Citibank under fraud attack, customers locked out of accounts (BoingBoing)

BoingBoing pal and Citibank customer Jake Appelbaum tried to withdraw some cash with his ATM card on Saturday night. He initiated his bank account long ago in the US, but was in Toronto, Canada yesterday. Jake explains:

To my surprise, the ATM machine rejected the transaction and urged me to contact my financial institution. The machine also reported on the receipt “INELIGIBLE ACCOUNT.”

Jake called Citibank’s international customer support number, and soon learned that the lockout was part of a much larger fraud crisis — by no means the only data security issue at Citibank in recent months.
(more…)

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3 thoughts on “Citibank under fraud attack, customers locked out of accounts (BoingBoing)

  1. The letter I’ve include with this email is from a concern client of CitibankMy question is will the teller be fired and if not why not? This teller left out about $10,000.00 in the unlocked front drawer 2 different times with in a two week period and had two shortages in one year, one for $100.00 and the other for $450.00.Where the cash drawer is concern two employees signed the vault book stating they witness her put the cash away, obviously not true.One of these two employees had the bank pay for her daughters overdrafts and the manage was aware, against company policy.This teller entered false referrals into the systems to make the banks numbers look better and this was done under the supervision and direction of the supervisor, when I brought this up to the manager none of the three tellers which input false referrals were written up, falsifying bank documents and no write up but I get written up for missing a Saturday, why? Unfair and unequal treatment by the manager. Where are the ethics?As I’ve stated, the unethical employees still have jobs and I get fired after the manager receives my email on 12/13/05 at about 1:45 p.m., and he acknowledges receiving it, it clearing answers his question/comment that he was calling to see if I was coming. The email states that my doctor had called in and spoke to Kathleen: as well as faxing in my doctors note which the manager returned to me with my termination letter received two days after I had been fried with no check, with no break down explanation, no vacation pay, misleading information and so on, note clearly stating my disability time off. Did he read the doctors note? Did he let upper management know that my doctor had call and faxed information? The manager called I returned his call but he was with a client.I requested to communicate via email and I emailed him, Kathleen and Human Resource, so why was I fired sometime after he received my email and the end of the day if he was just calling to see if I was coming in and if not to contact HR? Unfair and unequal treatment.It makes no sense. Why weren’t the labor codes followed? Did he get HR permission to fire me? Why then wasn’t my check included with my letter of termination? Aren’t I to be fired at the location which I work? Were my rights violated when he had Kevin send me my termination letter, did he know I was getting fired prior to me receiving my letter?March 25, 2006 Dear Ms. Deloney, I would like to take a moment and thank you for responding to my comments regarding Damari and the manager. I am sure that you are a very busy and important person and I appreciate your time. Damari is truly missed at the bank, since her unfair termination by the manger, the atmosphere at the bank is boring to say the least. Damari added life and laughter and she enjoyed serving the customers. I feel deeply, that the manager made a huge mistake in dismissing her while she was ill. What kind of a manager would dismiss an employee while they are ill? As I say this, I now have further concerns about another teller name Andrea. I was in the bank and was told that she has injured her knee and will be out of work for about six weeks. I’m sure that Andrea has a doctors note as Damari did, I hope that the manager doesn’t make the same mistake and decides to terminate her and mail her a letter before she returns as he did Damari when he terminated her instead of waiting for her to get well and return to work. Although I would understand if he were let her go as she spends most of her time at work doing her homework , reading and she isn’t available everyday. Andrea will move on, on her own to become a teacher, this is what she goes to school for two days a week. By her going to school, I feel this puts a strain on the staff. I understand that the rest of the tellers along with Kathleen are now having to work six days a week and Kathleen is running a window: she doesn’t have the charm or customer service skills which Damari offered the bank. We go into the bank often and we rarely see that manager. I feel that it would be in the best interest of the bank to find a permanent manager as soon as possible, one whom appreciates competent employees as Damari. Frankly, I don’t understand how a temporary manager was given the authority to dismiss an employee such as Damari with her wonderful skills , talents and dedication to her job. Therefore my concerns