A cautionary tale of a guy who was only trying to pay a bill

checking account
checking account

A friend of mine just recently became a victim of identity theft. So naturally, as someone who writes about banking issues, I've decided to turn his story into a cautionary tale.

My 64-year-old friend, a former neighbor, is retired and living in Los Angeles. I won't tell you his name because he's an extremely private guy and he doesn't want his name used. He's also in the beginning stages of Lou Gehrig's disease, commonly known as ALS. In other words, this guy has enough problems without me publicizing his name. But for the sake of the story, let's call him "Chuck."

Last week, Chuck discovered that a withdrawal of $143 had been made from his checking account. He thought that was odd because he'd had no bill for $143. So he contacted the bank, where the teller, at first, seemed to think that somehow another account had been opened up with the exact same account number as my friend. The teller said he'd look into things but that the money appeared to be a human error.