When you discover your debit or ATM card missing, you may contact your bank to freeze it before requesting a new one with no damage done. However, others may not be as lucky, and thieves could access their accounts to take money before they even realize their cards are missing. If this reflects your circumstances, you may wonder whether or not your bank has to refund stolen money. The following blog explores what you must know about this situation and how a California unauthorized ATM charges lawyer can fight for the money you deserve.
Are Banks Required to Refund Stolen Money?
In many instances, the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA) protects consumers who are victims of fraudulent charges to their bank accounts. As such, banks are required to conduct an investigation into the charges to determine whether or not they are unauthorized. If the bank confirms the charges were not authorized, they are required to recredit your account.
Generally, if you report the theft of your card within two days of discovering it’s missing, you can only be held liable for up to $50.
How Can I Protect My Accounts?
You must do what you can to prevent the theft of your cards or banking information before a theft occurs. Generally, you’ll want to ensure you do not keep the PIN associated with your cards with them in your purse or wallet. Once a thief has this information, they can easily access your accounts.
Additionally, you’ll want to be vigilant when using ATMs. Unfortunately, some thieves may outfit these machines with a device that scans your card and stores your PIN when you type it on the keypad. This is a scam known as skimming.
Finally, you’ll want to keep your card in a secure location and report it missing as soon as you cannot locate it. The sooner you inform your bank that it’s gone, the better chance you have at preventing fraudulent charges.
What Should I Do if My Bank Won’t Help?
If your bank won’t help you refund the money in your account, knowing how to proceed is critical. Generally, the bank should provide evidence as to why they believe the transaction was allegedly authorized. It’s critical to ask for copies of this documentation. This is important as you’ll want as much evidence as possible if you pursue legal action to recover the funds you deserve.
At Loker Law, our dedicated legal team will do everything possible to hold your bank accountable for failing to refund the money stolen in an unauthorized transaction. We understand the implications this stolen money can have on your life. That’s why we’re committed to doing everything possible to help you in these circumstances. Contact our team today to learn more.