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Businesses The Almighty Buck

Coinbase is Erratically Overcharging Some Users and Emptying Their Bank Accounts 144

A growing number of Coinbase customers are complaining that the cryptocurrency exchange withdrew unauthorized money out of their accounts. From a report: In some cases, this drained their linked bank accounts below zero, resulting in overdraft charges. In a typical anecdote posted on Reddit, one user said they purchased Bitcoin, Ether, and Litecoin for a total of $300 on February 9th. A few days later, the transactions repeated five times for a total of $1,500, even though the user had not made any more purchases. That was enough to clear out this user's bank account, they said, resulting in fees. [...] Coinbase representatives have been responding to similar complaints on Reddit for about two weeks, but the volume of complaints seems to have spiked over the last 24 hours. Similar complaints have popped up on forums and Twitter.
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Coinbase is Erratically Overcharging Some Users and Emptying Their Bank Accounts

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  • Crypto bubble (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ghoul ( 157158 ) on Thursday February 15, 2018 @03:37PM (#56130348)

    It looks like a hack to drive up the price of Crypto. A new age pump and dump. Instead of banding with a group of friends, hack coinbase accounts to buy the coin you are trying to pump. Even if Coinbase detects it and returns the funds after a few days you have succeeded in pumping up the coin. Litecoin went up 30% yesterday while rest of the market was up 10%

    • Or an attempt to get out and tack the free falling coins onto someone else before it's too late.

    • A smarter scam would be to create a 'group investment pool' and allow users to opt in up to a set limit for 'automated trading based on the proprietary Coinbase AI's market analysis', and give participants a small cut of the action.

      Same scam, but no complaints.

    • by DontBeAMoran ( 4843879 ) on Thursday February 15, 2018 @03:58PM (#56130536)

      Litecoin went up 30% yesterday while rest of the market was up 10%.

      That's probably my fault, I bought 0.3 Litecoin yesterday morning.

    • This was the primary reason for me not going to Coinbase, they wanted bank account routing and account number. And a copy of my ID. Not going to happen.
  • Bit Con (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Too funny.

    At least you can plant a tulip and watch it grow into something beautiful.

    • by gnick ( 1211984 )

      Bitcoin may not be tangible, but it can be traded for all kinds of great stuff that you just can't get in stores.

      • Re:Bit Con (Score:4, Funny)

        by I'm New Around Here ( 1154723 ) on Thursday February 15, 2018 @04:36PM (#56130788)

        Gonorrhea and chlamydia?

        • by gnick ( 1211984 )

          If that's what you're into. I was thinking more like drugs, but you do you.

          • Gonorrhea and chlamydia?

            ...but you do you.

            I'm pretty sure those problems come from doing someone else.

            • by gnick ( 1211984 )

              In the words of Frank Zappa while exploring the age-old question, "Why does it hurt when I pee?":

              I got it from the toilet seat. It jumped right up 'n grabbed my meat.

              At least that's what I tell my wife.

      • by jwhyche ( 6192 )

        Like what? I'm not trying to be a smart ass here but have you been able to do this with bitcoin?

        • by gnick ( 1211984 )

          I'm not trying to be a smart ass here but have you been able to do this with bitcoin?

          Are you serious? Create a Bitcoin wallet. Install the Tor browser. Search for Dream Market. Order whatever the fuck you want. Ketamine seems to be popular; there are plenty of sources for cocaine; LSD ships trivially through the mail; plenty more.

          • by gnick ( 1211984 )

            That sure sounded like I was giving advice. Import and use illegal drugs at your own peril. When the authorities shut down 2 of the biggest dark marketplaces several months ago, they first ran one for a month.

      • Bitcoin may not be tangible, but it can be traded for all kinds of great stuff that you just can't get in stores.

        Are you speaking from personal experience, or is it anecdotal? I've read that you can use bitcoins to buy things, but the last time I checked those things seemed restricted to travel agency deals, VPNs, some software from the Microsoft store and mouse mats from Newegg - and the last two have been stopped.

        There is a difference between "I have bought drugs with bitcoin", and "I know someone personally who has bought drugs with bitcoin but I haven't seen them" and "I read on a website that people can buy drugs

        • by gnick ( 1211984 )

          I have witnessed the complete transaction for a sheet of LSD delivered to New Mexico from Germany. See here [slashdot.org].

  • Hmm (Score:3, Interesting)

    by thegreatbob ( 693104 ) on Thursday February 15, 2018 @03:42PM (#56130398) Journal
    Irrelevant to this story, I recently had Amazon try to wipe me out with a ~$3000 price on an item that had been subscribed for > 1 year... guessing someone flubbed a price change or something. Dunno what's up with this :L
    • For context, the item's nominal price was ~$30, hence my thinking that someone omitted some very important punctuation.
    • For context, the item's nominal price was ~$30...

      isn't the tilde the mathematical symbol for "approximately"? That might have been the problem.

  • by Dracolytch ( 714699 ) on Thursday February 15, 2018 @03:44PM (#56130416) Homepage

    ... I set up a separate low-balance checking account just for less secure transactions. It can only get hit so hard, acting as a buffer to my household finances. I can transfer money in/out at my financial institution, but my household funds never get exposed to the world.

