Chase Sends Me Updates On Bank Account I Don't Have

Consumerist reader Jesse has recently started receiving account balances and deposit info via e-mail for a bank account with Chase. This would be wonderful and helpful — if Jesse had an account with Chase.

Figuring that some Chase customer had goofed when entering their e-mail address, Jesse tried to rectify the situation:

I tried calling the phone number for their online services provided in the emails (after I verified it was legit on chase.com) and when I choose the appropriate menu option, “Receiving chase.com emails in error” they wanted me to input my account number before I could talk to a representative. I don’t have an account with chase, so you could see how that is a problem. I also tried contacting them via their “contact us” option on chase.com but they require me to have a chase.com account to fill out the form and send it in.

I would just block the emails as junk but then someone out there would not be getting their account alerts/updates. I’ve definitely verified all the links in the emails and it’s not a phishing attempt. The urls are all legit (though I haven’t tried going to them and messing with this persons account, that would be wrong), so I have access to someone else’s account and I don’t want it but Chase doesn’t seem to be giving me a way to correct the problem.

UPDATE: A rep from Chase says they have resolved Jesse’s e-mail issue. They say if anyone receives a alert e-mail in error from Chase, you should contact the Chase Online Banking Team at 1-877-CHASEPC and report that they received an alert in error. E-mails regarding phishing scams should be sent to abuse@chase.com

Comments

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  1. shepd says:

    Just set up an autoforwarder to send them to abuse@chase.com and let them eat their own spam. Someone there might actually bother to read them and do something to stop them being sent in the first place.

  2. notovny says:

    Block them as junk. He’s not getting his account alerts/updates /now/, you trashing them won’t make any difference.

    It’s kind of surprising that so many businesses that you pay money to won’t bother to make sure that the email address a customer gives them is one that he owns, whereas free services tend to make sure that the email address is verified.

    Well, actually, no, it’s not.

  3. HenryPython says:

    Every couple of months I get a phone call from United Airlines confirming me for my gate and departure information from Denver to Boise, ID or vise-versa. It’s very nice, except I don’t live in either location nor do I fly United from my current city.

  4. Sarcastico says:

    Gee, I hope it’s not my updates he’s getting since mine have gone missing lately…

  5. econobiker says:

    I signed up for automatic account activity updates through Chase when I had one of their credit cards about 5 years ago. SInce I just was using the account to park a balance as I paid it off I set one notice to flag any transaction over $0.00- yes, zero. The other notices were for payments due and payments made.

    Then about 4 years ago I transferred the account balance and closed the Chase card. I still get monthly notices for $0.00 activity.

    I have recently pondered if I could open the account back up with a decent interest rate given the drying up of easy credit now…

  6. Tu13es says:

    I’ve been in the exact same situation lately, except it’s for a Wells Fargo account. I called them and when they finally understood what was happening, gave me a specific email address to forward it to, but other than that he didn’t seem like he could do much. I did so and didn’t hear back, but I still get the emails. Grr.

  7. jessjj347 says:

    Can’t the OP reset the person’s account password? Is this a security threat?

    • Alvarez says:

      Possibly but I didn’t try, or visit any of the links at all. Chris has put me in contact with someone at Chase so I’m just waiting to hear back if/when they get the problem fixed. As soon as I do I’ll update Chris on it. It’s been about 10 hours since Chase took my info to investigate the problem.

      • Tubal says:

        I doubt they’ll fix it. Same thing happened to me. I called up like you, and they said “oh yes, it looks like this guy put your email address in his contact info by mistake. I’ll fix this right now”. The guy apparently had the same first initial and same last name as me, so the yahoo.com address was close enough for him to screw it up.

        Anyway, here we are, a year later, and I’m still getting his emails.

        Good luck.

  8. CBenji says:

    I just got an email the other day from a bank, I believe it was First Citizen’s telling me about changes to my account. I have never had an account with them at all. Of course it didn’t list an account or anything and I just ignored it. I assumed they were trying to drum up business. It might have been about two weeks ago now, but I wasn’t excited enough about it to even call anyone. I guess I am not as good a citizen as the OP.

    • sqlrob says:

      That’s one of the frequently phished banks.

    • marzolian says:

      That’s probably not looking for business, that’s probably a “phish”. If you really have an account at that bank, you might click on the link and be taken to a page that looks very much like the real bank. You type in your login information such as username and password. The next part varies, but you will probably get a message about temporary maintenance or something. So you go away. But now the scammer has enough information to impersonate you at your bank’s web site.

  9. sixtyten says:

    I have had a similar issue with Bank of America. Occasionally I get legitimate emails about account activity for an account I don’t have and a person I am not. Emailing the relevant help contacts on their website was fruitless. The weird thing is that using the information from the emails I was able to google the person and locate what, presumably, is his/her blog. I thought about emailing this person to let them know a stranger was getting their bank account updates, but figured it would be a) totally creepy and b) look like a shady solicitation anyway. I finally started forwarding them to my spam folder.

  10. jkpwife says:

    I have been receiving the same emails.

  11. framitz says:

    I wonder if this might rise to criminal negligence on the bank’s part. Probably not but they are sharing very sensitive information with the wrong person.

