I have been thinking about getting a safety deposit box to store some jewelry. To my surprise, safety deposit box is not so safe at all. So many reports of thefts.
I googled “safety deposit box theft” and came up with several horror stories. There were 3 different reports on thefts of WellsFargo’s safety deposit box (reports in the comment section, right after Mar 14 at Los Angeles, Oct 10 at Marina Del Rey, Jul 18 at Santa Clarita, and last one at Rancho Mirage, all four in California), and 1 report of a theft on more than 100 safety deposit boxes at Wachovia.
I have also personally asked a WellsFargo representative about some details on their safety deposit boxes. I was told that “WellsFargo is NOT liable for the losses in the event of theft or fire“. By the way, FDIC insurance on the $100,000 does NOT cover anything stored in safety deposit box. NOTHING is covered in there basically. Getting any home insurance to cover your safety deposit boxes will be very tricky too, since they are not at your home.
What’s worse is that it will be extremely hard for you to prove what’s in the safety deposit box. As for evidences, banks may or may not have any surveillence video tapes backup for investigation, and these crimes probably happen long before you discover that your precious items are gone. You can claim all you want, but since banks supposedly never check what’s inside, they would not have any knowledge of what’s in there.
From the comments at the soundmoneytips.com:
When you go to get in your saftey depos. box the teller asks for your key then she puts in both keys, turns both keys and pulls out your box. Upon returnig and locking your box all she has to do is position her body between you and the box insert both keys and only turn her key. She then hands your key back and you leave. She can now go in at any time and open your box because your key was never turned to lock the second lock. My friend understood this and said to the lady I am keeping my key I will insert and turn it to be sure my (the second) lock is locked.
…that simple slight of hand leaves your box hers or his for the taking. She can then have a friend come in pretend to sign in and pretend to hand her a key and then empty out your SD box. Then the teller can claim the person showed ID and had the key so how was she to know it was not the right person.
Another thing that you may want to know about homeland security confiscating safety deposit boxes. It is rumored that in the event of emergency, you cannot access your safety deposit box for any items such as gold, silver, guns, and cash. Just google “homeland security safety deposit box”, and you can find more than 20 articles reporting the same story over and over at so many different sites. But the fact is it is nothing new. The terrorist-related acts passed since 911 have put executive branch of the government in the supreme power. Since FDR (Roosevelt) has done it before, it won’t be surprising to do the same in the name of “national security and interest”.