Please read this because you can be the next victim of Chase Bank faulty processes.

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Jun 1, 2019
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#1
Hello, my name is Maria. Can anyone help me or provide me with advice how can I go about resolving the issue described below.
I have been Chase Bank customer for over twenty years. In the last three weeks, I have been going through one of the worst experiences of my life. With faulty Chase deposit operations, I was robbed of $1,750.00 by a scammer who is familiar with the bank’s deposit processes.
I was paid $1,750.00 cashier’s check for furniture that I sold on Craig's List. When I tried to cash it out at the Chase Bank, the teller who was serving me indicated that the check did not look legitimate to her. However, she was not sure, and she advised me to deposit it and wait until it clears out. Twenty-four hours later, after checking with the online services, to my surprise, the check's status "Pending" was removed. I thought that the check was authenticated by Chase system. However, to ensure that I understood the online data correctly, I made a phone call to the bank’s branch, where I deposited the check. After explaining the reason for my call, one of the bank's employees stated: "it has cleared." Based on the information provided by the Chase online services’ and the assurance provided by the bank’s employee, I wired $1,200.00 to movers that were supposedly coming to pick up the furniture. The next, day I was asked to wire back $550 because the buyer stated that he “couldn’t buy the furniture anymore.” A few days later I have learned that the check was fraudulent.
After talking to number of Chase divisions; The Froud Department (which is a JOKE! they did not even initiate a formal report, neither did they make a phone call to find out who the transferred money went to); Quick Pay Department ( informed me that the money went Bank of America and Wells Fargo but did nothing about it); The Manager of Chase branch where I deposited the check (who accused me of being irresponsible for depositing a check of unknown origin); And numerous of other people, including the Oswego Police officer who informed me that I was the second person that week reporting similar crime. Talking to all those people helped me realize that Chase Bank is enabling scammers to prey on people.

Chase needs to change its depositing processes of checks that are suspected to be fraudulent.

Thank you.
 
Likes: mschlick
Sep 19, 2015
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#2
I am sorry but you were taken by a common scam. The FDIC requires checks to have the funds made available quickly.

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2018/09/anatomy-fake-check-scam

From the FTC:

Under federal law, banks generally must make funds available to you from U.S. Treasury checks, most other governmental checks, and official bank checks (cashier’s checks, certified checks, and teller’s checks), a business day after you deposit the check. For other checks, banks must make the first $200 available the day after you deposit the check, and the remaining funds must be made available on the second business day after the deposit.

and further
If the buyer insists that you wire back funds, end the transaction immediately. Legitimate buyers don’t pressure you to send money by wire transfer services. In addition, you have little recourse if there’s a problem with a wire transaction.

The bottom line is that a consumer is responsible for the checks that are put in. It may take weeks for someone to notice that there was a bad check written on their account, and the money can be clawed back.

The terminology is confusing -- the check cleared but the other bank had not uncovered it as a fraud.
 
Likes: jsmithw
Sep 19, 2015
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#3
CL warns about this fraud

  • Do not provide payment to anyone you have not met in person.
  • Beware offers involving shipping - deal with locals you can meet in person.
  • Never wire funds (e.g. Western Union) - anyone who asks you to is a scammer.
  • Don't accept cashier/certified checks or money orders - banks cash fakes, then hold you responsible.
  • Transactions are between users only, no third party provides a "guarantee".
  • Never give out financial info (bank account, social security, paypal account, etc).
  • Do not rent or purchase sight-unseen—that amazing "deal" may not exist.
  • Refuse background/credit checks until you have met landlord/employer in person.
  • "craigslist voicemails" - Any message asking you to access or check "craigslist voicemails" or "craigslist voice messages" is fraudulent - no such service exists.
 
Apr 19, 2017
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#5
Hello, my name is Maria. Can anyone help me or provide me with advice how can I go about resolving the issue described below.
I have been Chase Bank customer for over twenty years. In the last three weeks...
Thank you.
This scam takes advantage of the long-standing false belief people have that cashier's checks are bulletproof. They are not. Fraudulent ones are out there now, and although you can deposit them, just as with any other check the deposit will be backed out later if the check is not honored.
 
