Chase Refuses To Cash Check Without Thumbprint

Chase refused to let Ramsey cash his check without a thumbprint, even though he had called and verified that two forms of identification would suffice. The teller insisted that a thumbprint was required by a “rule.” How official sounding. Ramsey spoke with Heath, the bank manager.

    “Heath informed me that due to the Patriot Act, all negotiable instruments required a fingerprint as proof of my status as a holder in due course.”

Ah, the Patriot Act, that vague catch-all excuse for every vigilante action under the American sun.

Though not a lawyer, we have seen them on TV, so we rushed to find where the Uniform Commercial Code requires thumbprints. Wait a minute, it doesn’t.

Ramsey’s letter to Chase, inside…

JPMorgan Chase,

I would like to inform you of the incredulous exchange I had at one of your local branches.

The company I work for currently uses your institution for its financial transactions. In return for my labour, my employer provides me with a negotiable instrument commonly known as a cheque drawn from the funds stored with your company.

Thursday, January the 11th at 5:45 pm, I entered your facility located at 1115 S 800 E Orem, UT 84097 with the intent to recoupe the amount entitled on my cheque.

Before visiting this branch I located the phone number for this facility and called ahead of time to find out what was needed to cash my cheque. I was informed that two forms of identification would be sufficient.

While at the bank, I spoke with a teller who promptly asked me for two forms of identification. I produced these forms of identification. The teller then proceeded to request that I press my thumb onto a pad of ink in order to place a copy of my thumbrint onto the cheque. I politely refused this request by stating “No thank you.”

After providing my signature on this cheque, your teller refused to provide recoupement of the amount shown on the cheque issued from your institution. At this point, I questioned the nature of this refusal as it clearly states on the cheque that funds were to be drawn from this institution. The teller stated that this was due to some sort of ‘rule’. She mentioned that this rule forbid her from lawfully producing the amount shown on this cheque. I requested that she show me some documentation on this policy as I was informed that two forms of identification would be sufficient to prove that I had rights as a holder in due course as per U.C.C. – ARTICLE 3 – NEGOTIABLE INSTRUMENTS ..PART 3. ENFORCEMENT OF INSTRUMENTS

I proceeded to speak with the manager Heath who informed my father not 5 minutes before, that two forms of identification were sufficient to prove rights as a holder in due course. I questioned Heath as to why your institution would refuse to provide the recoupement endorsed by my employer and the cheque from your bank. Heath informed me that due to the Patriot Act, all negotiable instruments required a fingerprint as proof of my status as a holder in due course. Which seems to be in violation of U.C.C. ARTICLE 3 which I believe to be the law that federal banks subscribe to in order to conduct business.

I would like to call to your attention Heath’s insistence that the Patriot Act was his reason for denying the recoupement that I believe I am legally entitled to. I feel that this is absurd and I would expect that a manager at your facility would be educated enough to know why he or his tellers would refuse a request of recoupement. I am familiar with the Thumbprint Signature Program. However, I do not believe this holds sufficient legal authority to deny a holder in due course the advancement of this negotiable instrument.

I feel that your company could have treated this situation with more professionalism and that refusing to pay funds from an account drawn through your bank is wrong. I also feel that your employees are not provided with enough training on what is proper and what is not. It seems as if these employees were just quoting policy based on hearsay. This policy has cast your company in a negative light.

I feel that your prompt attention will help resolve this matter.

Nice to see Aaron Burr’s shoot first, ask questions philosophy remains alive and well in the bank he founded. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER

Previously: BofA Throws Out Customer Who Refuses To Give Thumbprint


Edit Your Comment

  1. scoobydoo says:

    One of the best complaint letters I’ve seen in a long time. Short, to the point and not overly dramatic. Perfect.

  2. facted says:

    Just a question, but why is providing a thumb print such a big deal? All the bruhaha that the poster had to go through, including the time that he spent writing this letter, was far longer than just getting the thumb print and being done with the whole thing.

  3. Facted, well why not a DNA sample while you’re there, and a urine sample to make sure you’re not on illicit substances while cashing the check.

    Fundamentals of freedom (i.e. the Constitution) dictate that people have the right to privacy and ‘protection from undue search and seizure’. That privacy and protection extends to your personal information.

    The bank has what is necessary to prove his identity. Anything more is invasive.

