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LadyMarissa's avatar

What would you do if you suddenly had an extra $120,000 in your checking account?

Asked by LadyMarissa (8078points) 1 week ago

What were they thinking? A Pennsylvania couple woke up one morning to discover that their bank had deposited an extra $120,000 into their account. Instead of calling the bank to correct the error, they went shopping. Of course, the bank corrected their error thereby removing the $120,000 to put it in the correct account. Now that same couple is $100,000 in the hole & the bank is charging them $107,000 in overdraft fees. The couple is now refusing to take any phone calls from the bank. How would you have handled this???

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45 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

I would do nothing.

LadyMarissa's avatar

Hell, I’d call the bank because I’d want it OUT of my account so I wouldn’t even be tempted to spend any of it!!!

Zaku's avatar

Withdraw it, max out credit cards, go to a county that won’t extradite. ;-)

SEKA's avatar

Zak, I hope you’re kidding. That’s not enough money to leave my family and friends behind

ragingloli's avatar

@SEKA
Assuming he has either of those.

JLeslie's avatar

I know I wouldn’t go on a shopping spree with the money, that’s for sure! What kind of stupid are these people, and how do you spend $100k in a couple of weeks? What did they buy? A boat, car, RV, what? That’s a huge amount of money.

I’d probably spend a day or two trying to figure out if I made a mistake, or if my husband moved some money or something. It could be even longer than two days depending when I have time to look at everything.

I’m 90% sure I’d call the bank to get it straightened out. I know I wouldn’t use the money right away though, concerned it was a mistake. Those people are crazy. If I decided to wait and see (the other 10%) it would probably take me 5 years to feel the mistake would stay in my favor, and then I’d still always worry it would get figured out. I tell the cashier when she under charges me for an apple, or when someone gives me back too much change. I’m not good at keeping what not mine. It breaks the golden rule. I prefer to sleep well at night and do the right thing.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Close out the account. Cashier’s check.

Inspired_2write's avatar

@stanleybmanly
One cannot instantly take out the full amount as that would alert the teller of large amounts of money been withdrawn suddenly?
I worked in a Bank and that was one of the alerts that we were to watch out for, specifically money laundering scams.
I had in the past received $5000 in my account and wen to the bank and it took a couple of days to verify that yes it was correct as the Government sent me a check for back pay that was due me a year before.
I however in the meantime did not take any of that money out until it was verified true.

josie's avatar

What were they thinking indeed

They will be be contacted by the Feds and/or Staties soon

Always call the bank

wiscoblond's avatar

This happened to me but it was only $1200. I called the bank.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Note: scammers do this, first place money in your account then withdraw much more later.
Many got hacked this way and some lost there life savings.

kritiper's avatar

Honesty is always the best policy, so I would have called the bank immediately.

Darth_Algar's avatar

I would have called the bank right away to report the obvious error. Well, more to the point, I would have went to the bank and asked to speak to a bank manager. That’s a serious amount of money.

LadyMarissa's avatar

@JLeslie I provided a link with all the details.

LadyMarissa's avatar

@Darth_Algar I agree. How would you like to be the guy who checked his account to find $120,000 missing???

cookieman's avatar

I would leave it alone and see what happens. Certainly not spend or withdraw it. HOWEVER, if a lot of time goes by (6 months, 1 year??) and it’s still there, I would likely transfer it over to savings and leave it there.

canidmajor's avatar

I would call the bank right away.

JLeslie's avatar

@LadyMarissa I had skimmed the article, all i noticed was giving $15k to help someone and I didn’t notice what they spent the rest on.

I don’t know if they thought if it was spent and then if it was found out they could just say, “we’ll, we don’t have the money anymore,” and shrug their shoulders. I mean really. People who spend found money like that have no money for a reason, and I assume they don’t have a lot of money since they can’t pay it all back. I don’t even spend money given to me that is rightfully mine as a first impulse.

rebbel's avatar

Enjoy the idea for a bit, then call the bank, slightly reluctantly, and inform them.
It’s not as if they’ll not notice it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@JLeslie “State police say the couple bought an SUV, two four-wheelers, a camper and a car trailer. Police say the money was also used on bills, car repairs, cash purchases. They also allegedly gave $15,000 to friends in need of money.”

It was an incredibly stupid thing to do.

JLeslie's avatar

^^That’s what I guessed. Cars, boats, etc., it doesn’t really matter what it is. They don’t have money to pay back the debt so that means to me these people who don’t have much money spent their “windfall” on a lot of unnecessary things and even gave some away. That’s why so many lottery winners wind up poor again.

ucme's avatar

With such trifling change, i’d probably not even notice.

stanleybmanly's avatar

That’s an interesting question in itself. Just how large an amount of money would make it worth your while to simply grab it and disappear? I was talking to my nephew a couple of days ago. He told me of an acquaintance, who on the news of his trophy wife’s plans for divorce quietly liquidated his assets, borrowed extensively on lines of credit he had built up over decades and vanished.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

We’ll it would spark some imagination for sure but I would simply call the bank and find out WTF happened.

Zaku's avatar

@SEKA Just kidding.

mazingerz88's avatar

What I would do is think someone must have given me that money as a gift. Because I’m an awesome human being. Lol

I would call the bank to confirm who my benefactor is and research if that money is tax free.

SEKA's avatar

^ Next time I have an extra $100K, I’ll be contacting you for your bank info! HaHaHa

I’m wondering what has happened to the teller who initially screwed this up?

Inspired_2write's avatar

@SEKA
Yeah, what happened to the teller?
Tellers are trained to report large deposits and or withdrawals.
Its a sure sign of money laundering.
She would had lost her job I suspect.
But the bank computer system is supposed to “flag” this immediately.

