2

I have been banking in US bank for years. Suddenly I got a letter from them. The letter was sent on June 23rd and arrived on July 17th and it said that they are closing my account.

I can only ATM $800 at a time. I still can do so.

I tried to call 913-652-5127, a phone that is there.

Where should I move my money? I got a debit card that function as credit card. Should I buy bitcoins? Quickly?

It's already late but it seems that my card is not frozen or anything even though they're closing my account.

I called USBank straight and they confirm that they are closing my account. Of course I would do anything to keep the account on. I used that account to pay my online bill. I'll pay them extra.

Update: I called them several time. One time I am forwarded to a madison branch that will look it up. This time they said they're not sending me anything.

I do hope that they reconsider their decision to close my account. I've been a happy customer with them for almost 20 years. Now I have no idea how I can pay things with credit card if they're gone. I have to reopen bank accounts and stuff.

Another update:

I called 1800 USBank again. This time I am forwarded to a branch representative.

Sadly, the letter is not scam. I told them I've been their customer for almost 20 years and they told me that also closed accounts that have had accounts with them for 40 years.

If there is anything I can do that they change their mind I will greatly consider it. It seems that it's just their policy rather than actual US Law's obligation.

I wish I can just pay them $500 per year and keep my account. They said they're very strict. I will offer them tomorrow. Yep. The letter is real.

Update:

Actually the account is being closed. It's closed on 26th. The date on letter says 7th. I have no idea when it would close for real. I phoned several people at US Bank and they have no idea. Someone in branch office asked me to email him but never reply. The one phone I should call didn't answer. When I called the phone again on 27th it's already late. Now they said they gonna send a check to my address. After sadly agreeing the guy does not reply anymore. I will have to call them again before things go any more wrong.

I would say my experience in closing account has been very disappointing.

  • 9
    Have you asked them why the account is being closed? All you may need to do is deposit a bit more money into it... – keshlam Jul 15 '16 at 15:19
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    STOP! This is almost certainly a scam. Do not call the number unless you can verify through independent means that the telephone number belongs to your bank. I will elaborate on this in a full answer in a moment. – ChrisInEdmonton Jul 15 '16 at 15:46
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    Just an FYI to everyone, it's (was) pretty common in the bitcoin universe to give out an account number, have a stranger deposit cash in to your account, then transfer bitcoin at a prearranged price once the deposit arrives. Obviously this resembles money laundering and many, many, people have had funds frozen and accounts closed (not to mention placement on who-knows-what watch lists). I just dialed the number and it's a legitimate US Bank number to account review. This phone number appears on a localbitcoin form because it's a legitimate US Bank number. – quid Jul 15 '16 at 17:21
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    I ask again: Why did they say they were closing the account? This may be something easy to fix, or it may be impossible if there are legal reasons your account was frozen. – keshlam Jul 15 '16 at 17:57
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    "I wish I can just pay them $500 per year and keep my account." Oh sweet summer child, even if this was a legitimate account closure, why would you care? There are plenty of banks that will be more than willing to let you open an account. This post and the updates sound so desperate and naive that I honestly can't believe it's real. – Lilienthal Jul 17 '16 at 11:12
31

This is very possibly a scam.

The way the scam works is that the scammers send you a letter and demand you call the telephone number. But the telephone number belongs to the scammers, not the bank.

When you call the number, they will 'authenticate' you by asking you a bunch of questions. They will then have enough information to call the bank and pretend to be you, and transfer out all of your money.

What you need to do is to find the telephone number for your bank without making use of this letter. For example, look at a previous bank statement, or find the telephone number on the bank's website. Call that number and discuss this letter.

If you have already called the number in the letter and if you have the slightest reason to believe it is not valid, stop reading. This is an emergency. Immediately call a legitimate number at the bank. Explain the situation and note that you believe your information has been compromised. Why are you still reading? Do it now.

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    I already suspected that. However, I called 1800 USBank several time and I got varying answer. I was once forwarded to their madison branch and they're looking for info whether they can keep my account or not. It seems that it's not a scam. – user4951 Jul 15 '16 at 16:21
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    Now @quid has also verified this number by calling it. See his comment on the question itself. – user32479 Jul 15 '16 at 17:53
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    You can always open an account with another bank and transfer your balance. – SnakeDoc Jul 15 '16 at 20:19
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First, make sure you are contacting the bank directly - use an old invoice you have on hand with a phone number direct to the bank and call them. Do not use the provided number, or you may wind up being pulled into a scam (It is entirely possible that the bank is also confused at this point - so you should not rely on the number provided at all).

Second, once you can confirm that your account is being closed, find out when it is being closed so you know when you need to act on it - it's possible you still have access to your account, and do not need to launch into a panic just yet.

