Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Beware of BB&T

Here is a new twist on identity theft.

BB&T is a major banking institution in the states.  They are not our bank, but we do have to deal with them once a month.  Once a month Pooldad visits a branch and cashes a check in order for us to pay our rent.  Every month we pay the $5 fee to cash the check because we do not have an account with them.  And every month Pooldad is asked by the teller to open an account.  He ALWAYS says no.

We didn't like BB&T, but now we HATE BB&T and someone [hi Kumar] is going to be fired today.

And here's why:
Last Friday [July 29th] we checked our mail before leaving on our mini trip.  Imagine Pooldad's surprise when he opened two pieces of mail from BB&T.  The first one was a welcome letter, thanking him for opening an account.  The second one was his new pin number for an ATM debit card that went with the account.

He was NOT happy and immediately called BB&T's 24 hour banking line.  He got a recording at 5:30 pm but was able to leave a message.  When no one called back, Pooldad called two more times on Monday.  He still could not get a live person, so again left messages.

Monday night we received the ATM card in the mail with his name on it.  Tuesday he tried again to call them. Finally, yesterday afternoon, I got through to a live person, who sent me along to the check fraud department, where they sent me along to the fraud department and from that department I was sent to yet another department only to be told that they couldn't give me any information since I wasn't the account holder but that my husband could call back.  Which he did when he arrived home from work.

This is when he was told that he had opened an account on July 26th at a branch located in my old hometown.  Now, he had cashed the check at that branch on that day, but he DID NOT open an account and he told the fraud department person that.  She suggested we call the branch and discuss it with the manager.  Which he did.  And he discovered that the teller's name that he dealt with was Kumar [so tempted to put his last name here] but he wasn't in at the moment. The manager called him and requested he come back to work to discuss the matter.

While we waited for that phone call Pooldad told me that there was one thing out of the ordinary that happened the day he cashed the check.  The teller had taken his driver's license and the check away from the window saying he had to call the account holder and verify that it was okay to cash this check for Pooldad.  The teller was gone for a few minutes, came back and gave Pooldad the cash.

When the manager called back she told Pooldad that Kumar had come back into the bank and was insistent that Pooldad had opened an account on the 26th and he had the signature card to prove it.  At this point I asked the manager if their tellers worked on a bonus system for opening accounts.  She hemmed and hawed and gave me some lame answer that "no, it isn't a bonus system per se, but they can receive promotions and whatnot by hitting their quota every month."

Ohhhkay then.  I asked for a copy of the signature card and the manager said she couldn't do that as it was privileged information.  I responded that since Kumar was so SURE my husband opened the account then the card was my husband's privileged information and they could release it to us.  She said she had to call us back.

The next phone call we received was from the manager's boss who repeated that they couldn't send along the signature card but that Pooldad could go to the branch and look at it there.  Finally, after going around and around with her she agreed to email me only the signature line of the card so we could see for ourselves the [forged] signature.  We thanked her and let her know we would call her back as soon as we had it.

We laughed.  The signature isn't even close.
For those of you who don't know our last name does not start with an "M".*
And for those of you who do know our last name have fun laughing at this.

The funniest part is it is an obvious forgery copied from Pooldad's driver's license.  How do we know that?  Well, when they print up the licenses in VA they have a habit of cutting off the bottom of the signature, so all the loops and whorls that would be on the bottom of the signature are chopped off.  Which is exactly what the forged signature looks like.  Busted Kumar. So busted.

When we called back the head manager and informed her that we could prove this wasn't Pooldad's signature and we were going to do so on Wednesday she said fine, she would meet with us at the bank at 9 am.  We asked her to immediately close the account and this is where it truly confirmed our suspicions.  She said it had already been closed on July 30 th and that there were never any funds in it.

Now, I ask you, who opens an account with NO money [is that even possible?] and then closes it 4 days later while on a mini vacation where there is no cell service, no internet and no BB&Ts?

Yeah, that.

