I was out of town for an extended period of time so a few month's bank statements piled up. Whenever I was finally able to look at these statements on what I thought was a mostly inactive account, I discovered at least 10 unauthorized transactions. It began in early April 2008 with the most recent one being July 17, 2008. The transactions along with the check numbers were as follows:
4/21/08 19.75 DCL ENV Inc. Reference phone number 1-866-925-1959/Esafe Payment. Check # 1002
4/10/08 19.95 DCL ENV Inc. Reference phone number 1-866-925-1959/Esafe Payment Check # 1001
5/14/08 19.85. Withdraw/esafe. Transaction # N62111 and 8669251969.
5/22/08 19.45 Esafe. Reference phone number 1-866-610-8416. Check # 12001"Authorized by your customer. No signature required" is printed on the signature line of the check.
5/27/08 19.45. AEC FBO Esafe Card. Reference phone number 1-866-610-8416/ Transaction #164668017599, check # 91991."Authorized by your customer. No signature required" is printed on the signature line of the check.
6/12/08 19.95. Esafe Card: Esafe Inc. Reference phone number 1-866-610-8416/ Transaction # 943158859277a6e8c, Check # 11400. "Authorized by your customer. No signature required" is printed on the signature line of the check.
6/11/08 19.95. Esafe Card: Esafe Inc. Reference phone number 1-866-610-8416/ Transaction #975817488338a6e8c, Check #97860. "Authorized by your customer. No signature required" is printed on the signature line of the check.
6/23/08 19.95. Esafe Card: Esafe Inc.Reference phone number 1-866-610-8416. Transaction #222652657768aec0608 and 1077616. "Authorized by your customer. No signature required" is printed on the signature line of the check.
6/26/08 19.95. Esafe Card: Esafe Inc. Reference phone number 1-866-610-8416. Transaction # 764664535702aec0608 and 1093803. No signature required" is printed on the signature line of the check.
7/3/08 100.00. Modux Payment: Modux Inc. Reference phone number 1-866-925-1969. Transaction# 430228241045-AEC078 and 1156715, check number 56715. "Authorized by your customer. No signature required" is printed on the signature line of the check.
7/10/08 19.59. Modux Payment: Moxud Inc. Reference phone number 1-866-925-1969. Transaction # 725524395058-AEC0708 and 156715. Check number 91095."Authorized by your customer. No signature required" is printed on the signature line of the check.
7/017/08 19.59. Check number 38587--not yet printed on bank statement.
I have called the various numbers appearing in the memo section of these bogus checks. Once I figured out the bogus phone number to go with the checks, I was able to get a bit more information. I noticed that my name and address had been used as it appears on my real checks however, the phone number appeared as (123) 456-7890 on some of these checks. If you call one of the numbers you are told what number you are calling from and asked to verify whether or not this number is associated with your presumed account (with Eluxe) if you enter the bogus number that you see on your checks, you will then be given the option to enter the last 4 of the account. Assuming that you have already closed your account and it doesn't matter anyway, you enter these last 4 digits. You are then prompted to leave a message for call back. This is all you get.
I have managed to trace this one parent company, Eluxe and their operating sub companies and names down to an address. I have listed that address. If you visit www.eluxefinancial.com and scroll down to the bottom of the page, you will see that they are associated with Esafe among other companies. If you search this site, you will see that they have also used many of the same check numbers with different people. It has also been my observation that while they didn't target my account because it was inactive, I do believe that they target 'hometown banks' or those banks that are smaller due to lacking security practices. As you can see, all of these transactions cleared my bank without my signature even having to be on the checks. Where not otherwise notated, my name had been typed into the fraudulent checks.
I have attempted to contact these companies with no avail (big surprise) but I have associated the parent company with GreenZap as well as the other 'operating names' that appeared on my checks. The names of companies that appear on the checks are not actual companies, they are operating names. You won't really find anything about them unless you search google under "Eluxe Financial" or some of the information such as the phone numbers that appear on the checks. There is another company out there (specifically that Yahoo search will bring up) that pins "Esafe" as being an anti-spyware. I would like to make it plain and clear that this is in no way associated with the same Esafe company that is under Eluxe Financial. You can also see where some of those transaction numbers seem to reference some of the acronyms of the company names that appear on the check. I don't think it's coincidence that those are the same.
