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More Than Just an Identity Theft Alert

April 3, 2014

Last week, I met with a client that had money stolen from his business account.  He caught it right away and because his banker was very helpful, he did not lose anything.  He could have lost a substantial amount along with much time trying to recover his losses from the bank.

Here is what happened:  A check was drawn on his business checking account for a seemingly usual transaction amount of just over $20,000.  The check looked exactly like his checks and the signature looked just like his signature.  The check number was about 500 numbers higher than his current check numbers.  The check was not drawn by him and it was to a payee he had never heard of.

This client routinely checks his bank account online every morning, so he noticed this unusual transaction right away.  He spoke to his partner who also did not know anything about it.  His call to the bank was transferred to the right person that could handle it.  He was told that this happens occasionally; that he would be immediately credited in full; that all his accounts with the bank would be closed and new accounts opened; and that he would have no additional inconvenience, unless he notices similar activity in the future, which he should not, based on what the bank was doing.  He was told that he might receive a call from the bank confirming if an outstanding check on the closed account looked unusual; otherwise all his outstanding checks would be diverted to the new account.

The bank handled this excellently and his regard for the bank increased.  He was glad that he checks the balances each day, and knows now that it isn’t just his compulsiveness, but that there is real value to it.

Neither he, his partner or the banker had any idea how this happened.

Takeaway:  This can happen to you.  Check your balances.  Be alert to unusual activities.  And watch your money!

One Comment leave one →
  1. Frank N. Hiza permalink
    April 3, 2014 9:27 am

    Thank you for the reminder.

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