BoA Has Blocked Me From Opening Any More Accounts

@nycrocks wrote:

Ishop123, whatever makes you think Homeland security would get involved with people who open checking and savings accounts with $25 deposits? I seriously doubt our national security agency, whose purpose is to protect us from terrorist activities, is actually interested in the banking activity of American citizens when it’s of such a tiny magnitude. I certainly hope they have more important things to do.
You would think so, right? More important than, say, hiring thousands of ignorami to grope people and spending an incomprehensible amount of money (including substantial kickbacks) on backscatter/millimeter machines for security theater? I'm not a banker, but looking over the Know Your Customer/Bank Secrecy Act guidelines, it's certainly feasible that your SSN could be flagged. The intention is to catch money-launderer, drug dealers, and terrorists. It's not inconceivable that opening many accounts might peg you as one of the above.

Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.

(Yes, I stole Hoju's tagline.)

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Not inconceivable, but highly unlikely! It’s much more likely that account activity with high volumes of cash deposits trigger warnings, not inactivity in new accounts with $25 in them that get closed. Maybe I should be worried that my phone is tapped now. NOT. There is such a thing as too much paranoia. BoA simply wasn’t making any money on me as a customer. It’s pretty simple.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/09/2018 02:56AM by nycrocks.
<<BoA simply wasn’t making any money on me as a customer. It’s pretty simple>>


can vouch.....big amounts, certain patterns of transactions, turnover, there's an algorithm.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/09/2018 02:06AM by BarefootBliss.
Thanks, Barefootbliss. Extreme measures do not get put into place without there being a strong likelihood of suspicious activity.
Sybil, is that you?

Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.

(Yes, I stole Hoju's tagline.)
Hi guys, I wanted to post a quick update to my original reply in this post. I decided, after reading everyone's personal experiences and insights, that maybe there was a more substantial reason as to why I've been banned/blacklisted from opening any new accounts at Bank of America. So I ordered my personal check system report. Boy was it long and detailed! They literally track everything you do with any banking institution in the USA. And I found a major issue; one of the accounts that I opened and closed with Bank of America for the sole purpose of a mystery shopping assignment was reported negatively! I was shocked. There were apparently checks written on one of my accounts after I closed it and they were written off as overdraft /chargeoffs. This was definitely fraudulent activity! I was so shocked! I never even received checks for these accounts nor did I ever even set up online bill pay; that's how I know for a fact that I didn't authorize electronic checks through one of these accounts. I had to call the bank, then go to the police station and fill out a report for fraudulent activity on my bank account, send proof of the report to the bank and to check systems so I can dispute the negative report. They said it can take 6 months to a year to clear up! I'm so upset. I never got anything in the mail ever ever ever I swear! I feel so helpless. So I'm personally done doing the new account openings for mystery shopping. But I'll definitely continue to do the other shops that don't include opening new accounts. I definitely recommend those who open multiple accounts for mystery shopping to just pull their check system report once in a while just for safety reasons. Good luck all!
Thanks for your update. What a horrible experience! I guess I should ask for my ChexSystems report too. I doubt fraud is why BoA banned me from opening new accounts but it’s worth getting a ChexSystems report.

Like you, I won’t be doing any more account opening shops, but msy do other shops at BoA and definitely will shop other banks.
I got someone to look up my record at ChexSystems and there’s nothing on it, so it’s definitely only BoA that has banned me from opening any new accounts because of opening too many accounts with them.
I would expect the MSC to intervene with the client, BOFA. If the bank wants their locations shopped, and shopped by reliable, good shoppers, there should be a procedure in place to "lift the ban" and clear the shopper's record. Obviously a shopper who has been actively doing account opening shops for 3 years, has had a high approval rate, and been doing a great job for the client, no? The shop description should include a disclaimer that the shopper could be banned, as a result of doing many shops, OR the MSC should negotiate with the client to put into place a method of reversing the ban on the "back end".
All of this assumes that B of A is the client.

It could be another bank or or other institution checking out B of A, based on info another msp had collected earlier or details B of A had revealed in documentation about how their system worked.

Just thinking out loud.

