American Express Serve card Victimizing customers who have been hacked

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Oct 1, 2018
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#1
Much like the story I just read on this forum I had an experience with American Express and account fraud. I have ended up being victimized twice, once by the fraud and secondly by American Express Serve. I woke on Sept 18th to a text message stating that my card balance had fallen below my set limit. I thought this was strange as I had $125. on my card when I went to sleep a few hours before. Upon trying to access more information I could not log on and then opened my email to find notifications that said I had transferred $200 onto my card from my linked debit card and had transferred money out in the amount of $300.! There were also notifications stating I had changed my account information and I was panicked. I am a single mom going to school and I did not have $300 to lose and the money that was transferred from my debit card was going to overdraw my checking account and make all my bills bounce sky high.

Within 41 minutes of the "fraud", I called American express serve and let them know this was not authorized activity on my account. I requested that the transfer of funds be stopped, They proceeded to tell me that it could not be stopped and I should not worry as it was being transferred into my bank account. Problem is that I did not have a bank account linked to my card. (At least I did not until the fraud) It seems that 2 impossible things had occurred on my account. #1 my username was changed (this can not happen as the username is set when you open your account) my username could not be changed back during the process to enable me to once again access my account. #2. A bank account was linked to my card and was immediately authorized to have funds transferred to it. It did not go through the usual several days of authorization that it takes to ensure that the account is actually issued to the person whose card it is linked to. Not to mention the fact that there were no emails that came to my email address for the changing of all my account passwords, pin, etc.

When I finally had access to my account I noticed the bank account linked to my card and immediately told them it was not mine. They would not give me any information about the bank account other than what I could see on my screen. I was not allowed to know the routing number or the full account number, What was stranger was they did not remove the account from my card until after I called to open my dispute the next day.

These facts alone lead me to believe that it is an inside job. This has to be someone who has access to accounts and can change this information adnauseum, and steal customer funds. The next thing that points to an inside job is that I was told that they could not do anything about the fraudulent activity and I would have to wait until the transactions cleared before I could file a dispute. So, I did just that and filed my dispute the next day. I was told there would be an investigation and they might need to contact me to get additional information. No one contacted me. On the 20th my claim was denied. I attach a screenshot of all emails ..

Hi April ,
Recently you inquired about your charge(s) from your American Express Prepaid Card in the total amount of $200.00. Based upon our investigation we have determined that no error occurred and that transaction(s) in question was authorized. Therefore the transaction(s) is not eligible for credit to your Account.


You have the right to review any documents we relied upon in making our determination.
You may request this information by writing to us at the following address:
American Express
Attn: Account Protection Service
MC: 02-04-40
4315 S 2700 W
Salt Lake City, UT 84184-0440
Thanks,
The American Express Serve Team

Isn’t it odd, that a total of $300 dollars was removed from my account and yet they are only addressing the $200 illegally transferred into my account? What is being done about the rest of my money that was stolen?

I contacted Serve customer service and requested that the investigation be reopened as even the manager i spoke with stated that there was definitely unusual and obvious fraud activity on my account They could see where my user name had been changed and how the bank account was added and immediately approved. So they did .. reopen the investigation and i received another email after noticing an addition of $1 to my account and having my account frozen (i was unable to access my account via text)




Account ending in​
Hi April ,
During a recent review of your American Express Serve Account we noticed activity that was in violation of the Serve Member Agreement, section:
15D.

Due to the violation your Account has been locked and your Account privileges have been suspended.
If you have any questions, please call Account Protection Services at 1‑800‑954‑0559.
Thanks,
The American Express Serve Team

Then I received this email
Hi April ,
During our recent review of your American Express Serve® Account, we identified Account activity that we believe violates the terms of the Serve Consumer User Agreement.

As a result of such activity, and pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Serve Consumer User Agreement, your Account and your Account privileges have been permanently suspended.

Any remaining funds on your Account will be returned to you in a refund check mailed to the address currently on file for the Account.


If you have any questions or would like to inquire further, you may write to us at the following address:

American Express
C/O Customer Relations 02-04-40
4315 S 2700 W
Salt Lake City, UT 84184-0440
Thanks,
The American Express Serve Team


So, I am out of pocket $300, and American Express Serve in response to my fraud complaint has basically accused me of fraud and closed my account with no resolution of my missing funds.

