Why Did Chase Teller Hand Over $6,500 Of My Cash To Wallet Thief?

It’s not uncommon for someone to steal your credit card and ring up some huge charges on the account. This is why there are such strict limits on liabilities for fraudulent transactions. The protections are not as stiff for debit cards, but they do exist. Regardless, a thief shouldn’t be able to walk into a bank and walk out with $6,500 of a customer’s cash after the debit card associated with that account has been reported stolen.

Consumerist reader Jacalyn says her wallet was recently stolen while she was out to lunch at a restaurant in Chicago. When she got back to her office and noticed the wallet had gone missing, she immediately went to her nearest Chase branch to let them know.

“When I got there, an understanding bank employee checked my account record and discovered that the tricky thieves had already used my debit card at a Hertz car rental outfit listed as being located in Oklahoma City,” she tells Consumerist.

So the fraud was entered into the system and Jacalyn immediately cancelled the stoeln credit and debit cards.

A few days later, the new debit card arrived, so she went online to have a look at her balance, only to find that $2,000 had been deducted from her checking account and $4,500 had been taken out of her savings.

She called Chase to find out what in heckfire was going on. The Chase CSR informed her that the money had been withdrawn through a teller — as opposed to an ATM — at a Chase branch in Chicago.

“I was informed that the matter would be ‘investigated’ and at some point in the next 7 to 10 business days, I’d have a decision regarding the legitimacy of my claim and a letter sent to my home address letting me know if I’d be getting my money returned to me,” says Jacalyn, who continues her tale of wtf woe:

The next day, I went to the branch in question. I knew that this wouldn’t solve my issues, but I wanted to know HOW this could possibly have happened. A “personal banker” showed me the withdrawal slips (complete with a signature very unlike my own), which weren’t even dated properly.

She told me that my debit card was used as identification for the transaction, and I asked how that was possible after I’d cancelled my debit card and reported it stolen. She told me that you can actually continue to use a debit card for identification to access an account AFTER the debit card has been closed, and there was no flag on my account to report the stolen card.

The thief just swiped my card for the teller and got my account numbers, balances, and eventually, $6,500 of my money. Now, clearly the teller should have checked an ID, or compared my signature, or taken any security precautions whatsoever, but did not.

I don’t like to consider why they didn’t take my security into account because it makes my heart hurt, but in the end, the swindler got away with a large chunk of my hard-earned change.

So, until 7 to 10 business days and an investigation are complete, I sit waiting for them to decide if I can have my money back after an obviously huge transgression on the part of the bank.

It’s not as if the money was stolen somehow online, or I sent a check to a Nigerian prince; their employed teller literally handed my money to someone else inside a branch.

I find it shocking that this even happened, and even more appalling that I’m waiting on them to hopefully decide in my favor without even so much as an apology. If you bank with Chase, be aware that their state-of-the-art system apparently doesn’t allow for the sort of security you’d expect.

We understand that 7-10 days is what is required of banks when it comes to resolving fraud-related disputes, but given that this incident actually involves a huge failure on the bank’s part, one would think Chase might at least pay lip service to getting an answer in a more timely manner.


Edit Your Comment

  1. _Rand_ says:

    Do american debit cards not have pin numbers?

    In Ontario you need your pin number to access an account, even at a teller. If you claim to forget your number your presumably need multiple pieces of ID to reset it.

    • TheMansfieldMauler says:

      They had multiple pieces of ID. They stole her wallet.

      • MathMan aka Random Talker says:

        Good point. Use a female that sort of looks like the OP to go make the withdrawal and use her stolen photo ID might work. However, a cancelled debit card and such a hugh withdrawal, why wasn’t a manager called over? Was this done in one transaction or several “small” $100 ones at multiple Chase locations?

        • Malik says:

          I doubt that they used any photo ID. It sounds like they used the debit card as ID and simpy used a paper withdrawal slip.

          Now, I don’t understand how a teller would think that the debit card would serve as ID, since, by itself, it does nothing to provide any assurance that the person wielding the card is in fact the card owner (no photo, no PIN, nothing)

          • SKChance says:

            At Chase, as at Washington Mutual before it, you swipe your debit card and input your PIN, which proves your identity. We’re not getting the whole story here; how did the thieves have the OP’s PIN?

      • Cat says:

        … and they looked like her, and signed like her, too!

      • Cor Aquilonis says:

        But how did the photo ID match the face?

