Lesson Learned: Never Trust USAA Fraud Department


I feel so violated, like someone has broken into my home, ransacked my house, and stolen all my belongings.  I have been a member of USAA for almost 20 years, and here I sit feeling like USAA does not even care about me as an individual.  I guess I have really learned the lesson that the USAA Fraud Department does not have my back when it comes to fraud on my bank account.


Long story short, on December 4th, 2016, we were notified by USAA about fraudulent activity on my husband's debit card in the amount of $2600.  My husband contacted the fraud department and spoke with a gentleman about what was going on.  The Fraud Department expert advised us that looking at the activity it appeared to be fraud and that we needed to file a fraud claim.  During this discussion, my husband did explain to the expert that there could be another possibility for the charges and that it could be my 10 year old, non-verbal, autistic son.  The expert advised us that based on the information that he could see on his screen that he believe it was fraud and that we should move forward with the fraud claim.  At this point, my husband and I had no reason to doubt USAA or the Fraud expert because USAA has always, up to this point, had our best interest in mind.  So we went with the recommendation of the expert and had him start the fraud claim.  The Fraud Department expert advised that there was nothing else that we needed to do on our part and that USAA would refund the money back into our account in a few business days.


Fast forward to February 23, 2017.  My husband went to purchase dinner for the family and his debit card was declined.  He calls me and asks me to check the bank account online.  Lo and behold... Our bank account is negative $1700.00!!!!!!  On February 21, 2017 a debit from my account for roughly $2600 had occurred.  I had no clue where the charge was coming from.  I had not received ANY type of communication from USAA about anything.  I was freaking out because I had no money and I had a negative balance.  So I called USAA.  Through the process of 5 and half hours and being and transferred to 17 different people, we were advised that because the Fraud Department expert chose to file it as fraud and not a dispute, USAA has denied our claim.  When asked, USAA stated that we have on other recourse, no appeal, no affidavit, no dispute.  Basically, I had to deal with it.


It is sad to see USAA becoming too large to care about their members.  I always thought that USAA had my best interest in mind, I guess I was wrong.  Lesson learned.... NEVER trust USAA Fraud Department or their 0% Liability Claim that they state on their phone message when you are waiting to connect with a representative!


Hello, AustinMomof2, thank you for taking the time to post and to share information with us about the experience you recently had. Please know, we never intend to make you feel like this and can understand the frustration you have had. A specialist is going to take a further look into this for you and they will reach out as soon as possible. Thank you. -Marisa

USAA your missing the point of this poor woman's complaints. I agree customer service has really gotten bad.

In my 47 years of experience with USAA, I can remember only three instances of fraud on our USAA checking or credit card accounts.  In every single case, I always filed a fraud complaint (as I was advised to do) and in every single case, USAA resolved the cases in our favor after investigation.  It sounds like you failed to file a formal complaint when first detecting the fraud (maybe because you thought your son had some involvement?).  I find it hard to believe a USAA representative would tell you not to bother filing a fraud affidavit, and that he would "take care of it" based on a phone call.  Sorry to hear about your case, but I suspect USAA will provide you with a full explanation of how this happened and the resolution.

I will never ever use/recommend and further more have told all of my family about how USAA took money of mine that did not belong to them. They refuse to give me my hard earned money back. I am a single mother and trusted USAA with all of my funds. I had been a USAA member with the same account for 9 years and have never had problems, EVER. Any charges that were made that were not made by me had always been returned without an issue, which is what any and every bank is obligated to do for you since there are so many fraud things happening to anyone with a bank account now a days. In this instance that I have been dealing with for almost a full year now has ruined certain aspects of my life and they could care less.

Sequence of events during my during my USAA checking account being compromised on 11/29/2016.

