Common Sense Costs Extra: Bank Sues Identity Theft Victim

from the sue-first,-ask-questions-later dept

There's no denying that identity theft is a big problem these days, and it can often be tricky for banks and other financial institutions to deal with the victims of such crimes while making sure that a real scam took place, but there are times where things get ridiculous. Digg points us to the news that a woman who was the victim of an identity theft that emptied her bank accounts in a matter of days has now been sued by Bank of America for $23,312.04 worth of overdraft. Of course, the activity draining her accounts probably should have set off alarms at the bank -- and even afterwards, before sending out the lawsuit, you'd think that the bank would take a look at the account to determine what likely happened. Of course, now that the woman's story is in the NY Post it's likely (one hopes) that the folks at BofA will reconsider -- but perhaps they should have checked things out before sending out the lawsuit.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Will Never Use BofA, May 22nd, 2007 @ 2:43pm

    Bank of America Taking Hits Lately...

    ...in the press on their lack of responses to this stuff.

    http://redtape.msnbc.com/2007/05/id_thief_bounce.html

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Poster, May 22nd, 2007 @ 2:58pm

    Remind me NEVER to bank at Bank of America.

     

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  3.  
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    Shohat, May 22nd, 2007 @ 3:25pm

    It's only an american problem

    Nobody outside the US even remotely considers identity theft much of a problem. It's an extremely rare crime, which is usually not worth the trouble

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2007 @ 3:25pm

    guess she didn't have overdraft protection on her account she really needs another bank when this gets sorted out

     

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  5.  
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    Nilttab Yllib, May 22nd, 2007 @ 3:31pm

    Bank of Amerixico

    Aren't they the bank that wants to give credit cards to illegals?

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2007 @ 3:32pm

    why cant we set up honeypots for identity thievers. intentionally leak certain accounts, then monitor them closely, and go after them when they start using the account, leaving a blazing trail of carnage behind.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2007 @ 3:37pm

    Re:

    I don't think "thievers" is even a word. And by the way, your shift key also seems to be broken.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2007 @ 3:37pm

    Banks are making themselves irrelevant

    With consumer interest rates so lousy, the only reason to keep money in a bank is because it's safer than keeping it under your mattress. Or it was anyway. Unless they start taking this seriously and begin treating their electronic security as seriously as their physical security, what's the point? I'll take my chances with the mattress.

     

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  9.  
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    sendeth, May 22nd, 2007 @ 3:43pm

    boa, that's why

    i had my card stolen out of my work truck and i called bank of america within a few minutes. then i noticed my account was still losing money. i called again and was told there was no theft report. so i did it again. it took me three times reporting it lost before they finally did their job. no mention of a letter i needed to sign, just a mention of a summary they would send out. this was like dec 15th or 18th it was stolen. so a few days later i leave for my vacation over christmas, having finally stopped the bleeding of funds from my account, which by now was a lot. they put all the money back in my account. on my vacation i am suddenly stranded and my account is negative. to make a long story short, i return a couple days after christmas only to find a letter saying i had to sign it send it back by....2 days ago!!! it arrived just before christmas and even if i had been there, their computer didn't take christmas into account, so the mail wouldn't have even been able to get it back to them in time. as soon as the investigation was done, i went into a branch, emptied all of my accounts, transferred my cards and loans, and filed a bbb complaint. i had been a customer for over 10 years and had many problems with them in that time, but this was by far the worst. and even though the said they screwed up, "the system" wouldn't let them help me in any way.

    I HATE BOA!!! i switched to sovereign and never had another problem.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2007 @ 3:58pm

    Re: Re:

    It's "and, by the way,", by the way.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2007 @ 4:00pm

    I had problems with BOA back in the '70's, and I have avoided them since. This is no surprise to me.

     

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  12.  
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    Mike, May 22nd, 2007 @ 4:02pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    fucking grammar nazis I hope you get hit by a large truck.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    William, May 22nd, 2007 @ 4:04pm

    I love Bank of America

    I have a credit Card with Bank of America and they have always been great. I usually wait to the last minute to pay my card and I had some trouble with Chase so I went to BoA because they had a reputation for being good. They even give me a day of float before charging late payment fees and don't seem to schedule due dates on weekends. I haven't had a late payment in the 2 years I've been with them. I was thinking of moving my checking account to them.

     

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  14.  
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    Ambo, May 22nd, 2007 @ 4:12pm

    Re: Banks are making themselves irrelevant

    I know someone who keeps some of their money buried in the back yard, some in a safe and some in a safety deposit box. Although the money in the safety deposit box is at the bank they don't actually touch it. He doesn't trust banks and would rather not have it in the bank at all, but he did finally give in to the deposit box.

