ED Magedson – Founder
Bank of America (Sheldon Walker) Bank of America Stole My Money Pasadena California
I just want to start off by saying that I am a regular citizen, college student in fact, living a normal life with normal dreams and ambitions. I'm just a tree in a forest, no one special or anything, an everyday citizen like you. I would've never imagined this to happen to me...of course I've read warnings about scams of various places and corporations and banks have definitely had their share of being the subject of these cautionary tales. But I just never expected it to happen, I don't think anybody really can.
I've always banked with Citibank (they've been amazing by the way), but I opened a Bank of America account at the end of March when I was to leave to go studying abroad in Europe as they have decent global affiliates and I could withdraw money from Barclay's banks without getting any travel/atm fees. I remember on that day my mom and I deposited 1500 dollars in cash at the BOA ATM as I needed the money right away since I was leaving that day. She also handed me a 1500 dollar check for me to cash when I needed the money once I was in Europe.
Three weeks later, while in the UK, I run out of money and cash in my 1.5k check through BOA's mobile deposit service. A day later, my BOA debit card gets declined while out shopping. I was confused as I had just cashed in the money and thus went to the nearby Barclay's ATM to check what was going on. The ATM machine promptly said to contact my bank for assistance and ate up my debit card. It was very frustrating as I was out in Oxford, pretty far away from where I was staying in London, and I had no more money left on me. But I managed to get back to my flat and contact BOA. It was hard to contact them as they needed my account number in order to email them, live chat them, or call them through the regular customer service number provided, and I couldn't login to my account anymore as apparently it didn't even exist anymore. I finally got a hold of them through googling "live customer service bank of america" and they then told me my account was closed by the Frauds Department (or something similar to that) without even letting me know or asking me what the deal is. After much questioning and being transferred a few times I finally found out the reason was because I had cashed in a duplicate check. I was quite confused as I wasn't trying to scam my parents or anything by cashing in that check twice and I was 100% sure I cashed it once. They wouldn't listen to my reasoning, my explanations or anything and said that there was nothing they could do and my account was closed and that was that. I was pretty mad to say the least as they completely just left me in a foreign country without much money, but luckily I still had my Citibank debit card so I wasn't completely devoid of funds. I eventually accepted it. I remembered asking customer service what would happen to any remaining funds left in the account and apparently they would mail it in a check to the address they have on file in a couple of weeks. Okay.
So I come back from Europe in June and I find out that we never received a check from them and they actually mailed us a letter from the Risk Department stating that after a "thorough review" the funds that were originally left in my bank account would not be given back to us. I initially didn't think it was a big deal since if the 1.5k check was deemed "fraud", it should've been illegtimate and should've never taken the money out of my parent's bank account in the first place. However, my dad told me that they check indeed was cashed out of their account on that day that I had deposited it, which is completely puzzling as if my check was a duplicate, then why was it accepted? He printed out the records on his Wells Fargo bank account, including a picture taken of the check and gave it to me so I could ask Bank of America what the hell is going on.
I proceed to call Bank of America and I speak to their Risk Department. (I don't go to a branch at first as I asked them on the phone if it makes a difference that I go to a physical branch or speak to them on the phone and they told me no) They tell me that the remaining funds left in my account (approx. 1466 dollars) is currently being held at the Holds Department and that they could email them and ask what I can do to get it back. I ask them to and they happily oblige and tell me to call them back in a few business days. I call them back in a week and I find out that apparently some banker or worker from the Frauds Department named Sheldon Walker was the person who closed my account and he is the one who is holding my funds, which sounds a little sketch. Nevertheless, they give me his phone number (they actually gave me the wrong phone number at first and I had to call them back a couple of times to get the right one) and to call him if I want my funds to be released. I call him. He doesn't pick up. That's fine, whatever, I'll leave a voicemail with my number and everything. Fast foward a couple of days later, I still don't hear back from him. I call him a couple of more times during his business hours and he doesn't pick up. He seems completely out of reach or something. I call the Risk Department again after a week of not hearing back from him and I asked them that there must be another way I could get my funds back and what could it be. The guy on the phone sympathized with me and told me to go to the branch and that they could help me out and so I did. The guy at the branch now starts to claim that a check was sent out in May, which sounds like bullcrap as the Risk Department kept saying that my money was being held. I also showed him the letter I had received saying my funds weren't going to be given back to me and he says it must've been a mistake. He then opens a case for me that is supposed to research what happened to that check and to see where it ended up and if I actually got it or not. It was a little annoying as it sounded like he was implying that I could possibly be trying to get another check from BOA or that I was trying to lie. I consent to the whole case thing and apparently they're supposed to get back to me within a week. A few days later, the case researchers (I presume) call me and happily tells me that they had finished researching and that I was to get my check resent (notice the re). I didn't want to argue with them on this as obviously BOA are telling me two different things and they're just going to give me a fake answer that it was a mistake, etc. I was ecstatic as finally, all my hard efforts had come to fruition and I was finally going to receive that check and return it to my parents. I was to supposedly receive my check in 8-10 business days and so I eagerly waited.
The 10th day comes and I received a letter from Customer Service saying that my request regarding my closed account was received and that they were unable to fulfill this request and that I should contact the Risk Department. I was pissed this time. What? Does this mean I wouldn't receive my check? I didn't know if this was sent in regards to the check or not so I called the customer service that researched my case. I talked to them and they didn't know much and transferred me to the Risk Department, which I was all too familiar with. The Risk Department basically gives me the same bullcrap again on how my funds are in the Holds Department and that they will have to contact them to see how I could get it back, which is essentially all Sheldon Walker. I'm beyond frustrated at this point and I explain to them (almost in tears sadly) that I have been trying to get my money back for the past three months and they're just basically leading me around in circles. Sheldon Walker is obviously avoiding me and it really sounds like he stole my money or something. I know that the guy on the phone can't do anything as I have worked many "not higher-up" jobs and I know what it feels like to have people complain to you and not being able to do anything about it, but if he can please tell me someone that I could contact that could help, just anyone. Maybe someone from the Hold's Department? I can tell the guy on the phone is getting uncomfortable and he hastily tells me that if they sent me a letter saying that I am not getting that check, then bottom line is I am not getting that check. He said that the higher-ups are basically involved in this whole situation and they're the only ones that can do something about it and I can't really do anything. He then pretty much exits the situation and hangs up. I actually cried after this phone call (and I rarely cry) as I was extremely upset and BOA essentially stole 1,466 dollars from me as I could not get it back.
For anybody that actually read through this whole thing, I give you my big thanks as this was quite long and I apologize for it. I have no idea what to do now. I think I might get Wells Fargo (my dad's bank account) involved and at least file a fraud claim with them and maybe get the money back. I'm not sure. I warn anybody involving themselves with Bank of America to be extremely cautious as this could happen to you. I know there are people who are satisfied with their BOA accounts, but this was just my experience with them and it's enough for me to avoid them for a lifetime. If you had any inputs on what to do or anything, please let me know! Also, all of this is true and I have kept all proofs and documents of this whole situation (it's all in this big red folder haha) and if you would like to see any of them, let me know as well! Thank you so much!
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/22/2013 02:44 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Bank-of-America/internet/Bank-of-America-Sheldon-Walker-Bank-of-America-Stole-My-Money-Pasadena-California-1069150. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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