Getting somebody to withdraw money from an American Express ATM machine and then telling Amex those withdrawals were unauthorized.

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Mar 27, 2018
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#1
Three months ago, my friend, Dan , an
American, struck up a friendship with
another American, Paul in a mini hotel in Hong Kong,
where they were both staying.
When Paul found out Dan was going to
the US for a couple weeks, Paul asked
Dan a favor. Paul wanted Dan to withdraw money for him by using Paul's card and pin which Paul would supply.
All went well, Dan came back to Hong
Kong and handed over USD 3,000 to Paul together with his card. There was no quid pro quo here.
Three months later, Paul is running out of money. Paul calls American Express to claim he never authorized those withdrawals - and Dan who had suddenly arrived at the scene during this call, overhears the conversation and understood
exactly what Paul was up to.
Despite attempts by Dan to have a discussion with Paul, Paul has refused to talk with him.
My friend Dan is now stressed out over this because he says Amex ATM machines will have photos of him doing the
money withdrawals and he may suddenly find himself getting arrested when he's back in the US.

Can you tell me who I can contact in American Express about this?
 

Dwayne Coward

Administrator
Staff Member
Director
Apr 13, 2016
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456
63
St. Louis
#4
As other's have suggested, this is something your friend is going to have to deal with at the appropriate time. Fortunately, the cardholder's bank is probably going require their cardholder to file a police report/ fraud affidavit to attest to the unauthorized charge. They will also require him to explain how the other individual come to have his PIN. In many of the cases I've seen or read about (the BBB posts business responses to complaints) the banks usually finds against the cardholder if a PIN was used in the transaction, especially if the individuals are known to each other. Their reason is that he would have had to provide the PIN to the individual, which to them implies authorization to use the card.

This doesn't mean to suggest your friend may not be questioned by police or other problems stemming from this, but it would be difficult to do anything in advance unless he knows exactly what was reported and to whom. If he knows it was reported to the police, he could talk to them, but the bank is not going to discuss anything concerning this except with the cardholder - which is standard anytime there is anything that could result in a criminal investigation.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#5
Given what you have said, it sounds like Paul is engaged in fraud.

Dwayne is correct AmEx will not talk about Paul’s account with anyone but Paul or law enforcement.


Now I have some questions. It seems no one knows Paul and just some random person. How well do you know Dan? How does someone just walk in on a phone conversation between a person and his credit card/bank. That is not the usual conversation that is held In a coffee shop.

Amex might not be the ultimate victim of the fraud. Amex cards can take cash from bank checking accounts so the bank or credit union may be hit with the loss.

Dwayne has another very good point. Paul will have to swear out a declaration about the withdrawals. Once that happens the banks will start investigating before returning the funds.

My ATM/debut card was cloned and PIN stolen — and $400 taken from my account. Person tried again and account locked. I was out of the country.

My bank did not give me a difficult time as they had found out about a breach — exceptionally good skimmer and camera placed in the ATM vestibule attached to the bank itself (professionals). It still took several weeks for the money to be returned.

This happened before cards got chips. I think the chips make it harder for fraudsters especially when there is a PIN. My info was stolen by the skimmer and small camera placed overhead to record PIN number so the skimmer cloned to card.
Paul will have a harder time with his claim because of the technology and likely will get scrutinized.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,478
6,536
113
San Francisco
#6
Three months ago, my friend, Dan , an
American, struck up a friendship with
another American, Paul in a mini hotel in Hong Kong,
where they were both staying.
When Paul found out Dan was going to
the US for a couple weeks, Paul asked
Dan a favor. Paul wanted Dan to withdraw money for him by using Paul's card and pin which Paul would supply.
All went well, Dan came back to Hong
Kong and handed over USD 3,000 to Paul together with his card. There was no quid pro quo here.
Three months later, Paul is running out of money. Paul calls American Express to claim he never authorized those withdrawals - and Dan who had suddenly arrived at the scene during this call, overhears the conversation and understood
exactly what Paul was up to.
Despite attempts by Dan to have a discussion with Paul, Paul has refused to talk with him.
My friend Dan is now stressed out over this because he says Amex ATM machines will have photos of him doing the
money withdrawals and he may suddenly find himself getting arrested when he's back in the US.

Can you tell me who I can contact in American Express about this?
I'm having a very tough time grasping the idea that someone would give a stranger access to their AmEx account(s). Are you sure that someone is not attempting to get you involved in a scheme that you don't want to be within 6 miles of?
 
Mar 27, 2018
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#8

mmb

Verified Member
Jan 20, 2015
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#9
Everyone is getting mixed up here.
The account belongs to Paul (or so he says.)
Dan is the one who withdrew the money from Paul’s account while in the US
This actually may be Paul’s account or it may be someone else’s account that he TOLD Dan belonged to him.
This is really all just heresay as far as this thread is concerned.
No one will talk to Dan OR his nameless friend. They will talk to Paul if he is the account holder and can prove it to them sufficiently.
In my experience the Bank or AMEX will never even give any info to the cardholder (who may or may not be Paul) as to what happened or who did it.
They keep it all hush hush for (probably) legal reasons.
Someone used my info to call NFCU one Sunday afternoon and have $5000 sent via Western Union. Then a few hours later, THEY DID IT AGAIN! I had held that account for more than 10 years and had never made any type of transfer request, let alone over the phone.
I was convinced it was an inside job but NFCU replaced my $10K and would never tell me anything further.
Ditto BoA when someone tried to reinstate a credit card account that had been closed eight years prior, by having the last 4numbers and calling the bank to get it done. They said they were investigating but would never be able to tell me anything. BoA called our home and asked for husband who was here but not on the phone. BoA had someone on the phone with them who was saying he was JB, my husband. We never found out if they located the fraudster in either case, or if he was prosecuted. Doubtful.
 
Likes: jsn55
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