American banks are doing “very little” to recover and reimburse billions upon billions of dollars stolen from customers each year, according to a new report.
People are struggling to get their banks to protect them from massive and systemic checking fraud, reports NBC Los Angeles.
The specific type of theft – which is expected to reach $24 billion this year – is carried out by criminals who cash stolen checks endorsed with fake names.
The fraud is driven in large part by “mail fishing”, which is essentially the act of stealing checks directly from the mailbox.
The report tracks the tribulations of Mark Wilding, who says he noticed a mailbox in New York City felt “a little sticky” when he mailed some checks to pay bills.
His checks, which totaled $7,200, were yanked right out of the mailbox, and Wilding later discovered they were cashed by someone using the false name “Cesar Bruno”.
Instead of reimbursing him, Wells Fargo told Wilding he could only issue complaints to the banks that cashed the checks.
After NBC Los Angeles contacted Wells Fargo and told them about the story they were working on, the bank “finally” returned the money to Wilding, six months after the theft.
Wilding says he was shocked to see the bank he’d been with for 30 years give him the runaround.
“No wonder you make so much money as a banking institution. Because we’re the ones, when there are losses to be had – I end up losing my money and Wells Fargo says, ‘It’s not our problem.'”Don't Miss a Beat – Subscribe to get email alerts delivered directly to your inbox
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