    I’m tired of the ‘what does it matter’ attitude toward essential liberties. Facted, why don’t you put your real name and address down so we can stop by your house?

  4. i4ni says:

    Sometimes you have to suffer for your principles. You DO know what principles are, right?

  5. facted says:

    @infinitemonkeys: I have nothing to hide from a bank or from the federal government. I’ve committed no crimes and quite frankly if it’s going to allow the government to be able to track people who are laundering money or whatever other financial crimes they may be committing, then they can have my fingerprint any day of the week, along with my DNA.

    Would it be SOOO awful if there was a national DNA database? How many crimes are committed where DNA is taken but can’t be matched to anyone? What if they could all of a sudden be matched instantaneously? You’re right, that would be awful to be able to catch criminals.

    As for my name and address: my bank can have my information…you can’t ;)

  6. EvilTapioca says:

    Yeah and while were at it facted lets just implant GPS chips into everyone so the government knows were your at and what your doing all the time.By the way can we also get rid of that pesky bill of rights? Cause if you doing nothing wrong you have nothing to hide…right?

  7. nequam says:

    It’s always nice to have the opportunity to vigorously debate the extent of privacy rights and their source, but the point of Ramsey’s complaint (as I see it, at least) is that an ill-informed or half-informed bank manager made up an answer to a question. In his condescending attempt to quickly placate a customer and get the line moving, the manager threw some bullshit at him — no doubt figuring the customer wouldn’t question him. I’m glad Ramsey took the time to call the bank on it.

    And for the “I have nothing to hide” comment — sounds like famous last words to me.

  8. @facted: I remember reading quite a few stories about government entities ‘losing’ buttloads of sensitive information.

    Do you really trust a corporation or your own government with safeguarding your dna sample and keep it from falling into the hands of criminals facted?

    You have done nothing wrong now, but once the wrong person gets a hold of all that info all of a sudden you are a criminal. Do you get what I’m sayin fool?

    I’m feeling saucy today facted, dont mind me.

    A national DNA database is a criminals dream. No longer will he/she need to be accountable for their crimes. They could just make people like yourself accountable for their crimes because everyone said “whats the big deal?” “I have nothing to hide”

  9. WV.Hillbilly says:

    You’re obviously a foreigner.
    Labour? Cheque? Probably have an accent.
    That’s the reason.

    The Constitution dictates that people have the right to privacy and ‘protection from undue search and seizure’ FROM THE GOVERNMENT.

    Although the UCC does rule here.

  10. timmus says:

    @facted: “I’ve committed no crimes and quite frankly if it’s going to allow the government to be able to track people who are laundering money or whatever other financial crimes they may be committing, then they can have my fingerprint any day of the week”

    The idea that “if you’ve done nothing wrong, you have nothing to worry about” assumes that the government is full of good people that would not abuse their power, ever. Would you agree?

  11. xtootx says:

    The issue is a Bank’s right or lack of, to make up “rules” that require me/you/us to give them data beyond what is required (or that we want to give them). If you (?facted?) trust this single company so much, then you will not have a problem providing them with an ever increasing amount of person data. Fortunately for the rest of us, there are those that will stand up for the legal rights of an individual when it is being marginalized by a public/private company.

    Great letter!

    Thanks for the effort to call them out on the lack of training.

  12. WindowSeat says:

    I’ve worked for people who I didn’t trust much and taken their checks to their banks instead of running them through my own account and I’ve been asked for a thumbprint, depending on the bank as far back as ten years ago. I think it’s stupid to use the Patriot Act as an excuse when they could have just as easily said “It’s our policy to ask for two forms of ID and a thumbprint from non-account holders.”

  13. mom22bless says:

    Is he from Canada??? It’s check not cheque.

  14. i4ni says:


    ACTUALLY, it IS cheque, so hopefully you’re not bashing an ally of the United States and are rather making a culturally-uninformed statement.


    1. a written order directing a bank to pay money; “he paid all his bills by check” [syn: check]

  15. cedarpointfan says:

    Considering that “check” is the tenth definition listed by the American Heritage used properly in this instance, cheque seems like the better choice of word.

  16. The Bigger Unit says:

    I was asked for my thumbprint at a bank once so I could cash a cheque. I gave it to them, and walked out with my money.

    Now everyone at the bank knows what my thumbprint looks like, and have been framed in several crimes.

    Also, I am kidding.