    I recently investigated a situation where an ad site had the wrong address for our business and one customer was sending payments to that wrong address which was a private residence. The person receiving the mail in error reported it to us and was so kind that they hand delivered the mail several times. We had a heck of a time getting that mess straightened out. Thanks to the honest person reporting the error.

  12. ovalseven says:

    When asked for it, why didn’t you just input the other guy’s account number?

    • Alvarez says:

      Ignoring the fact that I’d essentially be stealing someones identity, I couldn’t do that because I only had the last 4 of the account. This person apparently has the same first and last name as me and a similar (probably one character off) email address as well, there’s no way I’m going to start pretending I’m them whether on the website or by phone.

      Also I don’t have a lot of time to spend on other peoples problems. I was hoping to just call up, speak to someone, let them know what’s going on and be on my way. Anyway, it’s being fixed right now (hopefully), just waiting to hear back from Chase via email.

  13. Power Imbalance says:

    Hmmm, wonder if the OP can make withdraws?

  14. themrdee says:

    I think the real problem is not that the bank made an error in mailing account information correctly but in the fact that they could not be contacted to correct it. Many sites require a relationship in order to be able to e-mail them. Even worse, there are a very large number of sites that have no contact information listed at all.

  15. JHerrick79 says:

    My mom gets RedBox notifications that do not belong to her. Some other customer with a similar email probably made a typo. She has tried contacting RedBox and they say they can not change the email address unless the customer changes his/her email address manually. However, that’s unlikely, because that person just swipes their credit card and RedBox sends confirmation to the email address on file. It’s never brought to their attention that there could be a problem, so why would they bother to change it? It’s frustrating to my mom that there’s nothing she can do to quit receiving these emails.

    • BuyerOfGoods3 says:

      NOTHING she can do? COME ON. SPAM, Auto-Forward to Delete box… your email program likely has ALL of these options built right in, for idiot companies such as this.

      Good luck..at least your mom knows HOW to check her email! :)

  16. gStein_*|bringing starpipe back|* says:

    bank error in your favor: go directly to jail. do not pass go. do not collect $200.

  17. RandomHookup says:

    I blame the OP. If he/she didn’t exist, then Chase couldn’t send the updates.

  18. macinjosh says:

    Why didn’t you just mash a bunch of keys as the account number (or press 0) until you got a rep?

  19. MongoAngryMongoSmash says:

    And banks and credit card companies want us to forgo getting paper statements…. I’ll take the paper, thank you.

  20. BuyerOfGoods3 says:

    Chase still sends me Privacy Policy notices, even though I had an account for 1 day with them (I learned quick, the evils of Chase).

    I’ve even called to inform them I am NOT an active customer, and I still receive account crap — though I’ve been assured there is no account.

  21. PsiCop says:

    I’m amazed that commenters here are saying the OP should change the password or otherwise get control of this account. Of course that would be wrong for him to do! Not to mention the kind of Consumerist story it would generate:

    “I set up electronic banking with Chase a couple weeks ago, but never received any emails. When I complained to Chase about it, they discovered I’d typed in my email address wrong, and all my account information had been going to some other guy … who’d changed my password so I couldn’t get access!”

    Sorry but I’m just not buying that having made a simple data-entry mistake should allow someone to commandeer another person’s bank account.

    • psm321 says:

      Please point out these comments. I don’t see a single one. All I see is one comment saying that the OP getting these e-mails is a security risk because he could use them to change the password. Not suggesting that the OP actually do so. And that’s just one comment

      Fake outrage fail.

      • PsiCop says:

        No “fake” outrage. See e.g. comments by jessjj347 and ovalseven.

        QED.

        Oh, and apology accepted, in advance.

        • psm321 says:

          The comment by jessjj347 was the one pointing out the potential security issues, not encouraging the OP to do it. The comment by ovalseven did not encourage the OP to hijack the account, but rather suggested using the account info to get through to customer service (because after all, that would be the account he’d be calling about)

          Please learn to read carefully and think critically before prematurely accepting apologies that are not forthcoming because they would be undeserved. Thank you.

  22. Apeweek says:

    I had a situation where I was getting somebody else’s utility bills. Took me nearly 2 years to fix. I would email about the problem, they would assure me it was fixed, but the bills would still arrive every month.

    At one point a rep told me how incredibly difficult it was to remove an email address from their system.

    What idiot designs a system where you can’t remove or change an email address?

  23. Sinistar says:

    I had the same issue, and realized shortly thereafter that the Chase emails were concerning an old Washington Mutual checking account that I had left dormant when I changed banks. When Chase acquired WaMu, I guess they somehow linked my old WaMu checking account with my new Chase email address? Not sure exactly how it all worked out, but I originally thought it was problematic and eventually realized it was an old account from a different bank.

  24. mertlez says:

    Delta Airlines has the exact same problem with their text alert notification system. I’ve been trying to convince them to stop sending me notifications of some stranger’s flight plans for years, to no avail. Despite being the rightful owner of the phone number receiving the alerts, I apparently have no right to have my information removed from this other person’s account.