You think your money is safe in the bank, but the number of bank fraud scams is skyrocketing.
A Centennial man who lost $500 after his computer was hacked during a Geek Squad tech support session is now getting his money back thanks to help from Contact Denver7.
“We received a recent request for assistance from a reporter (no name) with KMGH filed on your behalf,” John read from a letter he recently received.
In the middle of a Geek Squad remote access tech support session, John said he received a phone call from someone posing as Geek Squad. He gave access to his computer, and not long after, almost $500 disappeared from his U.S. Bank account.
U.S. Bank denied his refund request at first.
“Bank fraud is up exponentially since COVID happened,” said Matt Osborne, a consumer protection attorney in Colorado. “Banks are seeing double, triple the amount of fraud that they normally do.”
Banks are required to investigate these types of cases, according to Osborne, but there are gray areas. If a customer is tricked into transferring the money themselves or gives thieves their account information, they may be liable. But if they are hacked, or their information is stolen on the dark web, the bank could be on the hook.
“I often see the banks just saying there’s no fraud, because if the bank finds that there was fraud, the bank normally gets stuck with the loss,” said Osborne. “So it’s easier for them to say no fraud and just try to stick it to the consumer and hold them liable.”
It gets even more complicated. Arapahoe County fraud investigator Antonio Hernandez said it’s often a struggle to get information in theft investigations from larger banks, and they usually don’t want to pursue criminal charges.
“Whenever a bank comes up with a product that is designed for convenience, it is just a matter of time before that product will be taken advantage of to facilitate theft. Mobile check deposits, provisional credit on checks that have not yet cleared, participation in peer-to-peer payment methods are all examples of things crooks take advantage of every day,” said Hernandez.
After our story aired, John received a letter from U.S. Bank approving his claim and refunding his money.
“It means that your report drew some attention to the problem,” said John. “And U.S. Bank stepped up and did the right thing.”
Editor’s note: Contact7 seeks out audience tips and feedback to help people in need, resolve problems and hold the powerful accountable. If you know of a community need our call center could address, or have a story idea for our investigative team to pursue, please email us at email@example.com or call (303) 832-7777. Find more Contact7 stories here.
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