Wells Fargo Horror Story

  |     |   783 posts since 2010

While getting my hair cut this past weekend, the owner of the salon tells me an incredible story about her business checking account with Wells Fargo 8 years ago.

The new business checks she had ordered had the same check numbers as her old checks. This created problems with her financial software program so she requested new checks. Wells Fargo told her she had to return the incorrectly numbered checks before issuing her new checks. So she brought them in to the bank and gave them to the teller. The teller, instead of shredding them, threw them out in the dumpster behind the bank. As you can guess, someone found the checks and starting using them at a variety of department stores, supermarkets and check cashing companies. In a few days more than $8,000 had been cashed from her account before being notified by the bank or the various stores where the checks had bounced.  Naturally, she asked Wells Fargo to reimburse her for the $8,000 since the teller had discarded the checks in an insecure place. The bank refused and said she was responsible even though the teller admitted to discarding the checks.

She tried to work it out with the bank but they refused to admit responsibility for the stolen money, so she had to sue them in small claims court. To make a long story short, the court only awarded her $4,000. She had to take a loss of $4,000 even though she didn't do anything wrong. It is hard to believe that a court of law did not find in her favor for the full amount. I am blown away by the outcome of this case and how Wells Fargo handled the incident.

  |     |   202 posts since 2012
Not good at all. No wonder WF didn't want the TARP money. (according to the movie)
  |     |   20 posts since 2011
I call BS on this story.

One provision of the UCC states that, when a single wrongdoer is involved in a series of forgeries, a bank is liable to its depositor for the amounts of forged checks cashed up to 30 days after the bank made available to you the first statement on which one of the forged checks appeared. The 30 day period is to allow you time to open and read the statement and reconcile it, identifying any unauthorized items. You have a responsibility to review the bank statement promptly. Unauthorized checks cashed that are forged by the same wrongdoer after the end of that 30 day period are the responsibility of the depositor, who could have prevented the losses by timely notification to the bank.
  |     |   783 posts since 2010
This story is absolutely true. I have known this woman for many years and I can vouch for her honesty and integrity.

I was also surprised that the bank wasn't fullly liable for the forged checks. I don't know the law but I think it is more complicated than you suggest. As Ken said, there may be differences in the law between business and personal checking accounts with respect to forgery and fraudulent checks.
  |     |   1 posts since 2019
Is that really true?
  |     |   948 posts since 2010
Doesn't surprise me about Well Fargo. I have heard stories about them, and so been warning people, since the mid-1990s.

A co-worker then was telling me how he had a savings account with them. Oddly, one day he saw a $100,000 deposit to the account, which he had not made. So, he went into the bank, told them so they could take the money back.

When they did so, they charged him a $20 penalty for that withdrawal being over the amount he was allowed in a month (he was not over before that). Yes, he gave them $100,000 they had mistakenly put in his account, he could have just shut up. And they charged him $20 to give it back to them!

He fought, argued, they would not bend, not even the manager!

He closed his accounts with them, and never went back. But they kept that $20 -- apparently that's how they show their appreciation. Hey,even technically speaking, that was not a withdrawal, it was a reversal, a nullification -- Wells Fargo didn't care, they wanted their $20.

I heard other similar from other people, although not that a huge amount of money ad been deposited to their account. I have been warning people not to use Wells Fargo ever since then -- only now, 20+ years later, do the regulators finally take note of the crap Wells Fargo has been doing. What is in the news now is barely the tip of the iceberg.
  |     |   12 posts since 2018
Here is the way I am getting even with the crooked Wells Fargo: I am using their bill pay with my checking account that I keep open with 50 cents in it. I send myself through bill pay a check for 1 cent every month. They pay the postage. It turned out not to be worth the time to cash the check so I tossed it. Then in 3 months they put the penny back into my checking account. Now I plan to send myself a penny weekly.

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