Bank Of America Says I Stole $11,000 From Myself, Gambled It Away

Reader M. has a sad and frightening cautionary tale for us all. He’s unemployed, and his debit card was stolen. Now he’s been accused of stealing more than $11,000 from himself and gambling it away at casinos. Bank of America has finished its investigation, and concluded that M. is responsible for the withdrawals, and now must pay back the $11,000 he didn’t spend. At the 20% APR charged for cash advances, naturally.

I have had a situation with Bank of America in which I was robbed, my debit card used to take out over $10,000 dollars in cash advances at casinos locally. A debit card to a rarely used checking account with a 0 balance in it was used. Unbeknownst to me, Bank of America had my credit card which has a $13,000 limit (and has always had a 0 balance) linked to my checking account as an overdraft protection. So the debit card was used with an incorrect PIN at an ATM machine, and then 20 minutes later for the first of 6 separate cash advances authorized by GCA (Global Cash Advance) at 3 different casinos. The cash advances were for $500, $500, $1000, $2000, $3000, $3000 including fees, all of them somehow authorized, never an “irregular activity” flag for an overdraft of $11,000 including fees on my rarely used checking account debit card. I went and did all of the correct procedures in filing a police report, and filling out their affirmation of fraudulent use on my debit card.

Bank of America says they have now concluded their investigation and say that there was no error posted to my account, and are now charging me the $11,000 at a cash advance rate of 20% interest. They failed to give me any good reason for their decision, except that “the signature resembled mine” They were not willing to let me get the forgeries examined by a forensic document analyst, against my real signature, or summon casino video surveillance, or fingerprints on the cash advance receipts. They also will not inform me of my appeal rights or the proper procedures, as they won’t return my phone calls. They could not inform me of how my credit card with a $13,000 limit was ever authorized as an overdraft protection on a checking account I hadn’t used in a year. They have told me this is the final decision and that I am responsible for the debt with no appeal options. They are expecting me to pay a $285 minimum payment next month even though I’ve made a payment this month, my unemployment is running out, and can’t afford to pay this, which will ruin my perfect credit history. I have informed the OCC and filed a complaint with them which is still pending. I have copies of the letters sent to Bank of America’s headquarters, with no response so far. I have contacted several lawyers and none of them can refer me to or tell me of anyone that handles my type of case.

There is more to the story, I just would like to inform the public in any way about this situation of how the bank feels they can place debt on consumers in this manner. I would also like to get the word out there to show how easy it has been for someone to be able to get away scot free with stealing $11,000 dollars through casino cash cages. This story has had several thousand views over at creditboards.com, and I was very surprised due to their knowledgable memberbase, that most of them weren’t even aware of how easy this situation can happen, or what to necessarily do about it.

DISTURBINGLY SIMILAR STORIES:
Chase Tells 44-Year Customer He Fits Fraud Profile, Stole $6200 From Himself
Bank Of America Alerts Me To ATM Fraud, Then Decides I Did It Myself

Comments

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  1. Admiral_John says:

    I am not in any way, shape or form defending BoA… this is disgusting and abhorrent behavior.

    I wonder, though, if OP informed BoA of the robbery and report the card stolen to them after it happened? My understanding with debit cards has always been that if you don’t report it to the institution stolen within a certain time you’re liable for the activity on the card.

    Again, this is disgusting behavior from BoA, but it’s still a point, I think.

    • ohhhh says:

      2 things, first perhaps the OP forgot the card was in the property that was stolen, from his summary it didn’t seem to me that this card was used a lot so maybe he didn’t know it was stolen right away.

      Second, based on their “investigation” it may not matter if he reported and filed a police report like the OP did, it sounds like the BofA investigation team has blinders on, no video evidence allowed, no signature examination.

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

        The OP claims he called the numbers on most of his 15 cards. But if you call up to say your wallet is stolen to BofA, wouldn’t they apply that to ALL of your BofA accounts? Do you have to make separate claims/calls on each individual cards, even if they are from the same issuer?

        • thnkwhatyouthnk says:

          Should you have to? No.

          Would I call all of my banks about 20 times to make sure they know my stuff was stolen/robbed? After all of the stories I keep reading, yes. I don’t need a $5K+ bill for only making 19 calls.

          • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

            Well, since this same thing happened to him 2 months prior, only to the tune of $12,000, you would think he had the hang of it by now.

            • checkcard2009 says:

              GCA will get an imprint of the card and a photocopy of the license. He should be able to get this from the bank (simply by requesting copies of the receipts). GCA is usually very good about getting all the info. ( I know because I processed disputes on Debit/Check cards for years). This should be escalated to the ‘executive office’ (call into customer service and ask to speak to the CEO–it will work, they have a call center for just for that). The customer can win, it will just take time and work. The bank is fighting because they do not want to take the loss on this (they can’t get the $$$ back from GCA, their only recourse is to find the person and prosecute). He should not give up, he could try calling the casino and talking to loss prevention, they may still have the surveillance tapes.

        • ohhhh says:

          Yes you should notify them of all cards, I called to change the mailing address for the account my wife and I both use, We both started receiving mailings at our new house, we thought all was good. Then a year later her debit card expired and we never received another one. Apparently they still maintained a separate address for her somewhere that the card went to but not all of the other garbage that they send out weekly packed with advertisements. you can’t assume that their system is smart enough even on accounts that are tied together with the same name and address.

