Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Checking Account Compromised

I was sitting in the cell phone waiting lot at Long Beach Airport minding my own business and waiting (what else) for my brother to get off work so we could carpool up to a family dinner at our parents' house when, appropriately, my cell phone rang.

I didn't recognized the number, but answered none the less. It could be a work call after all!

Rather than work, it was a teller from the Westchester Washington Mutual Bank asking me if I had written a check from my account in the amount of $4,200.00.

I wish.

Some gentleman (you know, like the ones that frequent those "Gentlemans Clubs") had come in and presented a check allegedly signed by me made out to him for $4200.00.
The first clue that it might be fraudulent was that I did not have $4,200.00 in my account.

I said, "Arrest him!". The teller said that he had exited the branch when they started inspecting the check. She then advised me to go immediately to the nearest branch and close all my accounts. I didn't argue with her. Instead, I picked up my brother, explained the small detour, and off we went to a WaMu branch directly on our route to the freeway.

It took about 30 minutes to complete all the necessary steps involved in closing the old accounts, opening new accounts, and dealing with the automatic withdrawal and deposit issues.
In the process it was revealed that said "gentleman" had been writing checks that he had had printed up himself against my account all day. Fortunately none of them had cleared.

And, thanks to an alert WaMu employee, none of them will!

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