Stories of Justice: Danielle* falls Victim to a Financial Scam
Danielle* banks with a new online banking platform and mobile app. While Danielle was reviewing her account, she noticed four different charges that she did not recognize and were not authorized by her. Danielle immediately contacted the banking platform’s customer service, but the representative could not do anything for her since the charges appeared to be made by Danielle. She was told to contact their fraud department and file a claim. She did just that and submitted the claim which outlined the fraudulent charges. She was denied. She resubmitted the claim but was denied yet again. The online banking platform stated that there were no suspicious activities on her account, no evidence of an intrusion, and that the purchases seem to have been made by her.
Danielle sought free civil legal assistance from Legal Aid Service of Broward County (LAS) with the hopes of getting her money back. During her intake, it was found that Danielle fell victim to a financial scam. Her case was given to LAS’s VOCA unit, which provides legal assistance to victims of crime. LAS appointed an attorney who discussed the legal rights Danielle has to get her money back. The LAS appointed attorney then contacted the online banking platform to file an appeal of the original denial. The attorney diligently pointed out certain discrepancies that occurred:
- The four charges were to an online purchaser in the same exact amount.
- The fraudulent activity was taking place even while Danielle was on the phone with the customer representative.
- The only reason more charges were not deducted from her account, was the fraudster depleted all the funds she had.
- The purchases were made to an online store that both client and attorney tried to diligently research and locate but to no avail, this online store did not exist.
After this appeal was submitted, the online banking platform then did a deeper investigation, and found they too could not locate any information for the online store. This changed things.
Why it Matters
After the re-investigation by the online banking platform, the fraudulent charges were then removed from Danielle’s account and they returned all of the funds back into her account. Relieved, Danielle was then able to pay her bills and provide basic needs for her and her family. Without the assistance of LAS’s VOCA attorney’s diligent legal work, Danielle would have been delinquent on utility bills, rent and her car payment. In addition to other bills and late fees she would have had to pay, this saved her from being spun into a financial crisis. Learn more about LAS’s Services.
*Names, images, and some datils have been changed to protect the privacy of our clients
This is a real-life story of justice! Providing free legal assistance to those who can otherwise not afford it is possible with your support. Donate securely today and KNOW your donation will make a difference in someone’s life!