Wells Fargo to pay historic fines after employees caught opening fake accounts

AP file photo

(WFLA) – We have an 8 On Your Side Consumer Alert for anyone who banks with Wells Fargo.

The world’s largest bank has been hit with a historic $185 million in fines after thousands of employees were caught setting up fake accounts and credit cards.

According to the investigation, Wells Fargo was duping customers into paying millions in fees and services — they never asked for. Now thousands of employees have been fired and customers left wondering if they’re a victim.

The massive investigation reveals that credit cards were opened without authorization and late fees were charged to accounts while customers never had a clue. The news infuriated customers like Frank Ahn.

“At one time I remember having looking at it, counting it, I had 15 accounts at once,” he said. “It was just very frustrating and these were accounts I never opened.”

Wells Fargo employees opening roughly 1.5 million bank accounts and more than a half a million credit cards never requested by customers.

“I’d have these accounts and I’d have a $10 fee, a $15 fee or a $5 fee each month on each account,” he said. “That adds up!”

A Los Angeles lawsuit alleging – in some cases – money was moved between accounts without customers knowledge.

“Every consumer needs to trust their bank and no bank should take advantage of their customers,” says Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer.

Wells Fargo has been ordered to pay $185 million in fines. The bank recently reported it has fired over 5300 employees over the past five years for their involvement in the scam.

In a statement, the bank said:

“We regret and take responsibility for any instances where customers may have received a product that they did not request.”

Wells Fargo has now been ordered to pay customers back in full.

“The unauthorized opening of accounts in your name, maybe using fraudulent email addresses or pins, is just shocking conduct,” says Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency Richard Cordray.

It’s a case that has shaken the trust in the world’s largest bank.

If you have more questions or are a victim, you can click here.

WFLA.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s