When Nicole Mosbey saw money was missing from her Wells Fargo account, she went right to her local bank in Sacramento to check it out.
"Probably a week after I went to go pull some money out and it was gone, saying that it went to go pay off another account that I had, that I never even had,” said Mosbey.
It turns out what happened to Mosbey wasn’t a fluke. It’s been happening for at least the last five years to Wells Fargo customers all across the country.
Millions of accounts have been opened in customers’ names--accounts they never knew existed. Many were even charged fees for those accounts.
"I want to close my account. I actually took all the money out,” Mosbey told FOX40.
For Wells Fargo workers, opening fraudulent accounts on paper meant higher sales numbers, and hitting their weekly quotas.
Wells Fargo was hit with fines totaling $185 million Thursday as a result of the practice. The company fired some 5,300 employees. This comes as a result of an investigation done by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, in conjunction with Los Angeles city agencies.
But former Wells Fargo employee Corina Moreno-Beckham says there’s more to the story.
"Probably about three, four years into me working there, they started with the quotas. It just kept getting higher and higher,” said Moreno-Beckham, “Overdraft protection, home equity loans, mortgages, things like that. Anything.”
Employees were pressured to open a certain number of accounts every week, or get written up, Moreno-Beckham said. Too many write-ups could mean your job.
"I think they'd give you like three chances, and then you'd get fired,” said Moreno-Beckham.
Get fired, or cheat--fix the numbers to make it look like you're hitting quota. No wonder, she said, so many fake accounts were created.
"I took a stress leave and actually, I never went back," Moreno-Beckham said. "I tried to go back, but it was too much."
The pressure got so bad, Moreno-Beckham said she had to see a psychiatrist. Today she works somewhere else.
Many customers FOX40 spoke with are happy with their specific Wells Fargo banks, and don’t plan on leaving. Mosbey, however, isn’t one of those customers.
"When it comes to money, no. You don't want to play games with that at all,” Mosbey said.
Wells Fargo representatives declined to be interviewed or acknowledge pressuring employees to fill quotas, but sent us a statement which read in part:
Wells Fargo is committed to putting our customers’ interests first 100 percent of the time, and we regret and take responsibility for any instances where customers may have received a product that they did not request.