One payment processor executive suggested that the bank was making too much money to turn down the business.
New York, NY (PRWEB) June 12, 2013
National law firm Parker Waichman LLP is investigating a potential class action lawsuit on behalf of consumers – primarily the elderly – who have allegedly been victimized by fraudulent telemarketers in concert with middle men known as payment processors. Also allegedly involved are banks – from giant national operations to smaller regional players – which are charged with helping to facilitate the theft of billions of dollars each year, according to a June 10, 2013, report in The New York Times.
In these schemes, the banks do not generally interact directly with the marketers that are allegedly defrauding the public, according to the Times article. Rather, the banks establish relationships with intermediaries that handle the marketer’s payments – and that also dole out the banks’ fees.
Marketers, typically telemarketers or Internet companies, concoct various kinds of schemes to get banking information from people they have targeted. In one case, a plaintiff involved in a class-action lawsuit said in the complaint that a telemarketer basically tricked him into revealing his bank account information, then yanked nearly $400 out of his account (Reyes v. Zion First National Bank, et al; U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania; case no. 2:2010-cv-00345).
All in all, between 2007 and 2009, tens of thousands of Americans, many of them over age 65, lodged complaints with state attorneys general, banking regulators and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), requesting refunds for bank charges that they say were unauthorized, the Times reported.
“That’s an awful lot of Americans getting ripped off, and the fact that many of them are senior citizens is appalling,” said Gary Falkowitz, Managing Attorney at Parker Waichman LLP. “That some banks are allegedly involved in this kind of theft against the elderly only adds insult to injury; these are the very institutions many senior citizens turned to in order to invest their life’s earnings, to supplement their social security and pensions.”
The banks allegedly tend to be aware that something is wrong. Based on internal emails and other documents, Zions bankers, for example, recognized something was amiss because an enormous number of customers were disputing payments to some processors, according to the Times report. But the bank allegedly continued handling the transactions, the Times noted. One payment processor executive suggested that the bank was making too much money to turn down the business, the Times reported.
A January 29, 2010 Courthouse News report indicates that the AARP, the National Association of Attorneys General and the FTC estimate that 85 percent of the victims of fraudulent telemarketing are age 65 or older. The New York Times added: “For several reasons — financial worries, age, loneliness — older people are particularly vulnerable to what is known as mass market fraud, deceptive pitches that arrive by telephone, mail and the Internet.”
If you were ever victimized by one of these sham telemarketers that resulted in an unauthorized bank transaction, you may have valuable legal rights. Please fill out our online form or call 1(800)-LAW-INFO (1-800-529-4636) to speak with one of our experienced class action attorneys today.
Contact: Parker Waichman LLP
Gary Falkowitz, Managing Attorney