Bank of America - Bank of America Bans Fraud Victims Including a $50 Fee

Posted on Sunday, June 20th, 2010 at 7:51pm CDT by e17081ef

Company: Bank of America

Location: 100 North Tryon Street
Charlotte, NC, US


Category: Other

In summary, I was the victim of bank account fraud five years ago. I worked with Bank of America to credit back my account and open a new account. Five years later the bank abruptly closed my account based only on the fact that they closed an account in the past as a result of fraud. On top of this, they charged my account $50 before refunding my balance.

I live in Seattle, WA and in 2005 I discovered a withdrawal from my Bank of America account from a bank machine in Alabama. I contacted Bank of America and they informed me that my mailing address was changed to an Alabama address in their system. Understanding that I had not been to Alabama and did not live there, the bank worked with me to close the account and create a new account for me. They credited my account and that was the last I heard about it, until now.

Over the next five years we were very good banking customers. We conduct most banking electronically; we did not run overdrafts, owned a premium credit card and even owned a savings CD. In 2010 we opened new business checking and savings accounts. Bank of America also issued us a business credit card. Everything seemed fine as we started using the account for a new business. About two months later, we received a letter in the mail concerning the business accounts.

The letter we received said that Bank of America has elected to close your account in accordance with the provisions of our Deposit Agreement and disclosures provided. It then stated that Bank of America may report the account to Chex Systems, Inc., an account verification service. This may adversely impact your ability to open an account at another financial institution for up to five years. While the letter included a phone number for the Risk Identification Center, it provided no explanation for the account closure.

Instead of calling the phone number, I decided to go into my local bank branch. The banking center manager told me there was nothing wrong with any of my accounts and did not know why the new business account would have been closed. The manager contacted the Bank of America Risk Identification Center and was told that the reason for the closure was due to a 2005 incident involving electronic transfers. They had no more information except to say that any time an account is closed by the Risk Identification department, the customer can no longer conduct business with Bank of America.

After I explained the 2005 event to the Risk representative he told the bank branch manager that she could try escalating the matter. Two days later I received a voice message from the manager apologizing for the policy, but that the bank could not reinstate may account. After getting the message, I paid a visit to the manager again.

She told me that the Risk Identification department has only been around for a couple years and was not even in existence when this episode happened. She asked if I had any paperwork about this incident from 2005 and I told her that Bank of America should have everything already. She stated that management would look at and consider any information I could provide about the 2005 incident. Apparently, the bank has very little information from five years ago and is asking that I provide it. Bank of America handled the matter in 2005 and did not provide me with any follow up correspondence as to the details after I reported it. She then stated that there was no risk to any of my personal accounts, the accounts I re-established in 2005.

I decided to call the Risk Identification department again to double-check if there were any other reasons for closing an account in good standing. The woman on the phone confirmed that the only reason for closing the account was the event in 2005. She reiterated that it is their policy to close all customer accounts no matter the reason, if the Risk department initiated the close. I told her that in 2005 I contacted Bank of America and worked with them to close the account and reopen a new one. She could not confirm anything in regards to the matter except the bank policy. She didnt seem to have any information about the event.

Also interesting is that the representative had no idea about the other accounts I had at Bank of America (not even the personal account I re-established in 2005). When I mentioned it, she looked up my account numbers and said that these may be in the process of closure as well.

With policies like this, Bank of America is passing the blame for security breaches to their customers. When this happens, the bank will blame you even if you are not the cause for the fraud affecting your account. In these circumstances, the Bank of America will close your accounts with no warning, post a notice on the Chex system for all banks to view and will even charge you a $50 fee to thank you for doing business with them.


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