are now for Andrea whom doesn‘t compare with the kind of service Damari offered your customers. As I stated before, the other tellers spend too much time speaking to customers about personal things and shopping on the computer instead of banking conversations. I frequently witness them reading and eating while at their windows: this is very unprofessional. I feel it would be in the best interest to Citibank to launch a complete investigation on the manager, as you stated would be done and seriously consider removing him from Carmel. In my opinion since he arrived the atmosphere is tense and if I can sense it I am sure that other customers do. This manager has taken all the personal touch and charm out of the bank and I feel the employees fear for their jobs: no one should have to work under those conditions. Keeping this manager at this or any branch is sure to destroy you business. Again, thank you for your letter and taking the time to look into this situation.Sincerely, Clifford BagwellIn a letter dated 01/06/06,Citibank states, Pursuant to Section 1089 of the Ca. Unemployment insurance Code, regarding notification of changes in employment status, please be advised that your employment was terminated on 12/13/5 for failure to follow call in proceduresRE Section1089 and other codes which Citibank may have violatedOther codes they may have violated labor code section 208, 226, 226.3,201.25,2441, 2800,2802,2926,2927,6400,3602(6),3852,2922,civil code 47(c)I was fired on 12/13/05,it states that each employer shall notify the employee immediately, yet I didn’t find out until 12/15 as I received my notice of termination via UPS on12/15When I was fired I was not supplied with “copies of printed statements or materials relating to claims for benefits by Citibank.Citibank claims that I didn’t follow the call-in procedure yet my doctor called on 12/12 & faxed in a notice which stated that I would be out from the 12th-16th. Jeff claims that he called me to see if I was coming in on 12/13 at 10:25am,almost 2hrs after my shift started, he states that if I wasn’t coming in that he wanted me to contact HR to inform them of my extended absence. How does one go from calling to see if I’m coming in & ask me to call HR to Jeff stating & deciding that I should be fired yet in my email to him at 1:45pm on 12/13 it states that the doctor had spoken to Kathleen & faxed in my doctors note which he returns to me w/letter of termination.How does he justify terminating me? I was out on work related stress and my blood pressure, my doctor called for me to keep my stress & blood pressure down, as far as not calling in I had my doctor call: the call was made for me to protect my health. Why wasn’t it stated in my termination letter that I failed to follow the call in procedure. Why does Citibank state to the DFEH that I called in on 11/15 & said that I would be out the rest of the week yet I worked on the that day & the supervisor approved my timecard on 11/22. What else are they not being honest about?Why are the employees which falsify bank documents & break policy still have jobs? Reply to Damari Stratford 1291 Ord Grove Ave, Seaside 93955 831-583-9077CITIBANK IS NOT BEING HONEST WITH DFEHTHIS IS A LETTER I SENT MY GOVERNORDear Governor, First Lady and staff, I have been awake since 1:05 a.m. I was having a difficult time sleeping again due to my conversation with Ann Lueckeman from the DFEH. Ann and I spoke on 3/08/06, Citibank apparently faxed in their reply on 3/07/06. Ann read to me some of the statements that Citibank made on their reply Citibank states: that I called in on 11/15/05 and that I stated that I would be out the rest of the week, this is a lie!!! I happen to have my time card for the week ending 11/19/05 and it clearly shows that I worked the 15th, I was off the 16th and I worked the 17th and that I was out sick on the 18th and 19th and that the manager approved my time. Citibank states that I refused to work on Saturdays but they don’t mention that I, unlike them, was willing to meet them half way. Citibank is not telling the truth. To further support that I was at work on the 15th and 17th I have my journal notes with specific times of things that occurred on those two days. How does an honest and ethical person fight against unethical people who lie? How can I protect myself if I can’t afford an attorney and I can’t find one to work on a contingency basis? The other night, on TV, my husband and I heard that the government spends 4 million to train wasp and I can’t get help from The White House or our Senators or Congress, to defend myself against a corporation which is taking advantage and lying about this situation? The only one that has offered to help is the Governors office and although I appreciate the letter and the call from the Governors office this does not get me an attorney. I have diligently search for assistance to no avail. I am now begging for help, I can’t continue to loose sleep and live on anxiety medication; this situation is wearing on me. Again, please, is there anything more that you or our government can do to help my family and I, for this wrongful termination? Why is Citibank lying? I feel like I am going to have another panic