July 4, 2022

Fraud thrives on Zelle.  Banks say it's not their problem.

Fraud thrives on Zelle. Banks say it’s not their problem.

Julia Gibson, another Wells Fargo customer, lost $2,500 in a similar scam in October. After she reported the fraud to the bank, they gave her a temporary credit for the lost cash. But in January, the bank abruptly canceled the credit, sending her balance to zero and incurring an overdraft fee. The bank determined that the loss was not fraudulent.

“What was so frustrating about this whole thing was that the customer service rep I spoke to told me that many people had experienced this,” Ms Gibson said.

In their pleas to Wells Fargo, Mr. Faunce and Ms. Gibson cited the Consumer Bureau’s rules on fraudulent losses, but the bank has repeatedly rejected them.

“There are certain indications that we are looking at in the investigation to let us know that there is indeed account fraud,” Wells Fargo wrote to Mr Founce on February 23. “During the investigation, we were unable to find any of these indications present and she denied this claim.”

After the Times contacted the bank, it responded to Mrs. Gibson.

“We are committed to following all regulations that govern transactions,” said Jim Seitz, a spokesman for the bank. “We are actively working to raise awareness of common scams to help prevent these heartbreaking incidents.” Refuse to discuss specific customer cases.

Other fraud victims trying to get their money back from banks have had better luck citing the law.

Ken Page Romer, a psychotherapist and author who lives in Long Beach, New York, took $19,500 off his account in November after receiving text alerts and scam calls that appeared to come from Citigroup phone numbers. The bank initially denied his allegations. At the request of his husband, Gregory, the financial advisor, Mr. Paige Romer wrote a letter to the bank referring to Regulation E, and sent copies to the police and banking regulators. Citi quickly returned his stolen money.