Is it illegal to log into a family member’s bank account?

My parents are logging into my banking account and harassing me about my purchases and how I get paid.

I don’t know how they are doing this as I live in an entirely different state than they do. They don’t have access to my card or any physical documentation that can provide any access to my virtual account. I’ve never given them access to my account, my username, my card number, or anything. I’m guessing they use my social security number and my birth date or the security questions to login. I’ve changed my card number and my password multiple times. It appears that they have access to my bank statements and/or virtual transaction history. They text me complaining about the balance in my account and what I make purchases on. I have also noticed that my mailing address has been changed to their mailing address despite the many times I have changed it back to my own.

This is especially irritating to me because I started working a job that pays me with a payroll card. I opted not to have direct deposit because my employer warned that it could take up to 2 pay cycles to receive my paycheck. They said I would receive my first paycheck sooner if I opt for a payroll card, so I’ve been cashing out my payroll card and depositing the cash into my bank account. My dad has decided that, after seeing the cash transactions into my bank account, that I am a prostitute, and now he’s going around telling everyone in my family that I am a prostitute.

I have received multiple texts from them regarding my transaction history and implying that they are logged into my account without my consent. Can I take legal action?

Edit: I forgot to mention that I have contacted my bank and they weren’t helpful with regards to the legal aspect of this issue. They gave me some options to help protect my account, however they weren’t able to give legal advice.

 

ANSWER 1

Are either of them joint on the checking account with you? If so this makes a great deal of sense. The simple solution is to close that account and open a different one.

If not, I’d suggest:

  1. Safeguarding your personal info. Credit freeze and the like.

  2. Opening an account with a new bank or CU.

  3. Unrelated but ditch the direct deposit card. They’re awful and often laden with fees.

  4. For the legal aspects, not qualified to discuss that. You need r/legaladvice if you want to talk about that on a subreddit and get (relatively) reliable direction. If you can prove they’re posing as you, you might have grounds. Just realize if you pursue it, this will create a situation where you probably can’t go home again.

Open a new account with a different bank tomorrow. Have your payroll start going into that account. Yes, it will take two cycles, but it is worth it. Do not mention the account to your parents. Just start living your own life. You can set a password for your account, at least at most institutions. A key word that is needed in order for anyone to call and reset a password, for example. Make it something they wouldn’t know.

Keep in mind this will burn a bridge.

It also sounds like you need to have a heart to heart with your parents.

Clearly you really need to change to a real bank that doesn’t use publicly available information like DoB and SSN to secure access to private financial information. Before opening up a new bank account – check if you can use a completely made up name for your mother’s maiden name (if they insist on using publicly available information to secure your new account). Two factor authentication is another security method you should ask about to secure your new bank account.

 

ANSWER 2

They are probably using your SSN and DOB to access the history using the phone system.

Since you live in a different state change banks to a local credit union and do not mention to anyone who you bank with.

I think that will solve your issues here.

Not a lawyer but had experience in courts & advocacies. Yes this is very illegal. You can file for a harassment order against them, in your state. If they violate, there are consequences. Seek out a victims advocacy non-profit. They will have answers & will be able to assist you in filing papers, in addition to resources to help. I’ll echo others & say it’d be wise to change banks & info. Some banks have programs that help victims of stalking, allowing different names or ID for the accounts. Also, freeze your credit reports. After filing a police report (highly recommend) you can then petition the SSA to have your SSN changed. Only on rare occasions do they do this, & this situation is one of them.

On the personal side, non-solicited, if it were me, I’d go no contact with them for awhile. They are committing crimes, & harassing you. This needs to stop now – before it escalates any further. I wouldn’t want that stress in my life. Feel free to PM if you have any questions. Best of luck :).

 

I am not a lawyer and this message shouldn’t be regarded as professional advice. I assume it would be illegal if you do not consent to such actions that your parents are doing. Banking information is deemed private and shouldn’t be accessed by anyone that you do not give permission to. In the matter of security questions I have a series of made up incorrect answers. Lots of people know my pets name, fathers middle name, childhood best friend. Come up with a plan to make up answers for these only you know and memorize. Also OP change banks ASAP. Your parents are whack for logging into your accounts.

Change banks and don’t tell them where you bank. Even better if it is a local credit union they would not think to check.
What they are doing is illegal, but would be very difficult to stop or apply consequences for.

 

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