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Tampa Bay area woman finds thief wiped out bank account while she slept

Fraud victim blames bank for letting suspicious transactions go through
Chime Bank Logo
Posted at 11:42 AM, Sep 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-14 17:26:56-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Online banking has attracted millions of customers since the pandemic started. Consumers love the perks of being able to do everything online along with free accounts.

For some customers, online banks allow them to access their paychecks a day or two in advance making online services even more appealing. Single working mom Shayla King chose Chime for convenience. King said she uses her Chime account to pay bills and save money.

She’s never run into a problem -- until now.

On July 16th, King discovered someone wiped out her account overnight. King logged into her account and the balance was $2.64. A company in India had made over 60 withdrawals totaling $744 while she slept.

King said Chime texted her repeatedly during the night asking if she authorized the transactions. But when she didn’t answer, the transactions were allowed to go through. She filed a fraud report and a dispute, but days later Chime notified her that they found no error on their part.

Bankrate.com's Greg McBride said complaints like Shayla’s are common with online-only accounts and pay apps. He advises consumers to try direct messaging their bank on Twitter or Facebook if they can't get through to customer service.

King said in her case, reaching someone by phone didn’t resolve her issue. She told ABC Action News her mother is the one who suggested she make a call for action to Taking Action Reporter Jackie Callaway. Jackie looked at all of the documentation including those 60 transactions then messaged the company and asked why they allowed the withdrawals?

The next day, King said, Chime refunded the entire amount. The bank would not comment on why it allowed the transactions to go through in this case but did issue this statement: “Please be assured Chime takes matters like this very seriously and our member services team has worked quickly to investigate and fully resolve this member’s issue. A debit has been issued by Chime and the member has full access to their funds.”

Anyone dealing with a similar issue with their bank or credit card can file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: https://www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/