Robert Branagh, a long-time Wells Fargo business account holder, was the latest victim of unauthorized withdrawals and transfers totaling just under $150,000. Despite filing a fraudulent claim immediately, he was unable to recover any of the stolen funds. According to bank records, a final withdrawal of $10,000 was taken out of Branagh’s business account on Aug. 28, and later $530 dollars were taken out of his daughter’s account on Aug. 29.
Under Nacha rules, a fraudulent Automated Clearing House (ACH) or business transfer must be reported to the bank within two business days. However, the first breach took place on Aug. 17 and was not noticed until Aug. 29 after a total of $149,296.48 had been taken in a series of withdrawals.
A representative from the U.S. Secret Service Orlando office suggested that the account may have been tested by a potential buyer of stolen accounts as the small withdrawals suggested a test to see if the account was active. This escalated into a flurry of larger withdrawals totaling just under $150,000 before the account was closed by Wells Fargo on Sept 3rd . They encouraged anyone with a checking or savings account to check their accounts every day and report any suspicious activity immediately to local law enforcement or the U.S. Secret Service .
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