attack and I had to resign to taking medication to calm down. This is totally and completely unfair, unjust, wrong and no one should have to go through what Citibank has put my family and I through. I only wonder how many other wrongful termination’s Citibank has gotten away with because people are afraid to go up against them or just don’t have the money to fight and protect them selves? My husband and daughter are worried about me and so am I.PLEASE HELP US. I don’t know what else to do and I don’t want to give up. Sincerely. Damari Stratford A BETTER EXPLANATION Mother fired by Citibank for no good reasonI am searching for an Employment Attorney willing to work on a contingency basis. I was fired while I was out sick, the managers states in a note added to my personnel file that he had called me to see if I would be coming into work on Dec. 13th but yet with my letter of termination he returned to me the faxed in doctors note, faxed in at 3:44p.m. on 12/12/05 by my doctor, which clearly stated that I would be out from 12/12-12/16/05. He sent me my letter of termination thru UPS, which arrive on 12/15/05. The manager knew that I was out on work related stress and I had a workers comp case pending. The manager states that I was fired for not complying with my warning and I asked how I could comply if I wasn’t there to comply so then I get a letter from HR stating that I was fired for failure to follow the call in process but my doctor had called in for me on the 12th due to my stress level and blood pressure. The doctor had spoken to the supervisor on the 12th so they were aware that I wouldn’t be in on the 13th and my doctor has the notes on my file that she had made a call in for me. Citibank did not follow their own procedures when they fired me. The EEOC has given me the right to sue and the letter arrived on 2/17/06 so my 90 days have started. The DFEH has also launched their own investigation which Citibank received notice on 1/23/06 and should be responding to the notice any day now, (as of 3/8/06they haven’t responded). I had an outstanding performance history with the bank; I had worked there for 4 years 2 months 6 days. I was the head teller one of the notary and the only Spanish-speaking teller. I have at least 40 letters of support from Citibank clients and I can prove that the manager was not equal with all the employees and although he was aware of the teller cooking the books under the direction of the supervisor none of them were put on corrective action yet I was written up for missing my first Saturday and then again when I missed my 2nd Saturday although I had a doctors note to be out of work due to my blood pressure and stress brought on by the manage and the unfairness in treatment. I had been threaten with job abandonment but at that time I hadn’t missed any work long enough to be accused for this. Citibank violated code 132A of the worker comp law and I do have an attorney for that but they are unable to deal with all the other issues. I have a strong feeling that the manager never told HR that my doctor had called in for me nor did he share my doctors note with them, he is to get approval from HR before firing me yet fired me by 4:30 pm or so, I had also emailed him that day at 1:45 pm and explained that my doctor had spoken to the supervisor and faxed in a note, again he was aware that I wouldn’t be in. The manager had called my cell phone and left a message at about 10:25 am, he states that he called because I hadn’t called in a half an hour prior to my shift, which started at 8:30 a.m., why did it take him 2 hours before calling me? And I would bet that the supervisor had made arrangements to have a teller there to cover my shift since my doctor called her. Please help my family and I.Sincerely, Damari Stratford Home 831-583-9077 all calls to this number are screen due to telemarketing calls and my current situation so once you hear my voice saying that all calls are screened please leave a message, once I hear who is calling I pick up the phone. Cell phone 831-236-0112 this is the best number to leave a messageAgain please help us

  2. 1. Have you contacted your local bar association for an attorney referral?2. I would search ‘citibank sucks’ and post this info on one of those sites

  3. Thank you for all the comments, good, bad and indifferent.For those of you whom I upset I am very sorry. It has been about a year and things are moving along, yes I have had some, a lot of therapy, this hit me hard but we are moving on. I have 2 attorneys dealing with this. I admit that I had a lot to learn and I have learned that we really don’t matter to corporate America it really is just about profits. My fight is not just for me but for all those wrongfully treated by corporate America. I didn’t realize that all caps was so offensive, sorry to that one. Life is all about learning and this was a very hard lesson for us. Again, sorry if I offended anyone I am getting better now. As far as the manager goes, he will just have to live with what he has done and I wish him and his family the best hoping that no one ever treats them as he did us. God Bless Us All Damari Stratford

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