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 I was raised with strong morals and principles. For that reason, the following article will make more sense to those who can relate. Covid -19 has made all of our heads spin, and it has hurt many businesses - and will shut down many more - in the coming months. Is it not always our responsibility as human beings to stand up for what is right and just? I am a big advocate of small businesses - being a small business owner myself - so in essence I felt it necessary to highlight how I have been let down by corporate America. Listen to this:
I have banked with a certain bank for my personal and business needs for several years, and I have never had any issues with my local branch staff to date. They have been wonderful to say the least and very supportive during this challenging time.
The reason I share this information is because I believe my business matters. I employ over forty staff members in addition to providing a much-needed service in the community; companion care to our most vulnerable population: our seniors. Having a bank that stands by me and my business is critical to say the least. We’re supposed to be partners to both succeed, right? Is that not the basic need of all small business owner with their bank?
If there is one thing I found it is this: Read the small print in the documents they give you when opening any account!
You see, recently a check was recreated to resemble my business checks using an accurate routing and account number. Where did this thief get my business account number you ask? Not sure, but perhaps from our mailbox as bills wait to go out, a practice we no longer take part in. This is a separate scam to washing checks, I might ad. To those reading this article do NOT leave your mail in your mailbox for your mail carrier to collect if paying bills by check. Drop the mail directly at the post office or have a family member do it for you.
What has unfolded over the course of the last few weeks is astounding to me as I am sure it will be for you also, when I explain the facts. Here is what I uncovered.
 When a fraudulent check goes through your bank you have a very specific amount of time to report it. In this bank’s case, it is a 30-day window. According to their fraud department, your personal signature does not matter when fraudulent checks come through their system, it is your routing and account number that submit the check for payment against your account. The computerized banking machines do not have the capability to detect signatures.
The FDIC insurance that all banks are required to carry only covers a business account up to 250K per account.
Now, in my case, this fabricated check looked like my company check - however there were 7 differentiators, and my bank missed every single one of them:
1.It was not my signature.
2.The business address had no phone number.
3.The memo section was incorrect.
4.The logo containing a lock symbol was missing.
5.The seal around the lock symbol was oval instead of round.
6.The coding along the top of the check was incorrect.
7. The side bar coding was also incorrect.
The check that was cashed against my account was caught by my accountant 51 days after it was cashed for over $3,250.00, and my bank simply stated, “Claim denied”.
After weeks of calls with no one having the decency to return them, I decided to leave my bank and take my business elsewhere. Clearly, they are not customer focused. In these uncertain times where there is such a loss of business, one would think that these bigger corporations would be hyper-focused on customers to retain their current customers. I think we all can appreciate that there is no new business transacting.
The moral of the story here is my former bank did not have my back. No accommodations were offered to extend the reporting time despite the pandemic, nor an opportunity to have or discuss my displeasure with the bank. Even at the executive level where I spoke to the higher-ups and was promised a call back, there has been no follow-up from the executive office to me to date. The amount of the check is irrelevant - however, just imagine if there was another zero tagged on to the check the thieves cashed. I would have to close my doors, another small business gone.
At the end of the day it was not about the money but about the principle of the entire situation. In today’s world it is important to stand your ground, and advocate for yourself and your business, and for those that depend on you. I have to stand by my principles. I need a bank who supports me and does not penalize me for bringing the fraudulent check to their attention 51 days after they cashed it against my account.
Has your bank got your back?

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