If I was scammed, is my bank partially responsible?

I was recently scammed for $3000. The check came from out of state. The teller at my bank called and verified the check amount and cleared it. I was able to withdraw all of the money from my account the same day, with no holding days. Then 3 days after withdrawing the money, I was informed by my bank that I owed them a significant amount because of the checks and that I was to pay it back. Is my bank partially responsible for it?

Asked on May 25, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

No, the bank would almost certainly not be liable. From what you write, the bank was not negligent or careless--they took steps to verify the check. In the absence of some negligence, or unreasonable carelessness, on the bank's part, it is not responsible for a third-party's criminal actions or your choice to withdraw the money. (Almost always, liability, or financial responsibility, depends on fault, or doing something wrong; and fault is not merely being wrong, but instead acting carelessly, recklessly, or intentionally doing something known to be wrong.)

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