How can they deny claim after claim with obvious fraud occurring? My son just told me today he had fraud on his card, they denied him so he took all his money out of the card and has never used them again, They never addressed his losses. American Express is ripping off their customers!

I called my bank and reported the unauthorized transfer, so I have been made whole on that end, however, I am still out of pocket and can get no answers in reference to this "bank transfer". I once again state that this has to be an inside job. Why would it be that Amex Serve would deny the claims and close accounts except to obfuscate the issue and avoid discovery of embezzlement? My only other hypothesis would be that their servers have been hacked and they are not informing the customers of the breach.

I have contacted the agency that licenses them to do business (wire transfers) in California, (they opened an investigation) and I contacted the California State Attorney, Los Angeles District Attorney, all by email. I also sent an email with all details to the new CEO of Amex. in New York. Also reported this on the FBI internet crime tip line. Now I am turning to you and anyone else I can think of to get this issue out into the open and resolved. There are a plethora of identical complaints to mine on many sites regarding Amex Serve and how customers were victimized by the fraud and the Amex Serve. Something needs to be done.
Can you help me?
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#2
Please make a concise, chronological list of the facts so we can have a look at your situation. Leave out all emotion, just state what happened. Good way to start would be to describe a 'serve' card.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
14,700
13,757
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
#4
If there we’re unauthorized charges AMEX should be looking at this as any other debit card- especially if you sign up for texts, you get one about an unaithorized transaction and do what you are supposed to do and dispute it.

I find it very odd that they didn’t find in your favor with all you State happened with your entire account being taken over.

We have company contacts on top of our page. Yes how to write to the companies on the bottom of the page and turn start - I think you need an Amex executive to get involved and since you have already been dealing with Customer Service, start with the first executive.

But use bullet points and a chronological order as jsn suggested-

Re My Card #xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

- On Sept. 28, I received a text message that my card had fallen below my set balance. I investigated and found an unauthorized charge.
- I tried the log into my account and could not.

Etc., etc.,
 
Oct 1, 2018
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#5
I have an update on my dilemma, I received a telephone call from the Executive Offices of American Express yesterday. I spoke with a very nice woman who said that the CEO of American Express was in receipt of my email and that she would be researching my problem with my account and to give her at least three days to get back to me. I thanked her for contacting me and settled myself to wait. This afternoon, the 3rd of October, I received a text alert from American Express Serve informing me that the balance for my Serve card was now $301.77 (the three hundred dollars was back) I called customer service who said that my account was open and confirmed the balance. I promptly asked to be issued a new card on my account due to the compromised status of my current card. They told me I would have a new card within 10 days. I have yet to receive an apology, but at least I have been made whole.
 
Oct 1, 2018
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#8
[Q
It seems that Amex has corrected the problem- there is no reason to do this. I hope our Company Contacts were the reason why.

Glad they did the right thing.
i have no doubt in my mind that the contacts you provide on your site had everything to do with fixing this issue. Thank you for everything.
 
Oct 1, 2018
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#9
It seems that Amex has corrected the problem- there is no reason to do this. I hope our Company Contacts were the reason why.

Glad they did the right thing.



Account ending in​


Hi April xxx xxxxx,
Good news!

We’ve finished investigating the disputed transaction(s) from your American Express Serve® Account in the total amount of $300.00.

We now consider this fraud investigation resolved, if you have any additional questions or concerns, please call us at 1‑800‑954‑0559. We are open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day to service you.
Thanks,
The American Express Serve Team


Edited by a moderator to remove full name.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Oct 1, 2018
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#11
there is another interesting development in my American Express saga,

I had reported Amex to the Department of Business Oversight. They are the agency that licenses Amex to do any kind of money transfers in California. The DBO had opened an inquiry with Amex. I received a letter from the DBO that included Amex response to them and informed me that

