I lost my waitressing job bank in May 2011 and was job hunting day to day at local restaurants and retail places, looking for any place to work. I submitted my resume for an Attorney's Assistant position I saw on Craigslist for the sole fact that I was pursuing an education in the Paralegal field. This attorney replied to my resume letting me know that I was perfect for the position and that he would be paying me $455 salary to deal with his clients, keep his scheduling organized, and run any errands that needed to be ran. We had communicated over the phone and email for a couple weeks. One day he informed me that he would be sending me a check in the mail and I would use the money to shop for supplies for an orphanage in his hometown that he donates to every year. He told me he would be emailing me the supplies list as soon as he talked to the President of the orphanage. Once I received this check it was for the amount of $2500. It looked like a payroll check. I deposited the check in my checking account at PNC on the Wednesday morning June 1, 2011. I emailed the attorney and let him know I wasn’t going to touch the money in my account until I knew the check was cleared.
On Friday June 3, 2011 I saw the $2500 clear into my PNC checking account. Before I contacted the attorney I was working for, I called PNC around 10:30 AM to verify that the money clearing in my account meant that the check was cleared. The representative explained to me that it only takes 48-72 hours for the check to clear and the funds were clear and everything looked good. So I called the attorney and let him know the check had cleared and I was ready for him to send the supply list for the orphanage. He replied and let me know that he had talked to the President of the orphanage and they would rather have a money donation to be able to use the money where needed. He then emailed me instructions on how to send the money and where to send it. He told me he wanted the donation to be for $1850 and to use the rest of the money as my weekly pay. I then went to the closest Western Union (Publix off Oslo Road in Vero Beach) and completed the money transfer for a total of $2011. This amount was too much to purchase using my debit card so Publix then had to call PNC and have them verify the amount and transaction for it to go through. After about an hour, the transaction finally went through and I contacted the attorney and let him know the transaction details.
The following day, June 4, 2011, I received a notification that my checking account was over drafted over $2000. I later discovered the check was fraudulent and the attorney I was in contact with was no longer reachable. I immediately filed a police report and filed a dispute with the bank. I presented the representative, Jessica Francis, at the PNC bank where I opened my account (4105 9TH ST. SW Vero Beach, FL 32968) with all the evidence supporting that I was scammed. I had all the emails, the envelope the check came in, the name and phone numbers of the person I was talking too, the police report, and a photo of the fraudulent check. Everyone in the branch was unsympathetic to my situation and pretty much made me feel like I should have known better. After three weeks, PNC denied my fraudulent claim and has now held me responsible for the money that was sent out. After this happened, all the moneys in my accounts at PNC were frozen and unable for me to touch. My bills during this time were all past due and unable to be paid because PNC applied all the money I had left to be applied to this negative account. I tried to have the bank manager help contact someone over the phone that could help me in my situation and at least work with me. No one wanted to hear my side of the story and just wanted me to pay the bank back.
I feel that PNC is negligent in my situation because they had cleared the money to my account without the check being cleared. I feel like there was nothing I could have done to prevent this from happening because I was venerable and desperate for work and was even precautious with this money transfer. I feel that PNC needs to take responsibility for clearing and approving something that was in their complete control. If I hadn’t called and made sure that the check was cleared, and if they would have told me that the check wouldn’t be cleared for another week then I would have never made the transaction. I have discussed my claim with my other bank (JP Morgan Chase) and they informed me that no other bank in this country would have made the mistake PNC did by clearing the funds of an out of state check without verifying that the check was good. I have had no luck in finding justice against this bank. To this day I am still fighting with PNC to resolve this. They have now put my name in Check Systems as a fraudulent check holder and I am unable to obtain a checking account anywhere in the United States. This over drafted account at PNC is not because of my irresponsibility, it is theirs. PNC has made it impossible for me to get on my feet again because they froze money in the checking accounts I had at their bank and has now caused my other accounts at other banks close my checking accounts as well.
I would like to get back the $491.48 that PNC took out of my other checking account I had at with them, I would also like PNC to clear the $2011 transaction that they approved and fronted the money for as fraudulent, and to clear my name off Check Systems. Lastly, I want PNC to compensate for all the trouble they have caused my life and finances. I know I have a case and all the evidence to prove that I am a victim and that PNC is responsible for their negligence. I know there is someone out there that can help me in this horrible situation.
My life has been nothing but utter chaos and stressful for the past two months. If you are unable to help me with this I would appreciate any advice or information on anyone you know that can help.