  1. I had deposited my regular paycheck into my USAA checking account using "deposit @ mobile" with my iPhone 7 plus 11/29/2016 at approximately 9:53am CST.
  2. At approximately 11:38am CST 11/29/2016 I had begun to receive emails to my email account which is my primary email address with my USAA account alerting me that a) my password had been updated b) my personal identification number had been updated (PIN*) and c) my security questions had been updated.
  3. At approximately 1:22pm CST on 11/29/2016 I received an email, confirming a transfer of $1,050 had been transferred out of the account to another account of mine. Which was then taken out with some kind of cash transaction. (That I have never once used this method in the 9 years I had my account, nor had I ever withdrawn every penny of my funds out of my acccount)
  4. At approximately 3:57pm CST on 11/29/2016 was when I had noticed these notifications in my email, so I had immediately called USAA and had all of my information changed and notified them of this fraudulent transaction.
  5. They were able to tell me that this transaction was made out to a "Sydney N. Cohen" Out of Hollywood, FL. They were also able to tell me this person called in using my cell phone number by using a technique called "Spoofing"
  6. I updated all of my information during that time, changing my password, pin, security questions and adding a extra security measure requiring you to entire an authentication code sent via text to the cell phone number listed on the account. They told me they would submit this to the fraud department and if it was ruled in my favor after investigation they would return all of my funds just as they would in the past.
  7. At approximately 3:33am CST on 11/30/2016 I received an email stating my account had been locked due to suspicious activity on my account.
  8. As soon as I read the morning of the email alert on 11/30/2016 I called USAA, and they let me then again update all of my information. I asked how this could be happening still? I asked them what information of mine they provided to authenticate who they were knowing they record all calls. However all they could tell me was the prompts that they "used to authenticate me" and it was that they provided USAA with my SS# and make/model of my car. I requested a transcript and access to listen to this call. They informed me that I needed to get a subpoena from local law enforcement to get access to that recorded call along with the transcript.
  9. USAA called me and notified me via mail that they ruled this fraud case in my favor and to expect the funds returned into my account within the next few business days.
  10. I got my funds returned to me, however not even a month later after $500 worth of bills were taken out of my account, USAA sent me a letter telling me that they re-opened my fraud case and decided that it was no longer in my favor, overdrew my account to take the money back and said if I did not pay them the $600 dollars that they over drew they would send me to collections.
  11. With this happening I decided to proceed with a subpoena, because I know for a fact this was a fraudulent charge and I have never given anybody my information to access my account. So I went to my local police department, the state attorney issued USAA a subpoena and they did not respond, nor would they release any of my records.
  12. In the midst of that happening, my job gave me a bonus and automatically submitted this bonus into my USAA account. USAA obviously held onto the funds. I logged into my account recently and saw the funds of almost $500 were just sitting in a non-existent account.
  13. I called USAA to ask them how I can get these funds since they belonged to me. The represenative on the phone said to expect that amount in a check in the mail within 7-10 business days, I waited 3 weeks and nothing.
  14. I called USAA again, they said "Oh, about that, you owed us money in an account that was overdrawn so you can't get your money except for $88, I said okay then where is my $88?" "Well do you want a check for $88?" I said, "I will take whatever you people are willing to give me because obviously you don't mind taking ALL of my money. Yes, send me the check NOW."

I am tired of going in circles with these people, always calling, having to authenticate myself thoroughly since they flagged my account.  I had to change my cell phone number, which has caused me a lot of havoc, email and faxed a Identity Theft Affidavit to the IRS and placed a freeze with Equifax services. (which is now obviously also compromised all of my information) SO ALL THE WAY AROUND USAA screwed me over big time. It is completely disappointing and depressing knowing I trusted these people. In this situation I cannot help but think the representative that gave out my information to begin with was the person that took my money, and USAA will not admit their employees are their biggest problem when it comes to any sort of data breach. DO NOT BANK WITH THIS COMPANY THEY WILL TAKE ALL OF YOUR FUNDS!

Mermaidmom, we can certainly see your frustration and would like to review this further.  We will have an expert look into this and conduct a follow up with you.   ~Jen

You guys are full of it and will just try and stall this poor person until they give up, so that you will not have to file a claim with the FDIC about the amount of actual fraud going on in USAA since USAA information was compromised about a year or so ago. 

These fools don't give a d*mn about you or any of us. They will put the blame on you even though some hacker will have already stolen your whole account. They don't give a d*mn about veterans or their customers. They will give you the run around until you give up. Navy Federal sucks too but I had an easier time getting my money back than these sorry suckers. USAA, you don't understand our frustration until it's happened to you. 

@this bank sucks, I'm sorry to hear you feel this way. I will have your concerns forwarded to a subject matter expert for further review. ~ Samantha

Dear mermaidmom,


I completely empathize with you and your situation. It is disgraceful the way that USAA treats their customers who have already experienced feeling violated with fraud on their accounts. I have never seen a banking institution have such poor customer service. I worked with a major credit card company for 14 years, and I also worked for Chase bank for several years and its appalling how USAA has gone so far downhill so fast. My son is experiencing identity theft on his own account and it also involved the hacking of our cell phone accounts. Its like these fraud reps have completely lost all common sense when looking at these situations. Where is the $50.00 liability limit on fraud activity when notifying them within a certain period of time? And what about VISA's zero liability policy? The fact that everytime you call in, you get transferred at least a dozen times, and have to repeat the conversatios, then you are questioned like you are the criminal. It is a lesson in futility. https://www.visa.com/chip/personal/security/zero-liability.jsp

How do these people sleep at night. I hope it works out for you, if not there are plenty of other credit unions, etc... that would love your business. Hang in there. We are going over to Navy FCU.