How I got scammed by scammers, then by Bank of America

Background:

I’ve been a Bank of America customer since 2013. I chose Bank of America because at the time, I was living in North Carolina (BofA HQ) and I knew I’d be leaving later that year to go to college in Detroit, and I wanted to make sure wherever I was going I’d be close enough to a branch office. Through those first 7 years, I had a great experience with Bank of America. Their mobile app made everything simple and the staff in their branches (particularly in Detroit) were always so friendly and helpful. I even went to the extent to recommend Bank of America to my mom who’s bank was undergoing a complicated merger, and she eventually took my advice and moved her money into the BofA ecosystem.

The Scam:

In late November 2020 I received an email with an invitation to apply for a graphic designer position. Attached was what seemed like a legitimate job posting, for a position that fit my skillset well. I researched the company in question and confirmed that it was a legitimate business, called ABAC Therapeutics and began corresponding with who I thought was a hiring manager for the company. Over the following 2 weeks I received more details about the job and was even interviewed for the position. A week after the interview I received word that I had been accepted for the position and I was sent an official offer letter including official company letterhead and using the real company’s CEO’s name and signature.

Reporting the Fraud:

Realizing I had been scammed and that the scammers had my account number I immediately made an appointment at my local branch. This was around mid-December. I showed them what had happened, all the evidence I had collected. The ‘relationship specialist’ I spoke with informed me that it was very unlikely that I’d be getting any of the money back from the scammers, but that he would file a fraud case with Bank of America that I should expect to be resolved in 45–90 days and get all those fees returned, as I was clearly the victim in this scenario. He even double-checked with his manager to make sure he was informing me correctly.

Following Bank of America’s instructions:

I followed the instruction of my Branch rep and waited for the fees to reappear in my account. After 45 days, I was frustrated but decided to wait until the full 90 days the rep had told me it would take to resolve the fraud case. During this time, I received exactly 0 updates from Bank of America regarding the status of my fraud claim.

Conclusions:

I’m not normally someone to make a big deal about the quality of service I get. I don’t have crazy high standards, and I didn’t expect Bank of America to make all my problems disappear either. I lost nearly $2,000 to scammers but it’s the $72 Bank of America took from me that hurts the most. It seemed like there was an understanding that they owed me money, but that if they stall me long enough, then I might get frustrated and give up.