3 ON YOUR SIDE: Chattanooga WWII vet gets stolen money back
Channel 3 is On Your Side, helping a local veteran who lost thousands of dollars, after someone forged his checks. The Chattanooga man says he and his son noticed the fraudulent checks on his monthly statement. But his credit union told him he could not get his money back because it had been more than 30 days since the checks were cashed.
Jim Dorris is just a few weeks shy of his 90th birthday. The World War 2 veteran and Purple Heart recipient has been a customer of Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union for more than 25 years. He hopes his situation will encourage others to be more vigilant when reviewing bank statements.
"I'm very frustrated," says Jim Dorris.
Eighty-nine-year-old Jim Dorris has macular degeneration. His son helps him review his bank statements every month, keeping track of every penny.
"My wife needs round-the-clock care, which has become very expensive," says Dorris.
However, his son did not think twice when he received his father's July statement, in August, and saw two checks cashed: numbers 1092 and 1093.
"Well, then the next month, he sees 1092 and 1093 again," he says.
Both checks, Dorris knew he had written. It turns out, the checks cashed in July were forged, one for $985.88, the other $985.75.
"Which comes to $1971.63."
Each check was made out to an individual.
"Never heard of either one of them," says Dorris.
Dorris called Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union and filed a police report. He thought he would never see his money again.
"They said because it was thirty days since the checks were written, they wouldn't cover it," says Dorris.
Channel 3 reached out to Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union, which explained when customers open an account, they sign paperwork acknowledging there is a 30-day window to catch fraudulent checks.
Buy shortly after sitting down with Channel 3 for an interview, Mr. Dorris got a call from Tennessee Valley and he got all of his money back.
"We're a credit union. We're member owned. So what happens to one of our members, affects all the members," says Tammy Zumbrun.
Tammy Zumbrun is head of community relations for TVFCU. She said she could not specifically address Mr. Dorris' situation but encourages everyone, especially people who write a lot of checks, to keep a very close eye on their statements.
"People can steal checks out of your mailbox. They can get your routing number off of a check. That's one reason we really encourage people to do the online banking because then you can be checking your account daily," says Zumbrun.
"I will be very diligent now, knowing we only have 30 days," says Dorris.
Zumbrun says if you catch fraud out of the 30-day window, still make a point to meet with your institution in person.
She says another big scam to look out for is phony phone calls. She says they get numerous reports of people receiving calls from individuals who claim to be with a bank or credit union. Zumbrun says don't ever give out your financial information. Banks will not ask for that unless you are the one calling them.