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Report: #1511246

Complaint Review: Bank of America -

  • Submitted:
  • Updated:
  • Reported By: Vika — seattle washington United States
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  • Bank of America 100 North Tryon St United States

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On June 16th, 2021, I had someone come into my place of work and steal my entire wallet. I found out on June 17th and filed a police claim with Seattle Police department #2021-910451. I found out that they had withdrawn $8,500 from my account at Bank of America. The withdrawals are as follows:

6/16/21 #000005703 WITHDRWL WESTLAKE PARK LO SEATTLE WA $500

6/16/21 #000005704 WITHDRWL WESTLAKE PARK LO SEATTLE WA $500

6/16/21 WA TLR cash withdrawal from CHK $5000.00

6/16/21 WA TLR cash withdrawal from CHK $2,500.00

The bank that they work at closes at 4 pm whereas I had work and did not leave until 4:30 pm. I work as a phlebotomist and am not able to show the tubes with the time and my initials on it due to HIPAA, but I have a time card showing when I left Northgate.

When I made the claim, I asked why I was never notified. I have no history of withdrawing this amount and this should have been flagged. I was told it was because they used my pin and was questioned extensively about it. I have it memorized, but it is the last four digits of my social security number, which I have since been told is easy to guess or hack into.

On June 25, I was told my claim got denied because they used my pin. Somehow it took 7 business days to realize the same thing we discussed the first day I knew it was stolen. BofA did not follow up by checking any of the cameras at the bank, nor ask me for proof that I was at work during the time of the transactions or any other reasonable measures.

To add insult to injury, BofA issued me the incorrect debit card twice.

I asked to reopen my claim and they denied it again on July 12. I called and they told me it was because they used my pin the first time. They then recommended me to get a subpoena for the bank videos. I asked them why I was supposed to do their job. I didn’t need a video of who withdrew my money as I saw the person who took my wallet (before finding out that it was taken). They told me I was unable to reopen my claim. Frustrated, I waited on the phone for two hours to talk to someone who could actually tell me something useful.

On July 20, I talked to two other people before getting a supervisor who informed me that my claim was filed incorrectly and in the wrong department. There were two $500 withdraws from my debit card, but the remaining $7,500 was through a teller, which apparently was a different department.

August 13 I called again to find that the wrong claim was still listed and a new claim had never been filed!! To reopen it, I had to repeat the same information I have said since the beginning. I was finally asked to send proof that I was at work during the time the transactions were completed. I sent it the same day through a fax.

I have called again today August 23 and they are still saying they are undergoing investigation. I need money to pay the bills. I am working while taking boards to get my medical license and this has been extremely emotionally distressing.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/23/2021 11:27 AM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/report/bank-america/boa-havent-returned-money-ago-1511246. 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
4Author
6Consumer
0Employee/Owner

#10 General Comment

"Their Job?"

AUTHOR: John - (United States)

POSTED: Saturday, September 25, 2021

 You are disputing what to the bank looks like completely legitimate withdrawals by someone who had your PIN number. Yet you think that getting a subpoena for the ATM video is the BANK'S responsibility? I'm a bit worried that you still don't get where the burden of proof lies here. You are trying to claim that the bank should refund you $8000 that was withdrawn from your account. YOU need to prove that theft and fraud was committed, not your bank. This all sounds very, very suspicious- you claim to know what the person who "must" have stolen your wallet looks like (yet you didn't check to see if your wallet was missing as soon as that person left, or try to secure your wallet while he was there.) You made your PIN number the last four digits of your SS, which no one thinks is a good idea and which banks generally warn you NOT to do. You keep your wallet in a backpack (and not in your pants or jacket, like pretty much anyone else would) in a place where other people can access it. If I worked for your bank, I'd be pretty much convinced that you are working with someone else in an effort to defraud. And I sure wouldn't take you seriously if you tried to claim that a teller engaged in a conspiracy with you to steal $8000. Please.

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#9 General Comment

Question

AUTHOR: Walter - (United States)

POSTED: Sunday, August 29, 2021

Are you saying they used your ID? Did your wallet have anything with your SSN on it? They probably tried your card to determine the PIN. They'd start with things like birthdate, SSN, address, 1234, phone #, etc. If the bank really asks for ID I would be surprised. If I use my card with the teller, the use of my PIN is considered identification. Manager might be saying they ask for ID to sound better.

If the manager is willing to work with you it might be your best path forward. Ask them to help file your fraud claim and to include the video of the transaction.

When you get your new card pick a PIN that has relevance to you but can't be tied to you (such as above).