  17. Dont Know Me? You Are Me. says:

    FWIW: As a Utah resident, I believe that the fingerprint requirement Ramsey encountered is a “rule” that was set by the Utah Bankers Association. I think they call it the “Touch Signature” program. I remember a few years back when they announced the rule — a lot of folks were quite upset about it, but the banks said that it was no big deal… you should have nothing to hide… and they promised that only non-customers would be required to give their print. So John Q. Public backed off and now Ramsey has to deal with the unpleasantness.

  18. Angiol says:

    OK, sir, I’m going to have to ask you to bend over for a rectal search. Don’t worry; if you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to fear.

  19. SOhp101 says:

    A thumbprint or a right index finger print on the check is common bank practice if you do not have an account with them. Show them an ID, put some ink on the check and walk out with your cash. They do this NOT because of the Patriot Act but because check fraud is very common.

    If you’re that paranoid about giving one fingerprint, go to a cash checking place and pay exorbitant fees to cash in the check. It’s your choice.

  20. mconfoy says:

    Actually they should require a sperm sample too. That way they will know if there are any genetic defects that might make them not want to give you a long term loan or ever hiring you or a relative. After all, if you have no genetic defects, what do you have to hide?

  21. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    @mconfoy: You beat me to time they give you a hard time, offer to take a container to the nearest bathroom. If there’s anything better for identification than a thumbprint, it’s a DNA sample. Hey, you guys wanted proof of my identity…

    I’ve never had to provide more than a driver’s license to cash a check, so I don’t see the sudden issue about needing a thumbprint.

    (Alternatively, get a plastic severed thumb from a novelty shop, use that to give a thumbprint, and throw it in the bank employee’s lap when you’re done!)

  22. LuvJones says:

    The end is nigh

  23. raybury says:

    I wrote my Senator on the banking committee about this issue — in 2000, well before the PATRIOT Act, and before he, Rick Santorum, was voted out of office. The bank wanted a thumbprint on a $100 check drawn on them with their account holder’s signature; they didn’t care how much ID I offered, didn’t care to match the signature with their records, didn’t care to call my friend their account holder.

    Turns out state bank chambers are pushing this crap, and in some out-of-the-way areas sheriffs even want stores to use it for CASH PURCHASES. The excuse often used is check fraud, which is probably not primarily comprised of well-identified felons who go into banks with small, drawn-on-them checks.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t like being treated like a CRIMINAL. If I can prove my identity, they are OBLIGATED to give me the funds that are written on THEIR bank. I wrote a letter to the editor and people shouldn’t have to put up with this.

      I opened an account at Wachovia bank so I wouldn’t be fingerprinted and promptly withdrew all but $1. They have a promotion going that if you were referred Wachovia to a friend both you and the friend receive a $25 Visa gift certificate.

      Open an account at Wachovia. My name is Evelyn Roebuck from Columbus, GA….tell them I referred you and we will both get $25. Just deposit the cash money and then withdraw all but $1 (they have free checking!). So if they jerk you around….legally jerk them around.

  24. Baronzemo says:

    I first got held up with this garbage while cashing a check in Arizona maybe 12, 13 years ago? Not long after that it hit Wells Fargo & Bank Of America here in California. Of course, years later those thieves instituted that $5 per check charge if you don’t have an account with them. When they gave first did a trial run it felt like Bally’s Total Fitness with home loans-there was a Mexican clerk @ Wells Fargo-she gave a terrible time to this Spanish-speaking woman ahead of me with her children…never never never will I deal with those 2 banks

  25. jwissick says:

    Just tell the boss that his check was refused at the bank and that you want cash. That or give your thumb a twist when you give the thumb print… smudge it real nice so it can’t be used.

  26. synergy says:

    WV.Hillbilly beat me to it. A non-American who uses the extra Us in their writing would, sadly, be more “suspicious” to some “patriots.” Now I’m wondering if he was Indian (as in, the subcontinent) and being brownish was an issue.

  27. Jason-Ryan-Isaksen says:

    There’s no law that any company can’t require a fingerprint to cash a check from someone who doesn’t have an account with them. The reason is they want to make it as much a hassle as possible to have an account with another bank. It’s not evil, they just do it, and also keep you from cashing checks in the drive through to encourage you to open an account with them and not the place you bank with.