          • bwcbwc says:

            Yes. Mostly because BofA STILL hasn’t integrated all of the computer systems of the banks they bought up during the merger craze. Up until recently on their website you had to specify which state you were in so that they could direct you to the correct computer to register for web access to your account. So if your accounts were opened from different regions of BofA or one was in a company that BofA bought up, the address change might not hit all of your accounts.

    • Donathius says:

      It really depends on the bank/institution. Legally, there is no protection for debit cards. With credit cards there is a legal liability limit of $50 if the card is promptly reported stolen. The same protection does not apply to debit cards. I do know that some banks (like Wells Fargo) have a policy that puts a $50 liability limit on debit cards that has identical terms to the credit card act, but that’s a policy they chose to enact as opposed to it being legally required.

      • Nisun says:

        If I recall correctly, VISA does offer the same $50 liability on debit cards with the VISA logo as long as the card was used as a Credit Card. Since this is the case I think the OP should contact VISA HQ and demand the bank follow the Visa Standard of practice. I hate credit cards, but I’m almost 100% sure that the VISA liability standard applies.

        • Pax says:

          Indeed, VISA’s fraud prevention services team has blocked my card, proactively, and then called me – at home, the next morning – to verify that the charges were legitimately made with my authorisation.

          My card is a debit card, bearing a VISA logo and number, issued to me through my local credit union.

          • Daniellethm says:

            I had the same call from my bank (Navy Fed, they’re awesome) I Western Union’d $1000 to my husband for moving expenses (I was on base, he was a state away) Not 30 minutes after I sent payment they called me to make sure I authorized it. It’s a bit annoying sometimes, but I’m very grateful my credit union calls to verify anything over $500.

    • Hobz says:

      Based on the information in the article;

      1.) It was a VISA/Debit card. A signature was used.
      2.) The PIN was declined at an ATM 20 minutes prior to the withdrawals. The casinos processed the card as a credit card.
      3.) BoA automatically transferred the balance of the withdrawals to his credit card due to lack of funds in the account used by the debit card.
      4.) The signature was close enough that BoA thought he had actually signed for the withdrawals?

      This would appear to me to be a case of identity theft.

      I think your only course of action is to follow through with the police investigation. My thinking would be that if they were able to compare the signatures and review the video as part of the investigation they might be able to make the determination that your were indeed a victim. With a police report in hand, it might be difficult for BoA to go before a judge and prove that you are who the police say you aren’t.

    • FredKlein says:

      I wonder, though, if OP informed BoA of the robbery and report the card stolen to them after it happened?

      It says right there: “I went and did all of the correct procedures in filing a police report, and filling out their affirmation of fraudulent use on my debit card.”

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

        Doesn’t answer the question of if the report was sent to BofA. Even the OP said he didn’t know where to send paperwork to BofA to.

        • common_sense84 says:

          It doesn’t matter. A pin was not used. This isn’t a real cash advance. It mentions a signature.

          So this is a place that does fake cash advances by charging you the full amount + fees as a credit transaction.

          Thus this is credit card fraud. The cash advance place should be 100% on the hook here. It makes no sense for BOA to try to make the customer pay this. And considering this cash advance place was inside a casino, video evidence would prove if the person was right. So the evidence exists to prove the cash advance place screwed up. The casino probably is refusing to give up the evidence. But this is between BOA and the cash advance place.

          The customer is not liable for credit card fraud. Usually a person can only be held accountable if a pin number was used and thus it was a cash withdrawal.

          • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

            Well, since the banks had no problem when the same thing happened to him two months earlier for $12,000, I’m guessing there might be a reason they don’t believe him this time. Just because you have someone do it on your behalf doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay it.

          • Randell says:

            Not necessarily true. The use of the debit card makes it a debit card transaction, therefore not subject to credit card rule. Casinos will do a large transaction debit card transaction with a signature of either a credit or debit card. To say it is between BOA and the casino is factually incorrect. It is actually a crime committed by the person who had his card.
            There are a lot of holes in the guys story as well. Why does he have a zero balance cc and debit card from BOA and why does he keep that debit card around if it isn’t used? That is like leaving your door unlocked and wondering why somebody stole your car.

            • common_sense84 says:

              “The use of the debit card makes it a debit card transaction, therefore not subject to credit card rule”

              Completely untrue. When you run the debit card as a credit card, the same rules/laws apply to the transaction as any credit card. The risk of course that with a debit, the money is gone until the dispute is fixed. With a normal credit card, they have to bill you. So fraud via debit sucks, because the money is gone upfront and has to be returned. With a real credit card, they can’t force you to pay for fraud you legally don’t have to pay for.

              “There are a lot of holes in the guys story as well. Why does he have a zero balance cc and debit card from BOA and why does he keep that debit card around if it isn’t used?”

              None of those are holes. If BOA thinks he is committing fraud, they should call the police. The video tapes at the casino will prove it. The fact that BOA is not doing that, pretty much says they know it wasn’t him that withdrew the cash. And thus they are running a scam.

