As banks turn to more and more on-line services, scammers are finding more and more ways into the systems. Reports of bank accounts being hacked into are on the rise. Consumers have to be more alert than ever to protect themselves. Here are some things you can do to protect yourself and, most importantly, report unauthorized transactions.
First, obviously don’t ignore your bank account. Many people regularly check their accounts through smartphone apps, and that’s good. The more you watch your account, the more chance you will catch even small transfers. However, your bank makes a full statement available at the end of every month or cycle. Taking a moment to print out and review your statement can not only help you find errors, but help your lawyer understand what happened, should you need such assistance.
When you opened your account, your bank provided you a deposit agreement. That agreement spells out the procedure for any dispute you have to make on the account. However, if you find an unauthorized electronic transfer on your account, you should immediately telephone the bank’s fraud line or customer service line to report it. The bank may instruct you to provide your dispute in writing, you may instruct you to complete their own forms. If the bank requires this, you must oblige and provide them the writing. Otherwise, they will not have an obligation to investigate. Still, most banks will take your dispute over the phone and begin their investigation
Once an investigation begins, the bank has to respond to you in ten (10) days in some way. It may have completed its investigation and reported the results, or it may advise it needs more time. If a bank needs more than the first 10 days to investigate, it must provide a provisional credit of the missing funds, and allow you to use them. In that case, the bank will have 45 days to investigate. You should be aware that if it gave a provisional credit, it is possible that it will reverse its decision and take the money back. If you did not leave enough funds in the account, that could leave you overdrawn.