May 2020 Complaints Against USAA

Compiled from Public Data by FairShake

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In 2020, the CFPB received 1592 complaints against USAA. USAA ranked Number 27 among all financial companies for the most complaints.

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Complaint Details:

Date of Complaint: May 2, 2020


State: PA

Product: Money transfer, virtual currency, or money service
Sub-Product: Domestic (US) money transfer

Issue: Confusing or missing disclosures

Full Complaint:
I went to rent a property I found on XXXX – a common site for matching buyers and sellers, but also one that is rampant with fraud – and reached what I thought was a fair price for a monthly rental of a property in rural Maryland. My wife and I are XXXX XXXX XXXX residents and the city has been hit hard by COVID, so we were looking for a place to escape high-risk XXXX while self-quarantining until it was safe to practice normal social distancing. I exchanged multiple emails with what I thought was a legitimate property owner, looked up the address online ( and even on XXXX XXXX ) to ensure it matched the property description, and received convincing responses to all my questions as well as a rental contract and payment receipt via email.

Knowing the inherent risks associated with sending money to a stranger, it makes sense to use a service with fraud prevention. Ordinarily I would use XXXX, as this transaction would be covered under their Goods & Services policy. The property owner requested I make a 50 % deposit plus a {0.00} security deposit via XXXX, a money transfer service I had not heard of before but which actually turned out to be featured on my bank ‘s website ( USAA ) as their online payment partner. I would never send money to someone I don’t know online via cash or a direct wire transfer, but XXXX ‘s affiliation with USAA gave me comfort as the bank offers strong purchase protections on my debit and credit cards with them. I felt comfortable making this transaction online – despite being unfamiliar with XXXX – because it was listed on the USAA website and appeared reputable. To be absolutely clear, I made the XXXX transactions via the USAA website – it was not a link, it was an actual feature on on USAA ‘s own website.

My deposit – {00.00} over the course of two transactions due to XXXX ‘s daily {00.00} limit – was sent, and I received a rental receipt from the property owner via email. About a week later and almost two weeks ahead of when we were scheduled to begin the rental period, I received a suspicious email asking for the balance of the payment ( the total amount would have been {00.00} but I did not make the final payment ). Because of this strange request, I immediately called USAA to report this suspicious activity and asked that they reverse or suspend the previous XXXX payments as this was clearly a scam.

When I called to report this, the USAA told me XXXX was a third party and they had no responsibility ( XXXX directs me back to USAA ). I don’t absolve myself completely of blame ; even if it was convincing I feel foolish for being taken by scam and I’m now left scrambling to find another place to rent on short notice to get out of XXXX XXXX XXXX. I only transact online using reputable methods that offer protection against these types of scams and frauds.

When I reached out to USAA, their only response was to lecture me that I should have toured the property in person ( which is difficult for a rental that is 5 hrs away ) or had a proxy tour it ( not practical during COVID ), and to ( incorrectly ) tell me that XXXX purchase protection is identical to XXXX ‘s ( it’s not – this would have been protected under their Goods & Services purchase protection policy ). USAA also informed me that the only reason they partner XXXX on their site because they have overwhelming requests from USAA members to offer the service, which I’m skeptical of since XXXX isn’t exactly a household name – that would perhaps sound more plausible if XXXX was a better known service like XXXX or XXXX. USAA has refused to disclose to me whether there is any financial arrangement between the two companies. I’d like to know whether USAA accepts money for being a ‘USAA partner ‘ or whether USAA is a partial owner of XXXX ( I know XXXX XXXX , XXXX XXXX , and others were originally part of XXXX XXXX original ownership group ). USAA isn’t a public company, so I don’t know where to go for this information.

Company response:

Response Type: Closed with explanation

Public Response:
Company believes it acted appropriately as authorized by contract or law

FairShake accessed this complaint from the public archives of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). You can file your own complaint with the CFPB here.