          • coren says:

            It also mentions an incorrect pin being used, which presents confusion

    • MaxPower says:

      I’m not sure if this is the case here (the letter says OP was robbed but he may just be referring to the withdrawals) but people don’t need to physically steal your card. If someone can obtain your credit card information (usually through hacking into a financial institution), they can then create credit or debit cards that can be used at ATMs using special printers. There was an article recently about this in Rolling Stone (the one with Russell Brand on the cover) and this happened to me a few weeks ago. I couldn’t understand why my credit card had fraudulent charges when it was safely in my wallet, but my bank explained to me how fake cards can be made.

      Secondly, why do people still use Bank of America???? From everything I have read on the Consumerist, I can’t understand why anyone has a bit of trust with this bank. I have a Visa credit card that I also barely use (basically only when the American Express isn’t accepted) and one day there were three large withdrawals from an ATM at a Safeway. The credit card company called me that day to ask about possible fraudulent charges and when I told them that I didn’t make them, they instantly credited my account without any questions. They then changed my account number and sent me a new card within a couple of days. No hassle, no problems.

      Absolutely nothing surprises me anymore with Bank of America’s complete abuse of their customers and I don’t see why people aren’t switching to a more reputable bank.

  2. Fair&Balanced says:

    With credit you are only liable for $50 of fraudlent uses if you report it with in 60 days.
    Since they charged all this to a credit card you are protected. If anything shows up on your credit report you can use your police report to get them removed.

    http://www.fdic.gov/regulations/laws/rules/6500-1350.html
    Go to “§ 909. Consumer liability for unauthorized transfers “

    For $13,000 the police should already have the video from the casino and should be able to give you a picture of the person who used the card.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      Ahhh, but the crook didn’t charge it to the credit card.

      • partofme says:

        …but BOA did. They charged it to a credit card that was linked to the debit card. They’re asking for credit card like payment ($285 minimum payment, 20% cash advance APR). They want to treat it like a credit card transaction in every way but for fraud purposes.

        • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

          It’s actually 2 Bank of America credit cards: http://www.creditboards.com/forums/lofiversion/index.php/t437718-50.html

        • mszabo says:

          Yes but BoA is claiming that BoA was pre-authorized to put charges on that credit card. I suspect that is a nice loophole out of the $50 maximum fraud limit.

          I just switched credit cards for a better rewards program and had been a little hesitant to switch because now my credit card and checking account are held by different banks. It was so convenient to move the money from one account to another with the same system. This story certainly makes me happy I did switch things up.

        • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

          There’s the word(s), “Cash Advance”. Does the cash advance come from MC/Visa/AMEX/etc…, or from BofA. If it’s from BofA, that probably doesn’t count towards the fraud clause with a CC company.

    • obits3 says:

      Good point on the link to the Credit Card. This is why I do not have a debit card. There are better legal protections on a credit card. Also, as long as you pay the credit card off in full every month, it has the SAME effect as using a debit card. All you have to do is keep track of your bank balance LESS your current outstanding credit. Plus, you get to keep your money longer, and best of all, if someone steals your credit card you still have your money in the bank to pay bills while you deal with the theft.

      • Admiral_John says:

        This has always kind of confused me… if your debit card has a Visa or MC logo on it, do you have credit card protections?

        • EarlNowak says:

          No.

        • obits3 says:

          @ Admiral_John
          Here is a link to a fact sheet from some consumer organization I found on Google:
          http://www.pirg.org/consumer/banks/debit/debitcards1.htm
          As a general rule, I’ve found that Credit Cards are better overall. The only reason I can see to get a debit card or ATM card is to get quick cash, but I use my Credit Card so much that my pocket cash doesn’t change that much. Also, a credit card will build your credit score so long as you’re paying it off every month. I sometimes joke that if my bank ever said “you took out a bunch of money with your debit card.” I would reply “I’ve never owned a debit card EVER. (FTW)!”

      • Fair&Balanced says:

        That is what I do.
        I only carry credit cards and I pay them off 100% at the end of the month using my checking account.

    • mac-phisto says:

      to reiterate what i posted below, the protections afforded to consumers for liability in the case of unauthorized transfers only applies if the bank’s investigation determines that the transfer was unauthorized.

      you can’t just read § 909. you also have to read § 908: Error resolution. within that provision, you’ll see that the bank determines if the transfer is unauthorized – not the individual – & if they determine there is no error, then this is the result:

      “(d) If the financial institution determines after its investigation pursuant to subsection (a) or (c) that an error did not occur, it shall deliver or mail to the consumer an explanation of its findings within 3 business days after the conclusion of its investigation, and upon request of the consumer promptly deliver or mail to the consumer reproductions of all documents which the financial institution relied on to conclude that such error did not occur. The financial institution shall include notice of the right to request reproduction with the explanation of its findings. “

      notice that the OP has a right to all evidence. i think if it were me, i’d be exercising that right now.

  3. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    They were not willing to let me get the forgeries examined by a forensic document analyst, against my real signature, or summon casino video surveillance, or fingerprints on the cash advance receipts.

    In most criminal investigations, none of this info is released to the person filing the report, only to the police. Do the police have all of this evidence, as it will help in their case. Also, if this happened in Vegas, and you don’t live in the same state, would this be a federal crime, like wire fraud?