    • by m00sh ( 2538182 )

      ... I set up a separate low-balance checking account just for less secure transactions. It can only get hit so hard, acting as a buffer to my household finances. I can transfer money in/out at my financial institution, but my household funds never get exposed to the world.

      Overdraft fees will kill you in that case.

      • Even if you ask that Overdraft protection be disabled on your account, they will simply charge you a insufficient funds fee. As if it costs them anything to bounce a check. All the banks run this scam, so much for the "free market"
        • by Anonymous Coward

          Even if you ask that Overdraft protection be disabled on your account, they will simply charge you a insufficient funds fee. As if it costs them anything to bounce a check. All the banks run this scam, so much for the "free market"

          Time for a new bank. My bank (US Bank) doesn't charge for insufficient funds (on debit card transactions at least, which is only thing I use.) They just simply refuse to process the transaction at all. Works for me. Overdraft fees are ruthless.

        • But, if it turns out the charges were fraudulent, they won't charge you the fee. And the fraudsters don't get your money.

          It doesn't protect you from fucking up on your own, but its better than risking all the money you have by linking your main bank account.

          • But, if it turns out the charges were fraudulent, they won't charge you the fee.

            ..and who decides what charges are fraudulent and what charges arent?

            Credit cards are the only way to do business online. If there is a fraudulent charge its just a number on a bill, not missing money that you have to fight to get back.

        • Most credit unions DO NOT do this... Which is why all of my families accounts are with a local credit union and have been for going on 30 years. Credit unions are NOT like banks, in fact, the motto of the credit union I belong to is "The bank that *you* own"....

  • Buyer beware. I would never associate my primary bank account as a means to buy crypto currency. Create a separate account and only put in what you plan to spend. Don't purchase risky currency from the same account from which your rent check is withdrawn.
    • I tell you I keep getting whiplash with crytpo's. First they are a currency to transact purchases easily, then it is an investment, then it is back to a currency. If you are afraid to link your bank account to crypto, I guess you are back in the investment category. Next week I'll see comments pushing it as alternative to my CC/dollars.

  • by cascadingstylesheet ( 140919 ) on Thursday February 15, 2018 @03:45PM (#56130424)

    I am shocked, shocked that linking my bank account to some random website that deals in imaginary currency could have ill effects.

    {Your pyramid scheme winnings, sir}

    Thank you.

  • I see your problem right here. Don't link accounts. Make payments manually (either write a check or kick off a one-time electronic payment as required). Even if a screw up is due only to some institution's screw up (not intentional and/or malicious) you have little recourse to repair damages due to mandatory arbitration clauses.

    • I haven't used coinbase lately, but I believe you essentially have to link your bank account now.
      All major credit cards recently blocked them, and if you want the lower fees and faster processing you need to link a bank account. Otherwise the fees are high and the wait is long. For people itching to get in while it's low (actually, it's already past $10,000 again) or trade frequently and make money off of day-to-day swings, time is of the essence.

      • PER COINBASE: We are reaching out because you have linked your PayPal account to your Coinbase account. We are pausing the availability of PayPal as a payment method as of February 23, 2018. If you would like to use PayPal as a payment method for sells on Coinbase, please do so before February 23. After February 23, customers will be able to withdraw USD using a linked bank account. We think it’s important to share some context for this decision: the Coinbase customer base grew significantly in la
  • Implosion (Score:4, Funny)

    by Major_Disorder ( 5019363 ) on Thursday February 15, 2018 @03:53PM (#56130500)
    Since I never jumped on the crypto currency bandwagon, it is kind of fun to watch the entire crypto currency ecosystem implode.
    • Since I never jumped on the crypto currency bandwagon, it is kind of fun to watch the entire crypto currency ecosystem implode.

      Except the exact opposite is happening. LOL.

    • by qubezz ( 520511 )
      The problem is not with Bitcoin or non-fake cryptocurrency - it's with banking. A real cryptocurrency wallet that you manage yourself will never allow unauthorized individuals to randomly charge you money - you have to make every payment yourself.
  • Crap! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Thursday February 15, 2018 @03:54PM (#56130508)

    I'd like to issue an apology for this mishap. Some accounts were incorrectly charged because browsers were using a cached version of the site. To fix this problem, flush your cache, then load the site and your bank account will be properly drained of it's funds. ;)

    • (snip) flush your cash, then load the site and your bank account will be properly drained of it's funds. ;)

      FIFY

  • by Kevoco ( 64263 ) on Thursday February 15, 2018 @03:56PM (#56130518)

    Oh yeah, one of the basic functions of a blockchain :-/
    What the fuck are they doing over there at CoinBase?

  • I tried to buy $500 worth of BCH when it first hit Gdax/Coinbase and my card was declined because my visa provider thought it was suspicious. Coinbase is technically British and a lot of fraud reports were coming from them etc so it was automatically flagged. Unfortunately my idiot card provider didn't notify me in any way that they locked my entire credit card. I tried to use it for a very important purchase later and it got declined, which naturally makes me look like an irresponsible idiot to that vendor
    • by ghoul ( 157158 ) on Thursday February 15, 2018 @04:01PM (#56130572)

      Buys Crypto Currency
      Looks like an irresponsible idiot

      I think the two go together. Your vendor got exactly the right impression.