LadyMarissa's avatar

But instead of contacting the bank about the deposit, the couple allegedly spent most of the money in two and a half weeks from June 3 to June 19.

I hadn’t thought about how it happened so I went back to reread what had occurred. It said a teller had made an error. The bank didn’t contact the couple about the error until a first phone call on June 20 to tell them about the $107K in overdraft fees. My question now would be how did the money remain in their account for over 2 weeks before a correction was made??? @Inspired_2write is correct, there should have been a mountain of paperwork for the Federal regulations for a deposit of this size. You have to explain where the money came from & why you’re moving it. I make a $10 deposit into my account & I have to WAIT for the funds to clear before I can access that $10’s. Maybe it’s because I’ve never been rich enough, but I think I would notice that a large deposit hadn’t reached its destination!!! Although it was pointed out here that $120K is pocket change for some, when I was working at a brokerage firm, I can assure you that the richer they were, the closer they watched their account!!! I spent many an hour tracing back a transaction to prove the firgures showing were correct.

There was NO mention of the corrective actions to the teller in any of the articles that I’ve read…only that the couple had to pay an additional $25K in order to bail out of jail as they are now facing felony theft charges. This is one of those oddball stories that I plan to continue following!!!

Inspired_2write's avatar

@LadyMarissa
Update us on what the Judge says.

Zaku's avatar

@LadyMarissa Yeah, it seems like double jeopardy and logically inconsistent to BOTH charge them as if they had been overdrawing their account AND charge them as if they were stealing.

At what point does it become someone’s responsibility to have tracked every transaction and realize that the bank made a mistake and not spend or withdraw the money that the bank says is theirs and available to them?

I could certainly make the same mistake if it were a smaller error, say $1000. If I overdrew my account because the bank added a random $1000 to my account, I would be talking to my lawyer about how to fight any overdraft fees, let alone theft charges.

This family going on a spending spree seems more like idiocy on their part than criminality. I don’t think they should be charged any extra fees – they should just try to return the shit they bought and be given some payment plan to pay off what they can for it.

Banks already make obscene amounts of money and assume too much authority for the clerical services they render. I think it should just be part of their risk/cost of doing business that sometimes a mistake is made. They shouldn’t benefit from it by claiming fees that would not have happened but for an error they made.

LadyMarissa's avatar

@Inspired_2write I will do my best. I’m looking forward to what other news reports comes out on this subject. Banks don’t just lose $120K for over 2 weeks at a time. They also don’t normally accept the word of a person who just attempted theft to simply say “I’ll have to talk to my husband. We’ll get back to you.” especially when you’re speaking of over $100K in fees.

@Zaku I’m not even faulting the bank for not tracking every transaction in a checking account. I DO fault the bank for losing $120K for just short of 3 weeks. Most banks brag about the check & balances that they have in place to keep your money safe!!! IF it had been my money that was lost, I’d be changing banks like yesterday.

I find the couple to be incredibly stupid to suddenly find $120K extra in their account & to suddenly go shopping for trivial things. They have been charged with felony theft & I agree that charging the couple with overdraft fees s a little excessive. At the same time, I find it no more excessive than going shopping with money that’s NOT yours & I wasn’t even shocked when I read about the fees.They did write checks for money they knew wasn’t theirs & I see it as the bank’s way of making them fight to get their money back. There’s a lot of reasons that I plan to keep tracking this story. It might well take years to untangle it all.

IF the bank had reported that they had reprimanded the teller that created the problem, I might not be so inquisitive; but, they didn’t. Yes, anybody can make a mistake; but, a mistake of over $100K is normally an offense that’s NOT tolerated!!! This particular bank is known for its underhanded practices & not having a heart. I had no where near $100K in this
bank & I moved it because they just couldn’t be trusted!!!

My current bank called me last month because of “heavy activity” in my account to verify that I had approved the transactions. I had sat down & paid ALL my bills for the month on the same night because I knew I was going to be busy the rest of the month & didn’t want to forget anyone. So, the banks are tracking their money closer that you might think!!! I’m sure that they have some kind of setting for people with very little cash flow who suddenly spend $100K within a short period of time so they could look at the account a bit closer.

Kardamom's avatar

I have not yet read any of the other answers, will do so after posting.

I would go to the bank and talk to them, and tell them that I thought there was an error. Either it is an error and they will rectify it, or they will explain that someone wanted to gift me the money, and I would hope that they would say who, so I could thank them, or tell the bank to return it, if it was someone who I did not feel comfortable receiving money from.

Patty_Melt's avatar

It’s the bank’s mistake. Let it be them that makes good. If it is in my account, it is mine to spend.

Darth_Algar's avatar

^^^Yeah, good luck with that.

Dutchess_III's avatar

(Right?) Sorry, but the law is probably on the bank’s side @Patty_Melt.

Patty_Melt's avatar

I can be gone. I have no roots.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Heh, ok….

jca2's avatar

No roots but you can never get a job, apply for an apartment or credit, or utilities, social security, pension, public housing, and probably if you ever got pulled over or arrested, you’d be found out. Also if you pay taxes, which most people do, the IRS would probably be on to you. I’d rather not have that hanging over my head, especially if it wasn’t mine in the first place.

Patty_Melt's avatar

I thought this was an opinion question, not an intervention.

jca2's avatar

Yes true but it’s in “Social” so we can meander.

Patty_Melt's avatar

That’s what I did. I meandered then jellies got all serious up me.
If you dangle some virtual Franklin’s at me, Ima run and spend.

jca2's avatar

I get it.

LadyMarissa's avatar

It cost them $25K to bail out of jail after they were arrested & charged with felony theft. The article didn’t specify, but I’m thinking that’s a Federal offense because a bank was involved!!!

Dutchess_III's avatar

And the amount involved.

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