I've opened up several accounts with them while shopping, and I still have three of them open and use in daily life. I've closed three accounts in the past three years with them, so maybe I'm not prolific enough for them to ban. But I'll be careful with them and other bank account openings in the future.
I just performed a Key Bank. $50 to open, another in $50 in 30 days and $50 at 90 days. Very easy.
@KathySueLM wrote:

I would expect the MSC to intervene with the client, BOFA. If the bank wants their locations shopped, and shopped by reliable, good shoppers, there should be a procedure in place to "lift the ban" and clear the shopper's record. Obviously a shopper who has been actively doing account opening shops for 3 years, has had a high approval rate, and been doing a great job for the client, no? The shop description should include a disclaimer that the shopper could be banned, as a result of doing many shops, OR the MSC should negotiate with the client to put into place a method of reversing the ban on the "back end".

KathySueLM, I couldn’t agree with you more. I have asked two different schedulers who were sympathetic to my situation to try to intervene on my behalf and neither were able to help. You’re on your own, and ruining any and all possible banking relationship with BoA for life is the unfortunate conclusion to being a reliable and thorough shopper if you don’t keep accounts open at BoA. The original scheduler I communicated with promised I would be paid for the shop, but that’s the only consolation here.

I started this thread to warn other shoppers they’re taking a risk by opening and closing accounts at BoA precisely because the MSC does not warn shoppers of the possible repercussions of doing account opening shops at BoA if the accounts are closed. The MSC has no intention of trying to intervene in the business decisions made by the bank or warning other shoppers, at least nof at this time. They don’t want to get involved in how the bank treats its customers except when shoppers have actually successfully shopped BoA, which is understandable.

Because of the ICA I can’t exppain to BoA why I opened and closed those accounts. I am hoping that if what happened to me and the other shopper in this thread (who was also banned at BoA) happens to more shoppers, the MSC and BoA can work out a procedure to prevent shoppers from becoming ineligible to do future account opening shops through no fault of their own. I would be wary of closing accounts that are only opened for MS purposes even if I had longstanding accounts at BoA, because they can end their banking relationship with you at their discretion without giving any warning or any reason.

This MSC has been great for me in every other instance. It’s not worth the risk damaging my relationship with the MSC to try to continue to pursue what they’ve said is impossible.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/16/2018 12:02PM by nycrocks.
When I perfomed these I thought there would be a system in place to erase these from your records. I think these shops were not set up properly and ultimately led to failure for the shopper in terms of any future banking needs. Check out my experience:
[www.mysteryshopforum.com]
Often, it's a better deal to open the bank accounts for the bonuses, not for shop payments. Bonuses range from $100 to $500 usually. Much better reason to take the hit to your Chex history.....I think shops that impact your personal credit or Chex scores are ones you want to consider very carefully....we are living in an era of bank consolidation - a bank can decide at any time that they no longer want to do business with you - forever....and we're now down to only a few big banks. Consider Credit Unions your friend.
Chexsystems isn't the only banking credit report on the market. Early Warning Systems (EWS) is another one that the major banks report to. Any company offering person-to-person payments via Zelle is using EWS. EWS essentially started Zelle. I believe that anything reported to Chexsystems falls off after seven years. EWS keeps reports for 10. EWS also allows banks to give a more detailed description of why they closed your account. The bank can close your account because they suspect that you are committing fraud. They don't need hardcore proof. What they will do is report to EWS that your account was closed due to fraud. This report then gets sent to other banks reporting open accounts and they are at liberty of closing your account as well.
@AnonymousGirl,

Thanks for for the info! Maybe I should check with EWS to see if there’s anything negative reported there.

I don’t think it’s considered fraud to open accounts you don’t use and then close them though. The banks simply don’t want to be bothered with customers they’re not making any money on.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/18/2018 01:35AM by nycrocks.
@nycrocks wrote:

@AnonymousGirl,

Thanks for for the info! Maybe I should check with EWS to see if there’s anything negative reported there.

I don’t think it’s considered fraud to open accounts you don’t use and then close them though. The banks simply don’t want to be bothered with customers they’re not making any money on.

You're welcome. I should have been a little more specific.

Banks aren't allowed to report suspected fraud to chexsystems. They can report that they closed the account. If fraud did happen, then they can report fraud. An example of fraud is something as small as allowing someone to use your bank account to receive their direct deposit. It's against the rules at every bank but a lot of people do it. It's simply a matter of how the person manually reviewing your account feels like when they look at your account.

EWS allows the bank to report that the account was closed for possible fraud. As I stated, most banks that are using EWS are banks enrolled in Zelle
So, I have opened 3 Accounts for Wells Fargo through Mystery shops (kept one active). I also have an investment brokerage account there tied to the checking that remains open.

