The Finance Blogger

Identity Theft – Bank Fraud

Identity Theft - Bank FraudWe recently opened a bank account at a Wells Fargo branch on Palm Springs. This account was to be used as a winter vacation account for us to place money in for our vacation. It was to be used to pay for condo deposits on places that we rent from time to time in the area. We were told that there would be no fee’s. As long as we made a transfer of at least $75 from the checking account to the savings account. We did not expect to be the victims of identity theft. The checking account was the only thing needed. But also had to open the savings account in order to do this transfer and get the no fee account.

We ended up closing these accounts for two major reasons, both were quite frustrating on their  own.

  • First there was a fraudulent withdrawal from our savings account in my wife’s name
  • Secondly the bank changed it’s mind and decided to charge a $15 per month bank fee.

Identity Theft – Bank Fraud

Someone opened an account in New Jersey in my wife’s name. They used our address and then took $300 out of our account and deposited into this new account. She or he then withdrew $100 from this new account. Imagine our surprise when we started getting statements for this New Jersey account ! Same last name, first name and initials with our address!

The bank was good in that it immediately reviewed the case and deposited the funds back into our account in Palm Springs, however it took them about 3 months to investigate and determine what was going on with the other account. We continued to receive statements for this account and saw the activity on the New Jersey account.

They claim that a bank employee opening an account in New Jersey for a customer in New Jersey with the same name as my wife, accidentally clicked on the wrong person when they opened an account. Now this could have happened, however it still does not explain the removal of $300 from our account in Palm Springs.  Something pretty fishy is going on, but we will never know the real answer.

Bank Account Fee’s

There has been a lot of news recently about bank account fees, the high costs and the increases. Bank of America has really received a lot of press. Well Wells Fargo should have also got some of this bad press too.

We went from having a checking account with no fee’s to an account that they were going to charge $10 or $15 a month for just having the account. We keep a small amount in the account until we need to make a deposit so that we can pay for a rental fee on one of our vacation trips. This was not going to work and the bank person we spoke with was apologetic and tried to convince us to keep the account. We decided to close the account just because of these fee’s.

Actually we are happy that we no longer have these accounts. It is just one less thing to be concerned about. How can they suddenly start charging such a large fee ? If it were $5 or less, then maybe we would go for it. But at a price of $15 per month, there is no chance. Now they did say that if we kept a minimum balance of $7500 in the account they would waive the fee’s but who is going to do that today. You get so little interest for your money no one can afford to have that kind of money sitting there earning no interest.

We talked to a store clerk one day about this and he said that he does not even have a bank account. He uses a check cashing service and carries cash around with him all of the time. Check cashing is expensive as well. This is not something that we are prepared to do.

This is our story about banks and the fee’s. If you have something similar let us know by leaving a comment or two.

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One Response to “Identity Theft – Bank Fraud”

  1. always shred all your stuff before throughing it out. anything with your name and address on it should be shreded to help avoid identity theft.

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