Chime Financial: FOX 26 helps customer get $1,000 back after fraud, thousands filed similar complaints
HOUSTON - A Cleveland area nurse contacted FOX 26, saying a fraudster had drained her Chime banking account and she was battling with Chime to cover her $1,000 loss.
We helped her get reimbursed but found many other customers have filed similar complaints.
The Chime Financial app is popular nationwide. Chime partners with banks to offer online banking, early paydays, and help to improve credit.
But the Better Business Bureau says that thousands of customers have also filed complaints about it.
"This hasn't helped. I don’t sleep," said Kristen Reynolds, fighting back tears of frustration. "I told myself I wasn’t going to cry."
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Reynolds says she tried for three months to get Chime Financial to reimburse her after discovering someone used her account for a $1,000 shopping spree in January at Walgreens, CVS, and Popeye's Chicken.
She says she submitted surveillance images from inside the stores that she received from the Cleveland Police investigator, her fraud reports, and her timecard showing she was at work at the time of the transactions.
"You’ve got all this documentation stating there’s no way possible it was you, and 'Oh, not fraudulent!'" she said. "They wipe their hands of it like 'she doesn't need her money.' I'm sorry, I do."
We contacted Chime, which reimbursed her immediately.
A Chime spokesperson sent us a statement, reading, "As the most loved and one of the most downloaded US banking apps, we take member matters like this one very seriously. We are happy to share that we have resolved this incident and have fully credited the member’s account and that our team has been in touch with the member directly."
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But the Better Business Bureau reports that Chime has received 7,880 complaints in the last three years, many stating, "fraudulent charges against accounts due to accounts being hacked" and "accounts being locked/closed without notification."
"It was literally three weeks before I had access to my money," said one of those complainants, Cheryl Lewis.
Lewis says Chime froze her account when it suspected fraudulent transactions. But she says there were none, and the process to reopen her account took three weeks.
"This is my livelihood money you’re messing with," said Lewis.
Many complainants expressed frustration getting Chime to resolve their issues. The BBB says Chime has a B- rating due to the high volume of complaints, but that it does respond to complaints the BBB receives.
"You can go to BBB.org and start your complaint process there and the company ... does respond back to the complaints that way," said Alma Galvan with the Better Business Bureau.
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In response to the complaints, a Chime spokesperson sent us the following statement:
"The trust of our members is fundamental to our business and is our number one priority. Our customer service team works every day to help our members succeed, and we strive to make it as easy as possible for them to get the account support they need. Unfortunately, fraud occurrences like this are widespread in the industry. To ensure the safety of our members and our platform we employ rigorous fraud detection protocols, taking action when necessary to prevent fraudulent activity. We encourage customers to report suspicious activity immediately and practice safe online banking habits including monitoring accounts closely and never giving out personal information. Members can reach out to live support 24/7, 365 with any questions.
Other Key Facts
- Unfortunately, fake customer service scams have become increasingly common in the financial services industry and are not unique to Chime.
- Chime routinely monitors for malicious sites, including those that seek to defraud our members, and takes steps to have them promptly taken down.
- In addition, we have published resources to educate our community on how to identify Fake Customer Support Scams along with other common scam scenarios.
- We have easy-to-access resources available for our members on this topic to keep them informed and safe, as well as this quick list of tips to stay secure: