Lawsuit seeks to recover thousands bank transferred
A Hillsboro woman is suing Bank of America after she says the bank transferred $13,000 from her account into the account of scammers out to steal her money.
Rebekah Adams filed the lawsuit in Marion County court on Oct. 17, arguing tellers at her local Hillsboro branch transferred money, then refused to help her get it back.
Adams was at the Hillsboro branch, 2381 S.E. Tualatin Valley Highway in October 2017 to transfer $13,000 to help her son purchase a house, the lawsuit said. Adams' son, Tyler, had received an email from American Title Company directing him to wire the funds to finalize the purchase.
The money was moved easily, the lawsuit alleges. Bank tellers said the account given for American Title Company was a fellow Bank of America account, and the funds didn't need to be wired, only moved from one account to another.
Tellers did not tell Adams that the account was not listed as belonging to American Title, nor that the account had a flag placed on it because of fraudulent activity in the past, the lawsuit claims.
Believing the money was sent correctly, Adams' son contacted his real estate agent who told him that no wire transfer had been requested.
Scammers had somehow learned her son was purchasing a house and had impersonated his real estate agent to request the wire transfer.
Adams rushed back to the bank, the lawsuit said, to see what could be done. Bank managers were able to return the money to her account, she said, but the next day, Adams found the transaction had been "un-deleted" and the funds had been removed again.
This time, Adams' lawsuit alleges, tellers were less helpful, saying she needed to contact local police and contact Bank of America's fraud department.
An investigation into the matter could take months, Adams was told by a Bank of America.
For four months, Adams said she tried to work with an employee of the bank's fraud department, but said the employee she was told to work with ignored her and her money was never returned. Returning to the bank branch in August 2017, Adams was eventually told the fraud investigator she had been working with was a member of Bank of America's "social media fraud" department, and not the company's regular fraud department, the lawsuit claimed.
"No one in (Bank of America) had filed any fraud report about the event with the (company's) fraud department," the lawsuit alleges. "(Adams) then contacted the Bank of America fraud department herself. The Bank of America fraud department said it was a matter for the local branch to handle. When (Adams) returned to the local branch, (the branch manager) said that it had to be handled by the Bank of America fraud department."
Adams has been without her money for more than a year, and Adams' lawsuit says the company has repeatedly evaded responsibility and misled her.
Adams is seeking her $13,000 in damages, as well as a 9 percent interest since the money was transferred.