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This episode is extremely important for anyone who is saving money for retirement. If you are investing, even if you're not trading, the information that I'm going to cover in this episode is going to scare the daylights out of you, but luckily there are steps that we can take to prevent massive, massive loss and fraud.
Passive traders, warning, your account, your trading account is going to be hacked. If not today, then it's going to happen tomorrow. But at one time, your account is going to be hacked and money will be taken from your account unless you take strict, crazy actions to protect yourself. My E-Trade account was hacked for $15,000. That money was taken out of the account with no notice to me, no indication. I didn't know anything was going on. Luckily, I figured it out. When I found out how they did it, my mind was blown how easy it was.
Now, let me tell you the whole story. Back in October of 2019 E-Trade limited what I could do with my account. Now, I have one account with E-Trade. I have had it with them ... This account has been open for years and years. Before it was with another broker that got bought out by another broker named Option House. Option House then got bought out by E-Trade and recently E-Trade just announced that they're being bought out by Morgan Stanley. So this account has been open for years and it has well over $100,000 in it. But I don't use it for options trading. I've only bought some long positions in stocks and has just been sitting there. So this is not an account that I checked on a regular basis.
But back in October of 2019, they limited what I could do with the account. They sent me an email saying, "Your account is limited." They made me call them to verify who I was. I didn't know why. But when I called them, they finally told me that, "Hey, someone was trying to withdraw funds from this account from different places all over the world, from different countries." So they wanted to make sure that it wasn't me and that it was fraudulent. Now luckily, they had stopped those transactions and those withdrawals, but they wanted to place a limit on the account until I got in touch with them so they could verify.
Once they verified it was not me, we changed my password and everything was fine. Account was back up, no restrictions. Now again, this is an account that I only log into maybe once a month, if that. All right. Every other month or so I log in just to see how things are going. Now, in January of 2020, so that was October when they alerted me to the fraud. Three months later in January of 2020, I logged into the account just to see how things were going. By chance, I mean this was luck that I noticed this, on the side of the screen it has a little section, little widget or whatever it's called, and it says recent activity.
On that recent activity thing, it showed ACH withdrawal. That's all it said, ACH withdrawal and a date. I'm thinking to myself, "What is that? I didn't withdraw any money. What could this have been? I don't understand. What is this?" So I clicked on it, went to the ACH withdrawal page to see what was going on, where the money was going. It didn't make any sense because I found several other withdrawals as well to different places, Discover card, Kohl's, something called Gemini, a whole bunch