Bank of America

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May 11, 2020
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Bank of American allowed my checking account debit card to be used daily at ATMs until the account was almost to zero. The system should have noticed this unusual activity of ATM cash transactions as I never used my account in such a way. Bank of American denied my claim saying that the transaction matched my past activity on my account with is not true. The bank knows I never used the ATM for cash from day one of the account opening. Furthermore, the ATM my card was used at for these transaction occurred at Bank of America branch locations and the bank never bothered to pull the video footage. Bank of America will not protect your funds. I am taking my story to the local Help me Howard in south Florida this week. Next is Arbitration.
 

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
Someone had your PIN if this occurred at ATM machines. Did you ever give your PIN to anyone?

One thing you need to do is file a police report for theft from your account. Please do that and obtain a report number to provide to the bank.

We have company contacts for Bank of America. You can give them a try.


This is how to write:

 
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Jun 24, 2019
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There are two issues here. First, most banks allow you to set a variety of alerts where you will be notified of activity in your account. At Bank of America, you can request an e-mail for any ATM or debit card transaction.

Second, what to do about your loss? As Neil suggests, file a police report. The police might or might not investigate, but if they do they have the ability to view video. As you have already been in touch with Bank of America, I'm assuming that the bank has already rejected your claim, but make sure you have filed a claim with the bank in its instructions for disputing a debit card transaction.

You have correctly identified that failing that you will need to take legal action, and your account agreement will tell you what your choices are. If the amount is significant, you may need a lawyer to assist you. You may need to identify where in your agreement with the bank or in Florida law the bank agreed to monitor your account for unusual activity. Do not assume, as your post does, that the bank had a duty to spot unusual activity.
 
Nov 22, 2019
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I think for debit card/cash, there is 100% protection if you report the loss within 24 hours, then it decreases with time.
You should file a police report ASAP if not done yet, keep all date of communication with BoA.
Set-up alerts on your other cards (or freeze them) as you don't know how people got access to your PIN code.
Do you have an ID protection service? or option from your homeowner/renter insurance? It mights help as well.
 
May 11, 2020
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Someone had your PIN if this occurred at ATM machines. Did you ever give your PIN to anyone?

One thing you need to do is file a police report for theft from your account. Please do that and obtain a report number to provide to the bank.

We have company contacts for Bank of America. You can give them a try.


This is how to write:

I have learned that scammers can get your pin by using devices called skimmers and shimming. A simple google search can pull all of this type of information up. Furthermore, according to online sources this happens everyday all over the world. Bank of America ATMs had been used so the bank could have easily pulled footage for us to see who stole my funds but they never bothered to do so.
 
May 11, 2020
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There are two issues here. First, most banks allow you to set a variety of alerts where you will be notified of activity in your account. At Bank of America, you can request an e-mail for any ATM or debit card transaction.

Second, what to do about your loss? As Neil suggests, file a police report. The police might or might not investigate, but if they do they have the ability to view video. As you have already been in touch with Bank of America, I'm assuming that the bank has already rejected your claim, but make sure you have filed a claim with the bank in its instructions for disputing a debit card transaction.

You have correctly identified that failing that you will need to take legal action, and your account agreement will tell you what your choices are. If the amount is significant, you may need a lawyer to assist you. You may need to identify where in your agreement with the bank or in Florida law the bank agreed to monitor your account for unusual activity. Do not assume, as your post does, that the bank had a duty to spot unusual activity.
Thank you for taking the time to respond to my post. I asked the local police about filing a police report. They said because the amount was $2,100 it was under the normal of what they would get involved to investigate. Second, they said because the card was used at actual Bank of America ATMS the bank does not need a police report to obtain footage from their own cameras.

I did file the claim and It was denied. The time in which I had the account I never used my card for cash ATM transaction and all my statements can prove this. But Bank of America lied and said the reason for denying the claim was the transactions where consistent with prior activity. Clearly not true.

I feel the bank failed to do a proper investigation and protect my money. This activity was clearly outside of the norm for my account and the systems are set up to notice such unusual activity. You would think when an account has never had an ATM cash transaction and suddenly cash is being taken on a daily basis until $2,100 is gone! I also feel the bank lying about why they denied the claim is very unethical. As I stated my bank statements clearly show this is not normal activity for my account.

Next step is Arbitration!
 

Mel65

Mar 23, 2015
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I have a BOA account, and I have the app on my phone. I get an email and an app alert for any transactions over $5.00, which is the amount I set. That is for ANY type of transaction. How long did this go on before you noticed and complained? You said "daily, until my account was almost zero" which to me indicates you were not checking the account very regularly.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
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Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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Scott, I would implore you to sign up to have notices sent to you when a transaction occurs. This could have been stopped right away if that had been done. At the very least, the bank should have pulled the video - that is the purpose of taping the transactions.

