The friction between banks and their clients over fraud and account takeovers has reached the boiling point for one Truist banking customer.
Perran Davis says his deceased father’s estate account was emptied of over $133,000 in a matter of months and will never trust Truist again.
His story, like thousands of others, has become all too common.
Davis, the sole executor of the account, says he first noticed something was off in February, when he wrote a check from the estate to his attorney…
And it bounced.
“Red alert. It should have been impossible, there was over $130,000 in that account. It’s impossible to wrap your mind around how can this happen? I thought that I was dealing with a reputable bank that had safeguards in place, and they obviously failed,” said Davis.
After the check bounced, Davis decided to take matters into his own hands and looked over all the account statements from previous months. He first noticed a $3,507 payment in November to Imperial Freight Lines, whom he hired to move his father’s possessions. Those payments, Davis says, were legitimate.
However, the day after the legitimate Imperial payments were made, he noticed an odd $1 charge from the company.
Further investigation showed Davis that his father’s estate account had gone from $139,501 in November, to just $45,353 by January…
And by the time he wrote the check to his attorney, the account was overdrawn by $2,088.
Mr. Davis believes the moving company may have stolen the funds and is highly concerned about what to do next.
You see, besides the theft of over $130,000 from his father’s account, Davis is responsible for the handling of the estate and must report any expenditures to the probate court.
He’s now left wondering how to explain what happened before the court…
And hopes they believe him.
“It’s not my money. It’s the money of my deceased father’s estate account. I’m responsible for that, I have to report to the probate court about that, so what am I supposed to do?”, said Davis.
He’s now furious with Truist over the theft, and for good reason.
“I found out… that over $130,000 had been wiped out. And at no time, did the bank ever contact me, not by phone, not by snail mail, not by email, nothing.”
According to Davis, Truist did send him fraud alerts, but they came long after his account was already drained.
“So they didn’t bother to do this while the fraud was happening, this is after all the money was gone…
“… then they start blowing my email up saying there’s fraud, we’re seeing a higher level of activity—why didn’t they do it when the fraud was happening?”
Mr. Davis says the bank not only failed to protect his father’s account but noted a glaring hole in Truist’s fraud prevention tools.
“… why their fraud system didn’t catch it, and she (a bank rep) said their computer only looks at the numbers at the bottom of the checks, not the name and that the algorithm cashes checks if those numbers are right.
“Which basically tells me there’s really no protection whatsoever. I can take and print a check on the appropriate paper and put some random person’s name and address in the upper left-hand corner and put somebody’s routing information and send it through Truist and according to this lady they’d cash it.”
On the surface, it seems that Truist may not be using the most effective anti-fraud tools and could be putting their customers in harm’s way.
But Truist is not alone in their apparent lack of security. According to the Federal Trade Commission, American consumers lost over $5.8 billion to fraud last year, a gargantuan 70% leap over 2020.
As Mr. Davis said, “why didn’t they do it (alert the fraud) when the fraud was happening?”
Well, had the bank employed cutting-edge, real-time fraud detection and prevention technologies, like those provided by ToolCASE, Truist may have had that very capability.
In fact, ToolCASE’s real-time, enterprise level fraud detection and prevention tools, driven by artificial intelligence, were developed specifically for this exact purpose: To detect fraud live, as it’s happening, and stop it before any funds are transferred or stolen…
And not to leave banks alerting defrauded customers, after the fact.
With over $5.8 billion lost to fraud in 2021, every transactional institution, including banks and credit unions, must do more to prevent fraud and protect their customer assets.
If they don’t, the friction we see between Mr. Davis and Truist will spread through the banking industry like wildfire, and we may soon see more big banks in the crosshairs of angry customers.
Every banking institution should immediately consider reviewing the real-time ToolCASE Ai solutions to bank and credit union fraud, and get a full demonstration of its remarkable capabilities, HERE
Or, read the entire story of how Perran Davis discovered the theft, and how, with the cooperation of the police, he may have found the criminal, HERE