MARINA DEL REY, Calif. (KABC) — A Marina Del Rey couple breathes a sigh of relief with a refund from Wells Fargo after erasing their life savings from their bank accounts last week.
Although their money has been returned, they want to raise awareness about hidden fraudulent accounts used to steal money.
James and Diana shared a screenshot of their Wells Fargo account showing eight consecutive transfer transactions totaling $68,000 on Tuesday, December 13.
The couple, who asked to be identified by their first names only, said they were notified the next morning that their savings account had reached zero dollars.
“I log into our account and see that our entire savings account has been used up and most of our checking account has been used up,” James said.
He said a fraudulent account was created years ago using his wife’s personal information and went unnoticed.
James also said someone then used it to take her money without it being tagged by Wells Fargo.
“If you were to lose $40 or $50 right now, you would hear something,” James said. “But when you lose all your savings and these very suspicious amounts go one after the other and nothing is heard from them, that was very bizarre.”
The couple now wants to know how this came about.
“I have no confidence in the bank that our current checking and savings accounts are safe from further fraud,” Diana said.
Federal Bureau of Investigations Special Agent in Charge Brian Gilhooly said, “Criminals are at the highest level at that point where they’re trying to take your money.”
Gilhooly said stolen identity information could make it easier for thieves to gain access to your account.
He urges everyone to change their credentials frequently.
“Having this updated and secure password and changing it frequently would prevent or change and limit access, if someone creates a fictitious account or has access to your account by changing the password they will no longer have access to that account said Gilhooly.
Meanwhile, Wells Fargo issued the following statement regarding the couple’s incident.
“Having completed our review, we are pleased to resolve this matter for our client. We apologize for the inconvenience and concern our customer has encountered, as we know that situations like these can take a heavy toll on those affected. We have a very extensive fraud program to protect our customers and a thorough investigation process to investigate all reports of account fraud and identity theft. When we confirm fraud on an account, we take steps to block the fraudulent activity and pay compensation to the fraud victim.”
The FBI warns that people over 60 are the most vulnerable to this type of scam.
Gilhooly encourages people to set up alerts from their banks as well, so they’re notified when unusual activity occurs.
The FBI is inviting anyone who believes they may have been the victim of an Internet crime to visit the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.
Copyright © 2022 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved.
https://abc7.com/wells-fargo-fraudulent-account-scam-drained-life-savings/12603377/ Marina Del Rey couple lose $68,000 in fraudulent Wells Fargo account