You usually have to pay for arbitration - why would you want to even have to arbitrate when you know that you weren't the one who withdrew the money?

There are two other avenues you can take. The first is to file a complaint with your State Banking Commission. And the second is a the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. You can file a complaint with them too.

 
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May 11, 2020
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I have a BOA account, and I have the app on my phone. I get an email and an app alert for any transactions over $5.00, which is the amount I set. That is for ANY type of transaction. How long did this go on before you noticed and complained? You said "daily, until my account was almost zero" which to me indicates you were not checking the account very regularly.
Around 4 days. I do not check my accounts regularly. $2100 and they took $500 a day. They could have taken more if I did not catch it as I had an incoming deposit. I hear everyone about alert BUT when your account has activity that has never occurred on your account the system should catch that. The bank is covering themselves by saying the system did not catch as it was normal activity. If you seen my statements for years you would clearly see they are lying. I have other bank cards that with any unusual activity I have to clear a fraud alert and verify the transaction was by me. Bank of America is shady. There are so many websites with customers posting thousands of complaints about this bank.
 
May 11, 2020
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Scott, I would implore you to sign up to have notices sent to you when a transaction occurs. This could have been stopped right away if that had been done. At the very least, the bank should have pulled the video - that is the purpose of taping the transactions.

You usually have to pay for arbitration - why would you want to even have to arbitrate when you know that you weren't the one who withdrew the money?

There are two other avenues you can take. The first is to file a complaint with your State Banking Commission. And the second is a the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. You can file a complaint with them too.

Thank you for the reply.

I filed with the State banking and the CFPB. Both allow the bank to answer and after that they do no more. They simply accept the banks response as the matter being settled. This is why I have to go onto arbitration. I will seek to have Bank of America pay the fee. Bank of America is shady. Google complaints and you will see thousands of complaints about this bank.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
23,067
23,018
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
I am not aware of any bank that notifies you when an ATM transaction is done simply because a PIN is needed. It is up to every consumer to protect their accounts with the tools the bank gives you.

I am not siding with BofA. Your card was most likely compromised somewhere else you used it if you didn't give the PIN to anyone. My wife has hers compromised at a BJ's gas station years ago. Charges began occurring at gas stations from NY to Georgia before TD Bank called her about the possible unauthorized transactions. Try to think of where you used your card with a PIN before the transactions began as that is likely where it might have been compromised.

I am surprised your police department refuses to allow you to file a report. My wife lost far less than you did and our police department too the report at the station, gave us a report number and we reported it to the bank.

I am sorry this happened. Did both the State and CFPB find in favor of the bank? I would think the fact that the bank did not check the security video is an issue.
 

justlisa

Feb 12, 2019
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I think most look at suspicious activity as either 1) a new or far away location and 2) stores you don't normally shop at. With some other algorithms that notice some other things (like one time when my credit card was used at 4 different gas stations between midnight and 4am). I wouldn't think ATM use would be up on their list because it requires a PIN not just a card.

It doesn't help in this case but this is why 99.9% of my purchases are on credit cards. If I'm using my debit card I run it as credit unless I'm getting cash back and I prefer to get cash from the bank.
 
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Neil Maley

Moderator
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Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
23,067
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www.promalvacations.com
I think most look at suspicious activity as either 1) a new or far away location and 2) stores you don't normally shop at. With some other algorithms that notice some other things (like one time when my credit card was used at 4 different gas stations between midnight and 4am). I wouldn't think ATM use would be up on their list because it requires a PIN not just a card.

It doesn't help in this case but this is why 99.9% of my purchases. If I'm using my debit card I run it as credit unless I'm getting cash back and I prefer to get cash from the bank.
My wife stopped using her debit card at gas stations altogether after this happened. And we both pull on the card holder any time we use the card to make sure it isn't loose.
 
Jun 24, 2019
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To our OP:

Look at your account agreement as to whether arbitration is required or whether small claims court might be a suitable alternative. Whether B of A has to pay the arbitration fee will be set forth in your account agreement. Whether you will be reimbursed your arbitration fee if you win will also be set forth in your agreement.

Whether you go to arbitration or to court, you will likely have to come to grips with the question that while the bank can monitor your account for unusual activity, it may have no contractual or legal requirement to do so. One can imagine a system where the bank notifies a customer of every unusual transaction and refuses to proceed until the customer goes into a branch. Such a system would have protected you from your loss of $2100. Such a system would also frustrate many other customers who were stopped from using the ATM to withdraw cash because of some perceived deviation from the norm. If I typically withdraw $200 at a time from my B of A ATM in Century City, where the ATM Is in a lobby with a 24 hour security guard, and then I go to San Francisco and go to an ATM that evening after banking hours for the very first time and try to withdraw $300 for trip expenses, and am stopped by a super protective algorithm requiring me to visit a branch and prove my identity, how are customers as whole benefitted? What should I do for cash that night? The bank's ability to look for patterns does not necessarily translate into a duty to you as the customer.

