Wells Fargo refuses to refund $45k stolen from retiree's account

Picture this: you go to bed with a decent chunk of money in your bank account and wake up to discover that $45,678 has gone missing. Then, your bank tells you, "Sorry, not our problem." Welcome to John Pollard's life, which turned into a nightmare after Wells Fargo refused to refund the massive sum stolen in one fraudulent transaction.

Pollard, a retiree in Philadelphia, sent a check for $84.83 to Verizon in November 2021. Some thief snatched the check from the mail, altered the amount to $45,678.12, and replaced the payee with "Olivia Wallace." (Who is Olivia Wallace? My guess is that she manages Wells Fargo's executive yacht fund.)

The fraudulent check was cashed against the Pollards' Wells Fargo account. Pollard only realized the fraud when Verizon informed them that their phone bill hadn't been paid. In early 2022, he reported the fraud to Wells Fargo.

According to Time magazine, Wells Fargo initially assured Pollard and his wife that they would receive a refund. However, Wells Fargo decided to get tough and bring out the fine print. "In August 2023, the bank told the couple that they hadn't notified the bank of the fraud within 30 days of their Jan. 2022 account statement, and therefore had forfeited any claim for the return of their cash. 'If the customer does not report any issues within that time, the bank account statement is deemed to be correct, and the customer approves all the transactions,' the bank's senior counsel wrote in a letter." TLDR; "Do you have any idea how expensive yachts are these days?"

More than two years later, Wells Fargo still hasn't returned the stolen money to the Pollards.

New motto suggestion: "Wells Fargo: Where Your Money Vanishes into Thin Air."

Nightmare at Wells Fargo: customer battles fraudulent charges for months until NY Times shames the bank into helping him