Don't Bank Chase
An inside look at the danger of banking with JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.

*UPDATE 04/17/2009*

The Truth about Fraud Protection and the Zero-Liability Policy for Fraud.

Look on the back of your credit cards.  If it's issued by Chase or FirstUSA, CLOSE IT.



- "...Through circumstantial evidence, constructed evidence, and even false witnesses, Chase will scare you into making a payment arrangement on an account to which you never used, and that you didn't open.  BEWARE..." 

- Robert Lemke - Victim of the Chase Fraud Policy  


My Experience With Chase Bank's Fraud Policy

By Robert C. Lemke

     In June of 2008, a credit card with JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. was opened using my identity.  In August, when I became aware of the account, I attempted to contact Chase to discuss and file a fraud claim- to no avail.  I was surprised that an account had been opened without my knowledge, because all three of my credit reports reflected a "Fraud Alert", which requires any creditor to contact me before establishing an account - Chase never contacted me.

After several failed attempts to resolve and/or discuss the fraudulent account with Chase representatives, I decided to write a lengthy and detailed letter to Executive Cardmember Services, and later received a call from Steve Regul, an assistant to Nancy Stoneman, the Vice President of Cardmember Services.  During this time, I also wrote an e-mail, not expecting a reply, to William S. Wallace, the Senior Vice President of Cardmember Relations.  Mr. Wallace forwarded my information to Mr. Regul, whom coincidentally was attempting to contact me at the same time.

After just a week of short contact with Mr. Regul, he and a fraud investigator by the name of Jennifer Marshall had decided to DENY my fraud claim for two reasons:

                                   1.  The account had an attempted payment from an IRA brokerage account that was in my name.  However, upon contact to that brokerage firm, I was reassured that check-writing capability was not allowed.  This was my first experience with false and constructed evidence within Chase Bank.

                                   2.  There were a "few" charges from various hotels in the Los Angeles area that reflected a similar signature.  However, upon requesting such evidence, Chase failed to send me it, claiming that "it was against company policy."  This is a violation of State and Federal law.

Interestingly, from Day 1, Chase had the sole goal of finding some type of evidence to connect me with the fraudulent charges and account activity that had taken place.  Never was a proper investigation completed during that short one-week period.   Never did Chase find, nor attempt to find, the actual criminal whom used my identity.  This prompted me to file a lawsuit.

Upon sending Court documents and my intent to file suit against Chase Bank, their entire attitude changed.  I had mentioned that, after both experiencing their practices first-hand, and, reviewing similar complaints online, that they were purposely and negligently denying fraud claims for a financial benefit- after all, it is unlikely that a bank will capture the criminal perpetrating these crimes, and if they do, it is unlikely they will recoup their monetary losses as a result of the fraudulent account.  They wrote and sent, via Certified Mail, their wish for me to cease contacting and communicating with them.  They stated, "...You are no longer allowed nor requested to contact Chase Bank, other than writing to our Executive Cardmember Services address above..."

Two months went by, and I was glad that I no longer had to deal with such dishonest and deceiving individuals- to say the least.  The holiday season came, and on December 2nd, 2008, a Chase employee by the name of Joe (Extension 72604, 1-800-808-1923) contacted me.  I figured this was the collections department, but to my surprise, it was part of the Fraud Department.  

The conversation with Joe went well for the first ten minutes, until the conversation took a 180 degree turn.  From a conversation relating to the investigation of the fraud incident, it went to a conversation of how Chase will be holding me accountable for the balance; which by this time, was in excess of $5,500.00.  Joe explained, sternly, that Chase will take any action necessary to collect this debt from me.  He continued to explain that Chase has a "multitude" of evidence that makes me responsible for the debt; however, Chase Bank previously, including Joe, has illegally denied to send me copies of such evidence.

Scary:  Upon asking Joe what department he "really" works in, he explained that Chase staffs a small department that attempts to collect debt from fraud victims.  He suddenly interrupts and corrects himself, stating that Chase staffs a department that collects from customers whose fraud claim was denied.

Chase staffing a department in an attempt to lure honest and hardworking victims to pay fraudulent balances does not surprise me.  Several reports and forums online demonstrate that I'm not the only person to experience this.

Allow me to explain the benefit to Chase, and any bank, to immorally deny a fraud claim:

We will assume that 50% of fraud claims are misunderstood or mistaken.  Of the other, and valid, 50% of fraud claims, we will assume that only 5% of those investigations will lead to the capturing of the identity thieve/fraudster.  Of those 5%, it is likely that only 3% of them will actually be able to compensate Chase for their acts of fraud against Chase and the victim.  This means that, of the 100% of fraud claims, only 0.185% of all fraud claims will result in compensation from the thief. This is far under 1%.

We will assume that 15% of the 50% of valid fraud claims will result in some type of "petty and circumstantial" evidence in which Chase can justify the denial of a fraud claim.  Of that 10%, we will assume that- through the harassment and threats to make a payment from Chase- 10% of those people will settle the account (meaning to make a payment).  The means that, of the 100% of fraud claims, Chase can conceivably convince 1.5% of all the customers claiming fraud into making a payment to the fraudulent account through threats and other actions.  Shockingly, this translates to 3% of all valid fraud claims resulting in a payment from the victim.  Let's compare our figures:

Payment from Identity Theft Criminal:  0.0185% of total claims                                                                      0.037% of 'valid' claims

Payment from Identity Theft Victims:   1.5% of total claims                                                                    3.0% of 'valid' claims

This clearly demonstrates the advantages Chase Bank has to seek payment from the Identity Theft victim, versus the person stealing the victim's identity.  In my case, since Chase could not find the thief, they've decided to threaten me into making a payment on an account that is not mine.

You may think to yourself, how could this multitude of Chase employees get away with denying valid fraud claims.  The explanation is rather simple.  Specifically within the Fraud Investigations Department, Chase management may train (indirectly) what type of evidence should void a fraud claim.  Employees, especially new hires with no previous experience, simply follow along with the guidelines of investigating fraud.  

 90% of the reasons I've been given by Chase of why they would deny any fraud claim are ludicrous.  First and foremost, they assert that if there was a transfer to or from an authorized account to the fraudulent account, that it would void the claim.  How ridiculous.  It is likely that 

As a staunch fiscal conservative, I am against government regulation, but I fail to see any other way to fairly investigate and regulate fraud claims.  Possibly, banks will begin to hire third-party claims administrators- but these companies too may have a bias since they're being paid for by the bank.  Simple legislation must be enacted that allows fraud victims to use binding third-party claims administrators that are not being paid for by the bank.  Binding third-party arbitration is also another option.

Please stay tuned for updates to this situation, via this website.

Scans of Correspondence
Website by Chase Employee
The Borg Lawsuit against Chase
CEO questioned about ID theft
More to Come...