Based on information discovered in the complaint investigation, the Division of Financial Institutions (DFI) has determined that we are unable to assist you further on your complaint for the following reasons:
Dfi does not process complaints that involve a licensee's internal policies or procedures that do not constitute an unsafe or unsound banking practice​
DFI does not process complaints that involve factual disputes or disagreements over the interpretation of contracts (including Terms of Agreement)
If you feel the matter remains unresolved by the response from American Express Prepaid Card Management Corporation, you may wish to seek the advice and.or assistance of a private attorney to explore further options that might be available to you.​
Then I looked at the response American Express had sent to them in the form of a letter that was addressed to me which had never been sent to me.. And was dated the day before they refunded my money. It appears that Amex has no problem at all lying to DBO to save face and then turning around and refunding my money before I took it to the mattresses. This in itself bothers me. 'They are still not admitting the mistake, telling anyone there could be a problem with their automatic denial policy and also that somehow a bank account that they can not (or did not bother to verify) was added to my account and funds were transferred within minutes. I believe that the DBO should take another closer look at their business practices because they are endangering customers funds.​
 

Attachments

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
14,700
13,757
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#13
They handled the fraud investigation wrong and I’m not sure if it was due to you only requesting it over the phone instead of in writing.

You won the case as you rightfully should have. You aren’t going to get an apology. Let it go. Winning is the best case scenario.
 
Feb 3, 2017
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#14
Given your uneasiness about them, maybe use up those funds or withdraw them and close that account and use a bank/credit card company with whom you feel more comfortable.

As a credit card, when my Amex has been compromised a few times it was handled immediately, the fraudulent charges removed, card killed and new one sent via Fed Ex for next day delivery. I never knew they had this sort of card you have but your experience is certainly not one that would provoke me to opening such an account.

In any case, good for you in getting your monies returned. I have used the company contacts here on elliott.org 3 times and all 3 times have had excellent resolutions.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
7,317
7,139
113
San Francisco
#15
Given your uneasiness about them, maybe use up those funds or withdraw them and close that account and use a bank/credit card company with whom you feel more comfortable.

As a credit card, when my Amex has been compromised a few times it was handled immediately, the fraudulent charges removed, card killed and new one sent via Fed Ex for next day delivery. I never knew they had this sort of card you have but your experience is certainly not one that would provoke me to opening such an account.

In any case, good for you in getting your monies returned. I have used the company contacts here on elliott.org 3 times and all 3 times have had excellent resolutions.
That's the kind of splendid customer service I've always had with AmEx, Lee. But not lately ... don't know what's going on but they refuse to use secure messaging, the hold times on the phone are long, their call center people don't seem to be very good and I've been very disappointed. I'm in the middle of trying to solve a problem using our Company Contacts; it's a simple one, but the first two executives I've contacted haven't responded at all. I contacted the third one today, and all that's left if he doesn't respond is Chenault ... and I think he's retired recently. Sad to see such a wonderful company implode. Akay, I agree with Lee, get this straightened out and then find a provider that you can be comfortable with.
 
Likes: Akay47
Nov 15, 2018
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#16
I have an update on my dilemma, I received a telephone call from the Executive Offices of American Express yesterday. I spoke with a very nice woman who said that the CEO of American Express was in receipt of my email and that she would be researching my problem with my account and to give her at least three days to get back to me. I thanked her for contacting me and settled myself to wait. This afternoon, the 3rd of October, I received a text alert from American Express Serve informing me that the balance for my Serve card was now $301.77 (the three hundred dollars was back) I called customer service who said that my account was open and confirmed the balance. I promptly asked to be issued a new card on my account due to the compromised status of my current card. They told me I would have a new card within 10 days. I have yet to receive an apology, but at least I have been made whole.
I am going through this exact problem right now as well.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
7,317
7,139
113
San Francisco
#18
Just an update on my husband's issue with AmEx ... they cancelled my authorized user card on Dan's account but have not responded to him at all. His account is still open and no refund of the annual fee has appeared. I am astonished at the failure of this once-great company.

I've exactly followed the method we advise and have come up with nothing. Sayonara, AmEx! When you come back to the great customer-oriented company that you always were, we'll be back. Until then, Chase is doing a very good job for us.
 
Nov 21, 2018
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#19
I am confused about one part of your story. If the $200 came from a bank account that was not yours, then the $200 was not yours, either. So why did AmEx refund you $200 that was never yours in the first place? Or am I missing something?