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Is there a way to see if a bank account has been opened at a bank you have never done business with?

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nomadic_triathlete
Established Member

Is there a way to see if a bank account has been opened at a bank you have never done business with?

Recently I was the victim of identity left.  Some one succeeded in opening a checking account in my name.  Not a credit card or loan or other type of credit account but a checking account.  All my credit reports are frozen so in theory it would not have possible for them to open a credit account of any sort.  

 

The only reason I knew about the checking account being opened in my name was because they opened it at a bank I had done business with in the past. I had a previous bank account at this bank. I had closed the bank account several years ago but I had a online user account at the bank from when the account was open. As a result when the fraudster opened the bank account it was automatically linked to my online user account and so I got a welcome email from the bank congratualting me for opening a new checking account. I immediatly logged into the user account and called the bank to close the checking account.  I also put a freeze on the ChexSystems report about me, along with putting fraud alerts on all my credit reports.

If I didn't have a previous relationship with this bank I would never have known about the checking account being opened. So I'm curious how does one keep track of any fraudulant checking accounts being opened in their name?  How would I have ever found out that this bank had a fraudulant account opened under my name with my SS#?

The credit bureaus only keep track of credit type accounts/loans and so forth.  I got a report from ChexSystems and it only showed me credit accounts and didn't list the banks I have checking accounts with.  

Message 1 of 10
9 REPLIES 9
MrFiah
New Contributor

Re: Is there a way to see if a bank account has been opened at a bank you have never done business w

Was this the only fraudulent activity done with the identity theft? I ask because I have to question whether this account was actual fraud or a bank error of some kind.  Let's say this was was fraud, it seems to me that even if your name and SSN were used that the bank would have asked for an email address and not automatically linked it to your past email from several years ago as email addresses change all the time.  I don't think the fraudster would have used your known good email if trying to do something malicious.

 


@nomadic_triathlete wrote:

Recently I was the victim of identity left.  Some one succeeded in opening a checking account in my name.  Not a credit card or loan or other type of credit account but a checking account.  All my credit reports are frozen so in theory it would not have possible for them to open a credit account of any sort.  

 

The only reason I knew about the checking account being opened in my name was because they opened it at a bank I had done business with in the past. I had a previous bank account at this bank. I had closed the bank account several years ago but I had a online user account at the bank from when the account was open. As a result when the fraudster opened the bank account it was automatically linked to my online user account and so I got a welcome email from the bank congratualting me for opening a new checking account. I immediatly logged into the user account and called the bank to close the checking account.  I also put a freeze on the ChexSystems report about me, along with putting fraud alerts on all my credit reports.

If I didn't have a previous relationship with this bank I would never have known about the checking account being opened. So I'm curious how does one keep track of any fraudulant checking accounts being opened in their name?  How would I have ever found out that this bank had a fraudulant account opened under my name with my SS#?

The credit bureaus only keep track of credit type accounts/loans and so forth.  I got a report from ChexSystems and it only showed me credit accounts and didn't list the banks I have checking accounts with.  


 

Message 2 of 10
nomadic_triathlete
Established Member

Re: Is there a way to see if a bank account has been opened at a bank you have never done business w

Obviously sure maybe but it's sorta hard to believe the bank would accidently create a new account for someone.  I havn't had any kind of interaction with this bank for over 4 years. 

 

From what I can tell the account was auto-approved. I got the first email that said an app had been submitted for a new checking account. And then seconds later I got the approval email. 

The fraud department was able to give me some info about what was put on the application.  The phone number was incorrect. They could only tell me that a gmail address was used.  But they couldn't say the username for the email.  I did have a gmail address in the online account.  But also I'm not sure if using a different email in the application would actually have been a red flag since most likely they also had my address and in theory my DOB.  So if all that was correct then it passed their fraud computers.  

I suspect what happened was they entered in a different email and after they submitted it the bank the bank computer matched up my SSN to my old closed checking account and that account was linked to the online account which still had an email address in it. So it auto-emailed the email in the online account and maybe ignored the email that the fraudster entered. The fraudster would not have known that I had previously had a bank account at that bank. 

Even if that had been me opening the account and I had lost access to the old email address and even the online account I could have called in and they would have confirmed who I was using my phone number.  Which is what the fraud department did. They texted a code to the phone number listed in the online account.

So what saved me was the fact that I had a bank account at this bank in the past.  And so I had a online account already.  I'm trying to figure out how I would have found out about this if I didn't have a bank account there in the past.  The fraudster could technically have set up an online account and linked the bank account to it without me knowing.

Maybe I'm wrong but there is no clearing house for checking/savings accounts like there is for credit accounts.  So I can't log in somewhere and see all the checking accounts linked to my SSN.
 

Message 3 of 10
GZG
Valued Contributor

Re: Is there a way to see if a bank account has been opened at a bank you have never done business w

Would an early warning systems CRA report help at all?

