Category: Fraud

Did Chase employees lie to avoid getting stuck with a counterfeit bill?

This story is a little worrisome.  It’s one thing if an institution like a bank is out to cheat you through small print or policies that are heavily stacked in their favor.  But it is entirely another thing when a bank or its employees will flat-out lie to protect themselves.  In this case the evidence seems to implicate that Chase employees lied so as not to get stuck with a counterfeit bill.

In mid-August, Krier went to the credit union and withdrew five $100 bills to pay his rent. He and Day prefer to handle things in cash. A few days later – Aug. 16 – Day stopped by the Chase branch to deposit the money.

“I gave the teller the bills, and he never looked at them,” Day recalled. “He put them in the drawer and gave me a receipt.”

Day said he couldn’t remember anyone at Chase ever examining the rent money he deposited. “Never once,” he said. “They’d always just drop it right in the till.”

A few days later, though, Day received a notice from Chase informing him that one of the $100 bills was found to be counterfeit.

Day went to the branch and asked what was up. A bank worker reiterated what was in the notice and said the $100 had been deducted from his account. Day asked how they knew the bogus bill had come from him.

“I was told that a manager had seen me make the deposit,” he said. “But I don’t remember anyone else being there. In fact, I don’t know what happened after I walked out the door.”

Gary Kishner, a Chase spokesman, said that when Day made his deposit, the teller inspected each $100 bill under a black light. Nothing appeared amiss.

“After the customer left, the teller had to fill out a form for the deposit,” Kishner said. “This time, one of the bills looked a little weird. He called over a supervisor, and they held it up to the light.”

It became apparent that the bill was actually a $5 note that had been monkeyed with to look like $100. Kishner said that because the paper was genuine, the initial black-light scan hadn’t caught anything.

Now comes the really important part.

“The money was never put in the drawer,” Kishner said. “If the money had been put in the drawer, we wouldn’t have known for sure that it came from one particular customer, and we would have taken the hit. But it didn’t happen that way. It never went in the drawer.”

Day was incredulous when I relayed this to him.

“That’s an absolute and utter lie,” he responded. “It’s completely false. I saw it go into the drawer, just like they always do it.”

Kishner replied that “we have a teller and a manager who say it took place the way it did.”

Be that as it may, he later told me that Chase had reviewed its security tapes and found that they were “inconclusive” as to whether the money had actually stayed on the counter or went into the drawer.

For that reason, Kishner said, the $100 will now be returned to Day’s account.

Inconclusive?  I’d sure like to see those tapes.

Beware of Chase phone scam

If you are a Chase (or any bank) customer, be warned that phishing scams to lure you into revealing your confidential bank information may not be limited to email and web pages anymore.  Here is one report of this scam being perpetuated via phone calls.  I suspect that people would be much more likely to trust a phone caller, if only because scams of this sort by phone have not been common.

Scam artists were calling customers and telling them their accounts had been discontinued. The mistake could be corrected if the bank customer would supply their account number, the scammer said.MutualBank emphasized that their customers were not alone in being targeted, and after that article appeared, I received a call from a Chase customer who said she had received the same call.

Chase accused of short sale fraud

According to an article from CNBC, several big banks, including Chase, have been accused of short sale fraud as second lien holders.

But here’s what’s not legal and what’s apparently happening quite often recently. Since many second lien holders are getting very little, they are now allegedly requesting money on the side from either real estate agents or the buyers in the short sale. When I say “on the side,” I mean in cash, off the HUD settlement statements, so the first lien holder doesn’t see it.

Investor's Real Estate Guide

“They are pretty clear and pretty upfront about the fact that if the first lender knows they are getting paid, the first lender will kill the short sale,” says Brandt. “So these second lenders are asking for the payments off the closing documents, off the HUD statement, usually in a cashiers check prior to closing. Once they receive that payment, they will allow the short sale to go through, which according to RESPA laws and the lawyers that we have spoken to on the topic is not legal.”

Brandt told me he’s heard from at least 200 agents that they’ve had these requests made by representatives of Citi Mortgage, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and other large banks.

Beware Chase phishing emails

As a large bank Chase is bound to be the target of phishing emails, and they do in fact proliferate, for example. this one.  If you are a Chase customer, educate yourself on the latest Chase scam emails going around here and enter “chase” in the apparent sender field.

A general rule of thumb is to NEVER click on a link directly from an email that asks you for any personal information.  Always type in URL’s directly in the browser yourself.

Sure, a link to a YouTube video your friend sends you is Ok, but if it appears to be YouTube asking you for your credentials, then be suspect.

Bank of America and the good Chase

I hold a Bank of America credit card and was recently contacted by the BofA fraud department to verify some activity on my card.  I wouldn’t say that the charges they wanted to verify appeared to me to have fraud red-flags all over them, but that doesn’t bother me so much.  Unlike some Chase stories I’ve heard where people’s credit cards become useless because Chase puts a fraud lock down on them that becomes hard to remove, BofA raises fraud alerts sparingly and gives me some time to respond before locking the account.  They also contact us via multiple phone numbers and email, rather than relying on just one contact method.

I’m not saying BofA is perfect, but this is one thing they seem to be doing well right now.

My point is that our discussions of Chase should probably include the things that Chase IS doing well.  The reason I started this website was to effect Washington Mutual, and now Chase, to change for the better, hoping they would see the criticism in a positive light and use it to-fine tune their operations.  From what we can tell, the only fine-tuning going on is to maximize profits.  But perhaps we are missing part of the story, the part where people actually like and benefit from some of the things that Chase does well.  What are those things?

We’d like to know.

Android vs iPhone apps for Chase

If you use an iPhone, rest assured that the app store is policed and only apps actually provided by a particular financial institution can be downloaded there for that institution.

Not so apparently for the Google app store for Android phones.  Google recently removed 50 applications (all by the same developer) that purported to be for various banks, out of concern about such apps harvesting peoples account and login information.

So be careful on the Android marketplace for now if you are looking for a Chase app.

Chase employees not only act ineptly, but criminally too

This story about a Brooklyn NY Chase teller should give us all the shivers.

A brazen teller at a Chase bank in Brooklyn used her job to recruit victims for a phony investment scheme — telling customers they’d get a better return by giving their money to her than anything her bank could offer, prosecutors said today.

So, in addition to getting just plain wrong advice from Chase employees, seems you have to worry about getting scammed too.

Another Chase text-spam scam

Looks like another round of scam text messages is making the rounds targeting Chase bank customers.  The texts ask you call an 800 number and then enter your account information.

Don’t every do this.  It is a very bad idea to respond to a request for your personal information no matter who it is from.  Always call a company you do business with, or visit their website, by using the number or URL that you are able to obtain independently from any text message or email.

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