Charlotte man contacts WBTV for help resolving fraud on debit cards

Frank Johnson told WBTV he’s been trying to resolve the issue with Fifth Third Bank since March.
A Charlotte business owner reached out after two of his company debit cards were compromised.
Published: May. 23, 2023 at 6:58 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A Charlotte business owner reached out to WBTV after he says two of his company debit cards were compromised.

He says he spent months trying to work with Fifth Third Bank to get the money back, without any success.

Frank Johnson says it started in March, when he noticed someone was spending hundreds of dollars at local stores with his company debit card.

“I noticed some transactions that were getting posted to the account that I didn’t recognize, and I also noticed that the card number was my card that I had in my possession, so I called the bank,” Johnson said.

He says despite his quick reporting, the bank did not take any action.

“The bank just did not approve the blocking of those transactions because they were in a pending status, and told me that they had to wait until those transactions hard posted on the account,” he said.

Johnson said he went into a Charlotte branch to speak with a manager about the situation.

“The branch manager at our branch was very helpful, just unfortunately he didn’t have any power,” Johnson said.

He connected him to a customer advocate, but he says he was still unable to get the issue resolved.

“Instead of the bank looking at this situation objectively, when you tell them that you had the card, they point the finger at you, which was a total shock,” he said.

A few days later he says it happened again, this time on another company debit card.

“These people were actually able to somehow mimic our debit cards with a chip in it and we’re actually able to go to Fifth Third ATM machine and do a cash withdrawal,” he said.

He says they also hit nearby stores like Food Lion and Hibbett Sports.

Between both accounts, he says more than $6,000 dollars were spent.

“I felt like I was just a nobody because nobody was really listening to anything I was saying, even though I felt like everything I was saying made perfectly good sense,” he said.

WBTV reached out to Fifth Third Bank for answers. In a statement, a spokesperson said:

“We have actively investigated this situation from the time of the initial report by the customer. Fifth Third takes fraud very seriously and continues to monitor trends and mitigate risks for our customers.”

Johnson says it was not until WBTV got involved that the bank started reimbursing him.

“Unfortunately it takes external pressure, which is the media,” he said. “I hope they’ll look at this as a learning situation because this is not the way you treat customers.”

Johnson also filed police reports with CMPD, hoping that would get the bank to take it seriously.

As of Tuesday evening, he said the bank has reimbursed him for charges on one of the accounts and he’s waiting for reimbursement on the second account.