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Thread: Wells Fargo Customer? You Probably Got Ripped Off - 5300 Fired Over Fraud

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    Wells Fargo Customer? You Probably Got Ripped Off - 5300 Fired Over Fraud



    5,300 Wells Fargo employees fired over 2 million phony accounts



    http://money.cnn.com/2016/09/08/inve...ees/index.html
    Everyone hates paying bank fees. But imagine paying fees on a ghost account you didn't even sign up for.

    That's exactly what happened to Wells Fargo customers nationwide.

    On Thursday, federal regulators said Wells Fargo employees secretly created millions of unauthorized bank and credit card accounts -- without their customers knowing it -- since 2011.


    The phony accounts earned the bank unwarranted fees and allowed Wells Fargo employees to boost their sales figures and make more money.

    "Wells Fargo employees secretly opened unauthorized accounts to hit sales targets and receive bonuses," Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, said in a statement.
    Wells Fargo confirmed to CNNMoney that it had fired 5,300 employees related to the shady behavior over the last few years. Employees went to far as to create phony PIN numbers and fake email addresses to enroll customers in online banking services, the CFPB said.


    The scope of the scandal is shocking. An analysis conducted by a consulting firm hired by Wells Fargo concluded that bank employees opened up over 1.5 million deposit accounts that may not have been authorized, according to the CFPB.
    The way it worked was that employees moved funds from customers' existing accounts into newly-created accounts without their knowledge or consent, regulators say. The CFPB described this practice as "widespread" and led to customers being charged for insufficient funds or overdraft fees -- because the money was not in their original accounts.

    Additionally, Wells Fargo employees also submitted applications for 565,443 credit card accounts without their knowledge or consent, the CFPB said the analysis found. Roughly 14,000 of those accounts incurred over $400,000 in fees, including annual fees, interest charges and overdraft-protection fees.

    The CFPB said Wells Fargo will pay "full restitutions to all victims."


    Wells Fargo is being slapped with the largest penalty since the CFPB was founded in 2011. The bank agreed to pay $185 million in fines, along with $5 million to refund customers.
    "We regret and take responsibility for any instances where customers may have received a product that they did not request," Wells Fargo said in a statement.

    Wells Fargo is the most valuable bank in America, worth just north of $250 billion. Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA), the investment firm run legendary investor Warren Buffett, is the company's biggest shareholder.
    "One wonders whether a penalty of $100 million is enough," said David Vladeck, a Georgetown University law professor and former director of the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection. "It sounds like a big number, but for a bank the size of Wells Fargo, it isn't really."

    The CFPB declined to explain how it came up with the $100 million penalty figure.
    Wells Fargo confirmed to CNNMoney that the firings represent about 1% of its workforce and took place over several years.
    "At Wells Fargo, when we make mistakes, we are open about it, we take responsibility, and we take action," the bank said in a memo to employees on Thursday.

    It's not clear when Wells Fargo hired a consulting firm to investigate the allegations, nor what triggered the response. Wells Fargo did not respond to a request for comment on this.

    The CFPB declined to comment on when the investigation began and what sparked it, citing agency policy. "We don't comment on how we uncover these matters," a spokesman said.

    As part of the settlement, Wells Fargo needs to make changes to its sales practices and internal oversight.
    "Consumers must be able to trust their banks. They should never be taken advantage of," said Mike Feuer, the Los Angeles City Attorney who joined the settlement.

    Feuer's office sued Wells Fargo in May 2015 over allegations of unauthorized accounts. After filing the suit, his office received more than 1,000 calls and emails from customers as well as current and former Wells Fargo employees about the allegations.
    Even though the Wells Fargo scandal took place nationally, the settlement with L.A. requires the bank to alert all its California customers to review their accounts and shut down ones they don't recognize or want.

    "How does a bank that is supposed to have robust internal controls permit the creation of over a half-million dummy accounts?" asked Vladeck. "If I were a Wells Fargo customer, and fortunately I am not, I'd think seriously about finding a new bank."

    In other PFA news, Chaps very pleased at so many outed dupes.

