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‘What if I needed that to pay rent?’: After fraudulent check & two-month wait, man gets $7,400 back from Truist Bank

Published: Mar. 24, 2022 at 12:06 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 24, 2022 at 4:03 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A Richmond man calls 12 On Your Side after $7,400 was stolen from his bank account.

Steve Hurwitz was a Suntrust Bank customer for more than 20 years before it was acquired, along with BB&T, by Truist Bank. In that time, Hurwitz said he rarely had issues. In December 2021, he was alerted that thousands had been transferred from his savings to cover a check that was coming out of checking account.

“The branch manager was outstanding, he spent over an hour with me researching it and we found out the bank made a huge mistake in cashing an obviously forged check in the amount of $7,400,” he explained.

Steve Hurwitz was a Suntrust Bank customer for more than 20 years before it was acquired, along...
Steve Hurwitz was a Suntrust Bank customer for more than 20 years before it was acquired, along with BB&T, by Truist Bank. In that time, Hurwitz said he rarely had issues. In December 2021, he was alerted that thousands had been transferred from his savings to cover a check that was coming out of checking account.(NBC 12)

Hurwitz said a fraud investigation was launched, but it was evident that the check written from his account was not his handwriting and was not written to anyone he knew.

“There have been numerous phone calls with the branch manager actually placing the call to find out the status of my case, we have always been told, it is in progress,” said Hurwtiz.

With more than 30 days passing since the investigation into the check started, Hurwitz was concerned his situation was getting lost or ignored.

“What if I had needed that money to pay my rent? What if I had needed that for a medical bill? What if I had needed it for a prescription?’” said Hurwitz. ”I’m appalled at the bank’s lack of concern for me as a customer. The first time I got any response was on Feb. 16 of this year, I got an email from someone identified as the investigator on the case.”

Steve Hurwitz
Steve Hurwitz(NBC 12)

Hurwitz says more than two months after filing the initial fraud claim, he received an e-mail from a Truist employee with an attached document stating: Please review the attached document; It will need to be signed then sent back as soon as possible to ensure your case is resolved in a timely manner. You can email it directly to me for faster processing or you could locate your local SunTrust branch and they can assist with printing and sending. Thank you for your patience and cooperation throughout the investigation.”

“I am going, timely manner? At that point, it had been 64 days since I filed the claim,” he said.

After returning the requested document, Hurwitz said he did not hear back from the fraud investigator. He retained an attorney who sent a letter to Truist Bank on Hurwitz behalf. The attorney also did not hear back.

The On Your Side Investigators first met Hurwitz on February 28th and reached out to Truist via e-mail on March 1st. A communications director responded on March 2nd, saying: “We take potential fraud concerns raised by our clients very seriously. While we can’t comment on the specifics due to privacy, we can confirm that our team is researching this and will reach out to the client directly.”

Steve Hurwitz was a Suntrust Bank customer for more than 20 years before it was acquired, along...
Steve Hurwitz was a Suntrust Bank customer for more than 20 years before it was acquired, along with BB&T, by Truist Bank. In that time, Hurwitz said he rarely had issues. In December 2021, he was alerted that thousands had been transferred from his savings to cover a check that was coming out of checking account.(NBC 12)

On March 7th, Hurwitz called 12 On Your Side again, saying a bank statement dated February 21st arrived in the mail.

“I wanted to let you know that I just got my monthly bank statement, and when looking down the statement, I see the bank has deposited the $7,400 into my checking account. They indicated they put the money back in on [February] 18th,” he said. “No one from the bank has bothered to call me, or email me or contact me in any way.”

While he was relieved to have the money back, as of February 28th, he says the money was still not in his account. Hurwitz says more than anything, he is disappointed with the bank’s response to the entire ordeal.

“I know mistakes happen all the time, I do not fault them for making a mistake. To me, what is important when any business makes a mistake, what do they do to correct it, what do they do to make it right that defines the character of a business,” he explained,

On February 19th, BB&T and SunTrust completed a merger to become Trust Bank. According to the company, Truist is the sixth-largest U.S. commercial bank. As the merger was taking place, customers complained of issues with online banking and ATM’s. In a statement, Truist wrote the following:

Over President’s Day weekend, our SunTrust clients transitioned to Truist consumer and commercial products. Before the event, we proactively reached out to clients and encouraged them to take care of their banking needs, including scheduling important transactions, online bill pay, and Zelle payments, before the transition weekend where access to their accounts would be affected. Over that weekend, the services that were impacted or unavailable were online banking; our mobile app; our contact center; and deposits, withdrawals, payments, or transfers at Truist ATMs or branches. During this time, clients were able to use credit and debit cards for purchases, and get cash from non-Truist ATMs. Services were made available to clients beginning the afternoon of Sunday, Feb. 20, and have been available for use since that time.

In the days that followed, a smaller subset of our clients experienced challenges, including a delay in activating and using their new Truist debit card, which our teams have since addressed. Our clients also experienced longer than normal wait times as we worked diligently to provide every client the care and attention they deserve. Over the past two weeks, our wait times have steadily improved. At this time, there are no broad system issues affecting our clients, and we’re here to help clients who may be experiencing individual challenges.

We’re deeply sorry for the stress and frustration this caused for our clients. If you have specific clients that we can help, please don’t hesitate to share their information with us in a secure manner and we can pass it along to our client service teams.

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