    • JJ! says:

      I’m not sure and am definitely not a lawyer…But I think it could be a federal matter if the bank isn’t based there, or doesn’t have branches there, as well.

    • Invalid_User_Name says:

      I think a civil case and a subpoena will accomplish the same thing. (not a lawyer)

    • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

      You are right. My husband had someone in our state open a bank account in his name. They used checks in Texas. We filed a police report and closed the bank account. A few days later, they wrote a check in another state and that state issued a warrant for DH for fraudulent check writing. As soon as we reported that, the person’s crime became federal. The perp was quickly tracked down and prosecuted. The funny thing is that the perp was a woman and was using the checks at places like Hobby Lobby and Garden Ridge.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      OK, I read the account on CreditBoards and he was walking home when he was mugged and beaten and his wallet stolen. He was also mugged two months prior, and the mugger got $12k. So it’s not federal.

    • MauriceCallidice says:

      In a criminal investigation, all relevant information including detailed reports of analyses and finings MUST be disclosed to the accused prior to trial, and become a matter of public record available to the victim at time of trial. If we were to treat this as a criminal investigation, the OP is either the victim or the suspect, in which he would have access to the evidence either at trial or before.

      But BOA seems to be treating this a civil matter. Still if BOA were to sue the OP, they would have to turn over what they know if pre-trial disclosure. If OP were to sue BOA, as it seems he certainly should, they would also have to disclose their evidence.

      In any case, OP needs a lawyer.

      (I am not a lawyer.)

  4. Tim says:

    What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

  5. John from Huntersville says:

    I’d think that proceeding with the police would be the logical thing to do. I’d see if the police can check the video surveillance to see who actually got the cash advances. If the person doesn’t look like you, I’d then try to get a report from the police (or the casinos) stating that it was not you on the video surveillance tapes (if it’s possible to get such a report).

    I’d guess It would be hard (but maybe not) for BOA to charge you with such evidence.

    I also agree with the previous comment about reporting of the stolen card.

  6. Supes says:

    Any links to the thread on creditboards.com? Facially this seems horrible, but I’m also sure there’s more to the story.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      Here you go: http://www.creditboards.com/forums/lofiversion/index.php/t437718-50.html

      He was apparently gambling in Vegas and got beat up and his wallet stolen.

      • FatLynn says:

        He mentions it happening twice in about a two-month time-span. I am not surprised that BOA doesn’t believe his story.

        • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

          I admit I kind of tuned out while reading the accounts, mostly because of the many spelling errors, which act like speed bumps to me. Also, the inline quoting really bothers me.

        • atheos says:

          the more I read about this story, the more I think the “other guy” is one of his multiple personalities.
          unemployed, spending money in casinos, mugged and robbed repeatedly. good grief

          • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

            My money is on he owed someone some money, who roughed him up. He then gave them his card and told them the wrong PIN. They either took the money out and then let him go, or they took the card(s) and let him go. He then throws the rest of his wallet on the sidewalk, waits nearly two days, then calls the police.

            Given that nearly the same thing happened two months prior, I think he has a problem, and this trick worked the last time.

  7. Extractor says:

    You are going about it the wrong way. Since your Credit card was comprimised you have 6 months to dispute it with Mastercard or Visa. This does not involve your bank.
    That is why I play the rewards game and charge everything. Would just like to know how to change the debit cards to ATM only cards which would prevent a signature transaction.
    My debit cards have never been attacked, but the credit cards have been 3 times since 2000 and the cards were cancelled, with 1 turned over to the FBI since I check my accounts at least 1x per day and there was almost a month remaining in the transaction period. And that involved a $10.88 charge from Global Telecommunications of Moscow Russia.

    • qbubbles says:

      Wrong. It was a debit card. Read the post.

      • 47ka says:

        Read the post – overdraft protection charged his credit card.

        • coren says:

          But if he had that set up legitimately then it’s not something the card company will get in on. Or if they do, the bank will just say he owes them the money anyway, regardless of if the card company thinks he does.

  8. spamtasticus says:

    I fired Bank of America years ago due to a similar though less painful thing they did to me:

    I have been a customer of Bank of America for many many years and was amazed at what happened to me in the last few weeks. We received a notice from the bank for overdraft of my personal checking account. This was impossible so we started going over our statements and register with a fine tooth comb. They did not add up so we called the bank’s automated system that sounds off each transaction automatically for you check by check. We finally came across the offending check. It was a fake check paid to someone we did not know for $2000.00. Ironically it was the same check number as another I had used the weekend before for $85.00. I called Bank of America’s customer service and went over the information with them. They emailed me a copy of the check which was obviously false (thousand was even misspelled as Thousend). When I asked them how they could possibly pay 2 checks with the same check number they told me it was impossible to catch. This is obviously ridiculous but by far not the worse transgression of this tale. They then told me they had to freeze my account. When I asked what that meant they explained that no more checks would be paid but that I could continue depositing. Hmmmm.. how nice. I told them it was completely unacceptable because I had several very very important checks out there for credit cards, mortgage etc. etc. and I did not want them to bounce with all the associated costs and problems. Can you believe that they told me they would “write me a note” so that I could fax a copy of it to all the people who’s checks (real ones with funds to back them up) would bounce. This ridiculous solution was obviously not acceptable to me so I asked them If I could just give them a list of the “real” checks with amounts for them to clear and freeze all other activity. They told me that was not something they did. The supervisor (at this point I had climbed the ladder) then told me that if I refused to freeze the account that I would be responsible for any further fake checks that came into my account and that they would not refund them as they had this one. That is when I hit the roof and headed to my local branch. They backed up the policy of the moron on the phone and even showed me where it said in their terms of service ( a separate pamphlet from the documents I signed when opening the account) that they could close my account at their discretion at any time for any reason. Needless to say, I closed my account with them then and there and took my business elsewhere. I have now spent over a week on the phone begging and pleading with the people that have my checks to make sure I don’t get billed late charges and my credit is not destroyed thanx to the Walmart of banking. Bank of America.