        • TheMansfieldMauler says:

          They probably didn’t use a photo ID. Probably just pulled out some other cards with the same name.

          There’s always the possibility that the teller was in on it also (it happens more frequently than people know). The teller could say the person provided what appeared to be a valid photo ID and it would look that way on a security tape because you would just see them handing the ID back and fourth to each other and looking at it for a second.

    • mypcrepairguy says:

      Nope, there are PIN numbers on debit cards too. This is a giant bag of fail handed out by Chase…

    • GaijenSoft says:

      Really? I haven’t had a credit card in 4 years, but when I purchased with CC (I’m in Nova Scotia), it was swipe-and-go. For purchases over x, but under y amount the signatures would have to match that on the card. For anything over y, I would need to show ID.

      However, that may have changed now that we have chip cards which, in my opinion, is the best thing to happen in the Canadian banking industry, right next to the TFSA accounts.

    • Gehasst says:

      They do have PIN numbers, but they only get used if you use the card as a debit card. You can run it as a credit card and you don’t need a PIN.

      Canadian debit cards work differently than US ones do. I’m not sure of the differences offhand though.

    • binkleyz says:

      No, we have PINs (Personal Identification Number), not “Personal Identification Number Numbers”.

      • kc2idf says:

        I get what you are saying, so please understand that I mean no disagreement when I tell you this.

        Kindly put a sock in it.

        The answer to _Rand_’s not-quite-correctly worded question is “yes”

      • Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

        Pedantic poster is Pedantic.

      • madsquabbles says:

        if original OP poster would have kept all their PIN numbers on a compact CD disk in a separate alternate location they wouldn’t have not been restricted to withdraw cash money from the automatic ATM machine.

        for some reason it bothers me too when someone says PIN number or ATM machine. i correct them by telling them it’s “personal PIN number” or “automatic ATM machine.” lol.

    • El_Fez says:

      Of course it had a pin number. They used it at an ATM Machine to order a Pizza Pie at 7:30 A.M. in the morning.

    • repeater says:

      That would need to be enforced by the bank by their own process and practices, not by any sort of technology with the card.

      The PIN doesn’t actually unlock any data on the card, you can read a bunch of information about the card owner just by swiping it with a generic reader.


    • P=mv says:

      There was one bank I was with for a total of a week because when I took my debit card in to reset the password from the factory installed one the machine was readily available (ie: not even monitored), you didn’t need to prove your identity to use it, and you didn’t even need to know the old PIN. I found another bank.

  2. fantomesq says:

    Not really a story until they deny her fraud claim and fail to repay the money. Chase gave away their own cash… 7-10 days may seem like a long wait but entirely reasonable under the circumstances…

    • daemonaquila says:

      On the contrary – it’s an important story that should spur more people to leave Chase, no matter how they resolve this particular claim. A bank that allows a thief to steal $6k with no request for ID, on a card that has been reported as stolen, is outrageously dysfunctional. Nor should it take 7-10 business days to “investigate.” When a customer bounces a check for $10, there is no “investigation” – the bank automatically assumes the person screwed up and takes its fee. But when a bank screws up and just hands $6k of a customer’s money to a thief after it is on notice, they can take their sweet time? Heck, no.

    • Cor Aquilonis says:

      Really? Because it would take me about one hour to find a lawyer that would take the case. I bet that would speed up the “investigation” immensely.

    • Lyn Torden says:

      Once the stolen cards are reported and canceled, it should not be possible to get money out via those card numbers. Either Chase FAILed to correctly mark the accounts/cards blocked/flagged/canceled or whatever, OR, a teller at Chase FAILed to check the card was so marked, OR, the Chase computer system the teller used FAILed to check the status. It’s Chase FAILed or Chase FAILed or Chase FAILed. The money lost before this was reported to Chase, I can understand Chase dragging their heals on returning it (they should charge it back to the merchant that FAILed to check ID). But all the charges AFTER this was reported should have NEVER happened, and only did happen because of one Chase FAIL or another.

      Summary: Chase FAIL is the cause of Jacalyn being out of $6500 for 7 to 10 days (or longer if Chase decides it needs to keep the money for itself).

    • castlecraver says:

      Nothing about this is “entirely reasonable,” and not everyone can be out $6500 for a week and a half like it’s no big deal.

    • sirwired says:

      Until Chase gives the money back, Chase gave away the OP’s cash. Chase will probably be the ones footing the bill in the end, but in the meantime the OP’s checking account is massively overdrawn.