    I do marketing for a living, and I can tell you this is the way any big company works if they have a marketing division. It’s not nice, it isn’t convenient, it’s to strong arm you into signing up with an account with you for one reason. It’s because someone at their bank writes checks to you for whatever reason, and if you get an account with them too, it will be easy and not hard to cash something.

    This policy of needing a fingerprint isn’t required by law, but neither is it forbidden. They can do it just because they can, and often it’s to screw you into opening an account with them just to eliminate the hassle factor.

    Banking is big business so don’t read too much into it. They want to deny you drive through options and make you give a thumb print not just for protection, but if you open account with them, then they won’t make it a hassle.

    Banks are greedy, they will only loan you money if you don’t need it, they will only cash your check if you dance for them. All the big places do this, so unless you’re doing business at the local bank of Fred, then you or you’re customers are going to be in for it at one time or another.

  28. Scazza says:

    We have had this “rule” for nigh on 10 years or more in some places… Yet cheque fraud is still the highest its ever been… glad your fingerprint contribution, facted, helped the big bank put a stop to that.

  29. boicraig says:


    Welcome to Consumerist.

    You know, I would like your SSN and address. Please email it to me. Don’t worry, if you have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to worry about, i promise not to do anything bad with it.

  30. Helvetian says:

    @infinitemonkeys: Well said!

    @boicraig: I agree.

    facted, please feel free to provide your SSN and full name. I would like to run a credit check on you in order to ascertain whether you pay your bills on time. The information will not be used for any other purpose.

    FYI, I absolutely refuse to provide any biometrics for something as inane as cashing a cheque.

  31. crankymediaguy says:

    When I was a kid (I just turned 55), the Cold War was still on. I was taught by the Good Sisters that the Soviet Union was a Bad Place because it didn’t trust its citizens, it spied on them and made them carry an I.D. card at all times.

    I guess I’m wondering, if it was wrong for the Godless, Evil Commies to treat their countrymen like that, why is it OK for US to do it.

    Please don’t give me that “just trying to protect you” crap. Don’t you think the commissars said the same thing? That’s ALWAYS the excuse for a government that seeks to violate the civil rights and privacy of its citizens.

    Besides, there’s NO objective empirical evidence that Universal Paranoia makes a country safer.

    Please name a country that treated all its citizens with suspicion prior to 9/11 that you would care to live in.

  32. The Bigger Unit says:

    I think handing over your name and social number is a little different than a thumbprint on a cheque, but somehow it is being equated.

    Would you people complaining kick up this much fuss if the police asked for your thumbprint? I realize it’s not quite the same, but sheesh…what can someone do with a freaking thumbprint?! Scan it and run it through a website, which magically gives out all personal information on you?

    “Hey! That looks like Gary’s thumbprint! I will print it off and use it for evil! When asked for ID, I will simply show this thumbprint I got online!”

  33. rockergal says:

    When I was going through the naturalization process, I was required to give my fingerprints every six months. (over a course of 6 years) it is quite humilliating. now I did this without starting a riot since I can understand trying to keep tabs on an immigrant that is not a citizen.

    When A bank told me they needed my thumbprint I refused. When the manager gave me the “making sure you are you” line, I questioned if they had access to the fbi files to double check my print. She was dumbfounded and said no (ofcourse)

    Then I asked her to give me HER fingerprint, because after all I wanted to make sure that whoever took posession of the check, was who they claimed to be. After I used this logic on her the simply cashed the check and sent me on my way.

  34. facted says:

    @boicraig: As I have said before, you and my bank are two very different entities. I actually trust my bank (perhaps dumbly so, but I do). Whatever the reason for a bank wanting a fingerprint, whether it be fraud protection or making life miserable for people, I don’t find a problem with it as it takes two seconds of my life and doesn’t influence me one bit. Perhaps someone can concoct a way for my fingerprint on a bank check to get me in heaps of trouble but I’m failing to see it myself…

  35. IdontKNOW says:

    RockerGal you are tight.

  36. mac-phisto says:

    i remember back in the 80’s they had a program where cops would go around to schools & fingerprint kids. parents could enter their information onto a card “in case they were kidnapped”.

    fast forward 18 or so years, i get in a little scuffle & end up in a jail cell. do you know they already had my fingerprints on file? that one time when i was a little kid was the only time i had ever been printed & now they have this massive computer that was able to match it almost 2 decades later, in about 2 minutes.

    that scares me a little bit, b/c i don’t know what else is in that file.