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#8 Author of original report

Sock in mouth

AUTHOR: Meagan - (United States)

POSTED: Thursday, August 26, 2021

Ok sock in mouth, you obviously have more background than I. As the lab I work at has multiple labs where there isn't security I thought that was the "norm". If my employers are at fault for allowing for an unsafe, unprotected environment, what does that mean for me and my property?

I was told to put my personal belongings in this particular area and that because our lab is in the back of a dentist office, that it would be safe due to the traffic of people walking by. In my naivete I followed this even though I felt uncomfortable as the person who told me had been at that lab for two years prior to my hire. 

I did not see them near my backpack, or else this would be a different scenerio. The lab is quite small, but she was in the middle of the room. Due to our conversation of her asking my to draw her labs for a new job and me informing her that a doctor needed to order her labs, I realize that she was the one who took my wallet. I went straight home after work and that was the only time I left the office to go to a doctor's office next door. 

I went to the bank yesterday where the withdrawal took place and the branch manager told me this should not have happened, so they still ask for ID. I was told he was the reason the investigators haven't gotten the video, but he told me he was never told anything about this even though in happened over two months ago. 

My point with the teller was that they used my license at the teller which has my picture and they don't look anything like me. 

Trust me, there was nothing in my wallet to guess my pin, and even if there was, they got my pin on the first try- which is why the bank thinks I'm liable and a part of it. I can see why they do, but I am the victim of dumb luck on the stealer's part. 

I have no idea why they took it out in multiple transactions. All I can say is imagine a world in which this is reality because I would love some advice on what to do.

I have never banked at the bank they took it from. In fact, I don't have access to a bank teller with my account. I have the college student account where everything has to be done through an ATM.  

Thank you immensely for telling my about the fraud alert, I just did that and luckily I don't see anything suspicious!

 

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#7 Author of original report

Ok let me use your expertise

AUTHOR: Meagan - (United States)

POSTED: Thursday, August 26, 2021

I understand what you are saying. I am frustrated because I did not have my PIN written down anywhere and I have never told someone my pin, so I'm trying to figure out how someone gained access to it. The only explanation I have is that they hacked it or the teller (who gave them the money in person before they withdrew from the ATM) was shady and gave them my PIN.

I understand the bank thinks im at fault and my story may seem unbelievable, but it's what happened and I'm just trying to find ways to help myself.

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#6 General Comment

Really?? Getting mugged???

AUTHOR: Walter - (United States)

POSTED: Wednesday, August 25, 2021

If you get mugged and your card is stolen then used, it still depends on how the card was used. If it was used without the PIN you can file a dispute and the bank may find in your favor. However once your PIN is used in connection with the transaction the back will declaine the claim. You have to protect both card and PIN.

If you allow the PIN theft by choosing something easy to guess; writing it on the card; having it next to the card; etc the bank will determine that you haven't properly protected the PIN and therefore will decline any claim. You might not like it, you might not agree with it but that's the way it is. Not looking for your approval/acceptance, just trying to give you information.

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#5 Consumer Comment

Sorry

AUTHOR: Robert - (United States)

POSTED: Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Sorry, you don't like the message but it won't make anything you were told any less valid.

I don't think you understand what HIPPA regulations. It means I cannot disclose patient information, there is nothing about being HIPPA compliant that does not able the clinic to be walk-in. As this person walked in and walked out, their information was not taken.

Actually, I deal quite extensively with HIPPA, but I deal with it from both a personal and business perspective. You are talking about your responsibilities, but your employer has responsibilities as well. If you are in an area with the tubes that have PHI on them and that area doesn't have any sort of badge or key access, your employer is actually violating HIPAA by not protecting the PHI because someone apparently can just walk in, and out without anyone noticing(or stopping them). To put this at a more personal level, do you think you would be in this situation if you worked in a properly secured area?

But again your scenario keeps having additional issues. If your backpack was in an area that should be secured you have the HIPAA issues. If it is in an unsecured area then that turns out to be negligent on your part. As for why would you leave a backpack in an area where apparently anyone can just come in off the street? You are saying you saw someone come in, you would have had to have seen them around your backpack to know that they are the ones who took your wallet. But this person also had enough time to dig through your backpack? It isn't adding up.


The bank may have right to question the pin used at the ATM, but the majority of it came from a teller.
- Most banks now allow PIN-based transactions through a teller as a way of identification.  But also if you did have your ID in the wallet as well they have a copy of your signature that they could forge.