    • AnthonyC says:

      As much as it sucks for you, this is normal. When there is fraudulent activity on an account, they freeze the account while they investigate.

      Once the account is frozen, there’s nothing you can do about the outstanding checks, but here’s a piece of advice for the future: have 2 accounts at different banks, and pay your bills online. The first is so that if one account is compromised the other is still available. The second is because 1) bills paid electronically will post faster and 2) for bills that can’t be paid online, you can have your bank mail a paper check for however much you want to whomever you want. I know BoA does this; you can even tell them what day to deliver it by. Then, at least, you’ll have a clear record of what was sent and when, when you talk to your bank.

      • FatLynn says:

        When I had my wallet stolen, I ended up having to pay my mortgage via Western Union, because a check written out of my other account would not arrive in time. It was a huge pain, but a decent mortgage company should be willing to work with you.

      • NatalieErin says:

        The only time I had a checkbook stolen, Wells Fargo offered a third option – they would hold all checks and run them by me before honoring them. It was several years ago, though, so perhaps they don’t offer that anymore.

    • jeremy2020 says:

      I had a different experience. I dislike BoA for many things, but my branch situated me with a new account and gave me temporary (starter) checks as well as a temporary debit card to use with my account to allow me to pay my bills while i waited for the actual checks and debit card to arrive. My previous account was frozen, but they provided me with a new one and transferred over the funds that were still present.

      I had to wait awhile for the original funds that were stolen from BoA (yes, stolen *from* BoA, not me; always be sure to point that out to them), but that I expected.

  9. wellfleet says:

    I bet the casinos would be more willing to help you or work with you. After all, if someone took you for an 11K ride, casinos don’t want that kind of person on their floor. It’s also bad publicity for them to have allowed something like this to happen in their buildings.
    That said, how did anyone take out a cash advance on your debit card without knowing the PIN?

    • Supes says:

      Frankly I wish I could make my debit card “PIN transactions only” or something along those lines. I’d feel much better if no one even had the option to making any purchases or cash advances with just a signature.

    • Michael Belisle says:

      Are you sure about that? Casinos don’t care about the color of the money coming in, as long as the blood is dry.

      It sounds like the cash advances were obtained running the card as a credit card, and the OP’s credit card was in turn linked as overdraft protection. It might have been on GCA’s 3-in-1 ATM: “GCA’s 3-in-1 ATM allows a patron to easily convert an unsuccessful ATM cash withdrawal into a POS debit card transaction or a credit card cash advance, while the patron perceives this as just one transaction.”

      That may sound like a feature that preys on problem gamblers and people on tilt, but remember that “Since the beginning, GCA has had a long-standing commitment to promoting responsible gaming.”

      • ChuckECheese says:

        2 weeks ago while on business I stayed at a casino hotel west of Yuma. For the entire week I was there, every ATM in the place was ‘out of service,’ with no signs on them. When I (and others) went to report the nonfunctioning ATMs, we were directed to the cages, where we were cheerfully told we could obtain cash advances against our credit cards, with fees of approximately 10-15% of the withdrawal. I went to Circle K and paid $2 for an ATM withdrawal.

        • AlphaLackey says:

          “2 weeks ago while on business I stayed at a casino hotel west of Yuma. “

          We miss you at the Mirage, Mr. Papageorgio.

  10. Commenter24 says:

    It seems to me that Bank of America didn’t steal your money; the guy who stole your debit card did. Bank of America simply won’t help you get it back.

    • joshua70448 says:

      I don’t see anything that says that Bank of America stole the money…..

    • pjorg says:

      That’s all good and well, but Bank of America made a commitment to him that he would not be responsible for unauthorized activity on the card when he opened the account. They (based on the facts in evidence) appear to be trying to avoid making good on that commitment by brushing off his claim.

      Not cool.

      • FatLynn says:

        According to the original thread, this is the second time it has happened in as many months, and he did not send them a police report. There is NO reason that BOA should believe this guy.

    • djc_819 says:

      eh? Where does it say anywhere, that BoA stole the OP’s money?

      You missed the point entirely.

    • seishino says:

      Fraudulent credit card transactions are protected in the US. Essentially, they can’t loan you money if they’re not loaning it to you.

