We’re sorry for any confusion regarding Albert transactions. If you’re not a Genius customer what may look like a charge is, in fact, a transfer to your Albert Savings account.

This is your money, we’re saving it automatically for you (and paying you a bonus on your Savings balance!). You can read more about how Savings works here.

If you still have questions about Savings or related account transfers, please contact Albert support.

Not reassuring. Notice that the question was not answered at all.

This company apparently has a high ranking in Apple’s App Store with a 4.6 star rating. Yet it appears to be a covert criminal operation—at least as far as our accounts are concerned. We never used their app, but somehow they managed to get into our bank and start charging—in small enough amounts that many people might not notice—with notations like “Monthly service fee.”

Scale this up to thousands or hundreds of thousands of accounts and you have a massive theft amounting to potentially millions of dollars happening right under Apple’s or Google’s nose as well as the banks and a good number of customers.

The lesson here is Caveat Emptor! (Latin lesson for the day. The phrase refers to the principle that the buyer alone is responsible for checking the quality and suitability of goods before a purchase is made.) We as the consumers of financial and other apps on your phones and devices must remain vigilant.

There are some very sophisticated and slick operations out there with clever and well-designed social veneers. The best possible screening procedures by app store operators can’t detect bad business practices and criminality beyond the code in the app. So it is up to us to guard our wallets and then fight back and expose operations like this one.