Jun 1, 2019
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#6
This scam takes advantage of the long-standing false belief people have that cashier's checks are bulletproof. They are not. Fraudulent ones are out there now, and although you can deposit them, just as with any other check the deposit will be backed out later if the check is not honored.
You were scammed. Chase had nothing to do with it- Christina quoted you the FTC information on funds availability. I’m sorry this happened but the scammer knew exactly what they were doing.

Christina, Alan, Neil, thank you all for your reply.

Neil, it is difficult for me to accept your statement that Chase had nothing to do with it. They were the first ones who suspected that the check was fraudulent. Second, they should never remove the "pending" status from the process. Third, even their employee confirmed that the check had cleared.

Christina, unless one works in the banking industry, they might be familiar with the bank's guidelines. But, I do not know a person who reads policies when it comes to depositing checks. It is the Banks fiduciary responsibility to protect their customers. If I had $0 in my account, they would allow me to withdraw $200. But because there was more Chase had no problem to risk my savings.

Maria
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#7
By law, the bank has to make those funds available the next day. However, until the physical check gets to the paying bank, there is no way to know if the check is genuine or not within 24 hours. And that’s what your scammer knew by asking you to wire money.

My wife used to work at a bank and when someone called to as if funds were good in an account, the wording they used was “that check is good at present” because at that moment, the funds were there but when checks hit later that night, that particular check might not be good any longer.

Wiring money to a mover should have been a red flag to you that this was an odd transaction. I’ve never heard of someone buying furniture asking YOU to wire money to someone who was picking up the furniture you sold them. They should have been paying for a mover themselves.

I’m sorry this happened but this is how scammers get away with these things.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#8
Maria the banks are caught in a hard place. The terminology is also hard.

A place I consult with had a fake check made — someone used the account numbers — and it did not get caught until end of the month reconciliation. And then the money was clawed back.

I also have a friend whose check was stolen from a mailbox — check washing it is called — and the name and amount are changed by erasing the original and forging — and caught after the check had cleared.

Nowadays people can print fake checks at home and the fraudsters take advantage of rhe forced fast clearings time —

There are reasons why CL and the FTC warn about accepting checks from unknown people and then wiring money. It is a far too common scam
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#9
I am so sorry you've been through this, Maria. I understand your frustration and anger with Chase. But they don't have "faulty deposit operations". Expecting a bank to hand-carry transactions today is useless, it's all systems and procedures, mostly by computer. For anyone in this position, if you don't know that you need to wait 10 days for anything to be completely "good", stop in at your branch and talk with one of the platform officers to get advice. Don't make assumptions, then blame someone else for the resulting problems.

Chase employees should be trained to tell you "It may take a week or so, we don't know when it will clear". But customer service everywhere now is getting to be a joke. We used to be able to call a company about anything and get a straight, accurate answer 90% of the time. So we're not as watchful and cautious as we should be. Things have changed, some better, some worse. And we are NOT getting accurate answers from people in customer service. A cashier's check used to be solid, now the scammers have the system well under control and are taking advantage of the rest of us. I wish there were some way we could help, but all we can do is continue to warn people. With the vast proliferation of business done between two independent parties whose only connection is the internet, we can expect far more scams in the future. The bad guys will always be faster than the good guys, that's one truth that can't be argued.
 
Likes: acjudge
Jun 1, 2019
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#10
Christina and Neil

Again, thank you for taking the time to communicate your thoughts with me.
Would you both agree that if someone points out a faulty process or operation (scammers know that the bank clears the check within 24 hours) the organization, business, or a private individual should take a look back and try to correct it? I have learned from talking to a different bank that if there is a suspicion of a fraudulent check the bank places a phone call to ensure that the check was issued by a legitimate financial institution, and if unsuccessful the pending status is never removed until the founds are physicly there. And that is my exact point! The founds were never there, still, the bank allowed me to withdraw against my account. Would Chase take any steps to correct their faulty process if the scammer took their money?

Maria
 
Jun 1, 2019
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#11
I am so sorry you've been through this, Maria. I understand your frustration and anger with Chase. But they don't have "faulty deposit operations". Expecting a bank to hand-carry transactions today is useless, it's all systems and procedures, mostly by computer. For anyone in this position, if you don't know that you need to wait 10 days for anything to be completely "good", stop in at your branch and talk with one of the platform officers to get advice. Don't make assumptions, then blame someone else for the resulting problems.