    • jesusofcool says:

      Nope, not entirely reasonable. In this case the bank went against pretty much all acceptable protocol (and I say this as a former bank teller) and gave away a significant amount of her money, in person, to someone who was not her. I find more than 24 hours in a case like this, where Chase was directly responsible for facilitating the fraud, completely unreasonable. Another reason to never ever bank there.
      What I find so incredible about these banks is even bad press from stories like these can’t possibly shame them. I’m sure their PR people are monitoring Consumerist, but the bottom line is these monster banks view customers as expendable and just do not care about their reputation.

  3. SkokieGuy says:

    The article says that the Jacalyn went to the nearest Chase bank. No mention is made of a police report. If you haven’t done so, do it immediately!

    This amount of money is a felony, and if you can prove you reported the loss, the bank is also quilty (IANAL).

    The police will need to see security films from the bank of this rather brazen thief.

    • Captain Spock says:

      They must be pretty warm… I know when it is a cold dark night, I wrap a quilt around me…

    • AustinTXProgrammer says:

      Agreed, file a police report. This thief has left quite the trail of evidence.

    • DrRonster says:

      Since the bank is going to be out the money, shouldn’t they be the ones to report the theft of their funds. Op should file a police report against Chase and dismiss it 7-10 days when the funds are returned to her accounts.

      • Yomiko says:

        No. It’s like if you had your house broken into and the loss was covered by insurance. The crime is still against you. Now, if the insurance pays for your loss and the criminal is found and pays restitution, the insurance company may see that money to cover what they paid out.

    • Mike says:

      Also there’s the possibility that someone in the bank branch was an accomplice. The police should be involved.

  4. gman863 says:

    Nobody has ever accused Chase bank of doing anything intelligent.

  5. Hi_Hello says:

    sue is small claim court. even if they return the money.

    I thought debit card can be use as ID if you enter the correct PIN…

  6. MathMan aka Random Talker says:

    WTF woe indeed. How a non-photo id can be used to withdraw cash from an account is MIND-BOGGLING! WTF Chase?!?! My bank requires a photo id to withdraw any cash from a teller: Deposting a check but want $20 cash back – need photo id. Filled out withdrawal slip with my specific account number and full name – need photo id for the cash. Seriously, how is this not policy?

    • The Porkchop Express says:

      I have two banks going now, Wells Fargo and Suntrust.

      At Suntrust they know me and don’t ask, unless it is a new teller.

      At Wells, I only go once a month, they don’t know me and I can withdraw with just the ATM card and swiper at the counter.


      • c_c says:

        But don’t you have to put in a PIN if using the swiper at the counter?

        The tellers at my local credit union know me, but I still have to show my ID if getting cash from them.

    • Conformist138 says:

      My credit union will let me withdraw without ID (I did it when I lost my wallet and had no cards or ID) . But, they asked a TON of questions. Full name, phone number, address, mother’s maiden name, location the account was opened, year the account was opened, social security number, birthday, and questions about recent transactions and direct deposit. Even I got tripped up a few times (I couldn’t remember the exact year my account was opened) and it really is my account. So, I feel secure that no one will walk out with my money even with a no-ID option in place.

      How the card alone can be considered ID without the input of a PIN is beyond me. Without the PIN anyone can claim the card belongs to them.

    • travel_nut says:

      My credit union keeps a scan of my driver’s license on my account, so they can verify me without having to see ID.

      A year or so ago, my dh’s wallet was stolen. In it, he had his ID, and a list of our bank account numbers.

      Our credit union put a fraud alert on our accounts and put a flag saying that if anyone came in with that ID, it was the thief, and to call the police. The thief never did, though.

  7. brinks says:

    So a debit card that has already been reported as stolen is still a perfectly legitimate form of ID at Chase? That makes so much sense. /s

    I’m going to steal some debit cards now.

  8. quieterhue says:


    Give this poor lady her money back and fix this gargantuan security breach so that it can’t happen again. This is beyond shameful.

  9. Tiffymonster says:

    I bank at chase and whenever I withdraw money from a teller I am required to swipe my card and then enter my pin. I have never had to just swipe my card and thats it. It makes no sense. Either way the person who did this should be on tape somewhere so it shouldnt be too difficult of a case.

