Fraud charges on bank account/identity theft

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Nov 23, 2020
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I had fraud on my checking account, Santander bank is refusing to help me because I cannot physically get to a branch as there are none near me. They have locked everything and now I can’t even access my account online. No one on the phone will help me, they say I have to physically go to the branch. Closest branch is 5 hours one way
 

Comicman

Jul 13, 2020
1,011
2,095
I think no matter the result is that getting a bank that is very close would be a good idea. I would never keep my local bank once I have moved 30 min away never mind 5 hours.
I am sure there is more to your story. maybe a few more details and someone might understand the problem and offer you a suggestion of help.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
11,169
13,522
San Francisco
I had fraud on my checking account, Santander bank is refusing to help me because I cannot physically get to a branch as there are none near me. They have locked everything and now I can’t even access my account online. No one on the phone will help me, they say I have to physically go to the branch. Closest branch is 5 hours one way
How awful. I hope you can handle this in writing without that long drive. Compose a list of the facts in chronological order and politely ask for help via email or USPS. Or you might ask them if you can video-conference. I wish I had more ideas, but my colleagues will be chiming in, I'm sure.
 
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Nov 23, 2020
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There really aren’t many more details. We recently moved to northern Florida, from northeast pa & I didn’t switch banks. Went to a shopping center on Saturday & my card was stolen from my purse along with my phone. My debit card was used for multiple purchases, all for the same amount; either $50 or $100 over & over. My phone was found in a Walmart and my card was gone. The bank shut everything down and told me I need to go in person or they can’t help me. The nearest branch is 5 hours away & according to the website is temporarily closed
 
Nov 23, 2020
3
2
42
I think no matter the result is that getting a bank that is very close would be a good idea. I would never keep my local bank once I have moved 30 min away never mind 5 hours.
I am sure there is more to your story. maybe a few more details and someone might understand the problem and offer you a suggestion of help.
Thanks, obviously need a bank closer, not really helpful just obvious
 
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Neil Maley

Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Dec 27, 2014
26,145
29,499
New York
www.promalvacations.com
There really aren’t many more details. We recently moved to northern Florida, from northeast pa & I didn’t switch banks. Went to a shopping center on Saturday & my card was stolen from my purse along with my phone. My debit card was used for multiple purchases, all for the same amount; either $50 or $100 over & over. My phone was found in a Walmart and my card was gone. The bank shut everything down and told me I need to go in person or they can’t help me. The nearest branch is 5 hours away & according to the website is temporarily closed
Did you file a police report?
 
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Feb 21, 2018
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Understand that banks have to comply with a myriad of regulations under The Patriot Act - and identity verification is a big part of that. Presenting oneself in person with valid identification is the only way the bank can be certain that they are dealing with the true and rightful owner of the account.

Have you considered calling the bank and suggesting a Zoom or Teams meeting? It may be enough 'in person' to at least temporarily resolve some issues without having to drive five hours to the branch.
 

RLB

May 28, 2019
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Ok the good news is that your bank shut everything down. Do you want to continue banking with Santander or do you want to close out your Santander account and do your banking with a local bank? Do you currently have any money in your Santander account?
If you do not want to continue banking with Santander, send them a notarized Fed Ex or UPS letter with a copy of the police report advising that you have moved and will be doing your banking with another institution. In the letter, ask how to get remaining funds transferred. Keep letter brief.
For example:
I have moved to FL. My debit card was stolen and I am attaching police report.
Santander has shut down this account associated with the debit card.
I have opened a new local bank account with XXX.
Please advise me of steps needed to close Santander account and have my remaining funds transferred to my new bank.
 
Sep 18, 2018
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Have you considered calling the bank and suggesting a Zoom or Teams meeting? It may be enough 'in person' to at least temporarily resolve some issues without having to drive five hours to the branch.

If msmayor's excellent suggestion doesn't work, sometimes you have to do the unlikable. Considering the compromised state of your financial affairs, isn't it worth the five-hour drive each way to resolve this crisis? It's not as if this is a regular thing. It's a onetime -- admittedly frustrating and annoying -- fix to address the issue. You will probably spend more than 10 hours calling, posting here and doing other things unsuccessfully to deal with it remotely.

Make a day of the drive. Stop at a national or state park along the way. Get something nice to eat. Maybe stay overnight in a friendly hotel.

Then change banks to something closer when you get back home.
 
Feb 3, 2017
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The police report should definitely help when you pursue this with the bank.

I've had my credit cards info stolen (not the actual cards) and when I reported fraudulent charges to the banks, I never needed to go in person to do so - They would just be able to confirm it was me by my contact information and a few specific questions, kill the cards that had been fraudulently used and I received replacement cards overnight.

I would, for more reasons than the oppressive 5 hour drive, change banks to one that offers a less onerous way of advising them of fraud.

And, while some folks here don't care to do banking online, I do and I have alerts that I receive immediately when any of my cards are used so I learn right away about any charges and there are any I did not make, I can contact the bank immediately.

Maybe the bank sent you notices of charges but since your phone was also stolen, you didn't receive those alerts?

I agree with above - if they require an in-person appearance to clear this up, I would do the same - make a day of it and just go and get it done. It's too important.