View Full Version : Banking experts question
05-23-2007, 02:51 PM
Someone asked me this, and since there are banking experts on this BB, I thought I would throw it out there.
My friend's adult son is in another state. After a breakup with his girlfriend, he called from a motel but has not contacted her for 10 days. He has issues with alcohol and has not returned phone messages. Needless to say, she is very worried.
If she has his SS # and his bank account number, will his bank tell her if there has been any activity on his account? She isn't interested in anything except if he has used his debit card at all in the past week.
I have a feeling that privacy issues will not let her get this info. Any thoughts?
05-23-2007, 02:55 PM
I do not believe she would get anywhere if she just had that info and called the bank. Some banks online sites will let you register for online banking with possibly only that information, but I am not sure. Plus he might have already registered for online banking so she could not do so again.
I guess she does not want to go to the police yet? I am sure that they could get access, if they have reason to believe he might be in trouble.
Good luck to her and her son.
05-23-2007, 03:00 PM
With that information she <might> be able to either register for online banking or even use a "forgot your username/password?" feature on the bank's website. If the account is already set up there may be a security question (or two, or three) that she has to answer, but if she's his mother she may be able to guess at the answers (like, mother's maiden name).
The worst thing that would happen, if the account is already established and she can't get logged in, is the online access would get locked out. The worst thing that could happen if she called the bank is they'd say no, we can't help you.
Best of luck to her.
05-23-2007, 03:28 PM
Unless her name is on the account, I'd REALLY hesitate to try to see his acct information online. I don't know if it's technically illegal, but wouldn't be smart. Besides, not all bank activity shows up that very day. A lot of places run my debit card as credit (I don't enter my PIN), and those charges don't show up online for several days.
Someone may pop up here and have a definitive answer. Lacking that, I would just call the bank and ask. If they can't, they should be able to tell her what would be required to obtain that kind of info. She may have to file a missing persons report and have the police do the check.
05-23-2007, 04:39 PM
If she knows the motel could she call them and find out if he is still registered there?
05-23-2007, 05:04 PM
That would have been the easiest thing, but unfortunately she doesn't have the name of the motel.
05-23-2007, 05:17 PM
Legally the bank is not supposed to give her any information on the account if she is not a signer. In reality, though, I'd say she has a 50/50 chance of getting the information by calling the bank. If she gets the right person at the bank they may answer her question because of the circumstances surrounding them. Otherwise, I'd recommend that she call the local police.
05-23-2007, 06:42 PM
well, I certainly don't know the legality of it, but she may be able to call the automated number (if the bank has one) and listen to the last 3 transactions on the account.
05-24-2007, 07:30 AM
Kevlar - sounds like you got a lot of good advice.
Putting my banker hat on...legally speaking, if the girlfriend is not listed as an account holder, the bank can not provide any account information. They are not supposed to confirm even if that individual has an account or not regardless if she has all of his information including his ss#.
Putting my concerned friend hat on...as others have suggested, there are probably some ways around that. (1) Setting up an on-line account may be a good idea, but if an account already exists, it may be difficult to retrieve passwords. Also, some banks send passwords when you sign up for on-line banking to the individuals home for security reasons, so it could take longer than you think. (2) You could try calling to obtain some automated information over but even these systems now have passwords or pin numbers, so again, same problem as the on-line banking. (3) You could call the bank, but even telling them your story may not help them release information. As a former bank manager, I can safely say that we are trained to error on the side of security & caution. I heard so many stories, most of which turned out to be untrue of where people are trying to get information because for all the wrong reasons. One time, a fellow branch manager actually got sued because an account holder's wife came in with a similar story..he's alchoholic and has been missing for a few days...to get information on his account. He gave her some info and it turned out that they were going through a divorce and wanted the info. to bring to court. It all depends up to the individual.
Sorry for writing a novel here, just trying to reinforce what others have told you earlier. Good luck and I hope everything works out for her.
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