There was $ 20,000 in fraudulent charges on his debit card. Why didn’t the bank notice anything?


Deborah Tennyson says she’s a pretty predictable customer when it comes to her business checking account.

The freelance worker said she shop infrequently and locally – not online – and anyone can look at her statements and see a pattern in their purchases.

So it was a surprise when she tried to use her debit card on September 23 and was refused.

She went to her branch, TD Bank in Fort Lee, to see what was wrong with her account.

“My business debit card was used for over 200 suspicious transactions in the span of 30 days,” she said, noting that she hadn’t noticed it sooner because she wasn’t using the cards. online banking but relied instead on monthly bank statements mailed out.

The fraudulent charges amounted to almost $ 20,000.

The very first charge was laid on August 16 at a money transfer service. Then they came from everywhere, including online payments to Progressive Insurance and GEICO, a taco restaurant, a children’s clothing store, and DoorDash. In a single day in September, there were 57 separate Facebook Pay fees at $ 50 each.

The TD Bank fraud system has not been alerted to any of them.

“Even the bank rep said to himself, ‘Why didn’t they report this? ”Said Tennyson. “She said she could see what was a fraudulent charge and what was not.”

Tennyson submitted a fraud report.

Five days later, she received a notice from TD Bank.

“Based on our investigation, we determined that there had been no fraud,” the letter said.

“I was devastated. Devastated. It’s $ 20,000,” she said.

Shocked that her dispute was dismissed, she called the bank’s 800 number, she said. The representative recommended that he file a police report.

She did, but officers said that because the charges had not been laid locally, the department lacked the manpower to investigate.

Back at her local branch, she filed another fraud complaint on October 5 with the police report and proof that she had filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

“They have laws,” she said. “I am not responsable.”

Weeks went by without a word, so she called to check on her case.

A representative said it could take up to 90 days to resolve, she said she was told, and that she should return to the bank branch to see if they had any updates.

“I spoke to the bank manager. She said it was ridiculous. She could see that people had looked at the file but there was no resolution yet, ”Tennyson said.

They decided to file the claim again, this time with a notarized affidavit of facts signed by Tennyson. It was sent on October 21.

Fearing that her dispute would be denied again, she turned to Bamboozled for help.


We reviewed the list of unauthorized charges, the Tennyson affidavit, and TD Bank denial letters.

It seemed pretty obvious that there was some unusual activity on the account, especially the 57 fee for $ 50 on the same date.

And given the delay, his case looked like a slam dunk.

According to the FTC: “If someone makes unauthorized transactions with your debit card number, but your card is not lost, you are not responsible for those transactions if you report them within 60 days. sending your statement.

Tennyson said she never lost possession of her card.

We asked TD Bank to take another look.

Two days later, Tennyson got a call.

“They will return the money,” she said. “The rep got to watch everything and said the way they were spending was absolutely aggressive. She agreed it was a fraud.

The rep told Tennyson that the money would be back in his account today.

We asked TD Bank why their fraud system didn’t pick up anything suspicious.

He said he is thoroughly investigating fraud complaints.

“Protecting the security of our clients’ personal information and accounts is something we take very seriously,” said spokesperson Paige Wilkins. “In each individual case, we take appropriate action based on the findings of our investigations. “

She said she could not discuss the details of the case due to privacy concerns, but confirmed that it “resulted in a positive resolution for the client.”

“Go figure. It sounds generic,” Tennyson said, laughing in response to the bank statement. I’m just relieved.

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Karin Price Mueller can be contacted at [email protected].

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