My aunt Elly is 85 years old and has been a customer at Chase Bank (previously Bank One) for over 25 years and never one bounced check. Never married. Lives alone in the same house since she was 7 years old. Always taken care of herself and her money wisely.
Several months ago, a neighbor (I'll refer to her as America) stole Elly's checks (we're not positive that America didn't order the checks and steal them from the mailbox), made them out to herself and her husband, forged them and deposited them into her OWN bank account across the street from my aunt's bank ! Good friend, America, was also bringing my aunt's mail into her every day, but NEVER Aunt Elly's bank statements. (stealing the mail, too!) Elly's memory is slipping some, but she's a very smart lady.
Aunt Elly is on social security and gets a very small pension from her lifetime job at another bank from which she retired. America and America's next door neighbor took everything my aunt had in her checking account.The day before I found out about this, Aunt Elly wrote a check for $50 to the man who mows her grass, and when he told Aunt Elly the check was no good, she of course panicked.Elly asked her good friend, America, to take her to the bank to see why her money was all gone ! The branch discovered that most of the checks were forged and paid to America ! They had the thief right there! Besides Elder Abuse, it was forgery and theft.
The signatures on the checks were so obviously NOT aunt Elly's, and the bank did nothing ! Chase said that they asked Aunt Elly if she wanted them to do something, but the girl at Chase said Aunt Elly said no ! At the time Aunt Elly didn't believe what happened or that her "friend" could have possible done that. PLUS, she told ME she was scared that America or her husband or one of their friends would burn her house down !I guess if Chase saw someone battering 85 year old Aunt Elly in their lobby, they wouldn't call the police if Elly said not to.
But that day, America made a $800 deposit into Aunt Elly's account to cover the most recent check that SHE wrote a few days before. That bank had the nerve to tell me that America paid some of the $20,000 ($800 of it) back !! What a good girl, eh? When I found out, I took Aunt Elly to Chase (a different branch), we told them what happened, THOUGHT they closed the old account, and we opened a new checking account. Got the forms to file a claim to hopefully get at lease the last 60 days of stolen money back (which was several thousand). Approximately 10 days or so after we filed the claim affidavit, we got a form letter (with not even a signature) that Chase wasn't going to do anything to help.There was no reason stated in the letter for the denial. As far as I know they never even called to asked any questions.
Suspicious thing is that when we were in the new branch of Chase, one of the managers had tried to discourage us from even making the claim because he said that Chase Fraud Department would probably say it was due to Aunt Elly's negligience (i.e. leaving her checks laying around !) I had a general power of attorney from Aunt Elly to be able to discuss this with them, but they won't accept it. They will only accept THEIR POA form.So this week, we'll get that done for them. But from what we know and have researched, they are denying her claim basically because she didn't keep her checks in her safety deposit box ! Oh, yes, and the old account that we thought Chase had closed ??
Well, it seems that the gal at the old Chase Branch who was so sympathetic towards the thief had ordered a years worth of statements for SOMEONE and charged them to Aunt Elly's account (around $300), which caused two overdraft fees on top of THAT !Aunt Elly never authorized them and never got copies.
There's more to this story, but that's the gist of it ! According to Chase Bank, Identity theft is YOUR fault.
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