills:
    • Rent=$650, Car= $450, Car insurance= $125, Cable= $150, Phones= $130, Electricity= $280, Propane (house in the country)= $500, Food (groceries only)= $170, Credit Card= $200, Gas= $400, Furniture financing= $230, Internet= $60
    • Total=$3,345

I saw that their monthly budget exceed their monthly income, and I have paid their early termination fee to cancel their cable. The rest of their finances are pretty much locked in. They owe more on the car than it is worth, so it is unsellable. They have a cheap prepaid phones, but the problem is that one of them has financed a phone costing them an additional $50 monthly (which they can't afford obviously). Their gas expenses are so high because my stepdad works an hour away in another city, and nobody lives close enough to carpool according to him. So I am not sure where else they can cut. They both have credit scores in the 400s.

And the worst part is, They owe the IRS $1300 from money they made getting bought out of a previous house, an MY MOTHER DID NOT PAY ANY TAXES ALL YEAR FROM HER CHECK AND HAS YET TO FILE. Any and all advice is helpful. I am trying to be tough on them, but I am in no way, shape, or form a financial expert myself.


I had one of the best interviews ever, it was with a company that has been around, the position was inline with my profession, lots of growth potential, we were clicking, was confident I'd be a great fit, and the salary and benefits were worked out. It's important to note that the salary was negotiated to be reduced to less than I make now for 90 days while I get some great training and then my full salary would kick in if I stayed. On my way out of the interview I said something to the effect of "I look forward to seeing the offer and I'll let you know". The interviewer broke eye contact, gave a odd smile, snickered, and said, "No you have to take our word". At first I though he was being sarcastic and laughed; he was serious.

I left it at that to think about some more and called back that night to clarify some of the benefits and to ask again. I was met with the same uncomfortable snicker and told that their reasoning was so that I wouldn't take the offer to my current boss to request a raise. Confused by this minor barrier, I called some other respectable professionals that night that knew or had worked for this company before and was unequivocaly told, "stay away from them, they trap people". My gut feeling had always been that they would not follow though on the salary bump, I'd be trapped at too low of a salary, and I knew that I would never be able to get my current job back once I left.

So the next day I tested the water more and asked for my full pay up front, none of this 90 day BS, and that I need to see my benefits written out. They gave a firm "NO" and would not budge on anything. They rambled on a little about us both taking risks, that they trust me, and that I should trust them (It's only been 24 hours with these guys and they want trust!). I wasn't buying it since my mental risk assessment told me that I was taking the bulk of the risk and would have no leverage after I join the company. I finished the conversation by saying "I decline because I don't feel secure agreeing to this reduced salary if something so simple as an offer letter can't be drafted, and that I would expect that they wouldn't operate without written contracts as well.

So what are all the other ways they could have screwed me over that I may not have thought of?


I'm 20 years old working full time living in a very expensive city. My paychecks average $800 every two weeks. My rent is $600, utilities are about $150. I just moved into a new place and am sleeping on an air mattress. I need to buy a bed, which I can get for around $350. I'm also in need of transportation, I'd like to get a car but I need to get my license first so I'll probably get a bike. I'm going to be applying for food stamps next week which will give me $200 a month for food, which is plenty. How can I be smart with my money?


I recently inherited 24k from a moderately close relative. My parents are urging me to keep it invested (it is a mutual fund). My financial situation and thus my life have been rough for more than a year: my partner was in a serious car accident and couldn't work for six months so I was supporting both of us. While I used all of my savings supporting us, I luckily have only 2K overall in debt, credit card included. Our finances have just begun to stabilize (a year since the accident) but things are very frayed: we're both at rock bottom on savings, are making a combined 75k yearly, still paying off medical bills insurance diddnt cover: the settlement for medical expenses and lost wages is still in arbitration, and I need things like mental health care, car repairs, new clothes; several ongoing projects (personal and business) had to be put completely on hold. Liquidation would allow me to get out of the rut I currently inhabit at the potential cost of my retirement fund, one that I didn't even know I had until this month. What should I do?


I got an email from Credit Karma a few days ago that said my credit score had dropped. Upon logging in, I found that my credit had dropped over 70 points without reason. Under the “changes” tab it says that my credit usage has decreased, which should improve my credit score if I understand correctly (I paid off one full credit card and am paying down another). I looked on every other possible avenue and it has dropped across the board. I looked into the identity protection section and it said I have been part of 4 breaches. Would someone applying for a credit card or anything of that nature under my identity show up as something I can physically see in the changes section of my credit? Who do I contact to figure out why my credit dropped so much without any concrete reason?


I work for a small company of 10 people total. I occasionally do deliveries in the company vehicle. I was given a company credit card with my name on it. Does this have any impact on my credit at all?


Hello r/personalfinace, please help me.

I've been saving aggressively since I graduated and started working in june to pay down my student loans. ( Job pays $60k potential excluding bonus and I owe 14k). I'm more than half way towards my goal of saving $7000 by the end of the year. I also expect a $3000 tax refund, so by early next year, I should have made a huge dent on my loans.

Problem is, I don't have a car and I really, really want one now. Here are my options,

I could stay focused on my goal and continue taking the bus for 45mins to and fro, and suffer through the cold winter weather and slight embarrassment of being the only one in the office who takes the bus to work.


I could use my 5k savings to buy a used car (2005-2007 Camry or Honda) and start saving all over again.


I could buy a REALLY cheap beater car (1000-2000k range) with my saving and sell/trade it after my debt is payed off.

I absolutely do not want to finance the car. Please don't suggest it 😀. No more debt for me ever again.

What should I do?

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