Haven't been posting here for a few years, but folks here know everything, so I figured I'd reach out to you too Note: I also posted it in one of the banking/personal finance-related subs on /r/, not because I don't trust you, but rather just to boost the collective wisdom as much as I could
Anyways, I well heard of banks placing some fraud prevention "freezes" / restrictions on accounts, but this one was totally new and unexpected...
PNC is our main bank for the last 5 or so years (my wife and I both have accounts there and our salaries are deposited directly to our accounts). I rarely use a debit card, but use online banking extensively (basically, almost all bills are paid electronically). Never used Zelle / never deposited/withdrawn large sums at once, never had a bad check written / deposited etc. etc. etc., so really nothing that should raise a red flag with them.
Some time ago they introduced a "Card Free ATM access feature" on their app and I liked it very much. I used it a few times, but then at some point it just stopped working - every time I would try it, I see something like "Service is unavailable at this time, please try again later" and the app would crash. Okay, no biggie, thus slightly annoying.
Then some time later I got a call from a Fraud Prevention specialist who questioned me about some recent activity on my account (some small ATM withdrawals / deposits, nothing major). She also asked me if I was trying to use my app abroad or on a corporate network which might have had a foreign IP address, and I told her that I was in Canada recently and also could have theoretically been on a corporate network as we have an office in Toronto. Concern cleared? Well, not really ...
Apparently that single time I might've used the app "in a wrong way" raised such a huuuuge red flag for the bank, that it blacklisted my phone by its Device ID, and now I cannot use some of the app functions.
Not a big deal again - call again and clear the concern? Well, not so fast with PNC.
At this point I spent more than 2 hours talking with different people with PNC. At least once I have been told that the issue had been cleared by the supervisor only to find out a day later that my phone still does not work with some PNC app functionality. The last call with the escalation team "on a recorded line" ended with "we can't do anything, you will have to wait for 60 days for this record to fall off our blacklist - we will NOT remove it manually for you". Naturally I asked a question "Hey, I am going to Europe next week, will you yet again place me on a blacklist if I try opening the app there?!" which - as totally expected - remain unanswered.
What surprises me even more is the way PNC handled this from the beginning - as I said before, I received no single security warning (like you would expect from other banks when they suspect someone is trying to gain an unauthorized access) and nowhere it says the app had any regional restrictions. The bank basically behaves like it's me who is somehow a criminal and fraudster trying to do something fraudulent, thus placing such a restriction even on my device...
Any interesting thoughts / ideas? I am not sure I am staying with PNC after such a hostility to a long-standing customer for no reason, but do you think it makes sense to reach out to their executive office with this story? I honestly find it insane - it looks like this bank can place restrictions on your profile for no reason and without even informing you about it (and don't even think about any apologies!) and then behave like you did something terrible to it...
Yep, I would definitely reach out to the EO... this is exactly the type of thing they are there for.
Please let us know how it goes!
Note: I made a minor edit to your thread subject for clarity and to make future searches on the topic easier.
I would definitely call PNC’s EO. That doesn’t even make sense to me as your banking habits are very conservative.
Let us know what happens!
Wow, you're WAY more patient and nicer than I would have been. The saying, "you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar", would have gone right out the window.
The 2nd time that bs happened, I would escalated pronto to higher than a Supervisor. Trust me, everyone has a boss. That supervisor had a boss, their boss has a boss. I would have threatened to yank all funds if it wasn't corrected THAT DAY, and move to a different bank, and made good on my promise lol, I don't play around in business.
Not acceptable at all.
I hope this gets cleared up soon. It may be time for a new bank
I posted a similar post on FB and tagged PNC in it yesterday - shortly after that I got reached by someone apparently from their social media relations team asking for details - I provided those along with the name of the person I've been working with in their escalation team. Now it's up to them to act, I provided them with all the information I could.
I agree that it's not really acceptable - I am not closing this account yet as it will be simply inconvenient as of now (lots of bill pay / some autopay set-up), but I already amended my Direct Deposit instructions with my employer to make sure there is a significant shift in the proportion of my income going to PNC until (and if!) it is resolved
If nothing helps, I guess EO will be my last stop with only account closure after that
Will be interesting to see how it turns out, now that their Social Media team are on it. Wouldn't want this kind of thing to cost them customers.
To be completely honest with you, I don't hold my breath. From my limited experience, having an adverse action performed on you by "fraud prevention group" is almost always a royal PITA to deal with and can often be "resolved" in full only by leaving. I had something remotely similar with one of the cellphone carriers some time in 2012 or so when its "fraud/abuse prevention team" placed a freeze on all my orders - it took me 8 hours in total of heated phone conversations and a useless visit to their corporate store to try to lift it. I finally did it (after I spoke to presumably the only person in the company who knew what he was doing), but stopped any business with this carrier shortly after.
The problem often lies with their modus operandi, so to say. If they suspect a genuine fraud, they believe it is to their best interest to keep everything as low profile as possible and refrain from explaining anything to anyone (yes, often times fraud prevention guys, unlike their peers in data protection, praise "security by obscurity" concept) - as they are afraid that if their methods are widely available and discussed, real fraudsters will have a good heads-up in countering them. As a result, the most common answer I am about to here will likely be "sorry, for security reasons we cannot comment on this, we cannot disclose reasons behind our decisions and we cannot override them".
Even being fully aware of this, I still think there were and still are other ways of handling the situation on their end...
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