So, along with a visit to the bank we will also be visiting our local police department to file a report for fraud.

Be careful out there Tadpoles.  And if you can, avoid BB&T at all costs.  Evidently they hire criminals.

Have a good one! and keep smiling!

*I have no problem posting this forged signature because it isn't even close to Pooldad's - heck I defy anyone to figure out what his name is from that scratch.  And if you know his real name, as some of you do, please do not post it in comments. Thanks!


Jennifer said...

Oh wow! I'm rendered speechless and that doesn't happen often. Thanks for the warning. :/

Jeannie said...

Crazy. I'll bet the dude opened the account for his quota then closed it again because it wasn't needed. Maybe he thought it took longer for the welcome letter to be generated. Dufus.

Celia said...

File that report! He can't get away with that. He should never be allowed to work with financial accounts ever again.

Knitty said...

I would be livid. How frustrating it is to prove you DIDN'T do something. I realize dishonest people will lie to get out of something but when a bank won't try to cooperate, it doesn't make you want to return to them. Ever.

Juli said...

Un. Be. Lieveable!


Julie said...

Louise had some trouble with our bank a couple of months ago. She went into the local branch - not one we use often because they are KNOWN for giving customers hassle. In fact at the branch in town, we often joke that if you have been naughty, you get sent to the Shettleston branch for punishment!!!!
So Louise goes in, does what she has to and for some reason, asks about something - to be told that her address has been changed!!!
Mmmm - no, she hasn't moved house. She should know. She's lived with us for all her life and at that point had no plans to move out.
We still do not know what happened - they should have asked for a sig and checked.
Two boys who were in her year at school work in this branch - hence why Lou doesn't like going in. She KNOWS they would be in big trouble if the tried anything, but she doesn't feel comfy being there and them working.
At least you know it's not just banks where you are that mess up!!

Phelan said...


Lyndylou said...

Bloody hell! What a blinkin' cheek!

Southhamsdarling said...

Crumbs, that must have been SO frustrating for you Skippy, having to make all those telephone calls and to-ing and fro-ing like that, through no fault of your own. Honestly, what some people get up to. It really does make you wonder how many other people he did that to, doesn't it? I very much doubt if it was an isolated incident. Grrrrr is all I can say! Hugs and glad you finally got it sorted.

Patty said...

Holy. Cow.

Rudee said...

Never let it be said that you don't have the damndest things happen. This is amazing, and not a little frightening. Thanks for the warnings.


CWMartin said...

Man, what do you say? Glad we do most of our banking by electronic means. Whatta buncha crooks.

DoublClik said...

Skippy Mom, it's Andrea from DoublClik. I saw your comment on my sister's blog. DO NOT let a high res pic stop you from joining this giveaway! I will not take that for an excuse. You come right back on over, leave a comment of what you would love to have made over and you leave the rest to me!

DoublClik Photo Blog

Teresa said...

just stunned.
people are just plain stupid. glad you perservered but you should never have had to do that in the first place.

Sally said...

I don't know BB&T, but what this guy did is rotten. Glad that it overall it has just been a hassle for you and Pooldad and not something much worse.

Diane Laney Fitzpatrick said...

"Jim E. Moos." That's the signature. Mr. Moos' attorney will be contacting you regarding your flagrant posting of his signature. When you talk to him, I suggest you point out that if his identity is stolen, he should use the opportunity to get a better name.

Oh, Kumar, Kumar, Kumar . . . That was REALLY stupid.

Diane Laney Fitzpatrick said...

By the way, Skippy, do you Tweet? We have found that if you Tweet your complaints about a business, they are all over it. The social networking managers at businesses today are the most customer-service-oriented people there. My husband was all over Twitter with a complaint about something and the result was, I got a phone call the next morning and it was solved.

Leila Amer said...

I was bullied into opening an account with them, and subsequently had thousands of dollars stolen. I prefer to call them a racketeering crime syndicate than a "bank".