$120,000 Disappears from Woman's Bank Account, Banking Giant Announces Account Termination: Report

A resident of Arizona claims her life savings, totaling $120,000, have vanished from her bank account, and she is now facing account termination by her bank

"Margaret Lomax, a resident of Arizona, reported that she transferred $120,000 from a regional California bank called Farmers & Merchants to her Citibank account, as per a report by CBS-affiliated news station KPHO.

Initially, Lomax's Citibank account reflected the arrival of the funds, but shortly thereafter, her debit card started getting declined.

She recounted, '[The money] was actually right there on the screen. And then poof! It just disappeared.'

Subsequently, Citibank sent Lomax a notice, stating that she had breached the bank's terms of agreement, the money had been returned to its 'rightful owner,' and her account would be terminated in 60 days.

Lomax contacted Farmers & Merchants, who informed her that the money was no longer traceable.

She expressed her frustration, saying, 'I’m at my wit’s end. I don’t know what to do anymore. I’m climbing the walls. There are nights that I’ll go through half a box of Kleenex crying... My biggest fear is that they sent it somewhere and somebody else got it, and they are saying 'Christmas came early this year!' I’d like my money back. I’d like to buy a home so I can live my last 20-30 years comfortably.'

Despite the termination notice from Citibank, both banks have initiated investigations into the matter.

Reports of sudden account closures due to concerns of suspicious activities have surged in recent years. In 2014, banks submitted approximately 830,000 Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) to law enforcement. This number has steadily risen, with about 1.4 million SARs reported in 2021.

However, the Banking Policy Institute indicates that only 4% of SARs submitted by banks to law enforcement result in follow-up actions, and a small fraction of those follow-ups lead to arrests and convictions."

Sep 17, 2023

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