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Account Takeover Thieves Put Wells Fargo Business Account to the Test


Nov 20, 2023

A long-time Wells Fargo business account holder in Orlando, Fla., was recently the victim of unauthorized withdrawals and transfers totaling just under $150,000. Robert Branagh reported to News 6 that he was able to recover about $24,000 that was illegally transferred from his Volusia County business account to a personal account.

Branagh immediately filed a fraudulent claim after the unauthorized transfers took place, but he expressed frustration that Wells Fargo has not been able to tell him who authorized the transfers. Under Nacha rules, a fraudulent Automated Clearing House (ACH) or business transfer must be reported to the bank within two business days, as outlined in a letter issued to Branagh by Wells Fargo.

The breach took place on Aug. 17 but was not noticed until Aug. 29 after a total of $149,296.48 was taken in a series of withdrawals. Branchagh discovered a final withdrawal of $10,000 was taken out of his business account on Aug. 28, and $530 dollars was taken out of his daughter’s account on Aug. 29.

According to the U.S. Secret Service Orlando office, the account may have been tested by a potential buyer of stolen accounts. A representative stated that small withdrawals suggested a test to see if the account was active, which ended with a flurry of larger withdrawals totaling just under $150,000.

Due to the incident, the Secret Service advises anyone with a checking or savings account to check their accounts every day. If the account has been compromised, one should tell their bank immediately and report the incident to local law enforcement or the U.S. Secret Service. If there are any questions or in need of assistance, users should email makekendsmeet@wkmg.com or text the words “make ends meet” along with their contact information and the issue to 407-676-7428.

By Editor

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