Wells Fargo said it found 1.4 million more accounts that its employees may have set up for customers without their knowledge, dating as far back as 2009. As you might know already, the bank found 2.1 million unauthorized accounts in 2016. This new discovery brings the total amount of suspicious accounts to a whopping 3.5 million. Yikes.
Even more worryingly, 190,000 of the suspicious accounts in question were subject to fees and charges. Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan has apologized for “unacceptable sales practices” that led the employees to create the accounts for customers without consent.
But if Wells Fargo is your bank, you're likely the most concerned about your own account, and whether you are eligible for compensation if an account happened to be opened under your name.
If you think you're a victim...
Review your accounts on the website. But be mindful: It can be difficult to find an unauthorized account on your own. If you're concerned, call the bank and ask to review a full list of every single account under your name. If any of the accounts were opened without your knowledge, let them know.
Check your credit report. Wells Fargo workers had submitted credit card applications without customers' consent. According to CNN Money, an unknown credit card can negatively impact your credit score, especially if it had a fee that went unpaid. So you want to keep a sharp eye out for any unfamiliar accounts. If you find any, document the account number, date, and any other available information and notify the credit bureau ASAP.
If you have reason to believe you may be a victim, take action immediately. Go to one of the Wells Fargo branches. You can also call a special hotline toll-free at 877-924-8697.
Provide your information to bank officials. If you give them your account number, bank statements, or other documents, it may make it easier for them to investigate your particular case.
What happens next...
The bank says it's taking steps to make amends to people affected and it has paid more than $3.7 million in refunds and credits to those who went through the bank’s complaint and mediation process. These customers may receive more compensation from a $142 million class-action settlement approved by a judge in July.
In the meantime, the bank will be working with a court-appointed claims administrator to contact eligible customers over the next two months. Stay tuned!