  37. Ben Popken says:

    Daniel writes:

    “I recently went into a Wachovia branch to cash a check drawn on a business account from a firm I’d done some consulting for. The amount was less than $800. I do not have an account with Wachovia, but the check was drawn on a Wachovia account. Since I was going to be making a several hundred dollar purchase that evening, and the Wachovia branch was closer to get to on my lunch break, I simply stopped there to cash my check. Not only did they refuse to cash the check without a thumbprint (even though I offered my driver’s license, 2 credit cards, a social security card AND a passport as ID), they also charged me a $5 fee to CASH A CHECK DRAWN ON THEIR BANK because *I* did not have an account with them.

    If that isn’t a predatory practice (our checks are only good if you’re our customer – otherwise how can we trust a check drawn on our own bank???) then I don’t know what is.

    Simply put, Wachovia is whack. I’ll be avoiding them like they were Bank of America.”

  38. Kornkob says:

    People still accept checks as a form of payment? *shrug*

  39. Antediluvian says:

    @rockergal: I’m very impressed w/ your willingness to stand up for yourself. I wish more people would do so, even on issues that seem so “trivial” and only “take[] two seconds of my life”.

    HOWEVER, I’m much more surprised that your response (w/ the logic) actually worked. Most bankers or other employees would simply fall back on the standard “I don’t make the rules” line.

    Bottom line:
    1. Stand up for all your rights whenever they’re violated.
    2. Use small-town banks or credit unions because they won’t nickel and dime you with everything from the “entering the premises during business hours fee” to an “endorsement pen rental fee” both of which I expect to see before too long.

  40. All right, Facted, I’ll try to explain it to you since you don’t get it.

    Personal information can be used against you. When they established Social Security, they made it absolute law that a) you could not ‘require’ SSN to identify someone, and b) once per lifetime, you could change your SSN.

    Let’s take the DNA example. Yes, it would help to catch criminals, and with recidivism high, most convicted criminals should be made to give samples, because they forfeit some rights in their breach of law. But if you, for example, for no reason were on file somewhere, then what would prevent insurance agencies from screening you for ‘potential’ genetic weaknesses and charging you much higher rates. What’s to prevent some clever crook from just taking your hair or other sample and lacing a crime scene with it?

    The NRA, with whom I have little common cause, proclaim the 2nd Amendmant essential to defend against the government’s excess.

    You need to understand that our founders said the price of liberty is eternal vigilance … against the government. The government exists to provide us some common services (defense, police, commerce regulation). We do not exist to provide it with whatever it needs to make the least common denominators of politics, the politically naive, trade their essential rights in for a restful nights sleep.

    I would rather lay awake and worry about strangers taking my liberty than the people I elect. However, you sleep well as you will.

  41. Oh, and by the way. Back to the original topic, Instacheck makes it possible for my 7-11 to validate a check in 2 seconds, the same amount of time it takes to verify a credit card (or sacrifice my essential liberties). If 7-11 can take a check in 2 seconds, then why can’t the frikkin bank?

  42. Antediluvian says:

    @infinitemonkeys: Of course they CAN verify it — in fact, they can tell immediately if the check will clear because it’s drawn directly from them.

    But since the can also CHARGE money for services and get away with it (see above “endorsement pen rental fee” I expect to see shortly), they do.

    And the thumb print issue can also be used as an obstacle (by the bank) to providing a service, not in fact as fraud prevention or detection.

  43. kmc says:

    @mac-phisto: ha! Your prints really did go into your permanent record.

    Seriously, folks, this is a case of needing to choose your battles more carefully. When you hand the check over to the cashier, you automatically give up your fingerprints, unless you’ve been wearing gloves the whole time. You also may give up some dna, depending on how clean your hands are and where you’ve been keeping the check.

    Don’t get me wrong–I am a staunch believer in the individual’s right to privacy, and I resist giving personal information to any institution or government, especially if that same body also determines whether I am indeed a law-abiding citizen. (‘Cause, you know, they get to change the rules.)

    Finally, according to my Oxford American Dictionary, “cheque” is “the British spelling of ‘check.'” The etymological bases for each word are slightly different (“check” having been in use since the 18th century), so saying “check” is legitimate, not an example of American semi-literacy (e.g., commentate, nauseous to mean nauseated, use of enormity to indicate great size).