     

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  15.  
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    Ambo, May 22nd, 2007 @ 4:21pm

    Re: boa, that's why

    My mom uses Regions. Someone was bleeding her account and they noticed the strange transactions within a day or two. They checked with her and confirmed that she didn't make the charges. They had her money back in her account by the end of the day.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2007 @ 4:33pm

    Re: Re: Banks are making themselves irrelevant

    As long as he quits telling people about it, he's probably in better shape than a bank account. :o)

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Luci, May 22nd, 2007 @ 4:33pm

    Re: It's only an american problem

    Wait, what? Are you so certain about that? Perhaps you need to start paying a bit more attention, as it is considered a global problem.

    http://software.silicon.com/security/0,39024655,39128357,00.htm
    http://www.zdnet.com.au /news/security/soa/Study-Identity-theft-keeps-climbing-/0,130061744,339274069,00.htm

    I'm sure if I kept looking I could find even more links. True, almost every one counts US losses as about 1/3 of the total world-wide, which is a very large chunk, but realistically this is not 'only an American problem.'

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    J Bell, May 22nd, 2007 @ 4:34pm

    Bank of America -created- my Identity Theft

    I had a Visa card from Way Back When and then we, the customers and our accounts were sold. Through a series of companies including Fleet, and Citi, we finally were forced to do business with Bank of America or lose the history on our well managed credit card accounts.

    After some months of paying my bills online without incident, Bank of America began a series of increased "security" "improvements" making it harder and harder to log on, until one day I could not get farther into the account pages than my login/password/security image. After a lot of phone calls, and hours on hold I finally figured out that they had decided that my account needed to be bonded to and rolled into my husband's accounts and I didn't know (actually, I refused to provide since I had no legitimate reason to be in his account space) the password to his bank account MAC card. This would not have been all that inconvenient if we had actually shared finances, however in this case we have lived separately for 15 years.
    So now I can't get at my account to pay it and my husband has free rein to do what he likes with it. It is a good thing we are still friends and my husband is a moral person or this little trick of theirs would have been a disaster.
    I will not go into the saga of how we finally managed to get the accounts unhooked--suffice to say it was a long and annoying experience.

    With this policy in place I expect they have caused more identity thefts than they have prevented.

     

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  19.  
    icon
    Flamsmark (profile), May 22nd, 2007 @ 4:49pm

    Re: It's only an american problem

    Except for the UK, France, and the rest of the western EU, where it's a really big problem; and fairly common.

     

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  20.  
    icon
    Flamsmark (profile), May 22nd, 2007 @ 4:52pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    It's "It's "and, by the way," by the way," by the way: you use the the punctuation inside the inverted commas as a separator in the ongoing syntax, so the repeated comma is unnecessary.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2007 @ 4:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    fucking grammar nazis I hope you get hit by a large truck.
    should have been
    Fucking grammar nazis. I hope you get hit by a large truck.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Frosty, May 22nd, 2007 @ 5:00pm

    Re: It's only an american problem

    Wow! what planet do you live on?
    I'm Canadian, and it's a huge problem here, as well as in the UK, Africa, India, Australia, South America, Europe, China, Japan, Taiwan, etc. etc. the only reason I can think of for someone to make a statement like yours is that maybe you are an identity theif yourself!?!

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Ric, May 22nd, 2007 @ 5:44pm

    Chase

    Chase seems to be doing an OK job of looking for identity theft. When i traveled to Europe my chase banker made sure the ATM's would let me access money...and somebody i went with didn't let Chase know, and the ATM ate her card. And my family has had several calls from chase regarding "out of character purchases".

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2007 @ 6:54pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    It's "And, by the way,...", by the way.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2007 @ 7:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You should have used a semicolon, not a colon.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Ben, May 22nd, 2007 @ 7:32pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Okay correcting a flagrant grammar error is no big deal but come on! OH NO DID I FORGET A COMMA? is this lowerCaSe BoThErInG yOu??????? Get a life jackass.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2007 @ 7:51pm

    Is anybody stopping to wonder how this all happened instead of questioning BoA? How did the theives get access to her account? Is it the bank's fault someone follows a bogus email link and provides bank/credit info to some stranger?

    The title rings true:" Common sense costs extra". If you provide the info to thieves, why should it be the bank's fault? If customers do stupid **** by replying to phishing emails or following bad links, why should the bank have to cover the costs of stupidity?

