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Is Bank Accountable for their actions- Mystery Shopping Check Scam

Lexington, KY |

1- We were accepted as mystery shoppers. 2. Took the check to the bank and deposited it, They let us get $1000, put the check on hold for 3 days, They stated it had cleared the next time we went back. I asked and had this clarified twice. So we deposited the other two, since the one was from the same person and still under the impression THEY HAD CLEARED this is what the bank stated. no problem they put the other two checks on hold, THOSE CLEARED so they said when we were ready to withdraw monies out my husband asked them why they had just said something different to us 3 days before, she goes in back, comes out and says now they are putting checks on hold for 7 days and that they needed to verify if checks or good or not, they said this was for bank/ consumer protection just in case

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Attorney answers 1

Posted

What actions are you referring to? They are permitted to hold any check until it clears.

This answer does not, nor is it intended to, create an attorney-client relationship or constitute attorney advertising. Rather, it is offered solely for information purposes. Since the facts of each case are different, it is critical to consult with qualified counsel with whom information can be shared and assessed under an attorney-client privilege, so that competent advice can be obtained on which you can make informed decisions.

Asker

Posted

The bank had stated to us that the check we deposited had cleared. I asked them twice if that check was a good check they said yes, There was not enough room to explain things, after they stated it had cleared, we made another deposit , we again was placed on hold. they gave us the impression again the checks had cleared meaning were good checks not fraud, meaning they verified them. were ready to with-drawl monies out, then husband asked bank her a question because she stated something different 3 days before he was clarifying something. she went in back for a few minutes, comes out, tells us we can not get any money out, then states she is putting the checks on hold for 7 more days, the next day we call bank and they suddenly tell us " the first check is not a good check" , you owe us this amount " the amount is not the same as the check or withdrawl amount of this first check, in fact the amounts bank says we owe does not add up.

Asker

Posted

Actions 1- The bank telling us they had verified the checks were legitimate not once but twice. 2- Bank left us believing that just in case checks were not real, We us consumers and them as bank were going to be protected. 3- If bank never 100% verified these checks were legitimate in the first place no monies should have been given. EVERY check should be verified 100% before its accepted at a bank or anywhere's !!! The bank should be held accountable for those actions stated above had it not been for the bank guaranteeing us they had actually done their job and assured us they had already verified those checks. This is happening to a lot of people!

Robert Louis Feliciani III

Robert Louis Feliciani III

Posted

The reality is you are liable for the funds. The bank is not liable for a bad check you deposited. You may also be liable for any bank charges. You received the money and the check did not clear. You don't get to benefit from a bad check given to you. Sorry about the bad news. Most of these work from home companies are scams. I would also bet they asked you to take a portion of the check proceeds for yourself and send the rest to someone else. I can't tell you how many times this question and scenario appears on Avvo. There is no legitimate reason why someone would structure a transaction this way other than fraud.

Robert Louis Feliciani III

Robert Louis Feliciani III

Posted

The reality is you are liable for the funds. The bank is not liable for a bad check you deposited. You may also be liable for any bank charges. You received the money and the check did not clear. You don't get to benefit from a bad check given to you. Sorry about the bad news. Most of these work from home companies are scams. I would also bet they asked you to take a portion of the check proceeds for yourself and send the rest to someone else. I can't tell you how many times this question and scenario appears on Avvo. There is no legitimate reason why someone would structure a transaction this way other than fraud.

Asker

Posted

My next question is this...... How can a check be verified one day and then the next someone is claiming its not, I am not trying to benefit from anything, Let me make that clear....... Another Question : Can the bank close an account or send it to collections if this matter is being investigated?

Asker

Posted

Another set of questions.... If the bank has a consumer/ bank protection clause in the contractual agreement signed by both parties at the time and dates of opening / establishing the accounts in question / with the person(s) in question and probable cause can be shown as to who is liable can the bank and consumer go after the person who sent the fraud check?

Asker

Posted

Clarifying.....Lets say, I am that bank hypothetically speaking, A consumer/ customer comes into my bank with a check, wants it deposited , I put a hold on it for 24 hours - 3 days, I tell that customer they can get the money out tomorrow. and when they come into my bank . I let them make the with- drawl and further tell them the check cleared, I verified that check to be legit, So I accept two more checks from this customer/ consumer. I put the checks on hold for 3 days, this time one of my co-workers has them at her window and proceeds to tell them that checks cleared and how much would we like to take out. one of the customers ask about if they can get an advance on the check like the last time. my co-worker tells them no. and customers states well that's not what you all had stated the last time" so my co-worker goes out of the room and comes back and suddenly is placing on hold for 7 days.... and was given one total in which they are telling customer they owe them. and then the next day, 100% different story and total and the next working day a higher total/ Now here is my problem.. the last person to assume responsibility for the check was not in fact the customer/ consumer. The very next decision that had to be made was the tellers/ banks due to the fact that tellers/ banks are suppose to know the difference between a fake check and a real check being that recently in the state of Kentucky there was a news story about it. and to rebut your advice which yes i do greatly want to thank you for and not trying to disrespect you. There are legit mystery shopper jobs and businesses who want to know if people can be trusted, as there are legal jobs that are posted on Craig's list that do use western union to monitor western union employee's. Western union has a new system. I have used western union when i had my mom wire me money. giving there are unique circumstances. The bank should be held liable. Both parties had a decision to make here, I

