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Banking 102: How to Handle Fraudulent Charges

Banking 102_ How to Handle Fraudulent Charges


Recently when working in a client’s books, I noticed a series of charges, all for $800 within two days of each other. I did not recognize the vendor listed in the bank memo. Something smelled fishy.

I reached out to the client to ask about the charges. She responded quickly saying the charges were fraudulent.

It is crucial that you know what is going on in your bank account at all times. You need to check your transactions regularly. If you see a charge you don’t recognize, it is possible your debit card was stolen or that someone has accessed your account number.

If you suspect unauthorized charges in your account, take the following steps:

  1. Contact your bank right away to dispute the charge. Your bank will be able to determine if it was a debit card or ACH transaction. If it was a debit card transaction, you may simply have to cancel the card. If it was an ACH (electronic) transaction, you may have to close your account.
  2. Contact the vendor, who will want to know the date and amount of the unauthorized transaction. If the charges have already posted to your account, you may have to wait several days for the dispute to go through. If you are in the habit of checking your transactions on a daily basis, you may be able to catch and reverse the charge while it is still pending.
  3. File an official dispute; you can usually do this online. It is important to do this as soon as possible, especially if you need the money that was taken out of your account.
  4. You may need to file a police report depending on the number of charges and the amount(s).
  5. If your account has been compromised, you should check your credit report.

It can be disconcerting to find an unrecognized charge on your account, but disputing questionable transactions is a relatively simple process.

The best thing you can do to protect yourself is monitor your account regularly—we cannot overemphasize the importance of diligent account monitoring.

Do you have a hard time keeping tabs on your account(s)? We can help!

Click here to contact the Bean Team! 

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