‘This is modern day bank robbery.’ Banks say ACH transfer fraud is on the rise

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — All a criminal needs is a bank account number and routing number, and they can steal money from a bank account through something called a fraudulent ACH, or Automatic Clearinghouse House, transfer.

New Dawn Realty in Norcross noticed that more than $17,000 was taken from their bank account in a money transfer they never authorized.

“This is modern day bank robbery. They don’t need a gun anymore. All they need Is your checking account number and routing number,” New Dawn Realty owner Robert Warren told Channel 2 Consumer Investigator Justin Gray.

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Armed with those numbers that are right there on any check, criminals can game the ACH system.

Under national ACH rules, regardless of the bank, individuals have 60 days to report the fraud. But businesses only have 24 hours.

New Dawn realty noticed the missing money two days after the transfer, too late.

“We thought a bank is the place you deposit your money to safeguard yourself, now we don’t know what is safe,” said New Dawn owner Rajan Doshi.

After the first theft, New Dawn was targeted with more fraudulent transfers. Seven times in 30 days. But the company was checking their account daily and immediately reporting the fraud.

New Dawn Realty filed complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, The Federal Trade Commission and local police. Police used a subpoena to track the fraudulent transfer to an Illinois woman’s Capitol One Credit Card.

She did not answer or return our call when Channel 2 tried to reach her.


ACH transfers date back to the 70′s but banks warn the fraudulent activity has been picking up.

Some banks do offer ACH protections like positive pay where you must verify transfers and a debit block that prevents all ACH transfers.

It’s recommended that small businesses check their accounts daily.

“I think we are in the wrong business. If it’s that’s easy to steal money and nobody is caught, I think we are I the wrong business,” Doshi said.

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