      But hey its the irresponsible idiots who change the world. I too have Crypto holdings :)

    • Your experience is why the only credit cards I have are Visa/Mastercard, issued by my credit union. I pay 5% interest on any balances AND the credit union fraud prevention department calls me fairly often to check on a transaction that doesn't fit my usual use. F'Instance, I live in Las Vegas, and went to Chicago late last year, and made a lot of transactions in Chicago, hotel/rental car/meals etc. Soon after the first charge I made *in* Chicago, they called me on my cellphone to see if it was me making the

  • It's just asking for trouble. Even if you get your money and the fees back, your time is gone forever.

    LK

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 15, 2018 @04:09PM (#56130636)

    God I hope we hit peak cryptocurrency soon and I can stop seeing these goddamned fucking stories about how broken it is.

    You wanted to play in an unregulated financial industry ... Well, you got it. Now shut the fuck up about it.

    You're not dealing with banks, or real financial institutions, you're dealing with wannabe internet millionaires with no experience in the financial industry. If you get ripped off, this is precisely what you wanted when you said how awesome it was that it was free from government interference.

    Awww, you mean you didn't know it was an unregulated financial market? Do your goddamned homework.

    Do you people not understand that none of the protections you get from the actual banking industry apply here? You're in the wild west of crooks, thieves, idiots, and assholes.

    I'm afraid my sympathy for people finding this out the hard way is pretty much exhausted. Now I just find it fucking hilarious.

    • God I hope we hit peak cryptocurrency soon and I can stop seeing these goddamned fucking stories about how broken it is.

      We need to pick a new alternative subject:

      Cryptocurrency and systemd

      How to get more women involved in cryptocurrency.

      The FCC and Cryptocurrency

      How the Russians interfered with cryptocurrency.

    • by inking ( 2869053 )
      I don't think you understand the whole "unregulated markets" point either. "Unregulated" means that there is no legislation against things like insider trading in the crypto space. It does not mean that an exchange provider you gave access to you bank account can debit it willy nilly or "forget" to credit your account when you transfer funds out of your own volition. There is no suspension of contractual obligations between parties.
  • That's what you get when you buy something subject to wild price swings. :)

    Oops, sorry, but in the 6ms it took to process your initial request the price of the currency doubled so we just need to sort that out. 6ms later, agh, drats, the price changed again. Just one more correction, that should do the trick, honest. 6ms later, dammit...

  • I figured with all of the Bitcoin exchanges that have been hacked or "hacked" (excuse for fraud), I made a separate bank account just for Coinbase transactions. There is only $10 in that account, so they aren't going to get much if they try to withdraw from it.

    • by ghoul ( 157158 )

      Nah I just use my primary account and I keep only 50 dollars in my primary account. I pay everything (including utilities) using credit cards to get the points. Everytime my salary comes I pay off all my credit cards , rent and move whatever is left into my IRA. As I have Direct deposit of salary set up for this account I dont have a minimum balance requirement. So I am perpetually broke. It acts as a good psychological leash on useless spending. Yes I do have net Assets in the top 10% of Americans but tha

      • How do you pay your mortgage with a credit card?
        • by ghoul ( 157158 )

          rentpad.com

  • You can file a claim with your bank if an incorrect ACH charge occurs. The law says you will get your money back if it was not legit.
  • What probably happened: too many people tried to cash out their crypto coins for real money, but Coinbase didn't have enough to cover it... so they pulled this stunt to quickly acquire enough real $$ to pay the people trying to convert.
  • Anyone that has your bank account and routing number can immediately drain your account with no warning until you go to use the ATM or look at your bank statement. There is no security build in to the system at all.

    Any time you give away these pieces of information to anyone, you just have to take it on faith that they won't drain your account.

    This includes any time you write a personal check. The numbers are printed on the check. If you don't implicitly trust the person or the security methods of their org

  • Stuff like this is why I just laugh every time some crypto-coin-kiddie starts prattling on about how 'banks are dead' and 'crypto(currency) is teh futurez.

    It's a crap pyramid scheme and we all know it.

  • by nightfire-unique ( 253895 ) on Thursday February 15, 2018 @07:30PM (#56131562)

    Distributed ledgers are some freakin cool technology, and a worldwide Internet currency feels straight out of the future.

    Rose coloured glasses? I don't know... but slashdot users are not the same I remember from 15 years ago.

    Top comments: cryptocurrencies are garbage and should burn. Like wtf?

    • by inking ( 2869053 )
      Something being cool does not mean that it is not a net negative for the society from the point of view of a person who thinks that something is cool. I think nuclear weapon tests are fucking cool, but that does not mean that I cannot acknowledge that we probably shouldn't conduct any anymore.
  • Dont worry i'm sure lots and lots of regulations are on the way.

  • If only there was a type of money that could be sent over the Internet but you could control it like cash... We could call it ECash. Then no one could double charge you.

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