    • The Porkchop Express says:

      they may have found her PIN somewhere in her wallet. This would be her fault other than the fact that the bank should still ask for ID and the reported card should not have gone through at all. for anything.

    • ChuckECheese says:

      Maybe it’ll be like when somebody stole my checks (First Interstate Bank) and went to my branch three times after I reported them stolen, and withdrew cash over a week period. When the bank “investigated,” they told me the cameras weren’t working and there was no evidence. The signatures didn’t match and I got my $$ back.

  10. longfeltwant says:

    So… this lady has already stopped banking with Chase, right? Because 15 years of stories about big banks ripping of customers was’t enough, but surely being personally ripped off by Chase is enough, right? Surely she won’t continue on with Chase, will she? If she does, THEN can we blame her?

  11. kranky says:

    I would not rule out the possibility that the thief knew a teller who would be cooperative. Would be pretty easy to say the person showed picture ID and swiped the debit card since the only provable part of that would be the card swipe. And someone on the inside might know if swiping a card at the teller window does not generate an alert if the card had been reported stolen.

  12. pat_trick says:

    And the submitter hasn’t filed a police report regarding the stolen card and the fact that it was used inside the bank where there are CAMERAS EVERYWHERE, and likely recording of this thief using the card?

    Hop to it!

  13. Coffee says:

    *reads headline*

    Because fuck you, that’s why.

    • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

      If you aren’t already employed by Chase as a Customer Disservice Representative, you should apply for a supervisory position there.

      • Coffee says:

        Thanks, Max…I pride myself on people skills that minimize the length of irritating customer phone calls.

  14. majortom1981 says:

    This is a HUGE FAIL by chase. Chase requires you to atleast type in the pin number of the card. My chase requires me to type in the pin at a teller if I were to take out money or cash a check.

    That chase in the story screwed up big time and the teller should be fired.

    • Lyn Torden says:

      More likely a computer failure, since the system requires the teller to swipe or scan the card, or enter the numbers, to record the transaction so the drawer balances. I suspect someone didn’t properly cancel the card, or else Chase has gone the BoA route and disabled account cancel/close across the board.

  15. Bog says:

    Is there surveillance video? Let’s see the CCTV.

  16. eam_ycul says:

    I believe the word in the 4th paragraph is stolen. I thought word check was an easy thing to use these days.

  17. SlimDan22 says:

    The credit Union i go requires you to show a valid drivers license before the teller assists you, even my old bank did this (Charter One / Citizens Bank) . I am surprised Chase doesn’t do this.

  18. Blueskylaw says:

    “Why Did Chase Teller Hand Over $6,500 Of My Cash To Wallet Thief?”

    Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

  19. RandomLetters says:

    Certainly sounds like the teller was in on this. And if he/she wasn’t then they should be arrested anyway for criminal stupidity. Removal of the ability to procreate doesn’t sound to unreasonable does it? And certainly there should be some form of compensation for Jacalyn from Chase. It’ll never happen, but it should.

  20. PhillipSC says:

    I’ve often wondered why we even have signatures anyway; no one checks them. I recall the story of a man who always signed receipts “stolen card” instead of his name, and only once in 5 years did anyone bat an eye.

    • erinpac says:

      Usually they don’t seem to care much… but when I went to get the down payment out for my house, they refused my signature. It didn’t match the one on file from when my parents started the account while I was in school (duh). So, I needed a couple IDs and had to sign a few times and have them compare that to past checks, then they updated the signature “on record”. Not sure how much you have to move before they care, but at least it is something.

  21. Cooneymike says:

    I think we have a nominee for next year’s worst company. Although was there really ever any doubt Chase would’ve made it?

  22. Si_driver says:

    This is actually very common. Bank of America doesn’t care either to check signatures or ID, as long as I swipe my debit card at the counter; they consider this ID enough. I have numerous times walked in swiped the card asked for $2500. Each time it was handed to me without any questions.

    • P41 says:

      I’m going to go out on a limb and assume A) you typed in your PIN, where no part of the original story mentions the thief obtaining the PIN, only presenting the card as a means of linking to an account number, and B), you obtained your $2500 presenting a card that you hadn’t reported stolen. So your experiences aren’t applicable.

      I think most people understand that it shouldn’t be possible to walk into a bank with a card reported stolen, and without presenting ID or entering a PIN, just hand the card to a teller and ask to withdraw money from whatever account the card is linked to…Which seems to essentially be what the story says happened. Hopefully the bank security department thinks, gee, that shouldn’t have happened, we should change how something is done, rather than ah we’ll just hike bank fees a little more, too expensive to retrain tellers.