     

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  28.  
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    Ben the talking ass, May 22nd, 2007 @ 8:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    o U r sO kEwl! rAnDoM cApItALiZatIOn is tEH FRenD oF Teh fUNcTioNalLy iLleTeRAte!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Wizard Prang, May 23rd, 2007 @ 5:49am

    Thievers

    I don't think "thievers" is even a word

    Who commits thievery, then? :)

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Celes, May 23rd, 2007 @ 5:56am

    Re: boa, that's why

    Although I'm not happy with BOA for their because-we-feel-like-it fees, I must say they've been good to me as far as protection goes. I called them once when my check card got lost; they immediately went over the last few transactions with me to make sure they were mine and invalidated the card.

    That said, I don't agree with their policy for strange purchases; on more than one occasion I've had to make a larger-than-normal purchase, and they've frozen my account after that purchase because it's not normal activity for me. That wouldn't be so bad, but the thing is, they don't make any attempt to let me know that they've done that. I have to wait until I'm in line buying groceries or fast food or whatever and find out that I suddenly can't use my card.

    So I guess I've got the opposite problem: BOA is protecting me, but they need to work on how they do it.

     

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  31.  
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    CowHerd Anon, May 23rd, 2007 @ 6:13am

    Re: Thievers

    Thiefers?

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    CowHerd Anon, May 23rd, 2007 @ 6:21am

    Re:

    ...

    Because they said they would. They advertise it, they need to either make it work or stop saying they'll do it.

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    Wizard Prang, May 23rd, 2007 @ 6:48am

    BofA... my least favorite bank

    I was a happy customer with MBNA for over ten years before BofA bought them last year.

    First they replaced an MBNA card that still had a year to go, without my permission and without telling me.
    Then they changed the website requiring me to re-register everything.
    Then they closed the account that electronic payments were being sent to so that a payment bounced, and then they hit me for $54 of fees on a $21 balance.

    When I complained, they removed some of the fees, but I had had enough and closed the accounts.

    They got a $15 "fee", and lost a customer for life. Good job, gang!

    http://wizardprang.com/2006/11/15/bofa/

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    discojohnson, May 23rd, 2007 @ 7:39am

    we all hate banks

    sorry, all banks are lousy to some degree. i've had an account at a military branch credit union, never had an issue. i've had an account at BoA and never had a problem. i've currently got an account at USAA and never had a problem. it's a crap shoot. i've only ever closed one account, however: BoA--too damn expensive to keep an account with them.

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    James, May 23rd, 2007 @ 9:05am

    Hate them

    This is why I won't do any kind of business with BoA.. when they bought MBNA I stopped using that credit card.

    Perhaps they should just change their name to BoDA (bank of dumbasses)?

     

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  36.  
    identicon
    SailorRipley, May 23rd, 2007 @ 2:11pm

    Re: Re: It's only an american problem

    please do (keep looking)

    the articles you link do not really prove your assertion...

    UK: "Identity theft affecting one in four UK adults" sounds good as a title, but turns out, that bold title is actually based on: "A quarter of adults have been a victim identity theft or know someone who has been affected by it"

    which makes it a whole lot less impressive...

    AU: 15 million americans on average $3,257 a piece...compared with that, AU$5.2M is peanuts in comparison. Not to mention that it's unclear that 5.2M is entirely due to identity theft, as it's been been lost to scams and rip-offs which appear to include lottery scams, fake investment schemes both it would seem would involve you handing over your money, not the bad guys stealing your identity and then extracting money somehow/somewhere.

    I'm not saying it's not a mainly US problem, actually, I don't know for sure (although I do think it's at least possible it's mainly a US problem), all I'm saying is the two links you provide do little to convince me of your assertion it isn't...

     

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  37.  
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    james-42, May 23rd, 2007 @ 8:18pm

    just one bank

    I have moved many times over the years and that has caused me to switch banks several times. There has been only one bank that I left because of hidden fees, unending mistakes, and all around poor service.

    That one bank? BOA of course.

     

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  38.  
    identicon
    Richard Gicomeng, May 24th, 2007 @ 11:43pm

