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Are Wells Fargo accounts protected from fraud?

Get Wells Fargo to listen: Submitting a legal claim can bring them to the table to settle your dispute.

Over the last few years Wells Fargo bank has made a bad name for itself in the news when it was caught fraudulently opening Wells Fargo accounts under the names of existing customers without their permission. Why?

The company has internal aggressive strategies for sales and marketing requiring that individual branches meet certain quotas for growth on a regular basis, quotas that are simply not feasible given the number of people in a particular town. So, Wells Fargo decided to fake these numbers by reporting shareholder returns that were higher, using fraudulent accounts.

Unfortunately, Wells Fargo accounts fraudulently opened by sales staff internally are not the only thing you have to be cautious about. With so many different internet scams, fishing, and widespread hacking reports, you might find that you have a fraudulent Wells Fargo account opened in your name and not know what to do next. What should you do when Wells Fargo won’t act? We explain.


Tired of talking in circles with customer service? File an official claim instead:

Submit a Claim

Are checking accounts protected from fraud?

Checking accounts have fraud protection thanks to Federal Reserve Regulation E. This regulation says that thanks can’t hold you responsible for unauthorized transactions assuming you do your part and report them.

Does Wells Fargo reimburse stolen money?

Yes, Wells Fargo does. Through the zero liability program on credit cards and accounts, if you report the fraud immediately, they will reimburse you. This liability protection applies to Wells Fargo ATM cards, debit cards, credit cards, and easy pay cards.


Lost funds to scammers? Get Wells Fargo to act:

Submit a Claim

Contact Wells Fargo for Fraud

However, that reimbursement is contingent upon you reporting the fraud immediately. If you have fraudulent activity on your account, or you see a fake account opened in your name, or you’ve lost a card, you need to sign into your account and contact them immediately. 

Alternatively, you can phone 1-800-869-3557.

After you contact Wells Fargo, you should report any fraud to the Federal Trade Commission.

Do banks really investigate fraud?

Yes, and sometimes it might seem like they don’t because they are asking you for more information, but this is just to help them with the investigation. Bank investigators will ask you for information so that they can determine whether it was friendly fraud or legitimate fraud. Friendly fraud might be a situation where you signed up for a free trial and didn’t realize that regular billing had started or an unsupervised child accidentally made purchases through an app on your phone.


Related: How to Spot and Report Illegal and Unfair Banking


What can a scammer do with my bank account number?

Scammers can do a lot with your bank account number especially if they have the routing number. With this information they can illegally transfer money to your account which might seem cool until you realize that it is drug money or some other type of illicit funding that they are trying to move through your account and now you are on the hook for a federal crime. They can also just steal all your money either by setting up a money transfer from your account to their account or by ordering checks illegally and cashing them.

They can even open a fraudulent Wells Fargo account in your name and use it for other things like opening credit cards, changing your mailing address, applying for personal loans, or signing up for services, getting a new car, and damaging your credit.

What to Do If They Won’t Help

With FairShake, we can help you when they won’t. If you were the victim of fraud and contacting your company hasn’t helped, we can walk you through the process of consumer arbitration.





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