Readers M & C are honest people, so when Citibank started randomly depositing money that clearly wasn’t theirs into their account, they called to tell them about it. And Citibank took the money back. And deposited it again. And then sent them a check. M & C say that they’ve begged, they’ve pleaded Citibank to stop sending them random checks — but nothing has worked.
Here’s M’s letter:
This is a strange one. Citibank keeps trying to foist hundreds of dollars on my wife. And not in a good Robert Redford-Demi Moore sort of way.
This was her go-to credit card for a while, since before we met. Around the time of our wedding last year, she charged a couple hundred bucks worth of gifts on what was an otherwise zero-balance card. She went to pay it off a few weeks later, but, lo and behold, it said *they* owed *us* a couple hundred bucks, after some magnificent benefactor credited our account with $600. High times in Fat City, right?
Well, being the mensch my wife is, she called Citibank and told them that somehow their Intertubes were crossed. They transferred her to the fraud department, which promised they’d look into it. Sure enough, a month or two later, we got a letter saying, “We’re on to you, suckers, and we’re taking our money back. Nice try, though.” (I’m paraphrasing.) They debited our account and we went back to the drudgery and monotony of our lives.
Of course, Citibank, being the warm-hearted blokes we all know them to be, never uncrossed their Intertubes and kept wiring money into my wife’s otherwise unused account. A few hundred bucks here, a few hundred there (always in even increments), eventually we had a balance over $1,000 in our favor. It was like the Hannukah miracle, except on a credit card.
So, sure enough, my wife calls back. Sure enough, she’s transferred to the fraud department. Sure enough, they promise to look into it, and sure enough they eventually take their money back. And, this being consumerist, sure enough, they start depositing money into her account again. Always a couple hundred bucks, every few weeks.
What to do? “That’s all well and good, we thought I mean, we don’t use the card, so we figured we could live to ignore it and let them deal with it. “Ha ha,” we’d say to our friends. “That crazy Citibank! Always trying to give us money. What will they think of next?”
Only as of today, they’ve started sending us CHECKS. Just today, I went down to our mailbox and found a fat, juicy check for $600, that said it represents the balance in our account. I mean, it’s like they’re SCREAMING at us: “TAKE OUR MONEY! YOU LOOK LIKE LOVELY PEOPLE! WE DON’T WANT IT!”
Only I can just as loudly hear, like, 800 Consumerist commenters tut-tutting, “You can’t spend it. It’s not your money. You are NOT lovely people; you’re obviously scammers of some sort and you have this coming.”
So the question is, what the hell do we do now? We’ve asked them, PLEADED with them to stop sending us money that doesn’t belong to us. They’re not listening. What now? How do we make them listen? What do we do with this check?
Save us, Consumerist; you’re our only hope!
Well, you clearly are not scammers. If you are, you are the worst scammers in the history of scams and you should go back to scam school and take scam 101.
We’re going to be honest with you here and say we have no idea what you should do, other than you should not spend the money. This is what we have learned from several years of summarizing those “Bank makes $100,000 mistake, man spends it, and has life ruined” stories that show up every few months. Once the bank realizes what they are doing, they will want their money back.
If we were you, we’d start by writing an EECB to Citibank. Perhaps you can attract the attention of someone who realizes that, while, as a bank, they are supposed to loan money, it is supposed to be a bit more organized than this. Send them a detailed account of everything that has happened, and tell them to cut it out. (Keep a copy of this letter for your records, too.) It sounds like the “fraud” department might not be equipped to handle this sort of problem.
For more information about launching an EECB, click here. Here’s some executive customer service contact info for Citibank.
Anyone out there have any advice for M & C?
(Photo: cmorran123 )