A disabled San Francisco man was left scratching his head after his bank put a hold on an online payment to his dog walker, thinking the man was sending money to a terrorist organization.
Bruce Francis, who has a form of multiple sclerosis, told a local Fox affiliate that he was trying to pay his dog walker who cares for his therapy dog using an online payment through Chase bank. On the memo line for the check, Mr. Francis typed his dog’s name, Dash.
But when the dog walker told Mr. Francis that the payment never came through, Mr. Francis discovered that the bank had put the payment on hold and alerted the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
“The dog walker comes to me and says, ‘I haven’t gotten your check,’” Mr. Francis told Fox. “I looked in my Chase account and there was a message saying, ‘Please explain what for Dash means.’”
Mr. Francis said he called OFAC, and received a call back informing him that the transaction was flagged because his dog’s name is similar to the word “Daesh,” a named used for the Islamic State terrorist group.
The bank stopped payment on the check, thinking Mr. Francis was sending money to a terrorist organization.
“I thought to myself, ‘Great, they’re stopping the world’s stupidest terrorist,’” Mr. Francis quipped, Fox reported.
In a statement to Fox, Chase said it is required to review transactions and report suspicious payments to the Treasury Department.
“If a name on the OFAC list appears on a payment, we are required to review it. This is an important part of ensuring that crime does not filter through the us banking system,” the statement said. “In this instance, the payment was flagged, reviewed and eventually released.”
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