Ever been a victim of debit card fraud? If not, consider yourself lucky.
However, the chances of this fast growing crime happening to you is very high; especially if you use your debit card regularly.
If you ever become a victim of debit card fraud, the first thing you will need to do is immediately contact your bank to report the crime and to cancel your debit card. Also, be sure to mention to the bank representative that you have been a victim of "debit card fraud" or "identity theft" because some representatives respond quicker when you use these words.
Also, you should have in front of you your bank statements or be logged into your online bank account so you can quickly identify all the charges you didn’t make. Once your bank representative has a list of all the unauthorized charges, ask what is the next step you should take regarding this incident.
Some banks will require you to fill out a claim form while other banks will take care of the situation for you once you have reported the crime over the phone. Either way, if you are mailed a claim form, be sure to fill it out immediately and return it back to your bank.
If your bank will handle the situation for you, be sure to get a claim number and follow up with your claim within a few days. In most instances, a new debit card will be mailed out to you and the money that was stolen from your bank account due to the debit card fraud will be refunded within 7-10 business days.
However, if you paid bills through your compromised bank account, this may cause your account to bounce if the stolen money resulted in a negative balance. Therefore, ask your bank representative if you will be charged for insufficient funds due to the debit card fraud. In most cases, if not all, your bank will be able to waive any fees for insufficient funds.
If your bank won’t waive the fees for insufficient funds, see if you can borrow the money to cover the missing funds and pay your friends/family back once your bank account has been accredited.
Lastly, report the debit card theft to the police; especially if a substantial amount of money was stolen from your bank account. If you know where your debit card was last used (example at an electronics store or at a restaurant), be sure to give that information to the police.
If the theft took place at a local neighborhood store, you can go down to the store where your debit card number was used and ask the manager if they can look through their receipts and/or check their surveillance cameras to see if the perpetrator can be identified.
In most debit card fraud and identity theft cases, the perpetrator won't ever be caught by the police. However, you can take action and learn how to prevent debit card fraud to minimize your chances of becoming a victim again in the future.