SANTEE, Calif. (KGTV) - A Santee couple said their bank kicked them to the curb after their account was hacked.
Peter and Linda Wolcott have been married for more than twenty years. Linda said she has been with Union Bank for more than double that.
“I’ve been with the bank since we got married in 1994. We’re talking 24 years. Linda has been with them over 55 years total,” Peter Wolcott said. “Never had any problem up until this point."
Peter said someone hacked his computer earlier this summer. That person stole money from his account, which he said was a loss of about $1,000. He also said the thief applied for credit cards in his name.
The bank covered the loss from the account and Peter said it was initially very helpful. Later, the couple got a letter saying that the bank was getting rid of them as customers.
The letter said that Union Bank does “not believe it is in the best interest of the bank to continue” the relationship. The letter was dated August 23, 2018, from the Enterprise Fraud Management division of Union Bank.
“I knew this bank had my back and now I feel like they’ve shot me in the back,” Linda said.
The couple filed a report for the theft and a fraudulent credit card with the Sheriff’s Department. While the Wolcotts said their local branch in Santee was helpful, the decision to let them go from Union Bank was made at a higher level.
“They’re just being corporate bean counters and they don’t have any heart,” Peter said.
He said the bank told them they are a risk. Peter, who has cerebral palsy and is confined to a wheelchair, said the bank implied his caregiver could have stolen that money.
“I think it’s a very unfair assessment,” Linda said. Her husband said there were attempts to hack into his computer from out of state.
A Union Bank spokesperson released this statement to Team 10:
“We take the safety and security of our clients’ accounts seriously and carefully take all appropriate steps to protect client information and funds. We have investigated this matter and communicated directly with Mr. and Mrs. Wolcott. Due to client confidentiality, we can only communicate about this matter directly with Mr. or Mrs. Wolcott.”
In Union Bank’s personal accounts agreement, it says it can close accounts “with or without cause.” For Linda, having to find a new bank is a big deal because all her payments are made through the bank’s online services. They also had a large safe with the bank.
“I don’t think giving up a customer of 55 years is equal to $1,000. I think we’ve earned a little more trust over all this time,” Linda said.
The couple said they even had extra fraud protection on their accounts through Lifelock and feel like they are being punished for something that is not their fault.
“I have nowhere to go except to start over,” she said.
“We’re sad. And we hurt for it,” her husband added.
The Wolcotts spoke to Team 10 reporter Melissa Mecija late Thursday afternoon. The Southern California regional president of Union Bank contacted them after Team 10 started investigating and told the Wolcotts they are being welcomed back as customers.