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What Can I Do About Fraudulent Bank Charges?
These questions and responses DO NOT constitute legal advice. They are intended to provide general information to improve your consumer literacy and give a broad understanding about how the marketplace works in the areas discussed. Consumer protection laws differ in different states. Even in California laws frequently change through legislative amendments, developing case law, and sometimes the effect of overriding federal regulations. Your legal rights and remedies will depend on your particular circumstances, documents and evidence. If you have further questions, just give us a call.
What do I do if someone withdraws or transfers money from my bank account without my permission?
Are there deadlines for disputing a fraudulent bank charge? How do I notify my bank about a fraudulent charge or error? Does the bank have to give my money back? What if the bank decides there wasn’t fraud?
If you see a withdrawal or transfer of money from your bank account that you did not authorize, you can dispute the transfer with your bank. Federal law requires your bank to reimburse the missing money as long as certain requirements are met. Most important, you must promptly report the issue to your bank.
You have 60 days to notify your bank about a fraudulent bank charge or other error. The 60 days starts from the date the bank statement showing the error was issued. It is very important to regularly check your bank statements and immediately notify your bank of any issues. In some cases, you have even more protection if you report the issue within 2 business days after you learn about a fraudulent charge.
You can notify your bank verbally (by phone or in person) or in writing. In either case, you must provide the following information: - Your name and the number for the account with the error or fraudulent transaction - A statement that you believe there is an error - The amount of the error - Any reasons you have for why you think the amount is an error
The bank must perform a reasonable investigation of a reported fraudulent transfer. If the bank determines there has been fraud or another error, then it must correct the error within 1 business day of concluding the investigation. This means it must refund money taken from your account, including interest. However, you may be responsible up to $500 of the lost money, depending on how the money was taken and how quickly you reported the issue.
If the bank concludes that there was no fraud or error, it may not refund your money. However, you may have a legal claim against the bank if the bank made the wrong decision or did not perform an adequate investigation. Call us for a free consultation about your specific situation.
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