Finding suspect fees and charges on your bank account can cause quite a headache, but figuring out where they came from can be even more problematic.
That helpless feeling is often compounded for seniors, especially those who aren’t technologically savvy. So experts say families play a major role in spotting these fees before it’s too late.
Should you make your way out toward Choctaw, you may come across Rosey Pettet.
At 89 years young, she has no use for the internet or even a cell phone. She’s relied instead on an AT&T landline for decades, with the volume cranked up when grandkids call.
“Well, I can hear on it. And I didn’t think I could hear on the cell phone,” Rosey said. “They want to text, and I I can’t text.”
She tells KFOR her phone bill generally runs between $50-$100, and is auto debited from her account every month.
In mid-2021 though, while reviewing bank statements, Rosey spotted additional AT&T charges in the ballpark of $150.
“I went down to talk to my daughter and she went to the bank,” Rosey explained. “That’s when I dug all the old ones out and found out there was quite a few [charges].”
Rosey claims she found six charges in all, in sequential months starting in early 2021.
She immediately sought out answers and looked for a refund with the help of family.
When it comes to seniors dealing with finances, experts say that family advice is essential.
“The only way to really keep tabs on your loved ones finances is to be able to monitor their accounts,” said Jim Miller, editor for the Savvy Senior. “Being able to monitor their accounts can give you the red flags that are out there.”
For folks like Rosey, who have no interest in the online world, tracking suspect charges through monthly mailed statements can be tough.
Family members who better understand the digital world should consider signing their seniors up for online banking.
“In many ways for family members, it can actually help because it gives their accounts more accessibility,” Jim added. “So they can monitor them a lot easier.”
Luckily Rosey caught most of the charges in time, and three have been refunded by her bank.
The other three charges though fell outside her bank’s 60-day threshold, and she tells News 4 she’s still not exactly sure what those charges even are.
She continues to communicate with AT&T for answers, and has since created a new bank account all together.
But Rosey laments the near $500 she says she lost.
“I would [like that money back],” she told In Your Corner. “I could go buy more Peanut M&Ms.”
News 4 reached out to AT&T, who responded with the following statement:
“This customer was the victim of fraud committed against her financial institution. We are in contact with her and working with her to resolve this as quickly as possible. For more information for how customers can help protect themselves from fraud, we have resources on our Cyber Aware website at att.com/CyberAware.”
Following that email, Rosey told KFOR that AT&T has offered to credit her future bills in the amount of the charges that have not yet been refunded.