Bank of America Asking For Fingerprints

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posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 05:31 PM
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I talked to my Mom today, and she mentioned that something rather disturbing had happened. My dad had gone to a local Bank of America to cash a check and they refused to do so unless he provided a fingerprint.

He refused (quite proud of him for that) and went home without the money to see what could be done about the situation. He found out that the place he needed to contact was the OCC (Office of the Comptroller of the Currency), which he did. They stated he needed to file a formal complaint online, and that's the last I've heard of the situation.

I've found a couple of articles online where this has happened to others:

source


Ariel Sarousi felt surprised and dismayed when asked to provide a fingerprint to cash a check at a Framingham Bank of America branch on Monday.

The 25-year-old Framingham native, who lives in Virginia, brought a rent check to the Bank of America branch on Beacon Street. He does not have an account with the bank, but the check came from a Bank of America account.

"They asked for an ID, which I provided, and after that they brought out an ink pad," Sarousi said. "I asked why, and they said they wanted to take a fingerprint. I said, 'Get out! Please!' and they said, 'No, we're serious."'

Sarousi said he had other forms of identification and that should be enough to cash a check.

"I said, 'You can't expect me to provide fingerprints to cash a check,"' Sarousi said. "I took my check and left.


and this article:


Marek Tracz said he's not a criminal, but felt like one recently when he cashed a check at Bank Of America on Boston Road in Springfield. A teller informed him he needed to be fingerprinted if he wanted to cash his $450 check. Tracz said, "You would not expect a bank to ask you for a fingerprint. It makes you think, 'what are they going to ask next.'"
source


So, this has happened to others. The question is: why does Bank of America need fingerprints? Why are other various forms of identification not good enough?

I think we can all agree that the banks and their owners are not to be trusted, and I suspect there is an ulterior motive for the collection of fingerprints.

Thoughts? Opinions? Has this happened to anyone else, and if so what did you do?


TA




posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 05:57 PM
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I know this has been pretty standard procedure here in KS, USA for a few years now. The typically have this requirement for people cashing checks that are not account holders at the bank. It isn't just BoA doing it. of course, they claim is to protect the account holders and keep cost down due to fraud and such.



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 06:00 PM
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Years ago, when I was a CFO of a small corporation, I wanted to deposit a check for $1.ooo,ooo.oo and was asked to place my forefinger on a pad that would electronically record my finger print. I said, "I won't do that for even a million dollars!" And then I took my deposit slip and the check and went outside and placed the items in an envelope and dropped it into the night deposit slot. Problem solved for me, in that case.

Edited to add: For my personal banking, which is all I participate in now, I have an account at a small town bank and the folks there know me and I don't even need to show an ID, except when a newbie arrives.

[edit on 21-8-2009 by kyred]



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 06:12 PM
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I had that problem with 5th 3rd bank, except they wanted to charge a fee of around $7.00, and as far as I can recall, regardless of the check size. So, if the check was $7.00? I'm not sure about a fingerprint though.

But I do know BOA has done this for several years and as long as 10 years now.



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 06:17 PM
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Wow! This is new to you?

This is a practice that was started by the Texas Bankers Association in 1994 to "reduce fraud" (although it doesn't do that, it just deters fraud at that specific bank). It quickly was adopted as Standard Practice in over 30 states by 1998.

It is currently a practice that does not conflict with any State or Federal Regulations.

The ACLU considered a suit in 1997 on the grounds that this practice was discriminatory and amounted to economic extortion (since Employers are required by Federal Law to only pay their employees with either a Payroll Check or Direct Deposit, an employee has no other option but to comply with this discriminatory practice in order to get paid). To my knowledge it was never taken to Court.

These days, you would be hard-pressed to find a Financial Institution in the United States that does not do this. Even most Check Cashing places now require a fingerprint (and charge you a 10% fee on top of it!).



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 06:22 PM
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reply to post by fraterormus
 





These days, you would be hard-pressed to find a Financial Institution in the United States that does not do this. Even most Check Cashing places now require a fingerprint (and charge you a 10% fee on top of it!).


I was not aware of that, as I don't deal with banks, personally. I didn't trust them before finding out about this, and I trust them even less now. There is no reason a bank needs fingerprints.


TA



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 06:32 PM
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I was not aware of that, as I don't deal with banks, personally. I didn't trust them before finding out about this, and I trust them even less now. There is no reason a bank needs fingerprints.


I certainly agree. Banks have too much power now.

I was unaware that employees can no longer demand to be paid in cash. One company I worked for opened a checking account in your name and did a direct deposit whether you wanted it or not. Seems the president of the company was also a director of the bank so he wanted to keep the funds "in the family" so to speak. That practice WAS illegal but no one dare call them on it.

I run a small business and if fingerprints become a necessity I will go ALL cash no checks.



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 06:38 PM
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Originally posted by TheAssociate
I was not aware of that, as I don't deal with banks, personally. I didn't trust them before finding out about this, and I trust them even less now. There is no reason a bank needs fingerprints.


Personally, I find the requisite 2 pieces of Identification required under the Patriot Act to be more of a nuisance, especially considering they require 1 Photo ID (State Driver's License, State ID, Passport, Military ID) and 1 Credit Card, Debit Card or Bank ATM Card. Meaning if you don't have a Bank Account somewhere, you can't cash a Check even when it is drawn on that Branch's funds!

