Crimes of Persuasion

Schemes, scams, frauds.

Credit Card Liability for Cash Advance Pigeon Drop Victims

Pigeon Drop Victims are often induced or deceived into going to their banks and obtaining a credit card cash advance in order to show their "good faith" money.

Once duped, they find themselves owing that money to their banks with no recourse or consideration.

While online or merchant transactions are covered for fraud, ATM and cash advances offer no protection whatsoever, only harsh and exhorbitant fees and interest charges.

Other fraud variations that could afftect you are the South African Switch or Jamaican Switch and the Latin Lotto.

Here's what happened to one such victim.

11/08 - (Georgia) - My wife, 69, was visiting a friend and went shopping alone in Norcross. She became a victim of the Pigeon Drop (Lost Money) Scam.

After the perps had been with my wife for a couple of hours, she became confused and disoriented and was coerced into removing $6000 in a cash advance on our Visa card and, of course, they got away with the money.

Since it was not a fraudulent transaction on a stolen card, Visa is attempting to make me pay the entire $6000 back to them. Is there anyway around this??


Hi Marvin,

Sorry to hear about your traumatic experience. First of all I'm surprised that you Visa has such a large daily ATM allowance. I think mine is about $500.

Depending on what you originally signed for this may be a point of contention.

There is also the aspect of robbery. Being coerced through a known criminal process should be considered such.

I hope you filed a police report. It is definitely considered a crime.

You may have coverage through your home insurance as well. Call them right away since they likely have time limits as well. They, in turn, would sue Visa to recover.

Personally I'd even try small claims court. Usually they would settle rather than defend at a greater expense.

Visa Zero Liability Loopholes

Visa Fraud Protection Not Foolproof

1Covers U.S.-issued cards only. Does not apply to ATM transactions, PIN transactions not processed by Visa, or certain commercial card transactions.

Individual provisional credit amounts are provided on a provisional basis and may be withheld, delayed, limited, or rescinded by your issuer based on factors such as gross negligence or fraud, delay in reporting unauthorized use, investigation and verification of claim and account standing and history.

You must notify your financial institution immediately of any unauthorized use. Transaction at issue must be posted to your account before provisional credit may be issued.

For specific restrictions, limitations and other details, please consult your issuer.

Essentially they don't cover ATM transactions but I wouldn't give up.

Read the bottom part carefully and then call your card provider, presumably your bank.

Get the contract details.

Also assume the crooks also have her PIN number and may have cloned the card.

Visa gives a link to this site. Call For Action

Not sure who to hate more, the crooks or the bastards at Visa. Let me know what happens.


Thanks for your reply.

This was a completely authorized cash advance on the credit card since my wife gave them her birthdate and her SS number correctly. We have no ATM cards.

A police report was filed.

This withdrawal raised no flags at Visa and was completely contrary to our normal usage.

We have a $10000 limit on the credit card and $4000 was already used.

My argument is that my wife was operating in a diminished capacity and did not know what she was doing.

The scammers were very professional and knew exactly what they were doing according to the Police.

I sent a letter to the Bank of America executives about this but they already told me that they did nothing wrong and we are completely and wholly responsible no matter what the conditions were outside the bank! Ouch......

I'm not quite clear on the ATM procedure. Are you saying that you are required to type in your birthdate and social security number in order to get your money.

I also can't imagine a bank machine spitting out $6000 in one go.

Plan on suing. What about your home insurance aspect?

Forget diminished capacity. Coercion with fear of physical violence is what happened. Pretty much robbery.

More info.

Last one interesting since they seem to protect banks for what happened to you.


Not an ATM.

She went in and got the money from the teller while the perps stayed outside out of camera range.

To Visa, it was a legitimate exchange with my wife providing the proper information to them when they asked for it.

But she was terrified and under control of the perps like the Stockholm Syndrome thing.

She was acting for them while in the middle of the scam.

Why did she do it? Good question? She had been convinced that she was doing the right thing.

Looks like I am just liable for $6000.


Sounds like you've given up. I'd try to muster the anger to fight back somehow even though she jumped through all their hoops.

I still can't get my mind around the high cash advance aspect, but then again, I've never tried to do it the way she did.

Just don't keep it on your account. Borrow at a lower rate somehow to pay it off.

Interest starts immediately at a super high rate on cash advances.


Well, I sent a message to the Georgia attorney general, to both GA Senators, Ga Dept. of Consumer Affairs, several free legal forums, and a message to the BofA executives.

So I will see what happens.

I am not very hopeful that anything in my favor will occur.

I had lowered the credit limit on my account from $30,000 to $10,000 but had $4,000 on the books so that is why it was limited to $6,000 (Thank Goodness!)

I may lower it to $5,000 but that is like closing the barn door after the horse has escaped.


2(m) Unauthorized Electronic Fund Transfer

1. Transfer by institution’s employee. A consumer has no liability for erroneous or fraudulent transfers initiated by an employee of a financial institution.

2. Authority. If a consumer furnishes an access device and grants authority to make transfers to a person (such as a family member or co-worker) who exceeds the authority given, the consumer is fully liable for the transfers unless the consumer has notified the financial institution that transfers by that person are no longer authorized.

3. Access device obtained through robbery or fraud. An unauthorized EFT includes a transfer initiated by a person who obtained the access device from the consumer through fraud or robbery.

4. Forced initiation. An EFT at an automated teller machine (ATM) is an unauthorized transfer if the consumer has been induced by force to initiate the transfer.

Section 205.3—Coverage

3(a) General

1. Accounts covered. The requirements of the regulation apply only to an account for which an agreement for EFT services to or from the account has been entered into between:

i. The consumer and the financial institution (including an account for which an access device has been issued to the consumer, for example);

ii. The consumer and a third party (for preauthorized debits or credits, for example), when the account-holding institution has received notice of the agreement and the fund transfers have begun.

2. Automated clearing house (ACH) membership. The fact that membership in an ACH requires a financial institution to accept EFTs to accounts at the institution does not make every account of that institution subject to the regulation....

2. Fund transfers not covered. The term electronic fund transfer does not include:

i. A payment that does not debit or credit a consumer asset account, such as a payroll allotment to a creditor to repay a credit extension (which is deducted from salary).

ii. A payment made in currency by a consumer to another person at an electronic terminal.

Up ACH Affidavit