     
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      BCR: That's, quite frankly, staggering in scope.
      
      wrenchjockey: So does this mean CPFB had Skatz Admin login as well?
    Last edited by 4Dragons; 09-08-2016 at 01:18 PM.

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    Bronze DutchDoDo's Avatar
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    53 would be shocking, 5300 is just unreal.... Makes you wonder if WF knew about these practices.

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    Gold ftpjesus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DutchDoDo View Post
    53 would be shocking, 5300 is just unreal.... Makes you wonder if WF knew about these practices.
    It had to be well known.. Likely alot of middle management knew and were in the crew that got fired.. It was all about the atmosphere WF created of high pressure to meet goals for bonuses and of course the higher ups benefitted as well.. This isnt the first time its happened and wont be the last.. On the bright side it made it easy for WF to cut payroll and employees with something like this going down without getting hammered majorly as they are seen doing the right thing for customers now.

     
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      Jayjami: 100% correct.

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    Photoballer 4Dragons's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ftpjesus View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DutchDoDo View Post
    53 would be shocking, 5300 is just unreal.... Makes you wonder if WF knew about these practices.
    It had to be well known.. Likely alot of middle management knew and were in the crew that got fired.. It was all about the atmosphere WF created of high pressure to meet goals for bonuses and of course the higher ups benefitted as well.. This isnt the first time its happened and wont be the last.. On the bright side it made it easy for WF to cut payroll and employees with something like this going down without getting hammered majorly as they are seen doing the right thing for customers now.
    I've worked inside sales before and the company that I had previously worked for got busted by the State for misleading customers. The Trainers, Managers and everyone else knew what was going on and it was taught to everyone on how to make your numbers. Sales culture is weird like that and it's everywhere that i've had a look under the hood. I mean if you watch something like The Wolf of Wallstreet, it gives you a look at that 'I don't care who I hurt, they have the money' attitude.

    For it to be 500 fired would mean to me that it was institutionalized behavior, that it's 5,000 mandates it.

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    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    I think my mom got hit by this about 1-2 years ago, regarding a credit card.

    Will have to ask her about this.

  6. #6
    Bronze DutchDoDo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    I think my mom got hit by this about 1-2 years ago, regarding a credit card.

    Will have to ask her about this.
    Put her on radio tonight 😀

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by ftpjesus View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DutchDoDo View Post
    53 would be shocking, 5300 is just unreal.... Makes you wonder if WF knew about these practices.
    It had to be well known.. Likely alot of middle management knew and were in the crew that got fired.. It was all about the atmosphere WF created of high pressure to meet goals for bonuses and of course the higher ups benefitted as well.. This isnt the first time its happened and wont be the last.. On the bright side it made it easy for WF to cut payroll and employees with something like this going down without getting hammered majorly as they are seen doing the right thing for customers now.
    I worked at Wachovia during the conversion to WF. This was a very common practice. WF is a shit company and I quit immediately when our site was converted.

  8. #8
    If anyone needs a direct number to a Wells Fargo Area President---

    Deana Brumel 804.697.6439


    She's a slime bag just like the rest of WF but she's fun to talk to. She closed my account for fraud b/c of posting her number and made her assistant cry. She really is a piece of garbage.

  9. #9
    100% Organic MumblesBadly's Avatar
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    The CFPB said Wells Fargo will pay "full restitutions to all victims."

    Wells Fargo is being slapped with the largest penalty since the CFPB was founded in 2011. The bank agreed to pay $185 million in fines, along with $5 million to refund customers.
    "We regret and take responsibility for any instances where customers may have received a product that they did not request," Wells Fargo said in a statement.
    And the GOP wants to dismantle the CFPB. And NOT because, as Druff brings up, the fines go to the government. (Thank you, Elizabeth Warren!)
    Quote Originally Posted by Tellafriend View Post
    There is only one scumbag here:


    ME

  10. #10
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Talked to my mom about her Wells Fargo experience.

