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Chicago teacher's Italy trip ruined by bogus $1,200 charge, slow response from Chime

Great trip turns sour when bogus $1,200 charge gets slow response from Chime
Great trip turns sour when bogus $1,200 charge gets slow response from Chime 03:11

CHICAGO (CBS) – A Chicago teacher's trip to Italy was ruined by a bogus $1,200 charge. It's the latest saga for a repeat target: an online financial company called Chime.

After failing to convince Chime to reverse the fraudulent charge, Kaitlyn Consentino turned to CBS 2's Lauren Victory for help.

"I'm really happy I went on the trip," Consentino said. "It was really a great trip."

Looking at photos from Consentino's vacation of the coast, the Vatican, and pasta making, it might be hard to blame her.

"It was so delicious, the pasta we made," she said.

What was not so tasty was a charge for more than $1,200 on her Chime account. It came from a grocery store in Indonesia, some 6,000 miles from Italy, where Consentino was vacationing.

"So, I panicked," she said.

Consentino also repeatedly called Chime.

"I talked to three different people, and no one was giving me an answer," she said.

She also filed multiple disputes. For each one, she received the same answer: denied. She even filed a report with the Chicago Police Department upon her return to the U.S., and complaints with the Attorney General in Illinois and California, where Chime is based.

"And then I saw that CBS had done an article," she said.

Not just one, but CBS 2 has reported on three other Chime customers since 2021. Patricia Green saw more than $500 disappear from her bank account. Jordy Comeaux was out $1,200 in back pay while he was furloughed from his job as a flight attendant. A hacker took more than $8,000 from Tara Venturi's account.

Now add Consentino to the list of apparent Chime victims. They all had their claims denied.

"I'm a teacher," she said. "I don't make a lot of money. That's one paycheck for me."

With the other victims CBS 2 spoke to, a pattern emerged each time Chime was pressed for answers.

"I talked to you guys at 1. At about 5 o'clock, the money was back into my account," said Venturi when CBS 2 interviewed her.

Consentino had the same experience, getting nowhere on her own. But then $1,200 suddenly returned to her account.

"You guys kind of knew before I did, which kind of proves to me that it had a lot to do with the pushing from you guys," she said.

Victory: "What was the reason that Chime gave you for giving you your money back?"

Consentino: "You know, Chime never sent me a reason why they gave me my money back."

Chime and its partner, Visa, advertise a zero-liability policy that says, "Cardholders will not be responsible for unauthorized charges."

So why didn't the customers get help until CBS 2 reached out?

An "error occurred" is the reason they all received, but no other details.

Chime said it takes security and customer service seriously, and it does not reject fraud claims without a reason, but the company did not share with Consentino why her claim was changed after CBS 2 got involved.

CBS 2 has reached out to Visa about its zero liability policy, but never heard back.

A Chime spokesperson said in a statement:

"We stand by our processes - Chime does not reject or overturn claims without reason. The trust of our members is fundamental to our business and Chime's number one priority, which is why we have robust processes in place to fairly evaluate each and every customer claim. Any customer who disagrees with the outcome may request a full case review. Members can reach out to Chime's live support 24/7, 365 with any questions."  

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