Kane In Your Corner: Bank fraud causes headache for Bridgewater couple

A couple from Somerset County had their bank account cleaned out at 4 a.m., from a patron at a casino using a counterfeit debit card

A case of bank fraud became a major problem for a Bridgewater couple, until Kane In Your Corner got involved.

A case of bank fraud became a major problem for a Bridgewater couple, until Kane In Your Corner got involved. (5/12/16)

BRIDGEWATER - A couple from Somerset County had their bank account cleaned out at 4 a.m., from a patron at a casino using a counterfeit debit card under a totally different name. But when they tried to report this seemingly obvious case of fraudulent activity, they say Chase Bank refused to believe them until they got Kane in their Corner.

Suk Gatsch realized there was a problem when a small debit card purchase at a convenience store was declined, and it only took one call to Chase customer service to realize they’d been hacked.

“He goes ‘What's the email address?’” Ed Gatsch recalls. “I told him my email address that I've used for 25 years, and he goes ‘no that's not it, you called up and changed that.’ No I didn't.”

But someone had, at 3 a.m. the day before. Then, about an hour later, the scammer made the first of three $1,500 cash advances from a casino in Florida, using a fake debit card that had the Gatsches’ number but a different name - “Freddie Ford.” 

It seemed like a pretty clear case of fraud. But getting the bank to accept that was a challenge. When the Gatsches went to their local branch, the manager opened a fraud case and temporarily replaced the money. But two days later, Chase took the money back. According to a letter from Chase, its research determined “the transaction was processed correctly or was authorized.” Ed Gatsch says a bank representative told him: “We no longer wish to do business with you, and we are denying your claim.”

After their appeal was also denied, the Gatsches complained to the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and Chase denied their claim for a third time. This time, the bank said, "Our records reflect that you called us…and confirmed the transactions were valid." 

Ed Gatsch said the experience was extremely frustrating given that they had provided Chase with receipts showing the debit card used to withdraw their funds didn’t even have the correct name on it, and Chase’s own emails confirmed the phone number and email address associated with the account had been changed just one hour earlier.  “If they investigated, they probably could have gotten a picture of the guy from the casino,” he says.

But there is some good news for Ed and Suk Gatsch. After Kane In Your Corner inquired about the case, Chase agreed to take another look. Spokesman Erich Timmerman says "We're going to fill the customers claim after realizing there was a mistake on our part."

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