Why USAA ROCKS and how they helped me with a fraud case.

Ok SO TRUE STORY I have had someone steal money out of my account twice in the last 11 years. USAA has been a strong supporter of Military members and their families. They have great banking and insurance products. We have had them for 11 years.

Let me tell you my story of how USAA Rocks, and how they were very instrumental in catching a thief.

First time was when my husband deployed in 2003. There were no emails, pay phones or anything set  up in Iraq. Only some units had satellite phones. He was a tanker on a tank, and they slept on the tank. When he left in March 03 I didn't get a phone call until August 03. I received one letter a month from him. 

USAA always pays a day early. That's one of the reasons I love them! So June 30th we get paid. I go to Walmart (this was way before Walmart did electronic checks). I went and got grocery and things for the house. So excited the 4th of July is coming up. From May to July is my favorite time of the year, I love RED WHITE and BLUE! So go to bed, wake up July 1, it is 6am Central Standard Time. I see there is a $700 wire transfer out of the account. OMG WHAT AM I GOING TO DO! Ok think think think! Panic, "Lord they are going to take me to jail, I wrote all those checks at Walmart."

Ok I wait until 8am, that was the longest 60 minutes of my life.

8AM: I call my mom. "Mom, Dany has transferred money out of the account, or someone that wasn't me" what am I going to do? She said ok let me get somewhere, where I can talk, call you back".

8:15am Ok well let me call the Rear Detachment Commander, Cpt Chihocki, "Why would my husband transfer $700 out of the account?" Well Ma'am he probably bought a satellite phone. "Well don't you think he would have called me on it to say baby I transferred money and brought a satellite phone?" Not sure, ma'am, well Cpt Chichoki, please I need you to get a message to my husband and ask him what's up? Ok well the satellite only has times when it works at certain times of the day. Ok well still has he lost his mind, we have NO MONEY, I am going to have bounced checks what am I going to do? Well Ma'am not sure.

I was thinking, "OMG I need to call the Chaplain, I need to call the Red Cross, he has got to get a message! I AM SO MAD I am going to leave, wow why would he do this to me? We have a 18month old, what am I going to do about the car?" What am I going to do about the bills? What am I going to do to the 15th? I have no money left. Why would he buy a satellite phone? I am going to go home to NC, No wait Dany wouldn't do that to me, we have only been married 3 years but I think he would call me first, no I am going to find out what happened. Maybe he got sick and needed something" OMG what if he's hurt, what if he got kidnapped by some bad guys. OMG, why me?

Ok hang up with him. I call USAA and talk to a customer service rep. I have a serious problem, I don't know what to do. I don't think my husband would do this, but I need help in getting to the truth. I ask when did this transfer happen? She said well it was last night, I was like, "well my husband would have called me to say he needed money, or he would have told me" I don't think he would have taken it and left me hanging like that. So I was like well don't you record those calls? Yes Ma'am well can I listen? No, but i can listen for you. Well I said if you don't hear guns or something blowing up then it isn't him, my husband isn't at a FOB he is on a tank out in the middle if Iraq.I also said my husband has a french accent, and when he speaks it comes out.
So she comes back, and said well I heard children. I said that's not right, that's something fishy. She was like well I can give you the number that the wire transfer went too. So it was some 800 number. I got it and wrote it down. Now it was 9:30am. I told her that it wasn't my husband, and I want to report fraud on the account. So she sent it to the fraud department.
During this time my mom and grandfather both wired me $700 each, and then the bank gave me $700 until they finished the investigation. I had like $2100 almost within the hour. They also opened another account, and transferred the money into the new account and put the other account on hold.

9:45am So started my journey, I called the 1st company which was in Utah. I spoke with them, somehow they were just a wire transfer company, and gave me another number which was in Saudia Arabia, it was a oil company. So I was like OMG what if it was my husband, what is he doing? Why is he doing this, what in the world is going on?

10am call to the 2nd company in Saudia Arabia. "Excuse me, I am calling to see why there is a wire transfer to your company? Well ma'am I am not sure we are just a routing company that transfers money to another account. Well I need to know where this money went to, I was like this is fraud and I am going to get to the bottom of this. He got nervous, I said I need to know, he said do you know a person named Derrick? NO, why?. Well there is a Spc Derrick something, and Dany Cavalier. I was like yes that's my husband but I don't know a Derrick, and I need to know where is my money. Ma'am here is the number to the bank. Ok The bank was in Arizona.

Ok take a break, call my mom back she has been beeping in. "Mom it wasn't Dany, it was someone else who transferred the money from TX, to UTAH, to Saudia Arabia back to Arizona." Wow that's crazy yeah I know! Well let me call you back I have got to call these people to stop that transfer"

11am, I called the bank in Arizona, and spoke to a customer service rep. "Sir what was your name? Charles, thank you, well Charles there was a alleged wire transfer sent to your bank by my husband Dany and some man named Derrick." Yes ma'am we see that. I said well that is fraud. My husband is in Iraq, and doesn't have time for this to transfer money" Ok ma'am well we can't reverse that transfer." "You want a bet? I have already talked to my bank and begun an investigation from Fraud, as soon as I hang up with you I am calling the military police and the FBI." Well ma'am don't get all upset, "I was like I" have every right to be upset, there is a man acting like my husband who got our account number transferred money all over the world, and it comes down to your bank who is guilty by association with this man, yeah well I am going to SUE the pants off your organization." Ok ma'am we will stop the transfer and issue the money back. "thank you" I hang up.

I called back to the RDC and said "Well Cpt Chichoki, I found out my husband didn't buy a satellite phone afterall. Someone got our account information, pretended to be him and transferred money to all these banks." Well ma'am since we hung up we have had several calls here talking about the same thing? "Hmm really?" I said well I got a name, SPC Derrick something, and he was like yes ma'am we figured out it, however he was chaptered out of the Army two weeks ago and is in GA. However he has stolen all the the SRP packets that were in the financial NCO's office. I was like well I want to press charges.

1pm I called the MPs, the convo goes like this, "Hello, I have a crime to report, ok ma'am what happened? Well someone stole money out of our account sent it across the world, and I have solved the case but I want to press charges, get a police report and send it to my bank. The MPs showed up and took my information, and paper that I wrote everything down and checked it out. I also gave them the RDCs number so they could link the cases together. The next day the MP returns and tells me that they can't bring him back in the Army to press charges, and they would turn all this over to the Justice Department, so they could press charges. Over the next 6 months the MPIs would call me in to update me on the case and what was happening.

Long story short, they find the guy who was chaptered out the Army in GA, he gets charged with a Blue Collar Crime and has to return to Kansas City Federal Court, and begins his court trial. He pleads guilty to get a less sentence. HE DIDN'T EVEN GO TO JAIL. They continued his trial 3 different times. When my husband returned home, 8 months later, he was the UPL person in the unit, and was wondering why all the MPs and MPIs knew me so well!

MY advice to you is, you need to get with USAA, they have all the products you need to be successful and they have GREAT customer service!


  1. Wow! That's insane - good for you though for being so strong. You're one tough woman!!!

  2. I have had a similar case a few years back. USAA is the best. I question WHY when someone doesn't have it and in the military.

    I voted for you on Top 25 Military Family Blogs! And i'm a new follower--would love a follow back. I love connecting with other military blogs!



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