After consulting, we realized they went to the teller FIRST. It is obvious the person who took my money looks nothing like me, so this teller is already shady. Then after that they withdrew from the ATM, so the only reasonable explanation is that the teller was working with them and gave them my pin.
- Umm no. The bank doesn't have your physical description on file. Since your wallet was taken, the thief could have found some piece of information in your wallet to guess your PIN. They don't have access to your PIN. But then if it is as you say why would this thief go through and take $7500 from two transactions and then another $1000 from ATMs? The lowest risk is to just do a single transaction.

But for your scenario to really be valid. It was either dumb luck that everything fell into place, or the thief who took your wallet would have had to know your wallet was in your backpack and could be taken. They would have had to know you banked at this bank. Then they would have had to know you would not notice your wallet missing for 24 hours to give them time. Then they would have had to find a teller who would want to risk their job, and freedom from possible prison time over part of $7500. Because every keystroke the teller does is logged, and if a teller did do this they would end up in prison. If someone told this to you, you would call it impossible.

This is YOUR money and you should be doing whatever you can to protect it. Had your debit card been tied to a PIN that wasn't easily guessable it is likely that you would not have had any money taken. Of course, had your wallet not been kept in an area where anyone could just walk in off the street it is likely you would not have had this happen either.

This isn't meant to be armchair quarterbacking, but explain why the bank(and really any bank) is denying your dispute.

Oh and one final thing. If this thief did take your wallet and you had things such as your license or other pieces of ID. If you have not already done so, you need to put a fraud alert on your Credit Reports because that person now has more than enough information to open up fraudulent accounts. Right now you are just out a few thousand, if that happens you could be out 10's of thousands of dollars and end up dealing with it for years.

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#4 Author of original report

That makes no sense

AUTHOR: Meagan - (United States)

POSTED: Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Saying that you are responsible for your PIN and card is too black and white to be helpful. You're saying if someone got mugged and their card is taken then it's their fault because they are responsible for their card. No. 

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#3 General Comment

Disputes for card fraud

AUTHOR: Walter - (United States)

POSTED: Tuesday, August 24, 2021

I worked customer service for a different bank. As an account holder you are responsible to protect your card and your PIN. If there is fraud done with your PIN the bank will decline the dispute. Their reasoning is that you failed to protect the card and you failed to protect the PIN.

This is the reason your claim was declined. At this point your facing a time constraint as any dispute has to be filed within 60 (I believe, possibly 90) days of the fraud.

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#2 Author of original report

F/U

AUTHOR: Meagan - (United States)

POSTED: Tuesday, August 24, 2021

I have just graduated from medical school and was doing phlebotomy while studying for boards. I have had many nights where I go home without using my wallet. I figured they were there for medical supplies (as it is a sphlebotomy lab), so I didn't think to check my wallet which is hidden in my backpack. 

I don't think you understand what HIPPA regulations. It means I cannot disclose patient information, there is nothing about being HIPPA compliant that does not able the clinic to be walk-in. As this person walked in and walked out, their information was not taken. 

The bank may have right to question the pin used at the ATM, but the majority of it came from a teller. 

I have also realized this is their thinking and have said over and over to them that I am a medical school with a good credit history and no criminal background. 

After consulting, we realized they went to the teller FIRST. It is obvious the person who took my money looks nothing like me, so this teller is already shady. Then after that they withdrew from the ATM, so the only reasonable explanation is that the teller was working with them and gave them my pin. 

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#1 Consumer Comment

Sorry but

AUTHOR: Robert - (United States)

POSTED: Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Your narrative isn't adding up.

You say someone walked into your work on the 16th and took your wallet, but you didn't find out until the 17th? But then if as you say you saw this person, why did it take you a day to realize your wallet was gone?

The second issue is you say you work under HIPAA regulations. If that is the case then you would not have people just randomly walking into your work like they are going into the local mini-mart. Any person in your work would be identified. Either as an Employee, Vendor, or another authorized person. Your Security(or whoever controls access) should have verified the information of this person if they are a visitor, and if they are an employee HR would know who they are. In other words, it should be pretty straightforward to find out who this person is because they will know who was in the office at the time your wallet was taken. If they won't give you this information, the police could get it as part of their investigation.

The third issue, using the last 4 digits of your SSN could be seen as negligent since it is so easy to guess. In which case the bank may have a legitimate reason to deny the dispute of any PIN-based transaction.

The fourth issue, you being at work during this means nothing. One thing I can guarantee you that they are thinking(even though may not be true) is that you gave your information to someone to get the money and then figured you would make a claim to get reimbursed for this "fraud".

Hopefully not, but unless you can identify the person and prove it isn't you the latest investigation will likely get denied as well.  Even if you do identify the person it may still be an uphill battle.  

Good Luck

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