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Thread: In An Instant, Retirement Savings Vanish

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    metalman's Avatar
    metalman is offline iTulip Select Premium Member, Chief Cynic
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    Apr 2006
    New Hampshire

    Default In An Instant, Retirement Savings Vanish

    ouch! watch out!

    p.s. btw I NEVER access my brokerage account online. if you so, call your brokerage tomorrow and tell them to discontinue service. it's the only way to be safe. if you want to trade online, create a separate account and put some money in it, but never trade your main account. NEVER EVER!


    One moment Dave DeSmidt had $179,000 in his 401(k) retirement account, the next he had nothing. In an instant, 25 years of savings had disappeared.

    With a few clicks, someone raided DeSmidt’s retirement account with J.P. Morgan & Co and ordered a full disbursement to a private checking account.

    Then came the really bad news. While credit card and online banking accounts are legally protected in the event of fraud, DeSmidt’s brokerage account came with no such insurance. Two months after the theft, his balance still read $0.

    With hacking of brokerage accounts increasing, the legal gap facing DeSmidt and other victims has regulators and critics debating the need for new consumer protections.

    ‘I don’t have a clue’
    The theft was the shock of a lifetime for DeSmidt, who plans to retire in a few years with his wife in their Mukwonango, Wis., home.

    "That was a pretty good chunk of what we were going to retire on," DeSmidt said. "I don't have a clue how it happened."

    The theft occurred on Oct. 23, while DeSmidt was on assignment for his company in China, near Shanghai. Just before lunch, someone else logged onto J.P. Morgan's Web site from a computer connected to the Internet through Comcast Cable Communications in Cherry Hill, N.J., and entered DeSmidt's user ID and personal access code.

    While DeSmidt slept on the other side of the world, his imposter found that he had a balance of $179,000.43 in his account. A few more clicks, and the DeSmidts’ linked checking account was changed to a Bank of America account and an electronic transfer of all available funds was requested.
    Last edited by metalman; 01-05-07 at 06:31 PM.



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