7 On Your Side: New bank fraud steals $10,000 from high school student's account

ByNina Pineda and Steve J. Livingstone WABC logo
Friday, March 22, 2019
7 On Your Side: New bank fraud steals $10,000 from high school student's account
Nina Pineda reports on the five-figure bank fraud bill.

SUFFERN, New York (WABC) -- Thieves didn't need guns nor hold-up notes to exploit a larcenous loophole and make off with $10,000 at one of the biggest banks in the country.

One of their customers was stuck with the five-figure fraud bill, and he turned to 7 On Your Side.

"I feel terrible because they took all my parents' money," Suffern High School senior Jason Hirschberg said.

He had $74 in his bank account -- money earned delivering pizzas -- but one night his balance ballooned from a big cash deposit made in California. So Hirschberg's dad called the bank.

"They said we'll put it into investigation and a freeze on the account," dad Michael Hirschberg said. "I said fine. I wanted to know what's going on."

Apparently, Jason's chip card was cloned and his pin compromised. Criminals used both to make a $1,000 cash ATM deposit at the Chase Branch on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles.

The thieves deposited the cash, bringing Jason Hirschberg's balance over $1,000. That enabled the swindlers to quickly go to a bunch of different Chase branches in the area and cash a counterfeit check in each branch.

Since most of the checks were made out for $995, all were cashed by the tellers because the balance in the account was higher than the check amount.

"I think Chase should've stopped," Michael Hirschberg said. "There was no money in it. What are they doing cashing these checks?"

By the time the bandits were done, they had bamboozled more than $10,000. But the bank denied the family's fraud claim and went after them for the money.

"Within two to three days, anything that had my name on it was cleared out by Chase," Michael Hirschberg said.

That meant his joint account with his daughter, who's in college, his retired mother in Florida, and the account he had with his wife were all emptied.

Michael Hirschberg wrote to both the COO and the CEO at Chase, but he still got denied.

7 On Your Side asked Chase to take another look at the fraud claim and heard from them within a week.

"I was so surprised," Michael Hirschberg said. "Everything they took, we got back."

Nearly $10,000 was returned to their accounts.

After all of 7 On Your Side's calls and emails, Chase said it took another look at the customer's account again and credited the balance.

As a result of the scam, Chase told us they've changed their check cashing policies to prevent this kind of fraud.

Chase warns customers to scan their statements regularly and report fraud as soon as they see it.



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