A bank has offered to pay a Paris, Tenn., man more than $600 following a Channel 4 I-Team inquiry into how that man ended up paying for someone else's credit card bill.
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Donnie Bass is still confused as to how his bank account showed for 11 months he'd been paying a stranger's credit card bill; a stranger who banks with a completely different bank than his own.
"Somehow the wires got crossed," Bass said.
Bass has a hard enough time paying his own bills. He works overnights at a local factory just to make ends meet.
He admits he doesn't check his bank account often, only the balance. But he did check back in April, and found he'd been paying at least $50 a month toward a credit card bill for an individual whose first name is John (The Channel 4 I-Team is not identifying John's last name, because we could not reach him for comment and it is unclear how much he knew about this situation).
All of the payment add up to roughly $644.
"It was an automatic withdraw, on someone else's behalf. I was making their payment," Bass said.
Bass called his bank, Regions, and they began investigating. A printout of what they found shows that John isn't even a customer of Regions.
John instead banks with BankcorpSouth, which is headquartered in Mississippi. Region's inquiry shows the draft was arranged out of a bank in Mississippi.
Bass said Regions bank indicated to him that somehow John's authorized payments got merged with Bass' account.
"How is it his account number and routing number can get plugged into my account, where I am making his payment for him?" Bass asked.
Bass then contacted the BankcorpSouth's regional branch in Mississippi, and Bass said a manager there did verify that John was a customer, but would not say where John lived.
"I feel like he does owe me the money - but like I said - it is BankcorpSouth's mistake - I think they ultimately ought to be the ones to give me the money," Bass said.
The Channel 4 I-Team contacted the branch in Mississippi, as well as corporate communications for BankcorpSouth. The branch manager didn't call back, and a spokesman for BankcorpSouth only said, "Due to financial privacy rules, the bank cannot discuss financial activities."
After the Channel 4 I-Team started asking questions, Bass said he received a call from Bankcorp South, telling him the bank would be issuing him a check for all the money he is owed.
There is still no explanation as to how this happened, either by BankcorpSouth or Regions.
As for whether or not Regions bank should have spotted the error, a Region's spokeswoman sent the Channel 4 I-Team a statement reading, "Customer security is a top priority and we have a number of processes and systems in place to detect and prevent unauthorized account activity."