Customer says they sent $1,000 to the wrong cell recipient

TikToker Alan Peck (@alanpeck) posted a Storytime about his experience dealing with a man Alan claims is a Bank of America employee, which temporarily left him with $1,000 less in his bank account. Though his persistence eventually paid off, his story isn’t exactly one that inspires confidence in the country’s banking system.

@alanpeck Today’s message is claim what’s yours, prepare, and don’t be discouraged. If I hadn’t listened to my intuition, I wouldn’t have my money today. Everyone initially told me no, but the squeaky wheel gets the grease. As of EFTA, the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) and Regulation E apply to electronic funds transfers, which authorize a financial institution to debit or credit a consumer’s account. The term “Electronic Funds Transfer” or “EFT” means any transfer of funds initiated via an electronic terminal, telephone, computer or magnetic tape for the purpose of ordering, instructing or authorizing a financial institution to debit or credit a consumer’s account. An error under EFTA and Regulation E includes the following: An unauthorized EFT. Fake EFT to or from the consumer’s account etc. Seriously, it is so important that we are all aware of the small but very powerful details of the institutions we are doing business with. Big corporations tend to keep useful information secret and then refuse to help you unless you fight for it. If you or anyone else is experiencing this or similar, research and use this EFTA where applicable. ? #finance101 #banking #scam #zelle #boysaliar #efta #theft ♬ Original sound – Alan Peck

Alan begins his story by saying that in February 2022 he “mistakenly” sent money to his former neighbor Charles using cell, a popular digital money transfer application widely used by various banks and financial institutions. The money was originally supposed to be sent to his fiancee, and Alan says he realized his mistake “within 30 minutes”.

When sending someone money via cell, users are warned: “Make sure you’re sending money to someone you trust and that their information is correct.” The money is usually available in their account within minutes. Once you’ve sent money, you can’t cancel it.”

Alan says he then called Charles, texted him, and left him voice messages to alert him to the error. He says he waited a day before notifying his bank because he wanted to give the money’s random recipient some time to react.

Alan says he never got a reply from Charles, so he told his bank he wanted to reverse the charge. He says an employee told him the bank would look into the matter and might grant him a temporary loan after a 15-day investigation.

The TikToker says he still hasn’t received a response from his bank for weeks, so he reached out to a company representative who told him there was nothing the bank could do to get his money back.

The TikToker says he took matters into his own hands and discovered that Charles was a senior vice president at Bank of America on LinkedIn. He says he wrote to Charles and asked how he would like it if his employer found out he kept the money.

Alan says that “5 minutes” after sending the message, his former neighbor finally responded. Alan says Charles claimed he didn’t receive any of the messages and said he will check his cell account to see if he received the $1,000 so he could mail it back to Alan.

Alan notes that he also reached out to Charles’ ex-wife online to find information about the man so he could file a police report and put the accidental cell transaction on record.

Alan says Charles then said he would retain legal counsel and that Alan would end up spending well “in excess of $1,000.”

Alan didn’t back down and says he hired a lawyer himself. Alan says he sent the attorney all the text messages he sent to Charles. Also, Alan says Charles’ ex-wife sent him screenshots of conversations with her ex-husband, which allegedly showed that he received the money and that he had to call the bank because his accounts were frozen.

Digging even further, the TikToker researched the legalities surrounding electronic money transfers and discovered EFTA or the Electronic Fund Transfer Act. He summarizes the law as essentially stating that unauthorized or erroneously made electronic funds transfers are eligible for refunds from financial institutions and sent his bank a four-page letter informing them about EFTA and its role in his dispute with Charles and now possibly the bank. While his lawyer said sending the letter was probably not a good idea given that EFTA is mainly used for unauthorized transactions, Alan said he “felt about it [his] good” that he should send the letter.

Alan says the bank then forked the $1,000. The TikToker said he shared his story to make others aware of their rights and that persistence pays off when they are right. “So don’t let anyone play with you. Know your laws and regulations and how they apply,” he said.

The Daily Dot contacted Bank of America via email and Alan via TikTok comment.


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*Initial publication: March 18, 2023 11:14 am CDT

Jack Alban

Jack Alban is a freelance journalist for the Daily Dot, covering trending human interest/social media stories and real people’s reactions to them. He always tries to incorporate evidence-based studies, current events, and relevant facts to those stories to create your not-so-average viral post.

Jack Alban Customer says they sent $1,000 to the wrong cell recipient

Jaclyn Diaz

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