      In this case, BofA is holding this person responsible for loans it made to someone else, because BofA has decided that this is the person who made those loans. The process of BofA’s decision isn’t transparent, and there doesn’t appear to be an appeal’s process. All of the transactions should have thrown up a huge red flag, but it didn’t appear to in this case.

      If this was removing money from a debit account, I would agree with you. But this is a credit card loan. I’m sure credit card companies get lot of buyer’s remores chargebacks from Vegas, and I somehow doubt sending lots of chargebacks to vegas hotels will do wonders for a business. But a proper hearing / screening is due, and the process needs to be transparent.

    • hattrick says:

      Actually, no, BofA is culpable.

      BofA linked his debit card to the rest of his credit without the OP’s knowledge or permission. And then they not only failed to protect his credit, but after the fact they also refused to accept responsibility for enabling clearly wrongful use of his credit.

      This is like a grocery store owner knocking on you door, demanding to be paid because he gave $11,000 worth of groceries to a random dude who he’d never seen before, who didn’t know anything about you, but who said you’d pay the bill.

  11. mac-phisto says:

    this is the darkside of regulation E (commonly known as “The EFT Act”). did you know that the law doesn’t require a bank to refund your money? it simply requires that they resolve disputes within a specified timeframe.

    this is also the case with the Fair Credit Billing Act (the portion of regulation Z, or “Truth in Lending” that deals specifically with credit card billing errors). most people incorrectly assume that they are only responsible for $50 of unauthorized charges. this is true ONLY if the bank’s investigation determines that the charges were not authorized. in the OP’s case, we see what happens when the bank doesn’t feel there is an error.

    contacting the OCC is a good start, but they’re likely to just make sure that BoA followed the proper procedure for investigating the dispute. i don’t think they’ll review the specifics of the case. it may be a good time to find an attorney.

    • pjorg says:

      I get that, but I don’t think that the intent of the law is to allow half-assed investigations to carry the day as having “resolved” the incident.

      Can we agree that if a law requires disputes to be resolved, that it requires them to be resolved in good faith, and not merely rubber stamped?

      • mac-phisto says:

        i think we could assume that about most laws, but unfortunately, it often takes a court of law to determine who is right in cases like this.

  12. thrillhouse says:

    How about contacting the attorney general’s office? Don’t they usually claim to handle these sorts of things (ie, crooked business practices)?

  13. FatLynn says:

    Did he file a police report? He doesn’t specify whether or not he did, and it will be much harder to get action from BOA without one.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      Apparently he did, but has not sent that to BofA, because he claims he doesn’t know where to send it: http://creditboards.com/forums/index.php?s=&showtopic=437718&view=findpost&p=4193547

      I would think sending a certified letter w/return signature and addressing the letter fraud dept c/o the main headquarters will get to where it is going. Hell, for 11k, I’d send it to the Fraud Dept c/o every large office building they own/run.

    • qbubbles says:

      Um, yes it does.

      “I went and did all of the correct procedures in filing a police report, and filling out their affirmation of fraudulent use on my debit card.”

      Read for comprehension.

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

        But it doesn’t state if he SENT the police report to BofA in a timely fashion. Police usually don’t just hand out reports willy-nilly.

  14. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    I’m confused. According to the original posts, the case WAS re-opened by Bank of America: http://creditboards.com/forums/index.php?s=&showtopic=437718&view=findpost&p=4192066 That doesn’t seem like the ignoring it is made out to be.

  15. jimmyhl says:

    Am I missing something? If the transactions were authorized using an incorrect PIN, how could the cardholder end up on the hook?

    • Invalid_User_Name says:

      Because it was put through as a credit transaction: a debit card without a PIN is processed as a credit transaction or “cash advance” (also a credit transaction).

      • Fair&Balanced says:

        Credit transactions are not normally cash advances.
        This one credit transaction was a pin less cash advance through the casino.
        Basically the casino charges the card as a credit transaction and then gives the user the cash.

        Normally this is not allowed, but I guess the casinos probably pay more fees to the credit companies to do this.

      • Avrus says:

        Silly US debit system.

        I love my debit card in Canada. You don’t have the PIN? No cash for you. It’s not treated in any way like a credit card.

  16. FatLynn says:

    Sorry, but after reading the original over at creditboards.com, I am not surprised that BOA dismissed his claim. He has had his wallet stolen twice in two months and used for cash advances in Vegas? It could happen, but he could also have a gambling problem.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      I’m a little iffy as well. He said he got beat unconscious and woke up the next afternoon, but apparently no one saw him bleeding on the street? He then didn’t report the beating until almost two days later to the police.

      The cynic in me says he was into some money to some bad people, didn’t pay, and got roughed up until he got them some money w/these cash advances. He then threw his wallet on the street, and let human greed take over to cover his tracks. That’s the cynical me, BTW.

      The non-cynical me says this guy has some bad luck, and wonders why Grissom and Saddle aren’t helping him out.

      • Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

        I hate to be cynical myself, but you took the words right of my mouth. I’d like to see a follow up, if the police have the right to get the signatures and casino surveillance- I mean, he could of even had a friend go in and take the money out. Anything is possible.

        I’m really not quite sure WHAT to think of this story.

