Wachovia Corp. has started to reimburse victims of a telemarketing fraud as part of its April settlement with U.S. banking regulators, mailing nearly 750,000 checks totaling more than $150 million to the victims.
The case involves relationships the bank had with several telemarketers and payment processors that obtained bank-account information over the phone from thousands of elderly and poor consumers by offering to sell them identify-theft certificates, discount travel vouchers, and other questionable products or services, according to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
The OCC alleged that Wachovia officials knew about the deceptive telemarketing practices but failed to take quick action to stop them. In addition to the checks, victims who believe they have been charged bank fees because of unauthorized withdrawals are entitled to compensation. Victims are to get a claim form for bank fees along with their checks.