When you approach your bank about this, they will most likely not be too helpful in handling your situation. You need to speak to someone in authority at your bank, not just a teller or another employee but probably the manager or even the bank president to make sure this gets handled appropriately. You will need to request affidavits on account fraud as well as individual dispute forms for each transaction. If your bank isn't helpful, you should check with your state's corporation commission and the FDIC. They will be able to come down on your bank and help you out with matters. You should also file a police report IMMEDIATELY whenever you see this type of activity on your account. This will usually push the bank along in getting them to take care of it.
In my particular instance, it was about 300.00 that was sucked from my account. The account was drawn down to less than 50.00 and would have been cleaned out on the next hit. I also noticed a pattern. They are making 4 transactions per month, most of which are slightly less than 20.00. Also, anything over an amount of 250.00 is not considered 'petty cash' and is thus handled more seriously by the police. If the amount is less than that, you probably won't get it handled the same way I did.
b>EDitor's Suggestions on how to get your money back!
HERE IS WHAT RIP-OFF REPORT SUGGESTS YOU DO:
Go to your bank within 60 days of the charge, or as soon as you know about the charge, don't delay, and tell them that there has been fraudulent activity within your account. Explain that you wish to file a dispute, and demand that they assist you in accordance with Federal Regulation E.
According to the majority of victims interviewed by Rip-off Report, those who immediately called their banks to dispute the charges did not get very far. Many victims got the following responses from their banks: we could not do anything for you or you waited too long; it has been more than 60 days.
If the bank is says that you have waited too long, explain to them how you called their 800 number as soon as the charges were found, and were told by the bank that nothing could be done. Remind the bank that they failed to assist you properly at the 800 #, and instead, provided you with an inadequate explanation of your right to dispute. Tell the bank that it's their fault time has expired, and since they gave you the wrong info to begin with, they will just have to deal with it, take the loss and reverse the charges.
Tell them the truth; this was unauthorized and your account was NOT to be charged! Keep emphasizing how you never authorized anything! Direct them to the hundreds of victims reports that were filed on Rip-off Report.com. And if you're at the bank, walk them over to their computer and make them go to this site! If you are on the phone with them, tell them you will wait while they access this site! Either way, be persistent!
DO NOT TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER!
Let them know nicely, that you were advised to Report them (the Bank) and this situation to the Banking Commission in your state. Since each state has a different name for the agency/controller over banks, find that name before you call or get to the bank so you can throw it in their face. The more knowledgeable you appear to be, the further you will get.
And just continue to demand the Federal Regulation E form! The bank CAN, MUST and WILL reverse the charge! But, you must be persistent; ask to speak to the supervisor or the area manager for all the branches in the state.
Let the bank personnel know you are meeting with the media later in the day, that you would much rather they do the right thing (as most other banks have) by looking at the complaints and immediately reversing the charge(s) to your account; no matter how long ago it was. Be sure to call the Media if necessary so you are telling the truth.
If you have to, be loud (but nice) in front of other customers. If you are just calling by phone, the above tactics should still work. The bank can easily fax or mail to you the Federal Regulation E dispute form.
CHARGES TO YOUR CREDIT CARD
If the charge was to your credit card (not debit card, check card, or checking account), contact the credit card company as soon as possible to request a dispute form. Consumers usually have a little longer to dispute fraudulent credit card charges (up to 6 months), but it is better to act right away. In this type of situation, credit card disputes are usually successful since fraudulent companies often won't contest the disputed charge. In rare cases, credit card companies will review disputes, but refuse to reverse the charges. If this occurs, complain to a manager and let them know you will be filing a report here.
Remember Don't let them get away with it! Make sure they make the Rip-off Report .. The more Reports filed on a Company or individual, the more likely it is that the authorities, media and attorneys will want to take action.