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Chase Bank Customer Almost Loses $250k to Identity Theft

identity theft
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EDITOR NOTE: “He appears to be a victim of identity theft. No money ever left the bank,” says Chase of the quarter-million in funds that mysteriously disappeared from a depositor’s account. But that brings up a somewhat-existential question with real-world consequences. Once you deposit your funds into that “black box” called a bank account, what’s really “there”? Not only are you signing your funds’ ownership over to the bank, but there also are multiple pathways to access the floating “trace”--digital inscriptions in a ledger--that’s proof of your money’s existence. After an embarrassing period of delay, the victim was finally compensated. Still, who’s to say it was a “bad actor” and not a rogue department (like Wells Fargo) that opened an account under the victim’s name? Whos’ to say that it wasn’t a product of human error? More importantly, why would you allow your entire liquid net worth to be this vulnerable? Once digital currencies eliminate cash, your wealth will be subject to “actors”--bad or (supposedly) good--that have in mind their profits and interests first over your financial privacy and well-being. That’s why we encourage investors to convert a portion of funds to non-CUSIP gold and silver and to store it away at a private depository. In this way, your money is safe, accessible only to you, not subject to extraneous banking fees or central bank value manipulations, and 100% “there,” as in, it really does exist.

Talk about a shocker. You open your checking and savings accounts and see nearly a quarter of a million dollars gone. Poof. Disappeared.

CBS 2 Morning Insider Lauren Victory introduces us to Miles, a Chicagoan with a simple message to his bank: Show me the money.

“I opened my bank account: boom, zero, nothing,” he said.

Miles asked us to obscure his identity because he doesn’t want the world to know he’s got this much money. At least he did.

Miles went to a Chase Bank branch for answers after seeing one transaction take away $200,000 and another wipe away $36,000.

“The bank manager at Chase was shocked. She goes, ‘This is more than my condo,’” Miles said.

Not only was he at a loss for money, but answers too.

“Communications blackout from Chase. They wouldn’t say anything, they blocked my accounts, so I had no access,” he said. “It’s been over two weeks of just nothing; not able to sleep well.”

Things moved quickly after CBS 2 got involved.

“I think you helped, because when I was in the branch yesterday, they knew I was talking to you,” Miles said.

The money, it turned out, was in a Chase investment account; one that Miles insisted he did not open nor authorize.

A Chase spokesperson said Miles “appears to be a victim of identity theft.”

“My computer is very secure. I actually wipe the hard drive off every couple of weeks,” he said.

Miles can’t figure out how scammers could have touched his money.

It’s all back where it belongs now, so the mystery remains how and why someone moved it in the first place, but Miles knows what he’s doing in the future.

“Spread it around,” he said.

In a statement, Chase said it has notified Miles “that we completed our investigation and transferred the full amount from the investment account back to his checking account.”

“He appears to be a victim of identity theft. No money ever left the bank. We also suggested additional steps to protect his information, including contacting all three credit bureaus and the FTC. We employ a number of security measures – both seen and unseen – to protect customer accounts. We also have tips for customers on how they can protect their accounts and information, which can be found at chase.com/security,” the bank added in a statement.

Originally posted by CBS Chicago

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