Although the practice of collecting a fingerprint impression on a Check that you cash at a Bank is humiliating and treats customers as if they were criminals, those fingerprints never go anywhere.

However, there are some Banks that are considering Electronic Biometric Fingerprint Scanners for this practice, and those Electronically-scanned Fingerprints will then be kept in that Bank's Database. That starts treading upon some highly unethical ground. Alas, that is where the slippery slope of Banks requiring fingerprints is headed.

Although individuals don't have much recourse through the OCC, your best advocate to get an exemption is from your Employer. If your Employer contacts the Bank on your behalf, oftentimes they will waive the requirement for you. I had that problem with the 2 pieces of identification rule and after my Employer threatened to do their banking elsewhere that Bank issued me a Card I could present at any branch with that bank showing I need only show 1 piece of Identification. When you threaten the core of their business as a large profile customer, they'll volunteer to make an exception rather than the end-customer who they'll refer to a OCC who will send usually nothing more than a Courtesy Letter explaining why they have this practice.



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 06:41 PM
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I have only ever seen that done to people who had no account with the bank. It is nothing more then a way to prevent people from writing them worthless checks. I don't see anything new, or conspiratorial about this practice. Heck, even some stores down here will put your fingerprint on a personal check before they will accept it.



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 06:45 PM
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How strange. I just opened with BofA with a $3,000 check that I wanted to cash, but the teller was only allowed to cash up to $2,500 unless I opened an account; they want to make it worth their while I suppose. But then I went on to cash the check and then deposit and I was never asked for my finger print.

Strange.



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 06:49 PM
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reply to post by defcon5
 





Heck, even some stores down here will put your fingerprint on a personal check before they will accept it.


It is not whether it is a "common practice" it is whether it invades your rights as a human. The first store that does that to me gets to put all the stuff back on the shelves. Of course I do most of my shopping at a farmer/crafter market and deal direct with the grower/manufacturer who know me by name so it is not a problem for me.



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 07:00 PM
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Bank of America has gotten thumb prints for years from non-customers. Nothing new. I bank there and when I got a safe deposit box they took a whole hand print so that I could access the secure vault area.

I like to know that if someone wants to access my money or valuables they'll need to cut off my hand first.



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 07:05 PM
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It started in Texas because of the problem with so many false identities.
If you cash checks in more than one name then these can be cross referenced and an attempt to at least slow down the fraud can be made. some individuals were known to be using 5-10 stolen aliases with socials to get welfare benefits and food stamps. Others were cashing work checks for illegals and taking a cut.

It doesn't accomplish much except to act as a deterrent but I can see how it would bother some.

If you are ex military or some other job where your prints have been collected then who really cares. It's out there and every agancy has access.

If you are a criminal or have a record then you,ve been printed already and I can see that it might be an issue for any that are still on the wrong side of the law or just wan't to keep a low profile.

If I had never been printed before then I'd avoid it. Just in case.



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 07:07 PM
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reply to post by crimvelvet
 





It is not whether it is a "common practice" it is whether it invades your rights as a human. The first store that does that to me gets to put all the stuff back on the shelves.


Exactly. And it's also not about whether they currently do anything with your fingerprint besides use it to identify you, it's about what they may use it for at some point in the future. The banks and the government are in bed with each other, and I'm sure neither would have a problem doing a little 'information sharing' should the 'need' arise. As stated, I don't trust these people with my money, and I sure as hell don't trust them with my fingerprint.


TA



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 07:13 PM
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reply to post by badgerprints
 





If I had never been printed before then I'd avoid it. Just in case.


Exactly what I'm thinking and plan on doing. I don't care what te pretext for this is, I'm not voluntarily handing out any information of this variety. Thank you all for the replies and insight.


TA



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 08:04 PM
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Some banks in Chicago have been doing this for 10 years or more. I had this problem back then. I complained to the Comptroller of the Currency, and they told me this is 100% legal. Banks for whatever reason have the right to take a thumb- or fingerprint off you when you try to cash the check.

The answer I can think of is to simply refuse to accept any check made on a bank that has this requirement. Of course, this might cause problems with cash flow and customers, if you're a business. It certainly won't do you a bit of good if the check is from your employer. But the only other recourse is to allow them to get your fingerprint.

What you *could* do is put something like carpenter's glue on your finger, which would cover up your fingerprints. Then when they take the fingerprint, they'd get some sort of meaningless pattern that wouldn't identify you. However, who's got time for that, and how often can you do it before they catch on anyway?

It's just one more way in which private corporations steal your privacy.



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 08:34 PM
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Don't want to give a thumb print then go to Wal Mart and cash your checks there. You have to give your SSN though.

Its a safeguard for the bank, you don't have to cash a check there.



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 08:56 PM
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Banks have been requiring a fingerprint to cash a check for about twenty years or more. It's easy, there's no mess and it helps to prevent fraud.

The $7 fee to cash a check drawn on BoA I only learned about recently and I just laughed in the tellers face asked for my check back, went to my own bank and deposited it there.

BoA can bite me.



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 09:15 PM
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I certainly agree. Banks have too much power now.



its not that banks have more then they used to , its whats inside the banks that lost all its wealth/power and on top pf that they ve been given
humorus tasks that they have to comply to inorder to keep banking as they "did" .

but one cant souly blame the banks for being uptight , much of the fault lies in the user and its ability to use money correctly.



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 09:51 PM
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Just do what I do. Deposit the check via the ATM, no finger print required.



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