Chase employees should be trained to tell you "It may take a week or so, we don't know when it will clear". But customer service everywhere now is getting to be a joke. We used to be able to call a company about anything and get a straight, accurate answer 90% of the time. So we're not as watchful and cautious as we should be. Things have changed, some better, some worse. And we are NOT getting accurate answers from people in customer service. A cashier's check used to be solid, now the scammers have the system well under control and are taking advantage of the rest of us. I wish there were some way we could help, but all we can do is continue to warn people. With the vast proliferation of business done between two independent parties whose only connection is the internet, we can expect far more scams in the future. The bad guys will always be faster than the good guys, that's one truth that can't be argued.
Thank you jsn55, I appreciate your input.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
18,181
16,298
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#12
Chases process is in accordance with the law. On the day you called, the funds HAD cleared. And later that night the fraudulent check was returned. 20 years ago this probably would not have happened when funds were not released until the physical check was cleared by the paying bank.

The Federal Reserve Bank mandates that banks cannot hold the funds anymore until a check fully clears. And this is how scammers take advantage - they know this.

If you want to place any blame you would have to
address it to the Federal Reserve, not Chase.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
18,181
16,298
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#13
I am so sorry you've been through this, Maria. I understand your frustration and anger with Chase. But they don't have "faulty deposit operations". Expecting a bank to hand-carry transactions today is useless, it's all systems and procedures, mostly by computer. For anyone in this position, if you don't know that you need to wait 10 days for anything to be completely "good", stop in at your branch and talk with one of the platform officers to get advice. Don't make assumptions, then blame someone else for the resulting problems.

Chase employees should be trained to tell you "It may take a week or so, we don't know when it will clear". But customer service everywhere now is getting to be a joke. We used to be able to call a company about anything and get a straight, accurate answer 90% of the time. So we're not as watchful and cautious as we should be. Things have changed, some better, some worse. And we are NOT getting accurate answers from people in customer service. A cashier's check used to be solid, now the scammers have the system well under control and are taking advantage of the rest of us. I wish there were some way we could help, but all we can do is continue to warn people. With the vast proliferation of business done between two independent parties whose only connection is the internet, we can expect far more scams in the future. The bad guys will always be faster than the good guys, that's one truth that can't be argued.
By law the bank employees are not permitted to say it may take a week for the check to clear. The bank can be fined if they were shopped by the Fed and made that kind of statement.
 
Feb 28, 2019
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#14
Current banker here. There are two separate issues here 1) Funds Availability: When the funds from deposited items (cash, checks, etc.) is made available to you (clear the funds) 2) if the check you deposited is a good check.

In your situation, the funds were made available to you before Chase figured out it was bad. Unfortunately, there is no way Chase would have known it was a fraudulent check unless the other bank tells them. This can take anywhere from 2 days to 3 months and usually depends on if the check had a fake account number or a real account number but their customer took a month to notice. If the check was drawn off Chase, then they would know its a fake account number but they still would rely on their customer to advise them it is a fake check.

Unfortunately, you were scammed. The only thing Chase did wrong was the teller not trusting his/her instincts about the check being fake but the responsibility of that check will always be yours. They also could have put an extended hold on the check but it doesn't always work since they can't hold the funds indefinitely.

Their fiduciary responsibility is making sure others don't take money out of your account, not protecting clients from making the bad decision to deposit checks and then send the funds out to unknown people. You'll be surprised how many people fall for this scam.
 
Jul 30, 2018
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#15
I loathe big banks, however, privacy laws limit what Chase could have done to prevent this. The teller who received the check from you wouldn't have been able to contact the bank the check was drawn on to find out if it was real. Privacy laws forbid banks from revealing information about their accounts. All she could do was deposit it and like previous posters have said, there is a legal limit to how long Chase can withhold the funds. The same privacy laws applied to the banks that received the wire transfers. Chase knew the name of the bank because of the routing numbers but that is all they could find out. Only an active police investigation and a court order can compel the banks to release any other information. Unfortunately, with limited resources the police must prioritize which crimes they investigate.