  44. SexCpotatoes says:

    Those who would surrender liberty for safety deserve neither. Or however that hoary old chestnut goes…

  45. spanky says:

    @Kornkob: Yes. “Paychecks,” for example, are a popular vehicle for remuneration for services. Some people even accept physical checks rather than automated deposits, for a variety of reasons.

    As to those who see misuse of fingerprints as implausible and unlikely, think back on some other things that used to be very rare and seemed silly and far-fetched: Identity theft, DMCA claims (I remember, when it passed, being told that arguments against it were ‘conspiracy theories’), various spoofing and data theft, things like that. I am just a dumbass, and I’ll bet that *I* could make little fingerprint pads that I could glue to my fingers so they’d mimic someone else’s. It’s not much of a stretch to imagine that organized criminals could use some kind of a CAM system to automate the process.

    What purpose does this fingerprinting serve? Why should we? There are plenty of reasons we shouldn’t. These banks have shown that they are uninterested in or incapable of protecting our private information as it is. They have made little effort to protect the information they do have. Why should we trust them now? They’re one of the main reasons that our existing ID is insufficient. They already gave our information to criminals. They already put us at risk.

    So the question is why? Why should we? What purpose does it serve? When banks do get fraudulent checks, they submit the fingerprint to law enforcement? OK. For what? Is it reliable? No. Bank employees aren’t trained to take fingerprints, so they’re not accurate. It would probably be trivial to fake. There’s no chain of custody, so they’re not trustworthy. Is it admissible in court? It shouldn’t be. It’s not reliable.

    So what is it for?

    Also: Do they have a policy for people who don’t have arms? Do they refuse to cash their checks, do they give them a pass, or what?

  46. Buran says:


    Ah, but if you have nothing to hide, then why are you so afraid to turn over the information that is being requested?

    I guess you aren’t so uncaring about that as you claim.

    “Hypocrisy” is the word for that.

  47. AcidReign says:

    …..Heh. I never cash checks, so suppose I have no vested interest in this argument. Or do I? I’m with the poster above who suggests deliberately smudging the print. Gum the system up!

    …..National ID legislation is coming. Get ready for it.

  48. capitalass says:

    It’s not a difficult policy to circumvent. Let them know that you are allergic to ink, esp. most ink used for fingerprinting. Continue to inform them that you have been fingerprinted many times, and there has been an allergic reaction each time. Then offer another unique identifier like a urine sample, and pee on the bank teller while she is holding your cheque. Simple. Why waste all that time writing a letter?

  49. JCSaint says:


    Yes, it would be awful to have a national DNA database. Would it be so awful for the police to randomly enter your home to make sure you weren’t committing crimes? Or perhaps closed circuit tvs in every room in your home? GPS on your car to know where you’re going, or better yet, an ankle bracelet? Where does it end?

  50. FLConsumer says:

    The FBI has used the GM OnStar system to track people already.

  51. Angiol says:

    @FLConsumer: Source for that?

  52. Papa K says:

    Well come on, “The man who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither.”

    If you are all for a DNA database and have nothing to hide – go to the police and submit your DNA, your thumbprints, and ALL your personal data. Contact the IRS and let them know they have full access to your files. FBI, CIA, NSA as well. After all, you have nothing to hide, right? And since you’re all for it, you should do this to set an example, right? People should be all about it and you should be the first!

    Me? Fuck that. It’s not about having something to hide, it’s about PRIVACY. If you’re okay with everything, go ahead and post it all to your myspace profile like all these idiot kids today, and wonder why everyone has no privacy anymore.

  53. mac-phisto says:

    @capitalass: lol…now that’s a great idea! you could also dip your thumb in some hot wax & let it dry next time. let them try to match that print.

    as usual, the “rules” only work until the criminals they mean to catch find a way around them.

    check fraud is sooo 1980’s. credit card fraud is where all the action is today (& it’s costing banks 100 times or more what check fraud costs them).

    i could see this as a precursor for using biometrics for card purchases. now you get to give your thumbprint to every cashier at every register in america. & someone will be logging those purchases in a file searchable by print & linked to whatever other records exist out there about you.

  54. BadDolphin says:

    I’m stunned that there are actually people willing to hand over their blood, urine, DNA, and anything else requested, to just anyone who asks for it. And without any knowledge whatsoever as to how it will be used. How people that stupid manage to feed themselves is beyond me.

  55. Amsterdaam says:

    @The Nature Boy:

    They could get into my secret lair and dis-organize my papers and redirect my death rays, duh.