Asker

Posted

Both parties had a decision to make here, I made the decision to go to my bank with the check, That's my responsibility, The bank had the next decision to make here, they allowed it to be deposited, They verified the check was good twice, I made the choice based on their stating fact it was legit to with draw. They made the next decision to accept more checks, and were going to release funds once again to me. and would have had I not asked them why they told me two different things, mind you I was asking to withdraw money of mine not from the checks. therefore I was not asking about monies from the checks, but my own money which since it was my money i have every right to question if I am being told different things. its my money

Robert Louis Feliciani III

Robert Louis Feliciani III

Posted

I think if you look closely at your deposit agreement you will find most of the answers you are looking for. First, the person who deposits the money is in the end responsible for the deposit. Meaning, if you deposit money and the check is not good, you are responsible for any money taken out against the check. Second, the teller at the bank does not know, nor would they have access to the federal reserve information. Every check is cleared through the federal reserve. Your bank takes your check and places it with the federal reserve, the federal reserve then goes to the financial institution that the check was drawn on and attempts to get the funds to be deposited in your account. This is when the check actually clears. This happens millions of times a day and most transactions go off without a hitch. If you bank and the bank the check is drawn off are in the same federal reserve district the check should clear in a couple of days. This is why the routing numbers are important, they determine what federal reserve area the check should be processed through. If the bank the check is drawn on is from a different region it can take up to 15 days to verify the funds. The bank, as a courtesy to its customers, will "clear" a check prior to federal reserve actually verifying funds. At the end of the day, its your account. If you deposited a check, the check deposited was not good and your withdrew money, then you must reimburse the bank for fronting you the money. The alternative would be that you walk away with $1000.00 that you were not entitled to and bank has to eat the money. That does not make any sense. Western Union and other wire services are the biggest source of fraud. You should never wire someone money through these services unless you know who they are. If a company wants you to wire them money, you can do it through the bank. This way you have the recipients information and retrieve the funds if need be. I am sorry this happened to you, but at the end of the day, you were not entitled to the $1000.00 and were the subject of a popular scam. Although I agree there are many companies that perform mystery shopping, I would bet that the you did not complete at W-9 or employment application. These are signs that this was a fraud. I will also bet that you did no research on the company that supposedly was hiring you. At the end of the day it is your responsibility to know who you are doing business with. One last thing, the bank is not accepting checks for deposit. It is your account. You are depositing checks into your account and the bank is the middle man. The bank typically must accept any document purporting to be a check, deposit the same and let the financial institution upon which the check was drawn determine whether or not it is legitimate. Now, I will ask one last question. How many legitimate businesses use cashiers checks to pay contractors or employees? The answer is none.

Asker

Posted

Here is some food for thought.... Banks do not have to accept every single check in fact when they swear up and down in the contractual agreement " Customer/ Consumer PROTECTION. I am going to see and hold them to that, In the contract and out of their mouths in person.... I am not some person who decided to go on craigs- list or shop around in my email looking for a mystery shopper job, I posted an ad on craigs list looking for a career in an exec office with a reputable legit company. preferable one where i can both work alone and with a team who follows through on what they say, I was very bold and upfront about what i expected from a company career wise. I responded to some of those ads, I checked out if the businesses were legit and the banks and addresses matched to the names they did. Now answer me this....Why would " Banks" or any place for that matter offer cashiers checks to their customers in the first place if you are saying no business, no legit businesses use them in the first place? now there are certified checks as well. and if western union is so not legit then why is no-one trying to close them down?? It seems odd to state the fact that none use them when over 400,000+ businesses offer them. or use them over money when on business trips and on vacations instead of carrying tons of cash. I fell on hard times, had 4 lung surgeries. got behind on some bills while I was out of work and recovering. as soon as i recovered i went back to songwriting, I am waiting on my royalty check, I placed an ad looking for work as a substitute for income other then me siting around at home all day. because I am a workalcoholic and I can live without accomplishment. and I happened to answer the wrong email, trusted the wrong person, and believed my middle man bank would follow through if there was something wrong with the check to provide me with their end of their own contractual agreement!

