Get Gephardt helps Utah woman who says her bank refused to refund stolen money

May 30, 2024, 10:25 PM | Updated: 10:34 pm

PARK CITY — A trip to Las Vegas to party with friends and to see a show isn’t exactly a cheap adventure to begin with, but for Danielle Addicott it became extraordinarily expensive.

“Somebody in Texas was trying to run my card up around $2,000,” Addicott said of the alert she received from her bank while at the concert venue.

The number that popped up on her phone with that call was a Wells Fargo number she had seen before, but the caller wasn’t really from Wells Fargo. She was a scammer, who then manipulated Addicott into divulging personal information that she thought would secure her account.

“She fully gained my trust – made it seem legit,” she said of the caller. “She already had my birthday and the debit card number we were talking about.”

Charges on Addicott's Wells Fargo account.

Charges on Addicott’s Wells Fargo account. (KSL TV)

Minutes after that call, Addicott tried to use her bank card at a vendor inside the venue. The transaction was denied due to insufficient funds. Addicott learned her bank account had been drained of more than $7,000.

Addicott saw some of the previous reporting from KSL Investigators about how, in certain instances, banks are expected to step in and prevent fraud. And when they don’t, federal rules could require banks to reimburse stolen money.

So, she immediately called the real Wells Fargo and filed a claim.

“I had all this information, all this proof, that I didn’t make that transaction,” she said.

ddicott looking at her Wells Fargo claim inquiry.

Addicott looking at her Wells Fargo claim inquiry. (KSL TV)

Addicott said she spent weeks trying to get someone from Wells Fargo to accept her evidence. But after a month, she said a call from the bank made something that was already bad into something worse.

“’Unfortunately, your claim has been denied because there’s no proof of fraud,’” she said the bank told her. “I was honestly just really frustrated.”

Not sure where else to turn, Addicott decided it was time to call the KSL Investigators, and we reached out to Wells Fargo on her behalf and asked how they determined there was no fraud.

In an email, a spokesperson wrote, “… we worked closely with our customer, and after receiving additional information, we were able to come to this resolution.”

The letter that a Wells Fargo spokesperson sent to KSL about Addicott's situation.

The letter that a Wells Fargo spokesperson sent to KSL about Addicott’s situation. (KSL TV)

Indeed, Addicott said she heard back from Wells Fargo, which reversed their refusal and refunded much of the stolen money.

Under Regulation E of the federal Electronic Fund Transfer Act, financial institutions are required to reimburse customers in certain cases of fraud. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says that even if an account holder is induced by a third party to share account information, it’s still considered an unauthorized transfer.

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Get Gephardt helps Utah woman who says her bank refused to refund stolen money