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Message 4 of 10
MrFiah
New Contributor

Re: Is there a way to see if a bank account has been opened at a bank you have never done business w

ChexSystems, Early Warning Systems, Telecheck, and Certegy are probably the agency's you will want to get in contact with.

 

What bank did this happen at? Bank of America and Wells Fargo have both been caught opening accounts without customer consent in the past so maybe they are up to their old tricks.  It also seems like the fraud department might be trying to hide some information as they will only give you some information, not all of it.   You said the fraudster used the wrong telephone number so they bank just started texting a number from an online account that was closed 4 years ago? That seems suspicious.

Message 5 of 10
LakeLife
Established Contributor

Re: Is there a way to see if a bank account has been opened at a bank you have never done business w


@MrFiah wrote:

ChexSystems, Early Warning Systems, Telecheck, and Certegy are probably the agency's you will want to get in contact with.

 

What bank did this happen at? Bank of America and Wells Fargo have both been caught opening accounts without customer consent in the past so maybe they are up to their old tricks.  It also seems like the fraud department might be trying to hide some information as they will only give you some information, not all of it.   You said the fraudster used the wrong telephone number so they bank just started texting a number from an online account that was closed 4 years ago? That seems suspicious.


The bolded was my first thought and first question as well.




Message 6 of 10
AndySoCal
Valued Contributor

Re: Is there a way to see if a bank account has been opened at a bank you have never done business w

If the bank(s) report to chex systems many of them do.  You could use this

 

https://www.chexsystems.com/request-reports/consumer-disclosure 

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Message 7 of 10
nomadic_triathlete
Established Member

Re: Is there a way to see if a bank account has been opened at a bank you have never done business w

The person in the fraud department implied that the info in the online application was partially hidden. So for example the first 7 digits of the phone number. That did seem odd to me and I questioned it. But the rep said they didn't have access to the hidden info. Said something about protecting my security. I agree that seemed odd.

 

Whst seemed odd to me was they gave me the last 4 digits of two phone numbers listed in the application. Neither matched mine. What was odd was later after I got off the phone I pretended to fill out a checking account application so I could see what info was requested and it only asked for one phone number.  So seemed odd to me that the rep told me two phone numbers were on the application.

 

When it comes to texting a code to the phone number in the online profile to confirm me, that wasn't odd at all. There thought is the information in the profile is accurate because it was entered when there was a ligit bank account linked to it. Other banks do this to confirm identity as well. It's basically a form of 2-factor auth.

 

The bank was BofA. So sure maybe this was bank fraud from the bank itself. But it seems odd to me that if the bank was going to commit fraud like that they would make sure the customer doesn't get a email about the new bank account they created. To me it's more likely a random fraudster. The fraudster wouldn't have known I had a previous relationship with the bank. And so I got lucky. Otherwise I would never have known. 

Message 8 of 10
nomadic_triathlete
Established Member

Re: Is there a way to see if a bank account has been opened at a bank you have never done business w


@LakeLife wrote:

@MrFiah wrote:

ChexSystems, Early Warning Systems, Telecheck, and Certegy are probably the agency's you will want to get in contact with.

 

What bank did this happen at? Bank of America and Wells Fargo have both been caught opening accounts without customer consent in the past so maybe they are up to their old tricks.  It also seems like the fraud department might be trying to hide some information as they will only give you some information, not all of it.   You said the fraudster used the wrong telephone number so they bank just started texting a number from an online account that was closed 4 years ago? That seems suspicious.


The bolded was my first thought and first question as well.




Yeah it was Bank of America. So sure maybe it was bank fraud from the bank itself. But you'd think if they were committing fraud they would create new accounts for people that don't have some sort of online profile set up so they don't get alerted like I did. The fraudster wouldn't have known I had a bank account there in the past. 


 

Message 9 of 10
Klineact
New Contributor

Re: Is there a way to see if a bank account has been opened at a bank you have never done business w

Same thing happened to me in November.  Bank of America opened a fraudulent account under my social and somehow my son in laws email (who does bank there but I dont) got notified of it.  Then the fraudster moved on to American Express and HSBC so if you suddenly get something in the mail from them in the coming weeks dont be surprised.  It really is insane how these banks just open up accounts under other peoples SSN with zero verification and if not for the initial BOA fraudster I woudlnt have locked down my reports and wouldnt know about any of it.  Just this week Experian monitoring sent me an alert a bank acct with Chase was opened under my social yet I call Chase and they say no account under my social and experian says they sent no such alert so you know IDK what to do anymore. I hope Chase didnt bypass my fraud alert and just open an account.  American express just last week gave me 2 credit cards instantly and totally ignored the fact that I have fraud alerts on my reports.  Something needs to be done about this because this fraud crap is way out of hand at this point and the banks arent helping matters by bypassing alerts! 

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