Thursday, November 12, 2009

Stock Market Update: Thursday, November 12, 2009

Big news from the Federal Reserve today! Effective July 1, 2010, banks “will have to secure their customers' consent before charging large overdraft fees on ATM and debit card transactions”

“Under the Fed's new rule . . . banks will be required to notify new and existing customers of their overdraft services and give customers the option of being covered. If customers don't "opt in," any debit or ATM transactions that overdraw their accounts will be denied, Fed officials said.”

This is very similar to U.S. Bank’s previously announced changes in their overdraft policies, so making the adjustment by the middle of next year should not be a problem.

In other fun news . . .

I love it when bad guys get busted! Yesterday a group of folks in Russia, Estonia and Moldova (Motto: A country so nice, we’re named after the scum in our bathtubs!) were indicted for stealing more than $9 million in November, 2008.

The cool part is how they did it! According to the indictment, they hacked into the payroll debit card information of Royal Bank of Scotland’s U.S. payment processing division in Atlanta, GA, and “cloned (44) prepaid ATM cards, which thieves then used to withdraw cash from 2,100 ATMs from 280 cities around the world, including in the U.S. The synchronized operation, which began November 8, 2008, took no more than 12 hours.”

The individuals making the cash withdrawals from ATMs were “allowed to keep up to half the cash they stole and sent the rest back to the ringleaders.” According to an FBI spokesperson, "'the losses could have been much greater had the hacker ring been able to assemble a larger network of accomplices. The size of the human network was a limiting factor, [because] some of the ATMs ran out of money.'"
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