It began with a phone call from what he believed to be his bank’s fraud section.
A Cypress man who operates a small business claims that con artists took away virtually all of the funds in his trucking company’s bank account, and he is now battling to keep the firm solvent.
Charles Haney received a phone call from what he believed was his bank’s fraud section on December 7 to verify if he was paying for anything in Florida after receiving a text message enquiring about a transaction.
Haney stated, “I told him, ‘No, I’m not,'” “The only information I provided him was to confirm his inquiry.”
He said that the caller already knew some of the information he was requested to verify, such as account numbers, thus he provided personal information under the belief that the caller was assisting in the prevention of fraud and the closure of his account.
On that call on December 7, however, he stated his business relationship manager from his local Chase office in Cypress asked if he was attempting to send $42,000 through wire transfer.
Haney stated, “I’ve never done a wire transfer.” My bank account resembles that of the majority of people: It is quite structured.
Haney instructed the local relationship manager to cancel the wire transfer and informed him that he was on the phone with Chase’s fraud section. According to him, the relationship manager advised him to return to that phone call and close the account.
“Then, for some reason, three more transfers totalling around $188,000 went through,” Haney claimed. That represented the entirety of my company’s working capital.
According to the bank statements Haney supplied, all four transfers were made to banks in separate states. His company checking account was depleted of around $192,000 in a couple of minutes.
Today, after more than four months, he is battling to pay the business’s expenses and maintain payroll.
He notified the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency of the United States Treasury Department, and the FBI.
In addition, he filed a fraud claim with Chase, which the bank refused, which, according to him, makes no sense because the local relationship manager contacted to inquire about the first wire transfer.
“If I don’t recognize the number, I no longer answer the phone,” Haney said. “My past, present, and future have just been taken from me.”
Late Thursday, KPRC 2 News reached out to Chase, but the bank was unable to offer details on Haney’s condition.
“We warn all customers to refuse demands for money or access to their computer or bank accounts made by phone or the Internet. “These demands are made by fraudsters, not legitimate businesses,” a Chase spokeswoman noted in an email.
According to the Texas Attorney General’s Office, wire transfer fraud is appealing to con artists since the money is typically lost forever.
According to the AG’s Office, red flags include when someone calls you instead of you contacting them, when they ask for your personal information, or when they need a confirmation number before withdrawing cash.