        • Beeker26 says:

          Well I’m glad I’m not the only one. I’m sorry, but people with perfect credit who are unemployed and running out of benefits don’t go to Vegas casinos.

    • johnva says:

      Another part that seems suspicious to me is that he had 15 credit cards in his wallet. I can see maybe 4-5 being somewhat “normal”, but gambling at 5 AM, with 15 credit cards on you makes me go “hmmm”. I have to wonder whether there are other pertinent details that OP isn’t telling us but that BoA was aware of.

  17. 3rdUserName says:

    I smell something rotten, I have a feeling this guy isn’t being completely honest here..

    • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

      I was thinking the same thing. What better way to get BOA’s attention and sound like his claim is legit? Plus, the person gets sympathy on top of it.

  18. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    This is despicable. I think you are doing all the right things and going through all the right motions. I can’t believe that BofA can improperly (by way of their contracts with Global Cash Advance) authorize cash advances from your account, essentially contribute to fraud and theft, and then demand that you pay them back with interest. This is like me giving a robber a key to my house and telling him to go rob me, and then taking him to court demanding him to pay me back. I just don’t get how this could happen…

    Good luck – hope to hear a good/happy update on this…

  19. stanfrombrooklyn says:

    How does a debit card work with the wrong PIN?

  20. mikec041 says:

    OP said that a Police report was filed, time to contact your states banking regulator and AG.
    I also didn’t see any mention about closing his “rarely used” with “$0 balance” checking account at the least and preferably all his banking business with BoA.
    Last time i carried zero balance on a bank account the bank closed it out.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      In the Creditboards post, the OP says he made deposits into that account to then transfer out to an online one.

  21. shanelee24 says:

    im confused. i didnt think BofA had an 11000 dollar overdraft limit, as the article clearly states that he is expected to pay it back, so the money wasnt there. i know that the article said his credit card was used as backup, but if that was the case how come he dosent owe visa or mastercard, and not the bank? there are too many holes in this story.

    • Chmeeee says:

      It’s presumably a BoA Mastercard. I have one, and it is similarly linked to my checking account for overdraft purposes. If there are charges to it, I owe that to BoA. Mastercard is not a company that actually loans you money and accepts payments, they just facilitate the transactions on the card.

      I would fully expect though that this type of activity would trigger a fraud alert and freeze my card before 6 transactions for $10,000 total went through. BS that it didn’t.

  22. rbb says:

    The OP obviously is not a fan of the consumerist, as evidenced by his statement over at creditboards: “Anyways, by the time I could dig into all of my 15 credit card statements to get the phone numbers to cancel all of my cards, I found out that they racked up over 70 charges between the 15 credit cards in the day and a half they had the wallet.”

    He was carrying 15 credit cards?!?!?!? Geez. That is wrong on so many levels…

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      That sends up a flag for me. I mean, just two months prior he had this same thing happen(minus the beating). So shouldn’t he have been prepared for this? He should still have all the “here’s your new card(s)” mailers, etc…

    • packcamera says:

      And who carries fifteen credit cards on them in Vegas? The backstory seems really iffy and for the first time ever, I am starting to think that BofA made the right decision *gasp*…

  23. Black Bellamy says:

    By paying the first payment he has acknowledged he owes the debt. It will be much harder for him now to do anything about it.

  24. pot_roast says:

    After reading the creditboards thread about this… the whole thing sounds fishy. This same person was robbed a few weeks prior and had $11,000 in money orders taken. Yet they’re unemployed.. and has $11k in money orders on him? And now two weeks later he gets mugged AGAIN and over $10k goes missing? The OP wasn’t listening to advice from creditboards regulars, etc. The OP *isn’t* writing letters despite dozens of people saying to do so, and then there’s a mysterious “Oh I didn’t have internet access for a few weeks” gap.

    Stuff just doesn’t seem to add up.

  25. parkj238 says:

    Maybe he thought he could fool the cameras by wearing a fake mustache.

    As much as I hate BofA. Its hard to believe BofA opened an investigation with access to video footage and signatures and still ruled against him. They have insurance or reserves in place for stuff like this, why would they bother pursuing something that could back fire on them big time?

  26. johnva says:

    If this is true, I’d be getting a lawyer.

  27. behrens says:

    I don’t think hes saying his debit card WORKED with the incorrect pin, just that someone tried to use it. The cash advances were taken from his credit line, but via the debit card using overdraft.

    But here’s the part that doesn’t make sense to me: “They are expecting me to pay a $285 minimum payment next month even though I’ve made a payment this month, my unemployment is running out, and can’t afford to pay this, which will ruin my perfect credit history.”

    Why would anyone begin making payments on fraudulent charges? Most, maybe all, of the credit card companies allow you to freeze your account (and pending payments, and interest accrual) when a fraud investigation is going on. Paying even the minimums sort of seems like an admission of guilt.

  28. jayde_drag0n says:

    No appeal my ass.. See you in court.. SUE THEM, and if you can have THEM charged with fraud or theft or whatever clever thing you can find to apply to them. You might even find a lawyer willing to go pro-bono to shove it down their throats.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      Since this is the second time he has been “robbed” in two months, for a total of $33,000, you would think he would know what to do and not need a lawyer.

