Woman talking and looking upset(l+r), Wells Fargo (c)

Rob Wilson/Shutterstock @effnem/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘They couldn’t tell me where it went’: Woman warns against banking with Wells Fargo after $44K goes missing from account

'I don’t know how they authorized that much money.'


Rachel Kiley


Posted on Apr 9, 2024   Updated on Apr 9, 2024, 12:01 pm CDT

A woman is begging people to stop banking with Wells Fargo after she says nearly $44,000 disappeared from her bank account. 

Effy (@effnem) has been keeping her TikTok followers updated on her quest to discover what happened to tens of thousands of dollars spent from her Wells Fargo checking account last year.

“On Dec. 1, 2023, I found out that Wells Fargo allowed over $30,000 to be removed fraudulently from my bank account. Over $30,000,” she says in a video posted in early March. “I was not getting notified—they just allowed the money to leave.”

Since then, Effy reports being in frequent communication with the bank, both over the phone and walking into local branches, trying to figure out what happened.

She told viewers that the money disappeared from her account via debit card transactions that went unnoticed until “they started going haywire.” Of particular concern to her was that while she receives notifications for the legitimate transactions she makes with this card, she says she didn’t receive any for these transactions, which didn’t match her spending patterns.

“I don’t know how they authorized that much money, and they don’t want to do anything about it,” she says.

As things escalated and she got the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) involved, Wells Fargo reopened her case after initially closing it with no satisfactory resolution, but it didn’t change much.

The bank discovered there was actually another $9,500 that had been withdrawn from her account, bringing the total to almost $44,000. But still, Effy says, the bank took no responsibility.

“They’re closing the case,” she says in a recent update. “I spoke with Wells Fargo. They did their investigation… They said that I am a victim of spoofing but because they can’t prove it, because whoever hacked my account was so good at it, they’re not going to give me my money back. Literally, that’s what they said. So I don’t know what to do.”

Spoofing, per the FBI, is “when someone disguises an email address, sender name, phone number, or website URL—often just by changing one letter, symbol, or number—to convince you that you are interacting with a trusted source.”

It’s a common scam used to gain access to someone’s accounts. But Effy says she has no recollection of doing anything that would have led to this.

She’s hardly the first person to express this sort of frustration with Wells Fargo. Last October, another TikToker claimed her entire life savings vanished from the bank without a trace and that there was somehow not even a record of the account she had held with them for a decade.

@effnem #stitch with @Effy & Emmy ♬ original sound – Effy & Emmy

Within Effy’s comments sections, many people agreed with her dire warning against banking with Wells Fargo.

“I took my money out of Wells Fargo because I’ve seen 4-5 people go through the same thing” one commenter wrote on one video.

“I had a mortgage with WellsFargo on my first home. When I tell you they tried to steal my house,” another added. “I was with that bank since ‘94 smh. I Only use CREDIT UNIONS NOW!”

“I lost 1500 and they couldn’t tell me where it went,” said a further viewer.

Ultimately, Effy says her only option now is to pursue legal action to try to get her money back, but that the thought of how long that might take is only adding to the anxiety this situation has wrought.

“I am begging you: if you have money in a Wells Fargo account, take it out,” she says. “Take your money out. And if you’re thinking of banking with them, don’t do it.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Effy via Instagram direct message and Wells Fargo via email.

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*First Published: Apr 9, 2024, 9:00 pm CDT