Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion
About Ken Tumin About Ken Tumin - Founder and Editor

Ken Tumin founded the Bank Deals Blog in 2005 and has been passionately covering the best deposit deals ever since. He is frequently referenced by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other publications as a top expert, but he is first and foremost a fellow deal seeker and member of the wonderful community of savers that frequents DepositAccounts.

Featured Savings Rates

Popular Posts

Featured Accounts

Banks Accused of Allowing Fraudulent Withdrawals

POSTED ON BY

Zions Bank

For criminals to use the ACH system to steal money from your bank accounts, they must have access to the banking system. Some criminals have been able to get that access by using third-party payment processors and banks that have turned a blind eye to suspicious activity. Last November I reported on First Bank of Delaware and the penalties it received from the FDIC and the Justice Department. According to the Justice Department:

First Bank of Delaware violated the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act (“FIRREA”) by originating withdrawal transactions on behalf of fraudulent merchants and causing money to be taken from the bank accounts of consumer victims. The government alleges that the bank knew – or turned a blind eye to the fact – that consumer authorization for the withdrawals had been obtained by fraud.

Another bank has recently been accused of allowing fraudulent merchants to steal money from consumers, and it’s a much larger bank than First Bank of Delaware. In a recent article, the New York Times identified Zions Bank as one of these banks. The NYT reported to have reviewed “newly unsealed court documents”, and according to the NYT:

The documents, as well as interviews with state and federal officials, paint a troubling picture. They outline how banks profit handsomely by collecting fees while ignoring warnings of potential fraud and, in some instances, enabling dubious merchants to prey on consumers.

The “dubious merchants” often prey on seniors. The NYT article described how one telemarketer was able to trick a 83-year-old man into divulging his bank account information. That telemarketing scammer then was able to withdraw funds from the man’s bank account using a third-party payment processor which had an account at Zions Bank.

First Bank of Delaware and Zions Bank aren’t the only banks accused of allowing this type of fraudulent activity. According to the NYT, the Justice Department is “considering civil and criminal actions against a number of banks.”

The one important tip for consumers is to never give bank account information to anyone who calls. Also, be sure to regularly monitor your bank accounts for any suspicious activity.


Related Pages: Zions Bank

Related Posts

Comments
4 Comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
A rough employee can get anybody’s info on any account and can resell that info to crooks around the globe.
By the time the bank realizes what happened, the damage can be in millions. There is no daily limits on withdrawals when a merchant charges a fee for goods or services.

If you loose your debit card or your checkbook and a bad persons finds it, there is no limit on the damage if you fail to report it within few days. The blame will be on you, because after the money is transfered to the merchant the bank must prove the fraud or they lost the money.

Furthermore, every debit card is tide up to you checking account and the bad guys can always find the account by cross referencing it in a different visa or MC data base, available to most merchants.

The best thing to do is to close that account at once once, should you loose the debit card or your checkbook, don’t wait for replacement card or new checks, your original bank account can be at risk again.

4
Comment #2 by ClickClack posted on
ClickClack
Ken, it might be wise to modify the headline of this post, given that there are several financial institutions actually named People's/Peoples Bank. For example, see: Peoples Bank in NC, or Peoples Bank in WA, or Peoples Bank in KY, OH, & WV. There are probably others, as well. No point in causing any readers with accounts in those banks to panic for nothing, even temporarily, right?

3
Comment #3 by ClickClack posted on
ClickClack
Silly me, it only just occurred to me to try searching your site's listings of banks for the word "people" and there are plenty of banks whose name is "Peoples"; look at the search results here.

 

2
Comment #4 by KenBDG posted on
KenBDG
Good point ClickClack. I just dropped off the last four words.

4