    The Only Villian of Identity Theft is the Banking

    Don't be fooled into thinking that the person(s) who stole your identity are the criminals. Identity theft has become an industry thanks to the banking organizations that perpetuate the crime. What am I talking about? Years ago, when computer hackers threatened banks directly, banks immediately spent billions of dollars on air tight security to shield their communication networks. In fact, banks continue to pour their money into ensuring that they are hack-proof, but now, get a load of this: these banks went as far as HIRING HACKERS to work for their organization. Hackers not only got nudged away gently, banks also hired them. Why? It's a matter of socioeconomics and skill. Hackers are generally well-educated and come from families that generally range from the middle class and above, whereas the majority of identity theives are from the lower ranks. They don't have special skills, have less education and many are from the low-end of minority groups. Some of them work in lower paying positions of the bank and are driven to their craft by economic pressures on them. Also, by not having procedures to deal with identity theft, banks can control those who work for them by deciding whether something is a mistake or identity theft. That's right, folks, identity theft is a form of discrimination that these so-called diverse organizations use to destroy the careers of those among minorities. Consider two employees of Wells Fargo Bank who accidentally used someone else's identity. The white heterosexual female was promoted to a vice preseident after accidentally using someone else's identity, but her gay male counterpart who has AIDS was fired and the case was turned over to the police. Identity theft appeared in the backgound of the gay male and he could not secure a job. He now works as a clerk in the rolloff departent for a waste managememt company. Thus, the banks are the REAL criminals. I'm afraid that Identity Theft like Drug Abuse is going to be around until US citizens start putting their foot down on the ground, and their voices in the air as they shout: WE ARE NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE...! My suggestion to everyone: Demand that your bank has an internal policy that safeguards against identity theft and offer protection for everyone without cost to you, the consumer. If you find that your bank does not have sufficient policies in place, take your money out and shop at a bank that does. Don't perpetuate crime by using a criminal bank. Wells Fargo is a criminal bank. Let criminals do their banking there. If you overlook this now, you'll be sorry later when you're the one who's got to pay for it. And trust me, anyone who does their banking at Wells Fargo will pay dearly! The writing is on the wall.

     

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  39.  
    identicon
    chae s. sone, Aug 27th, 2008 @ 6:17am

    Bank's negligence to help ID thieves

    2 Woodbury Court
    Hicksville, New York 11801


    August 26, 2008
    President
    Bank of Amrica
    471 N. Buckeye Road,
    Phoenix, Arizona

    RE: One of the fake accounts #...1297

    Dear President:

    In early August, 2007, we were called by the colcal branch of Bank of America. My wife went into the bank. she was questioned if she wrote a check for 8,000. she did not. Someone opened
    the accounts in our name. We want to have a copy of the fake check. The officer said yes, but we did not get it from the bank yet, although many times we request it.

    During the dispute, we got a copy of the forged check for $1,250 in my name as if I made out payable to my son. Of course, the signatures all wrong, missing a middle initial. But, any way, the bank honored the forged check and released money to the wise guy through another bank.

    We reported back to the bank that we did not print the check and it was a forged one. But the bank did not say anyting about it yet.

    We are still waiting for a copy of the $8,000 forged check.

    Last month, the president of the Bank of America, 1825 E. Buckeye Rd., Phoenix, Arizona 85034 strangely got a default judgment against my son from the Nassau County District court, New York, who never lived in Phoenix and never opened the account.

    The fake story is like this. According to the bank, my son opened a credit account in 2002, and purchased items. He did not pay and then filed the lawsuit against him, at his fake address, at 471 N. Broadway, Jericho, New York 11753. He never lived at the address, which is false. Of course he never received any valid receipts or purchase records from it.

    Then, Michael A. Cammon swore the Affidavit of facts,and
    notarized on June 12, 2007. He stated that he knew all the facts of lawsuits onpurchases.

    For this time, Michael A. Cammon represented as an agent of Bank of America, 275 S. Valencia Ave., Ca 7-70. Brea, Ca. 92823, This time, it jumped to California from Arizona.

    It is hard to understand how the scenario on lawsuit jumped round. For now the lawyer is in New York.

    Without proper information, my son faced so called traverse hearings at Nassau County District Court, New York. The court did not give any chance to my son to present his case and ruled the default judgment for over $14,00 for Bank of America, Phoenix, Arizona.

    According to the court records, the summons served upon my son, July 25, 2007 at the present address, Nassau County, New York. We never received it. How this kind of judgment could happen to the innocent person in the McCain-Obama era, U.S.A.?

    It seems that the banks target the elderly and minority victims who are socially handicapped and do not have many resources to fight against like these abuses.

    All of Ourfrauds reported to FBI, Fed. Trade commission, police, etc. No help comes from them at all.

    Recently, at a news conference, Bank of America CEO was questioned by an ID theft female victim. His answer was that ID theft division would take care of it. But. his answer was very cool to the ID terror victim without any emotional expression or a CEO regret. Banks are so powerful that they could collect free money from the poor guys.

    Who can reshape this ominous power structure in this society?

    Why did your Fraud Department Mirjana Petropic did not file the lawsuit? Did the department contact us for the stolen money in the lawsuit case?

    I would appreciate it very much when your kindly advice me if you really filed this lawsuit?

    Sincerely,


    Chae S. Sone

     

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  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2010 @ 10:37am

    what does the bank do with late fees?mmmmmmmy bank charges twenty five for each overdraft.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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