Couple Says Bank Account Flagged for Fraud After Unemployment Deposit

A couple says they waited months for their unemployment benefits, but when the money was deposited, their bank flagged their account for fraud. 

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Jared McCall and his wife, Alexis Berger, moved to Florida last year. 

McCall says after months of working in the state, he became unemployed due to the pandemic. 

He says he applied for unemployment benefits in Florida but was denied. 

“I had to start filing for unemployment because I got laid off from my restaurant, so I had to file with New York because in 2019, I worked the majority of that year in New York state, not in Florida,” McCall explained. 

He says he applied for benefits with the New York State Department of Labor and was approved for both state unemployment and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. 

In total, he says $9,216 was deposited into the couple’s Chase Bank account. 

“We were so happy, so happy, finally we did it,” Berger said. 

But McCall says soon after the deposit, his debit card stopped working. 

“My bank card wasn’t working after the third or fourth try, I logged into my Chase bank account and it said it wouldn’t let me log in, it said your account has been locked for security purposes, please give us a call,” McCall said. 

McCall says when he called the bank he was told “…that Chase has made the decision to part ways from me.”

Berger says she was told the account was flagged for fraud. 

“Been trying to get the unemployment since March or April, and then yeah when we finally get it at the end of July, it was immediately taken away by a third party,” McCall said. 

They say they were told that during the investigation, they would not have access to the unemployment benefits in the account. 

“…Luckily we have good credit so we have been putting everything on our credit card and we had enough to pay our rent,” Berger said.

After weeks of waiting, they called NBC 6 Responds.

Days after NBC 6 Responds reached out to Chase Bank, Berger says a bank representative called the couple and asked for additional documentation. 

In an email to NBC 6 Responds, a Chase Bank representative said “the client provided us with the documentation confirming they had, in fact, previously lived and worked in NY. Her funds will be released and sent to her, and we communicated that to her last week.” 

Days later, McCall and Berger told NBC 6 they got a check for the state unemployment benefits they were owed, totaling roughly $4,200. 

They say the federal unemployment money in their account was sent back to the New York State Department of Labor. We reached out to the department but they told NBC 6 Responds they cannot comment specifically on the case because of UI privacy laws.  

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