BEWARE: Use Secure VPN + Logon to = Up to 3-Day Acct Lock-down

John Alexander

USAA Members BewareYou face the serious risk of losing the ability to withdraw cash, make debit card transaction and perhaps clear issued checks from USAA banking accounts - without any warning from USAA - if you use a virtual private network ("VPN") when logging onto and conducting any financial transaction.


Ironically, the whole point of using a VPN, which is widely recommended among IT professionals and banking specialists, is to help keep your online activities secure and private. I was on a public, Starbucks Wi-Fi network and used a VPN service when logging onto to transfer funds from our USAA savings to USAA checking account (within the same "profile" or USAA member number). Not a dime moved outside USAA.


However, twelve (12) days after completing the transfer USAA's brilliant fraud technology determined it was a serious enough breach to lock down our USAA accounts (checking, savings, etc) for up to 36-hours


I found out on December 16, 2018, when my wife called after the cashier rang up a weeks’ worth of groceries and the transaction was declined. I asked her to hold while I quickly checked on the USAA Android app to confirm we had funds in the account sufficient to purchase a year's worth of groceries. Shortly after speaking with a poorly trained USAA rep I realized this wasn't going to be a quck fix (though it should've been) and my wife returned home understandably upset and without groceries.


We don't use credit cards, so the only funds available for food, gas, and to pay any billswas the little cash we had on hand. It didn't take me long to realize the transaction USAA deemed fraudulant was legitimate and after a short period the representative agreed.  Nonetheless, four (4) USAA reps insisted we were looking at days before the fraud team could review our case and allow access to our accounts [USAA phone calls are recorded, so this is easily confirmed]. This is completely unacceptable, but increasingly "the USAA way of doing business."


It took almost three (3) hours on the phone speaking with supervisors, managers, etc. then hanging up and calling back to find potentially a USAA representative who was competent and committed to customer satisfaction until this nightmare resolved.


In a far greater ironic twist, USAA's fraud team failed to act appropriately when $35,000+ of actual fraudulent transactions took place in our account less than a month later. But that's for another post...



@John Alexander, I understand your frustration. I will have this submitted to the appropriate team for further review ~ Samantha 



I appreciate your response, but I hope you don't fully understand my frustration and your reply is just one of the standard USAA "I feel your pain; I'm sorry you experienced this" platitudes I've heard 30+ times.


I express this sentiment because you need to listen to well over 30 hours of recorded USAA conversations in order to sincerely and honestly empathize with the numerous, careless, and - most importantly - avoidable USAA banking-related errors (and resulting needless frustrations) inflicted upon me and my family.


The last two "teams" who evaluated very recent USAA banking-related mishaps - in addition to this one - were the "Office of the CEO" and the "Executive Response" teams. A response from the former, which occurred today, January 24, 2019 @ 3:40pm, was woefully unprepared rep who, after failing to answer straightforward questions repeatedly, replied, "I'm sorry you don't feel I answered your question" (after she avoided answering the question I asked THREE TIMES... It was a classic Kellyanne Conway nightmare). Perhaps this woman (fortunately for her, the first couple seconds of the recorded conversation were garbled so I can't make out her name) was perhaps a perfect fit for the fired, former USAA bank preseident, Jaime Warder but - for USAA's sake - she isn't not up to new President's standards.


The latter reply, from the "Executive Response" team, was almost as embarrassing. This rep offered no assistance since it was related to fraud, "which she had no knowledge of or access to" and showed no interest in pursuing the matter further. Great. Another classic, "USAA Customer No Service" moment.


I'm eager to speak with and presently seeking out journalists to cover the magnitutude of USAA's inept handling of this and related issues. USAA records virtually every (if not all) phone conversations with members. My conversations with USAA are recorded on my end as well and easily accessible thanks to the Android app CallX (no personal or professional affiliation; I'm just a loyal, very satisfied, 2-year paid user). 


You mentioned having my post "submitted to the appropriate team for further review." Don't bother having anyone call me back without listening to the 30+ hours of conversations I endured. The number of conflicting statements made by and magnitude of indifference expressed from USAA representatives at all levels is STAGGERING.





Please do not have Before you escalate this abhorrent behavior to the "appropriate team" - or the "Office of the CEO"