Third, get the bank to explain exactly why they are closing your account - make it clear that if they cannot explain, you will be forced to transfer to a new account and close business with them permanently - this is not a threat, this is a matter of fact because...

Finally, if you cannot keep your account open, find a different bank and open up a new account. Frankly, if your current bank is closing your account and only managed to get a letter out to you a month late, you should probably find a new bank. If instead they simply cannot figure out if your bank account is closed or not, this is also a bad sign and you may want a new bank account anyway.

But please, go through these steps in order, because you need to verify with your bank what is going on.

Keep @Brick 's answer in mind as well, in case you need to get your money out of your account quickly.

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    I phoned All Other Locations 800-US BANKS and got mixed review. In both cases my phone is death. I am charging my phone as of now. – user4951 Jul 15 '16 at 17:24
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    well the thing is I am in Indonesia. I am not "supposed" to bank there. I opened the account when I was a student in US and boy it helped me a lot. – user4951 Jul 15 '16 at 19:07
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    @JimThio We cannot help you regarding legal matters - we are not legal experts and do not know the banking laws that would prohibit an Indonesian student from opening a US bank account - you should still find out why your account is being closed first, as it makes a huge difference towards what advice we can give to you - a more definite, specific answer than "I shouldn't because I'm from Indonesia" would be extremely helpful to the people trying to give you advice. – Zibbobz Jul 15 '16 at 19:10
  • @Zibbobz I've never heard of a bank telling anyone why they closed their account, other than empty terms like "excessive risk" or "business decision". – David Schwartz Jul 17 '16 at 2:29
  • @DavidSchwartz as UDAAP rules have tightened, I'm starting to hear banks give more specific reasons, much like finding a reason to fire an employee instead of "no reason." Excessive risk might become "credit score no longer within approved range" or "too many remittance transfers per month for account type" or "you bought bitcoin that time." – newcoder Jul 17 '16 at 15:35
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If you can get to a physical branch, get a cashier's check (or call them and have them send you one by mail). When they draft the cashier's check they remove the money from your account immediately and the check is drawn against the bank itself. You could hold onto that check for a little while even after your account closes and you make other arrangements for banking.

If you cannot get a cashier's check, then you should try to expeditiously open a new account and do an ACH from old to new. This might take more days to set up than you have left though.

  • 1
    If you need to get the money out, can you wire it to an account in Indonesia for the time being? You might be able to do that be phone. (Definitely be cautious against any potential scam in this case!) @JimThio – user32479 Jul 15 '16 at 17:16
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    Well then what is your question? You asked how to get our money out, now you're saying you can get it out just fine... @JimThio – user32479 Jul 15 '16 at 17:44
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    @JimThio The name of a bank has nothing to do with whether or not you can have an account open at that bank. It is perfectly legal to have a bank account with a bank firm located in another country, so long as you aren't using it for any illegal purposes (and as long as there aren't any laws specifically against that in Indonesia). – Zibbobz Jul 15 '16 at 17:51
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    Why does it matter if it takes longer to set up a new account? Surely there are laws preventing banks from unilaterally closing accounts and keeping (preventing all access to) the money? – stannius Jul 15 '16 at 20:09
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    US Bank has no affiliation with the US Government, they could just as easily be called "Bob Jones Bank". Additionally, they have operations outside the US. – whatsisname Jul 15 '16 at 20:24
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Coming from someone who has worked a in the account servicing department of an actual bank in the US, other answers are right, this is probably a scam, the phone number on the letter is probably ringing to a fraudulent call center (these are very well managed and sound professional), and you must independently locate and dial the true contact number to US Bank. NOW. Tell them what happened. Reporting is critical. Securing your money is critical. Every piece of information you provided "the bank" when you called needs to be changed or worked around. Account numbers, passwords, usernames, card numbers get changed. Tax ID numbers get de-prioritized as an authentication mechanism even if the government won't change them.

The true bank probably won't transfer you to the branch. If the front-line call center says they will, ask the person on the phone what the branch can do that they cannot. Information is your friend. They will probably transfer you to a special department that handles these reports. Apparently Union Bank's call center transfers you to the branch then has the branch make this transfer. Maybe their front-line call center team is empowered to handle it like I was. Either way, plug your phone in; if the call takes less than 5 minutes they didn't actually do everything. 5 to 8 minutes per department is more likely, plus hold time. There's a lot of forms they're filling out.

What if that office is closed because of time differences? Go online and ask for an ATM limit increase. Start doing cash advances at local banks if your card allows it. Just get that money out of that account before it's in a fraudsters account. Keep receipts, even if the machine declines the transaction. Either way, get cash on hand while you wait for a new debit card and checks for the new account you're going to open.