I have opened and closed one BOA account through a shop. I have 2 checking, 1 savings, a mortgage, CC, and an investment brokerage through them. I am a good customer.

This month I opened up a Suntrust account through a shop. My intent was to close. Guess what I received yesterday.... A check in the mail for my deposit and a letter from their risk assessment and fraud team notifying me that they are closing my account.

I won’t be doing any more of these. I’m not worried about BOA or Wells shutting me down, but I am annoyed that the banks with the MSCs do not protect us better or do a better job of disclosing that they will not protect shoppers from this happening.
@BarefootBliss wrote:

Often, it's a better deal to open the bank accounts for the bonuses, not for shop payments. Bonuses range from $100 to $500 usually.

100% agree.
There are some exceptions to that but generally yes.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/18/2018 01:01PM by bgriffin.
They make money by gaining interest. A few accounts at the bare minimum deposit is pennies, but hundreds of thousands of accounts is significant.

@BarefootBliss wrote:

<<BoA simply wasn’t making any money on me as a customer. It’s pretty simple>>


can vouch.....big amounts, certain patterns of transactions, turnover, there's an algorithm.

The internet doesn't make you smart. It makes you good at regurgitation.
jk1, did Suntrust give any details? did you only use the account once or something like that?
I wouldn't do any of those ATH Power shops or you will not be able to open bank accounts and be reported to Early Warning Systems as I was.
If the IMSC advocates on behalf of shoppers, then this is a track session that should be held at a conference - RE: the implications of bank mystery shopping relative to one's personal credit records.
There is also a company, The Retail Equation, that tracks returns to stores. People who return merchandise too often get flagged, and not allowed to make returns or exchanges for the future. The trigger points can be very low--the person profiled in the article below returned three cellphone cases.

This is about Best Buy, but other companies use them, too

[www.businessinsider.com]

Has a track session about the implications of too many returns every been held at a conference?
@Jk1nole wrote:

So, I have opened 3 Accounts for Wells Fargo through Mystery shops (kept one active). I also have an investment brokerage account there tied to the checking that remains open.

I have opened and closed one BOA account through a shop. I have 2 checking, 1 savings, a mortgage, CC, and an investment brokerage through them. I am a good customer.

This month I opened up a Suntrust account through a shop. My intent was to close. Guess what I received yesterday.... A check in the mail for my deposit and a letter from their risk assessment and fraud team notifying me that they are closing my account.

I won’t be doing any more of these. I’m not worried about BOA or Wells shutting me down, but I am annoyed that the banks with the MSCs do not protect us better or do a better job of disclosing that they will not protect shoppers from this happening.

I've been told that Suntrust opens account if nothing is on the chexsystems report. What ends up happening is that if the person has something on their EWS report, the "back office" receives it and that's when the account is closed. For whatever reason, Suntrust does not use EWS when allowing someone to open an account.
@Susan L. wrote:

There is also a company, The Retail Equation, that tracks returns to stores. People who return merchandise too often get flagged, and not allowed to make returns or exchanges for the future. The trigger points can be very low--the person profiled in the article below returned three cellphone cases.

This is about Best Buy, but other companies use them, too

[www.businessinsider.com]

Has a track session about the implications of too many returns every been held at a conference?

They only keep track of returns with no receipt. There's no way to track someone if they return something with a receipt. When you attempt to return something with no receipt, the sales associate swipes your driver's license. That's how TRE keeps track.
@AnonymousGirl wrote:

@Susan L. wrote:

There is also a company, The Retail Equation, that tracks returns to stores. People who return merchandise too often get flagged, and not allowed to make returns or exchanges for the future. The trigger points can be very low--the person profiled in the article below returned three cellphone cases.

This is about Best Buy, but other companies use them, too

[www.businessinsider.com]

Has a track session about the implications of too many returns every been held at a conference?

They only keep track of returns with no receipt. There's no way to track someone if they return something with a receipt. When you attempt to return something with no receipt, the sales associate swipes your driver's license. That's how TRE keeps track.

Best Buy makes you swipe your license WITH a receipt. I am 100% sure of this, as I quit doing the M-rated Video shops there with my kids because of this.
It seems everything we do is tracked. I dont understand why the companies can't clear our names out of the system if they want us to shop the locations.
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