    She was in a branch about 2 years ago, and they kept pumping their credit card to her, telling her of surprisingly good cashback perks which made the card sound great. However, she still didn't feel like the hassle of filling out an application for it, so she told them that she still wasn't interested.

    The Wells Fargo banker told her, "Don't worry about filling out the application. Since you're already a Wells customer, we can just put you through to receive the card."

    My mom believed this and told her to do it.

    Well, a few days later, after researching a bit online, my mom noticed that the perks promised for this card WAY exceeded the online offers for the same card. She called back to Wells Fargo and asked, and a different person at the branch told her that there "must have been some confusion", and that indeed the perks were much less (identical to what my mom saw online).

    My mom then demanded they cancel the card, and she was promised by that person that they would cancel the application.

    The application was never canceled (big shock, right?), and she received that fail card in the mail a few weeks later.

    She called the customer service line and complained about this. They said, "Ma'am, you applied for this card, so it was your responsibility to read the terms and conditions." She said that she never applied, and that a banker did it. The customer service rep said that they had an application, filled out by hand by my mom and signed by her!

    My mom was shocked by this, as it meant that the banker filled out the application for her and forged her signature -- very different than what she claimed about just fast-tracking the card with no application because my mom already had a Wells bank account. Out of curiosity, my mom asked, "What occupation was listed on the application, and what was my income?" She was told that her occupation was listed as "housekeeper", and that she made like $35k per year. When my mom complained that this information was completely falsified and that she didn't want information in her credit that her income was only $35k, the customer service rep shot back, "What's the problem? A housekeeper is a very respectable position!"



    She kept demanding they keep to the perks they promised for the card, or at the very least, give her some kind of compensation for all of this to account for all of her wasted time and trouble over this mess (plus the fact that they illegally applied for her and forged her signature!) After a lot of arguing, they agreed to give her a whopping $15. She was pissed and shut down the card.

    Now it all makes sense.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by 4Dragons View Post
    For it to be 500 fired would mean to me that it was institutionalized behavior, that it's 5,000 mandates it.
    Are there any similar examples where companies had to ditch such a large number of employees for illegal behavior? I would sort of guess it must have happened on this type of scale a few times before, but I also can't of any examples, or even remember hearing of anything like this. Just how rare is this type of outcome?
    @CursedDiamonds on twitter

  12. #12
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Some light reading:

    Wells Fargo employee: "It was a real shit show over there"

    Pocohantas to grill Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf on September 20

    Wells Fargo to "eliminate sales goals", but for some reason won't be doing it until January 1.

    CEO John Stumpf won't step down



    This whole story really bothers me.

    Wells Fargo fired 5300 people for this over a period of 5 years. This means that upper management had to be well aware of what was going on. They can't plead ignorance when over 5,000 people were fired over a period of time for the same offense.

    While a Wells Fargo apologist could claim that the firings were indicative that management always took the problem seriously, I assert it means it opposite. Instead, it is clear that Wells management knew that the company had an environment full of illegal activity as a result of unrealistic sales goals, but preferred to take the approach of only firing those who got caught. That is, I'm sure they were well aware that far more than 5300 people were pulling these fake account shenanigans, but looked the other way as long as those people dodged official complaints.

    Since upper management had to know about this, and took no action to stop it for 5 years, there should be serious penalties involved, both criminal and civil. The $185 million fine is a slap on the wrist to Wells Fargo (and that money all goes to the government -- victimized customers don't gain anything from this fine!)

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    Some light reading:

    Wells Fargo employee: "It was a real shit show over there"

    Pocohantas to grill Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf on September 20

    Wells Fargo to "eliminate sales goals", but for some reason won't be doing it until January 1.

    CEO John Stumpf won't step down



    This whole story really bothers me.

    Wells Fargo fired 5300 people for this over a period of 5 years. This means that upper management had to be well aware of what was going on. They can't plead ignorance when over 5,000 people were fired over a period of time for the same offense.

    While a Wells Fargo apologist could claim that the firings were indicative that management always took the problem seriously, I assert it means it opposite. Instead, it is clear that Wells management knew that the company had an environment full of illegal activity as a result of unrealistic sales goals, but preferred to take the approach of only firing those who got caught. That is, I'm sure they were well aware that far more than 5300 people were pulling these fake account shenanigans, but looked the other way as long as those people dodged official complaints.