As to the police, you should insist on filing a report. The police may decide that investigating a theft of $2100 via a debit card is low on their priority, but they probably have a legal duty to take the report. Here in Los Angeles you might have trouble making such a report, as the police and prosecutors think that too many resources are used for too little public good. In neighboring Ventura County, they will take a report and prosecute. While many cases of credit and debit card fraud are done by strangers, a not insignificant number of these cases involve family members with easy access to the card and the PIN.

As suggested above, you may have identity theft coverage on your homeowner's insurance which might cover part of this loss.
 
Apr 10, 2017
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Thank you for the reply.

I filed with the State banking and the CFPB. Both allow the bank to answer and after that they do no more. They simply accept the banks response as the matter being settled. This is why I have to go onto arbitration. I will seek to have Bank of America pay the fee. Bank of America is shady. Google complaints and you will see thousands of complaints about this bank.
Sorry for your loss but I would not agree that BofA is shady. I've been with them since NationsBank morphed into BofA and while I would not say that they are least expensive bank fee-wise, I have not had any problems that have not been resolved. I would be unable to quantify the number of messages that I receive from them explaining to me their fraud prevention practices with both debit and credit cards and encouraging me to use them. As an example, I recently changed my Verizon Fios payment from a credit card to a debit card to get an extra $10/month credit. The payment went through and I received an alert that my debit card was used. With all the financial fraud going on today, you really need to be more proactive.

Here are Elliott's contacts for BofA, although you might be beyond the point of no return if you've filed for arbitration. https://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/bank-of-america/ Whether or not they pay for it will depend on the T&C of your account. Good luck.
 
May 30, 2019
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Thank you for taking the time to respond to my post. I asked the local police about filing a police report. They said because the amount was $2,100 it was under the normal of what they would get involved to investigate. Second, they said because the card was used at actual Bank of America ATMS the bank does not need a police report to obtain footage from their own cameras.
To our OP:

An objective of filing a police report in this instance is not to have the police investigate but to demonstrate to the bank that you truly believe the money was stolen. This can motivate the bank to open a fraud investigation.
Read #3 on this related blog post: https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/lost-or-stolen-wallet-heres-what-to-do/

Other tactical ideas:
- Do you use a mobile phone with google maps and a map history? If so, you may be able to use your map history to show that you were not at the location of the ATM(s) during the withdraw times in question.
- Maintain a paper trail, noting every interaction with the bank, regulatory agencies, etc., including who you spoke with when you communicated verbally and in person.
- Write to the executive contacts at BoA. I'm sure @Neil Maley can point you to those.
- If you have not used the general process here (https://www.bankofamerica.com/security-center/report-suspicious-communications/), go through that.

Long term:
- If you have the means, use a credit card rather than a debit card for all purchases. You have more protections against theft & fraud with credit vs debit.
- Set up account alerts on your account, so every time your card gets used, you get notified.

Hope this helps.
 
Aug 29, 2018
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Personally, I also recommend relocating your banking to a credit union or a local bank -- I have found I get better service from my credit union than I ever got from one of the b=ig banks.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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While I'm surely sorry that your money was stolen, blaming the bank is not a reasonable action. You can't expect a huge bank to "notice" activity in your account. They offer many avenues to assist customers with staying aware of their action in their accounts. I would read the terms of your agreement with the bank carefully and know what actions are open to you. There are provisions of time and responsibility in that agreement. Perhaps you can find some help there. You repeatedly state that BofA will not view the ATM footage. What action would be taken with that video if the police are not involved? I hope you can find a way to recover your cash. My colleagues are right, details of all your financial dealings need to be changed and protected.
 
May 11, 2020
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While I'm surely sorry that your money was stolen, blaming the bank is not a reasonable action. You can't expect a huge bank to "notice" activity in your account. They offer many avenues to assist customers with staying aware of their action in their accounts. I would read the terms of your agreement with the bank carefully and know what actions are open to you. There are provisions of time and responsibility in that agreement. Perhaps you can find some help there. You repeatedly state that BofA will not view the ATM footage. What action would be taken with that video if the police are not involved? I hope you can find a way to recover your cash. My colleagues are right, details of all your financial dealings need to be changed and protected.
I am blaming the bank because they are LYING. Denying a claim saying the the ATM cash transaction were consistent with prior activity on my account. That is clearly a lie and all bank statements show I have never did ATM cash transactions. SO I do blame the bank for it's unethical handling of this claim. A bank should not lie to deny a claim.