  29. hewhoroams says:

    Time to go to court!

  30. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    Contact your state’s AG and every TV station in town. And the BBB. And file a criminal lawsuit against the bank on your own if you have to. Although I can’t believe there’s not any lawyer around who handles “that kind of case…”

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      There is such a thing if your case has no merit in the “real world” and only does in your mind. The fact that this same thing, minus the beating happened two months prior and for $12,000 might make some people suspicious.

      Sadly, the biggest downfall of many idiots is greed. It is the only primal urge that will override self-preservation in many creatures, including humans.

  31. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    If the OP didn’t make the withdrawls he simply should not pay the credit card. If BOA reports him as delinquent he can sue them to correct the credit report.

    If BOA want’s to get their money, they have to sue and all this can come out in court.

  32. vastrightwing says:

    Why do people still, after hearing all the horror stories, continue to bank with BoA? It can’t be that this is the only bank in town. Heck, my town can’t rent all the open retail space it has, but I notice yet another bank is moving in, bringing the total (downtown only) bank count to 12! We’re talking about 10 square blocks: 2 branches of Citizens (RBS), BoA, Eagle, Boston Private, Sovereign, TD, Brookline bank, Cambrige Savings, Eastern, Citi, Flagstar and this new bank I can’t remember.

  33. PupJet says:

    My parents had their CC info stolen once to the tune of $1100, but what was odd is that it was used for online gambling (which is a Class C Felony in Washington state). They had to fill out several fraudulent use papers (1 for each withdraw). It took awhile, but they got it back! Oh, they use Chase though.

    They would NEVER use BofA as they keep up on the news and blah blah (plus I email pops of this site, LOL)

  34. Dracoster says:

    Wall of text is unreadable.

  35. DanKelley98 says:

    “They are expecting me to pay a $285 minimum payment next month even though I’ve made a payment this month”

    Under these circumstances, why would you send them a dime? I say take ‘em to court…they have some explaining to do to a judge…

  36. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    Wow, looks like his friends over at CreditBoards.com are a little upset he said they did nothing for him, because it appears from his posts he has been very unwilling to contact BofA in writing, as they have told him: http://creditboards.com/forums/index.php?s=&showtopic=437718&view=findpost&p=4210307

    It looks like the mods are even shutting down the thread because the OP has been given ample advice: http://creditboards.com/forums/index.php?s=&showtopic=437718&view=findpost&p=4210342

  37. dg says:

    What you do about it is to file a lawsuit against BOA in FEDERAL COURT – they’re a National bank, so they’re under federal jurisdiction. As part of that lawsuit, they will have to preserve all of the evidence. Then you have a lawyer get it examined. As for damages in the amount of 3x the loss, plus punitive damages in the amount of $100 million or whatever the court sees fit. Ask for court costs + fees + expert witness fees + forensic examination fees, + all costs you’ve incurred.

    Just filing this suit should get you the resolution you desire. If it doesn’t – then go to court.

  38. WeirdJedi says:

    I really hope I got the facts straight, but there are a lot of contradictions.

    #1 It appears this happened before, but nothing was done. Advice was given but was ignored. It seems nothing has changed from what happened previously to what happened now.

    #2 A person who seems to visit consumer sites and post on them does not have any inclination of how to help themselves. Bank of America has a bad reputation. They can be a “good” company, but sometimes it is better to switch. Also, who carries around 15 credit cards? Hasn’t it been said to carry a limit of no more than 5 cards? No. Maybe someone should.

    There are a couple of other things that don’t seem right. You might have the right to tell your story, but I fear you may not get any supporters here.

  39. maztec says:

    Keep in mind that it was the bank that was defrauded, not you. At least, that’s how the banks see it and how the law often sees it.

    Time to hire a lawyer. You can always “appeal” decisions – e.g., arbitration and lawsuits. Not the preference by far, but a knowledgeable lawyer may be able to talk BoA down from their high horse.

  40. khooray says:

    You can get the videos and any other ‘proof’ you need, but good luck getting anyone to give a crap and bother to get them for you.
    This stuff happens all the time and your bank and the Credit Card issuer will both tell you to file a police report and they will subpoena the information needed (like video from the casino), but in reality, the police don’t care and they won’t make this ‘their’ case.
    Basically you’re screwed and it’s your job to prove to everyone that you never did any of the transactions.

    I had my old lost debit card suddenly making purchases on iTunes. Apple refused to give me the address that was put on the iTunes account being used with the card, Visa told me they don’t force Apple (or any company) to show them anything, and the bank hands you right over to Visa.

    Pretty much, everyone points their finger at someone else and no one will actually DO anything to help you.
    I asked the lady in the Visa fraud unit to explain to me how exactly I’m supposed to prove that I DON’T HAVE an old card that I DON’T HAVE????

    If I don’t have it, how do I PROVE that I don’t have it?

    It’s a catch-22. They finally sent Apple a notice regarding the charges and Apple refunded them to me.
    I still can’t get my card info off Apple’s site, even though I removed it.
    Apparently, this is happening with Apple, to thousands daily but no one will do anything to Apple for it.

  41. OnePumpChump says:

    “So the debit card was used with an incorrect PIN”

    Fuuuuuuck