  23. full.tang.halo says:

    And thus is why I don’t have a debit card. Your “policy” does not have the same ring as the states AG office calling about Credit Card fraud, cause if you don’t dump disputed charges they are my next phone call. Investigate with your own money, not an interest free 7-10 day loan with my money.

  24. Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

    This must be why, whenever I go into Chase to trade a $20 bill for two rolls of quarters (stupid coin laundry), I never see any other customers. Maybe people are wising up.

    • PercussionQueen7 says:

      I switched from Chase to a local credit union over a year ago and have never been happier with my banking experience. They know me, even though I only come in every couple of weeks, and their fees are reasonable compared to large banks. The only thing I really miss from a big bank is the lack of a smartphone app – but the last time I asked, I think it was in the works.

  25. hmburgers says:

    Where is there ever GOOD news regarding Chase? I guess there must be a lot of people who appreciate having a large number of branches and branded ATMs because I can’f for the life of me figure out why a person would want to deal with a mega-bank vs. a credit union or at least a regional bank.

    My credit union requires a state issued ID to verify my identify before I’m allowed to make a withdrawal. The ATM card means nothing to them, they aren’t automated tellers, they’re flesh and blood tellers.

    • BBBB says:

      “Where is there ever GOOD news regarding Chase?”

      I have one – my local branch has a GREAT personal representative – knowledgeable and competent. She explains things and doesn’t misrepresent anything. Unfortunately, she cannot fix the problems with Chase. [I have one account at Chase that I cannot move due to logistical issues.]

      I’ve been telling the bank managers at other banks about her and hopefully one will hire her away from Chase.

  26. njack says:

    I can’t even make a DEPOSIT at a shared credit union branch without showing ID. Not to mention, I can’t deposit a check made out to my minor daughter and endorsed over to me because her name isn’t on the account. Considering my home CU branch is a bit of a drive from my house, it’s much more convenient going to the shared branch, but for the rare times I need to deposit a check of hers, I need to drive the extra 30 miles.

  27. sparc says:

    i’m running my debit cards through the shredder now… this is beyond disgusting….

  28. reybo says:

    Looks like Chase is copy-catting Bank of America. Wasn’t it columnist Amy Alkon BofA did that to?

  29. Extended-Warranty says:

    I’m curious to know how her wallet got “stolen” at lunch.

  30. Shmoodog says:

    This is terrible, and indicative of the current level of forgery in this country.

    I had a check stolen out of my mailbox right after I moved, and before mail forwarding kicked in. After asking for the check from a client a dozen times, she finally checked her accounting, and told me it had been CASHED.

    Someone had stolen the check, then walked into a street front check-cashing place, and simply cashed the check. they apparently did not ask for any form of ID.

    How can people get away with this? regular employees don’t care enough to check ID all the time.

  31. Tacojelly says:

    Wow. Just wow.

  32. dakeypoo says:

    Pin Number = Personal Identification Number Number

  33. bobloblaw says:

    i bank at TD bank and 53rd. Luckily, my 53rd tells know me. but when i make a withdraw or deposit a check at TD bank i can see on her screen that it pulls up a copy of my signature card to compare automatically. also, who in the world dosent ask for a drivers license when handing over $6500?!?!

  34. consumerd says:

    and these people didn’t make it to the final four or the elite 8, much less win. Tsk, Tsk, what a world we live in when apparently it’s wrong to enforce a $325 ETF, or be a game developer,but let someone walk out of a bank with $6500 in cash is apparently “no problem!” .

    tsk, tsk. This is a sad day.

  35. ecuador says:

    Ehm, isn’t there some sort of regulation so that if a bank does not require a photo-id to give out your money they have to at least pay multi-million $ penalties? If not, there should be!

  36. joako says:

    My American Express expired and the expired card kept on working, I called them and they told me there was nothing to worry about. I then LOST my American Express card and the old card # kept on working. When the old, lost/stolen card EXPIRED it kept on working. I then CLOSED my American Express account for a month and then asked them to re-open it. They notified my by email that the account was re-activated and a new card with a new number was being sent out and then I went to Amazon.com and placed an order. Yes, an American Express card number that was reported stolen, expired and account canceled it still valid! But multiple CSRs assure me there is no problem whatsoever and that American Express values my security.