Bank Places Hold on Disabled Man’s Online Payment Thinking His Therapy Dog is a Terrorist Organization
A disabled San Francisco man bumped up against the war on terror after his bank put a hold on an online payment to his dogwalker thinking his dog was a terrorist group.
Bruce Francis, who has a form of multiple sclerosis, told KTVU that he was trying to pay his dogwalker online using Chase Bank only to have the bank put a hold on the funds.
The problem? His 9-year-old pitbull’s name is “Dash,” similar to an alternative name for ISIS: “Daesh.”
According to Francis he put the dog’s name in the memo line, setting off bells at the bank, which then alerted the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
Notified by his dogwalker that said she had not received payment, Francis checked with his bank which referred him to OFAC for an explanation.
“The Treasury Department official said ‘Yes, your instinct is right, your dogs name is similar to that of a terrorist organization,'” Francis recalled. “I thought to myself, ‘Great, they’re stopping the world’s stupidest terrorist.'”
According to Edward Hasbrouck of the Identity Project, banks are required to alert the government over suspicious transactions, effectively making them “out-sourced spies for the government.”
After getting the misunderstanding cleared up at the federal level, the bank released the payment with Francis saying there were no hard feelings.
“I think anything we can do to stop the terrorists and the funding of terrorists, let’s do it,” he explained. “And if it means an inconvenience to me and my dogwalker, then that’s a price I’m totally willing to pay.”
Watch the video below via KTVU: