RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Crooks recently hacked into a local businesses bank account. The owner called 12 On Your Side after he says the bank gave him the run around and was holding up crediting him thousand of dollars that were taken.
"The total was roughly 10-thousand dollars that came out of the account," Brent Morse told us. Morse is Managing Director with Morse Capital. He says when he discovered the illegal activity, he called his Wells Fargo bank. What he thought would be a simple fix turned into a huge headache. "The lack of protocol and the different answers that I got all up and down the different departments; there was one day when I was literally transferred to four different departments," he says.
After getting what he felt was a run around, he called 12 for help. He was initially credited about 2-thousand dollars of the missing funds but there was still about 8-thousand dollars unaccounted for. Morse claims he was never given a straight answer and each person he talked to at the bank had different advice. At one point he was given a phone number for help that didn't work. "They give me this number that is a disconnected number. I mean we can call them right now," he says.
We took the concerns to the bank. Kristy Marshall is a Communications Consultant for Wells Fargo. "The process itself is frustrating totally. Whenever you are a victim of a fraud, it is frustrating so we do understand his frustration," she says. Marshall says fraud is handled on a case by case basis. She says the quicker a customer contacts the bank, the quicker things are investigated and funds credited to the account.
When it comes to Morse's case, she says the bank put a stop payment on the questionable amounts but admits, the crooks were one step ahead, making the advice the bank offered seem ineffective. Marshall says the case called for more investigation and it could be one of the reasons for the delayed credit. "Apparently the fraudster got through to the account, changed the amount and others transactions were able to go through," she says.
We still wanted to know about that incorrect number in a letter from Well Fargo that Morse was told to call for help. "That number was given to us through the Chase fraud activity. We contacted them because that was where the payment went and that telephone number was provided to us from them and unfortunately one of our employees did not check it," she says.
Shortly after we got involved, Morse was credited all the money taken from his account. Wells Fargo is still trying to determine how the hacker got into Morse's account in the first place. They're not sure if the bank system was breached, or if the crook got account information from outside. While Morse is glad the money is back, he says he's lost confidence in the bank. "No one was rude, it was all yes sir and we feel for you sir but I can't do anything. I have really lost faith, not just in Wells Fargo but in big banks in general" he says.
Wells Fargo says it takes all fraud cases seriously. To protect customers like Morse, the bank encourages them to visit the fraud section on its website. It stresses that customers should check their accounts on a regular basis to detect fraudulent activity. If you notice any strange activity, don't wait, contact the bank right away.