Women learn fake checks bought porn

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by Janet Roach

WVEC.com

Posted on February 28, 2011 at 7:10 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 1 at 2:46 AM

Newport News-- Michele Barnett of Williamsburg has no interest in buying porn.  So when she discovered a charge on her checking account for $29.95 for porn, she was outraged.

"That was not in my nature, so I know it was not me," exclaims Barnett.

Jennifer Scribner of Chesapeake was equally as shocked when she discovered the same charge on her checking account. Again for $29.95. The money was paid to a company called BBU Interservices.

Both women were provided by their banks copies of the fraudulent checks that mimic their accounts. In both cases, their home address was wrong but the account numbers were accurate.

"All these questions are going through my mind. How did this happen to me? How did they get my info? I have no idea what to think," explains Scribner.

Barnett and Scribner are not alone. Blogs fill the internet from numerous victims of BBU Interservices based in Silver Springs, Nevada. Plug in their address on Google Maps, and an empty highway and desert pop up. Barnett contacted BBU.

"They told me they were a third party company and that I actually had ordered some type of adult magazines or I ordered some adult video," says Barnett.

Fortunately, Barnett's banking institution, First Advantage Credit Union absorbed the cost. Vice President of marketing, Jim Craig says consumers are protected from fraud as long as they discover the discrepancies within 60 days.

"There's a lot of protection out there for them and all it requires of them, is to monitor their account and keep an eye and make sure nothing they didn't authorize comes through," says Craig.

He adds that scammers could have gotten Barnett's checking account number from someone who hacked the records of a company with whom Barnett does business and has her account number on file.  It's not known how her account number was targeted.

Craig says scammers try to shame their victims into not reporting the crime by saying they purchased porn. He says the single most important advice for a customer is to check their accounts at least once a week.

Scribner is still trying to get answers from her credit union, Northern Star. After going back and forth with a manager, Scribner finally got the news that the credit union would absorb the $29.95 cost. The fraudulent checks were deposited in a Bank of America account.

In a statement, Bank of American spokesperson, Nicole Nastacie says "Bank of America takes fraud very seriously and has multiple products and processes in place to help protect customers and the bank against fraud." 

She would not say if the bank is familiar with BBU Interservices.

Scribner and Barnett feel banks should have better protections in place to keep a person from being scammed in the first place. They're speaking out to warn others.

 "It upset me and worried me even more, to fact that this could happen again. And it could happen to someone else," Barnett says.
 

 

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