$22,000 online banking mistake empties woman’s account

Posted at 7:46 PM, Jun 05, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-06 18:29:12-04

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (WTVR) - For years a Fredericksburg woman said she has used her computer to pay bills online. She said she's never had a problem -- until now.

Last week the woman paid her $226.52 Verizon online. But when she received a confirmation email from Wells Fargo, she got the shock of her life.

"When I saw the amount, I almost had a heart attack," the woman said from the front porch of her home. That's because instead of $226.52,  the amount was $22,652.00. That's about $21,000 more than the woman had in her account.

The woman immediately called the bank, but they told her to call Verizon. When she called Verizon, they told her to call Wells Fargo.

Wells Fargo claimed the customer made a mistake when entering the amount online, but the family said the bank was at fault.

With her bank account drained and the money pulled from a credit line and over draft protection, the woman relied on her husband's paycheck to get by,  but feared they could run out of money , if the situation wasn't resolved.

She said after several days of back and forth with the businesses, she called CBS 6 for help.

One day after CBS 6 began making calls and exactly one week after the mix up occurred, Wells Fargo sent an email to the woman that said the money would be returned in three to five business days.

Verizon confirmed it had returned the money to Wells Fargo, but for some reason checking the bill online revealed the amount due had almost doubled to more than $450.

Right now the woman said she just wants her bank statement to balance, her money returned, and the other $21,000 back where it came from.

The other concern for the family, is if the bank will charge fees for the mistake.