Friday, June 14, 2024
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Customers Sue Citibank for Refusing to Refund Money Lost During Security Glitch

Customers Sue Citibank for Refusing to Refund Money Lost During Security Glitch
Source: Pinterest

Customers Sue Citibank for Refusing to Refund Money Lost During Security Glitch

Source: Pinterest

It is a truism that there is no shortage of large banking institutions in the United States. However, since its inception in 1812, Citibank has been a favorite among millions of Americans.

However, the well-known institution is currently receiving some really negative publicity. Citibank is currently being charged in New York City with neglecting to care for its customers. These customers were duped from their hard-earned money, and the public was outraged.

The Lawsuit Against Citibank

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Most corporate cases are so complex that the average person has trouble understanding what they are being charged with. However, in the instance of Citibank, it is clear.

New York Attorney General Letitia James, who is leading the fight against the giant bank, explained exactly what’s going on in a statement. She said, “The lawsuit alleges that Citi does not implement strong online protections to stop unauthorized account takeovers, misleads account holders about their rights after their accounts are hacked and funds are stolen and illegally denies reimbursement to victims of fraud.”

Citibank Customers Have Lost Their Life Savings

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The AG’s office continued to explain that Citibank customers “have lost their life savings, children’s college funds, or even money needed to support their day-to-day lives due to Citi’s illegal and deceptive acts and practices.”

New York Attorney General James’ case includes other local plaintiffs. They all have a sad narrative of losing their assets and how their bank, Citi, did nothing to help.

One Citibank Customer Lost $35,000

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One New York citizen suing Citibank explained that they fell victim to a scam and lost $35,000 of their funds.

James’ office explained that after the scam, “For weeks, the customer continued to contact the bank and submit affidavits, but in the end, she was told that her fraud claim was denied.”

Cyber Scams Are on the Rise

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It is critical to understand how and why this type of crime occurs. Essentially, the great majority of banking transactions are now conducted online. Due to this, cyber hackers have discovered a wide range of methods for hacking into these systems and stealing money from bank customers.

These hackers have many ways of stealing money directly from a bank account. The most typical way is to call a consumer and claim to be a customer support agent.

Criminals Call Customers Pretending to Be Customer Service Representatives

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This is how it works. The criminal phones the phone number associated with the bank account and pretends to be a bank employee.

They then advise the consumer that their money is at risk of being stolen by a cyber hacker and ask them to supply all of their personal sign-in information. They also ask for other sensitive information to “protect” their money. Of course, with this information, fraudsters can then access the account. They Instantly wire transfer the contents to their own accounts.

Why Won’t Citibank Do Anything to Help?

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One of the most alarming questions is why, since this is such widespread information, Citibank is refusing to help its clients who have become victims of these vicious crimes.

However, the bank claims they are not legally required to refund or even assist customers in getting their stolen money back. Citibank stated, “Banks are not required to make clients whole when those clients follow criminals’ instructions, and banks can see no indication the clients are being deceived.”

New York Attorney General Argues That Citibank Is Breaking the Law

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However, AG James is arguing in court that this claim is simply unfounded. He also claimed that legally, the bank does have to compensate customers for unauthorized transfers according to the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA.)

Within the lawsuit, the attorney general quotes Regulation E, a federal statute that ensures American consumers are protected from illegal and unauthorized transactions, including ATM withdrawals, direct deposits, and, she argues, wire transfers.

James Also Argues That Citibank Must Do More to Protect Its Clients Ahead of Time

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In addition to violating the EFTA by failing to refund stolen funds to clients, AG James claims that the bank is doing far too little to safeguard them from such scams.

According to the AG’s office, “Defendant Citi has not deployed sufficiently robust data security measures to protect consumer financial accounts, respond appropriately to red flags, or limit theft by scam. Instead, Citi has overpromised and under-delivered on security, reacted ineffectively to fraud alerts, misled consumers, and summarily denied their claims. Citi’s illegal and deceptive practices have cost New Yorkers millions.”

Customers Deserve to Feel Safe Using Online Banking

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In this instance, finding someone who would support the bank over the consumer is difficult. Tens of millions of Americans use Internet banking every day, and they ought to feel safe while doing so.

James said in a statement, “Many New Yorkers rely on online banking to pay bills or save for big milestones, and if a bank cannot secure its customers’ accounts, they are failing in their most basic duty.”

What Happens if Attorney General James Wins the Lawsuit?

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Attorney General James is seeking a permanent injunction against Citibank for its earlier irresponsible conduct. He also seeks the return of any customer losses incurred due to fraud over the last six years, as well as restitution, damages, and civil penalties for those affected.

That means that if AG James wins her case, Citibank will most likely have to pay millions of dollars in reparations to the many clients whose money was stolen. However, in this scenario, that would be just the beginning. If James wins, many more cases against Citi and other banks will likely be brought around the country.

The Economy Is Tough Enough Without Losing One’s Savings to Scam Artists

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The case against Citibank comes at a difficult moment for Americans. The vast bulk of the population struggles to make ends meet, let alone save. And now banks claim they can’t even keep those meager savings from being taken.

America will certainly be watching as this case goes to court, and almost everyone, with the exception of bank executives, will hope that the judge sides with the plaintiffs and forces these institutions to protect their customers.