I am sorry this happened to you. I can certainly empathize: when my daughter was in college she fell victim to the IRS scam and lost $1900.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
18,181
16,298
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#16
I loathe big banks, however, privacy laws limit what Chase could have done to prevent this. The teller who received the check from you wouldn't have been able to contact the bank the check was drawn on to find out if it was real. Privacy laws forbid banks from revealing information about their accounts. All she could do was deposit it and like previous posters have said, there is a legal limit to how long Chase can withhold the funds. The same privacy laws applied to the banks that received the wire transfers. Chase knew the name of the bank because of the routing numbers but that is all they could find out. Only an active police investigation and a court order can compel the banks to release any other information. Unfortunately, with limited resources the police must prioritize which crimes they investigate.

I am sorry this happened to you. I can certainly empathize: when my daughter was in college she fell victim to the IRS scam and lost $1900.
Actually that isn’t true. You can call a bank and ask if a check is good. They can tell you if it is good or not good “at present”. My wife worked for banks and they did it all the time. But a $200 check could be good at 9 am and someone comes in and cashes a $100 check at 9:15 and the check the person called about us no longer good.

This is probably exactly what happened to the OP- the money was available when she called and that night the returned check came in and overdrew the account because she wired the money already.

The big tip off should have been when the “buyer” told her to wire money and then suddenly couldn’t afford the furniture anymore. Wiring money is a tip off of fraud.

To the OP, you have a bank account number that you wired those funds to. Did you wire to a US bank ? If you did , have you tried calling the police in the city the buyer is in to see if they can find the person you wired the money to? How did you send the $550 to this guy?
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#17
Some banks decline to verify a check via telephone. I had an unusually large check and my bank got suspicious despite me telling them that this was someone reputable. The other bank refused to verify on privacy grounds. This happened in front of me and the bank warned me that if the check is ultimately rejected then I am responsible.
 
Jul 30, 2018
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#18
Based on the information in the FTC article Christina referred to(written in 2018) privacy laws preclude banks from revealing information about their accounts. This is why so many people become victims of fraud by depositing bad checks because the only thing they can do is deposit it and see what happens. Many decades ago I too worked as a bank teller and if another bank phoned with such inquiry we could say if the account was "good" but no other details. We were able to do this to prevent check kiting. The advent of rampant identity theft precipitated many privacy laws coming into effect, although I admit I have no information on exactly when.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
18,181
16,298
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#19
Based on the information in the FTC article Christina referred to(written in 2018) privacy laws preclude banks from revealing information about their accounts. This is why so many people become victims of fraud by depositing bad checks because the only thing they can do is deposit it and see what happens. Many decades ago I too worked as a bank teller and if another bank phoned with such inquiry we could say if the account was "good" but no other details. We were able to do this to prevent check kiting. The advent of rampant identity theft precipitated many privacy laws coming into effect, although I admit I have no information on exactly when.
Exactly - my wife had to say "the check is good at present". That was all they could say.
 
Likes: jsmithw
Jun 1, 2019
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#20
Actually that isn’t true. You can call a bank and ask if a check is good. They can tell you if it is good or not good “at present”. My wife worked for banks and they did it all the time. But a $200 check could be good at 9 am and someone comes in and cashes a $100 check at 9:15 and the check the person called about us no longer good.

This is probably exactly what happened to the OP- the money was available when she called and that night the returned check came in and overdrew the account because she wired the money already.

The big tip off should have been when the “buyer” told her to wire money and then suddenly couldn’t afford the furniture anymore. Wiring money is a tip off of fraud.

To the OP, you have a bank account number that you wired those funds to. Did you wire to a US bank ? If you did , have you tried calling the police in the city the buyer is in to see if they can find the person you wired the money to? How did you send the $550 to this guy?
Hello to all and thank you for the discussion.

To me, it was not a red flag that the buyer did not want to buy the furniture anymore (everyone has the right to change their mind for different reasons). But, I admit, I should question why I should be paying the movers, and I have learned the hard way how the scammers operate. I have wired the money through Chase Quick Pay, and Chase exactly knows where the money went. Still, two days later after I learned that money was taken from my account Chase's fraud department would not even make a formal report, not talking about making a quick call to find out if the money was still there. I made a police report, however, there is not much the police can do in situations like this, as BettyBoo said, they have priorities. As one of the policemen said; if the bank wanted to limit the scamming cycle, they would. But why would they! They didn't lose any money, and on the top of it, they charged me $12 for depositing bad check and Chase's Quick Pay made extra money on electronic transaction. What upsets me is the fact that they had a high suspicion of a fraudulent check and Chase did nothing about it!