    Since upper management had to know about this, and took no action to stop it for 5 years, there should be serious penalties involved, both criminal and civil. The $185 million fine is a slap on the wrist to Wells Fargo (and that money all goes to the government -- victimized customers don't gain anything from this fine!)
    Unfortunately it's extremely rare that criminal corporate executives face serious consequences. They all got rich and they'll stay rich.

    They should be required to make triple restitution with interest to all victims and however much that is pay an equal amount to the government.

  14. #14
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hongkonger View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    Some light reading:

    Wells Fargo employee: "It was a real shit show over there"

    Pocohantas to grill Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf on September 20

    Wells Fargo to "eliminate sales goals", but for some reason won't be doing it until January 1.

    CEO John Stumpf won't step down



    This whole story really bothers me.

    Wells Fargo fired 5300 people for this over a period of 5 years. This means that upper management had to be well aware of what was going on. They can't plead ignorance when over 5,000 people were fired over a period of time for the same offense.

    While a Wells Fargo apologist could claim that the firings were indicative that management always took the problem seriously, I assert it means it opposite. Instead, it is clear that Wells management knew that the company had an environment full of illegal activity as a result of unrealistic sales goals, but preferred to take the approach of only firing those who got caught. That is, I'm sure they were well aware that far more than 5300 people were pulling these fake account shenanigans, but looked the other way as long as those people dodged official complaints.

    Since upper management had to know about this, and took no action to stop it for 5 years, there should be serious penalties involved, both criminal and civil. The $185 million fine is a slap on the wrist to Wells Fargo (and that money all goes to the government -- victimized customers don't gain anything from this fine!)
    Unfortunately it's extremely rare that criminal corporate executives face serious consequences. They all got rich and they'll stay rich.

    They should be required to make triple restitution with interest to all victims and however much that is pay an equal amount to the government.
    I agree. It's a joke.

    I don't care which party makes the moves to remedy this situation. Honestly, both are very much in the pocket of big corporate America, but it needs to be done.

    The sad thing is that, at the moment, the only politicians willing to take on corporate America are the unrealistic whack jobs like Bernie Sanders, so it's not going to get done. Anything reasonable Bernie says gets lost in all of his other socialist nonsense.

    Oh... and here's something really sickening:


    Carrie Tolstedt, the executive behind the hyperaggressive Wells Fargo account sales tactics, will walk away with $125 million.


    Amazingly, even with the recent outing of this scandal, CEO Stumpf does not seem interested in "clawing back" some of her retirement package, even though the company has that option!

    Her "retirement" earlier this year was also curious, as she is in her 50s. I believe Wells Fargo realized that the shit could possibly hit the fan soon enough, so they let her quietly exit with her retirement package. I think they were still hoping they would be able to dodge the story hitting the mass media, so they were afraid to fire her and thus attract the media's curiosity. They also might be hesitant to "claw back" her $125 million, because perhaps then she will talk and reveal that everyone (including Stumpf) knew what was going on.

    What a fucking mess.

     
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      MumblesBadly: She should be going to prison for commercial conspiracy to commit fraud.

  15. #15
    Wells Fargo was also one of the big banks who regularly did transactions with poker sites back in the pre-BF days. After the SDNY started to come down on payment processors, they switched course resulting in over $34 million plus of poker payments to be frozen:

    On June 9th, the AP reported that the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) instructed several banks, including Wells Fargo and Alliance Bank of Arizona, to freeze the accounts of payment processor Allied Systems Inc. Later reports confirmed that Citibank was also issued an order to freeze certain accounts and that a second payment processor, Account Services, was also targeted.