    If you guys are interested (and it seems like you would be), I am selling custom-made tinfoil hats at a fraction of the retail price. They block out all GPS, RFID, Short-wave, long wave, UHF/VHF, satellite, and infra-red technologies to keep what’s in your brain, in your brain. Unfortunately, I require thumb prints from all my customers before I initiate a transaction with you.

  56. arcticJKL says:

    I had a bank request my fingerprint in order open an account at my wife’s bank.

    I had two IDs including my passport. But that wasn’t good enough. I asked why and they said because of the Patriot Act (Which only require SOME sort of ID)

    So I asked why they needed the thumb print. They had to ask the security chief. We left and they called us to tell me that the chief said ‘because’. We closed the account.

  57. cleggy1969 says:

    Thief steals checkbook.
    Thief writes self check(w/ fake ID).
    Checks reported stolen.
    Police catch thief because of fingerprint evidence.

    True story that happened to me 11/06.
    The whole process took about 1 1/2 weeks.

  58. atomicjo says:

    If you’re going to waste your time writing to their customer no-service department, why not waste their time too. Simply Open a free checking account with them. As soon as they open your account, cash the check. Then casually walk over to another teller and close your account. I would do this even if it took 4 hours.

    This lets the bank know how passionate you are about your RIGHT to privacy and how idiotic their “system” is to begin with.

    Ps. I wouldn’t try this at B.O.A., you may be falsely arrested or tazed or something, that bank is loco.

  59. OK, one more post and I’m out.

    That hoary chestnut goes:
    “Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”
    [Variants exist here: Franklin’s Quotes Of course, Franklin said it many times during his life with slight variations.]

    It’s important to quote this correctly because Franklin did not say it is never right to give up liberty for safety. Safety and life, are after all essential liberties themselves and must be weighed against others. But to give up a fundamental liberty like privacy for an unproven and small benefit is not a wise choice.

    InfiniteMonkeys, Peace out!

  60. Red_Eye says:

    @Angiol: I hadnt heard of this myself but google found it in seconds…

  61. xyz123 says:

    M&T Bank in Maryland, (official sponsor of the Ravens, & bank used by the State of MD), would also want to charge you an additional $5.00 for the pleasure of cashing a check written by their customer. (Assumes that you are not their customer.)

  62. The Bigger Unit says:

    Well, I’m off to lift prints off everything in sight, since it turns out you can do so much with them.

    And I guess I’ll be wearing rubber gloves from now on. Lord.

  63. swvaboy says:


    I never knew that you could change your SSN once in a lifetime.

    I know it is not “supposed’ to be used for any other purpose, but our SSN’s are all over the place.

  64. rapeface says:

    why not just deposit at an ATM? you’ll certainly never find me defending a scumsucking, soulless bank and i understand this fellow was obviously trying to cash a cheque but why waste time even going inside a bank?? just depoist via a machine, draw against existing funds, and save yourself the ignominy of trying to get “service” at a bank.

  65. Helvetian says:

    Some good quotes to consider:

    Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both. – Benjamin Franklin

    They who give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin

  66. biggeek says:

    >cleggy1969 says:
    >Thief steals checkbook.
    >Thief writes self check(w/ fake ID).
    >Checks reported stolen.
    >Police catch thief because of fingerprint >evidence.

    It’s pretty funny that the thief was enough of a moron to let himself get fingerprinted.

    As far as I’m concerned, I don’t have a problem with Chase doing what it needs to do to protect my money from somebody walking in off the street.

    I suspect people flipped out like this when banks started requiring photo IDs in the first place…Then two forms if identification.

  67. deke218 says:

    This happened to me this morning in NYC. I refused to leave my fingerprint with a bank. For what possible reason would you need my fingerprint? To stop fraud? Then why 2 forms of state ID? With photos? I have nothing to hide but this big brother crap has gotten out of hand. No More. This Has Got To Stop!

  68. Anonymous says:

    SOhp101, you’re right on target. As a security consultant working with banks, fraud is the #1 issue here. Nearly ALL banks now have this policy, not because of the Patriot Act, but because of the recommendation from the ABA. The CPA (Canadian Payments Association) is beginning to give the same recommendation. If you have nothing to hide, it shouldn’t bother you. If you are a criminal, the mechanism is now getting into place that can tie you to multiple cases of fraud.