Consumers were rightly shocked by the news that Wells Fargo will be paying $185 million in fines and penalties for opening accounts for customers without their knowledge. But the scamming was not the only unnerving part of the announcement. Wells Fargo employees had carried out their plan, opening roughly 1.5 million accounts, with few of the bank’s customers even being aware of what was happening.
In part that was because the Wells Fargo employees often opened and closed the accounts very quickly. But it also showed the degree to which many people are complacent about how protected their money is. You can have your money in an FDIC insured bank, steer clear of phishing emails, and hide your ATM PIN from people around you, and things can still go wrong.