What if this was fraud, you draw your US Bank account down to zero $800 at a time, and you don't close it or change passwords? Is it over? No. Then your account WILL get closed, and you will owe EVERYTHING that the fraudsters rack up (these charges can put your account terrifyingly far in the negative) from this point forward. This is called "participation in a scam" in your depository agreement, because you fell victim to it, didn't report, and the info used was voluntarily given. You will also lose any of your money that they spend.

What if US Bank really is closing your account? Then they owe you every penny you had in it. (Minus any fees allowed in the depository agreement). This closure can happen several days after the date on the warning, so being able to withdraw doesn't mean you're safe. Banks usually ship an official check shipped to the last known address they had for you.

Why would a bank within the United States close my account when it's not below the minimum balance? Probably because your non-resident alien registration from when you were in school has expired and federal law prohibits them from doing business with you now. These need renewed at least every three years. Renewing federally is not enough; the bank must be aware of the updated expiration date.

How do I find out why my account is being closed? You ask the real US Bank. They might find that it's not being closed. Good news! Follow the scam reporting procedure, open a new account (with US Bank if you want, or elsewhere) and close the old one. If it IS being closed by the bank, they'll tell you why, and they'll tell you what your next options are. Ask what can be done. Other commenters are right that bitcoin activity may have flagged it. That activity might actually be against your depository agreement. Or it set off a detection system. Or many other reasons. The bank who services your account is the only place that knows for sure.

If I offer them $500 per year will they likely keep the account opened? Otherwise I got to go to singapore open another account

Legitimate financial institutions in the United States don't work this way. If there is a legal problem with your tax status in the US, money to the bank won't solve it. Let's call the folks you've talked to "FraudBank" and the real USBank "RealBank," because until RealBank confirms, we have no reason to believe that the letter is real.

FraudBank will ask for money. Don't give it. Don't give them any further information. Gather up as much information from them as possible instead. Where to send it, for example. Then report that to RealBank. RealBank won't have a way to charge $500/year to you only. If they offer a type of account to everyone that costs $500, ask for the "Truth in Savings Act disclosures." Banks are legally required to provide these upon request. Then read them. Don't put or keep your money anywhere you don't understand.

  • If I offer them $500 per year will they likely keep the account opened? Otherwise I got to go to singapore open another account – user4951 Jul 17 '16 at 5:52
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    Legitimate banks in the US don't make those kinds of deals. – newcoder Jul 17 '16 at 5:56
  • If there is a legal problem with your tax status in the US, money to the bank won't solve it. Let's call the folks you've talked to "FraudBank" and the real USBank "RealBank." FraudBank will ask for money. Don't give it. Don't give them any further information. Gather up as much info from them as possible instead. Where to send it, for example. Then report that to RealBank. RealBank won't have a way to charge $500/year to you only. If they offer a type of account to everyone that costs $500, ask for the "Truth in Savings Act disclosures." Then read them. – newcoder Jul 17 '16 at 6:02
  • After reading, if you agree, you might choose to open that account. Don't put your money anywhere that you don't understand. – newcoder Jul 17 '16 at 6:03
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    @newcoder It seemed to me like the main office was just confused. The branch manager was baffled as to why I was calling her, looked up my account, and told me I had to call a number that lead to the bank's KYC/AML/compliance department. – David Schwartz Jul 17 '16 at 21:38
3

First, if your account has been closed you should not be able to use your debit card in any format. As you mentioned that you are able to use that so your back account is active. So this indicates it is a scam

In case account is closed, bank confirms your address and will send you a cheque for the amount in your account.

Don't worry. You money will never be lost

  • 1
    I assume the downvotes are because this is poorly written. But it's true and the core of the issue. Maybe it's a scam, as others have noted. But if it's true, then they'll just send you a check, so there's nothing to worry about. – stannius Jul 16 '16 at 20:14
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    thanks Stannius, actually i wrote it from my cellphone so formating might not be that good – Danger009 Jul 17 '16 at 1:17
  • Actually the account is being closed. It's closed on 26th. The date on letter says 7th. I have no idea when it would close for real. I phoned several people at US Bank and they have no idea. Someone in branch office asked me to email him but never reply. The one phone I should call didn't answer. When I called the phone again on 27th it's already late. – user4951 Jul 29 '16 at 0:25
0

Just to say, USBANK does close long standing accounts that are in good standing. They don't give a reason, they don't have to. And the number they give you to call will give you an answering machine, but you won't get a call back.

I was careful to make sure I was talking to the bank. My branch confirmed it was all correct, and out of my hands. And theirs.

Ignore all the stuff about scams, it's much more likely to be correct, just confirm your phone numbers to make sure you are communicating with your bank.

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