Robert Louis Feliciani III

Robert Louis Feliciani III

Posted

It is very simple. You were not entitled to the $1000.00 as the check you deposited was not good. Therefore, you must return the $1000.00 to the bank who fronted you the money. Your personal story, however compelling, does not change the simple facts. It was a popular scam and you were a victim. With regard to your comments about certified checks, employers do not pay their employees in certified checks. They are too hard to track for tax purposes. The certified checks are used because they give the illusion of validity. I did not say that western union was not legitimate. I said they are a big source of fraud. Scammers use them to have people wire them money, where they present a fake id and pick up cash. It becomes untraceable. With that being said, I wish you the best of luck. I think you will find what I said to be true, however you are entitled hire an attorney to reveiw your case.

Asker

Posted

What are our legal rights at this point. In your opinion , Would having an attorney go to the bank with us to discuss this matter so our business account is not being closed, We are expecting a sum of monies from music royalties ( 100% legit) here in the next few weeks. All the music releases and payment methods from the music /entertainment industry/ customers is associated with our business account this includes our official business merchant store, Our POS system for credit card payments. All our music royalties more importantly our artists royalties. I had been very sick and my husband took over ownership of my company because it was life or death ( collapsed lungs/ numerous surgeries) this can all be verified. Is there anyway what so ever we can get the bank to please not close our accounts. we are also victims here. we had been given the impression by the bank these checks had been legit and verified or we would have NOT deposited the other two. Our info is now out there floating around. yes I admit a chance I took trusting someone. so I do take responsibility for giving whoever these people are my details. That was my mistake. I did research the companies and bank names and everything checked out, I received another check yesterday what should I do with it???? Please tell me what to do. I know that banks issue cashiers checks because its usually a customer with an account at their bank, or the bank is validating it has the money to cover the cashiers check.

Asker

Posted

Seriously.. I am ticked.... You keep saying I owe this and that. Okay I get it , That I put a check into my bank account. HOWEVER and i'm re stating this " The bank told me the first one came back as legit, it was verified as in passed for not being fraud!!!" or i would have NEVER deposited the second and third one! Now YOU STATED this ..The certified checks are used because they give the illusion of validity. " That seems like a bank is DISHONEST letting people who receive cashier checks perceive that their bank is validating right from the get =go the money is good.. Giving someone an illusion of something not being true or 100% true is deception by banks. Therefore banks should be held liable when they are creating an illusion and placing it out on public domain that a cashiers check is a banks guarantee that funds are there, Now in one high profile celeb death a doctor was held liable based on his decisions hours and days before this celeb's death, his action contributed to that event taken place and proceeding further, middle man or not. this could have been prevented had it not been for both actions.

Robert Louis Feliciani III

Robert Louis Feliciani III

Posted

I would suggest that you request, in writing, that the bank initiate a fraud investigation. With regard to the bank check, the party who committed the fraud created the check, not the bank. If you are in possession of additional checks and have the contact information for the other party, contact your local police and the state attorney generals office. Your bank is still going to demand that you return the money as you are the one who received the funds from a bad check. You must understand that this is a matter between you and the person who gave you the check.

Asker

Posted

Should I go with an attorney present to the police is there anyway to catch these people? I am frustrated, The bank is doing an investigation but still closing my account, They sent me a substitute check..

Asker

Posted

By the way.. Thank you, I am simply fustrated

Robert Louis Feliciani III

Robert Louis Feliciani III

Posted

I don't know that an attorney is going to help. The bank has no legal obligation to keep your account open and your attorney will not be able to change that. Not to mention, it may cost you as much to have your attorney attend as you owe. Here is the reality of the situation, the bank is going to close your account because you are overdrawn and you have not rectified the situation. The bank will then report you to checksystems, which is a system many banks use to verify if a person has any outstanding issues with a bank. This report will show up if you go to open and another account and the other bank will refuse to allow you to open another account. Here what you should do, pay the bank back the $1000.00. I would discuss the matter with the local branch manager and see if they will waive the bank fees based upon the situation. If they are decent human beings, they will waive the fees. This will preserve your banking relationship and your account. Then you should go to the local police and report the whole matter. Bring everything you have with you, including any all contact information for the maker of the check. I would then contact the state attorney general. You indicated that you searched their business. If that is true than you should know what state they are organized in. This will help the police and attorney general track these people down. Unfortunately, if they are located outside the United States you will have no chance of gettting to them. I know this is frustrating and everyday there are thousands of people who are victims of this exact scam. Unfortunately, the scammers are usually never caught.

Asker

Posted

They JUST messed with the wrong chic, Thank you for your time. I stayed up last night and I have more then I did yesterday afternoon,

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