    Online poker sites use payment processors such as Account Services to process check cash outs to players. The freezing of the accounts essentially meant that any checks (including e-checks) issued to players that were drawn on said accounts were now worthless.
    http://www.parttimepoker.com/us-gove...ns-and-answers

    As for this deplorable episode above, I fully expect smaller employees who were following orders (while lining their pockets) to be blamed and fired for it, and the CEO and executives (who made moeny off of the increasing stock price thanks to our tax dollars) to be summoned to the U.S. Senate to be questioned over the affair, so that the politicians will have tape of them looking like they are doing something about it. Then, after that hearing, they will all go to a BBQ place in Washington D.C. and proceed to give a nice lobbyist and government DOJ liaison circle jerk as if nothing happened.

    Will anything be done about it? No: People are too busy doing shit like like some irrelevant douchebag social justice warrior because their Uber driver has a statue portraying a Polynesian person in a stereotypical light, or right wing folks decrying every progressive or leftist solution to the slowly crumbling failing ideology of modern capitalism as some socialist globalist plot (while getting in a bigoted comment about <insert race they hate here>), as the country is too polarized politically to do anything about the corporate raiding of the US, while we are distracted like a moth when it sees light, over irrelevant bullshit.
    Last edited by Shizzmoney; 09-14-2016 at 08:18 AM.
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  16. #16
    Ironic Todd cause if they offered you a cheese Danish you woulda helped 5300 people save their jobs legally.

    They find you and they hit the mother load.

    This crap is relentless.

  17. #17
    Photoballer 4Dragons's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crowe Diddly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by 4Dragons View Post
    For it to be 500 fired would mean to me that it was institutionalized behavior, that it's 5,000 mandates it.
    Are there any similar examples where companies had to ditch such a large number of employees for illegal behavior? I would sort of guess it must have happened on this type of scale a few times before, but I also can't of any examples, or even remember hearing of anything like this. Just how rare is this type of outcome?
    Actually the firings are the odd outcome. Mostly the company just eats the fine and carries on with the same staff, but moving them around so the top sales people become managers, the managers become district/regional and so on. For them to blame the staff for what the upper management was encouraging for years smacks of a deal, or maybe just optics. The thing is that the LAST thing you want to get rid of is your highest profit sales people.

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    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sanlmar View Post
    Ironic Todd cause if they offered you a cheese Danish you woulda helped 5300 people save their jobs legally.

    They find you and they hit the mother load.

    This crap is relentless.
    wat

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    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4Dragons View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Crowe Diddly View Post

    Are there any similar examples where companies had to ditch such a large number of employees for illegal behavior? I would sort of guess it must have happened on this type of scale a few times before, but I also can't of any examples, or even remember hearing of anything like this. Just how rare is this type of outcome?
    Actually the firings are the odd outcome. Mostly the company just eats the fine and carries on with the same staff, but moving them around so the top sales people become managers, the managers become district/regional and so on. For them to blame the staff for what the upper management was encouraging for years smacks of a deal, or maybe just optics. The thing is that the LAST thing you want to get rid of is your highest profit sales people.
    I don't have the full details, but it looks to me like a negative checkoff scam.

    A negative checkoff scam involves a type of scam were they immediately make it right when you catch it and complain, because they realize that the overwhelming majority of victims will either never know or never bother to raise an issue.

    Negative checkoff scams are very popular because they allow some degree of deniability. They can give the perpetrator the appearance of innocence, as it can be claimed that they always made things right when these "mistakes" were brought to their attention.

    In this case, I believe that Wells Fargo had to fire the most blatant abusers of these illegal sales procedures. If you were good enough at it to avoid getting "caught" by enough customers, you kept your job. If the branch kept getting complaints about you, then you were fired. Management was aware that massive numbers of employees were committing these illegal acts, but figured that they were in the clear, as no one was specifically directed to do anything illegal -- at least not by upper management. By firing those who were the worst at hiding what they were doing, they accomplished both a decrease in victim complaints AND the appearance of attempting to rid the company of the "problem".

    However, this scheme falls flat in that management cannot believably plead ignorance when over 5,000 employees were fired over the same matter. As this had been going on for 5 years, Wells Fargo upper management cannot reasonably explain why they did not change sales policies or take other major steps to deter this (aside from firing people).

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