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I have just been a victim of debit card fraud where someone over five hours away in another state purchased over $500 in computer equipment last night.

Nevermind, that my credit union seems so non-chalant about it and that unlike Capital One, they seem to have no checks in place to notice that there are several usual small purchases in my city of residence and then one whooping purchase late at night at a computer store several states away and not a single red flag was raised. I caught it because I am always checking my bank account periodically.

Anyway, what can I legally do about this? Who would legally take this seriously?

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Under the Electronic Fund Transfer Act you must report the fraud right away: if you act within 2 days your liability is limited to $50. Since you acted very quickly, that's the most you can lose. It could be zero under the terms of your bank agreement. This section states the specifics of your liability.

  • see now that's the kind of information that someone in my situation could use. I feel like thats what should be parroted by the bank, not "don't use your card at gas stations", how about what my options are right now? Thanks again, I am awaiting my local police department, I reached out to the merchant who has not responded yet and I am sure there is a lot more to do. – Daniel Nov 6 '19 at 17:07
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What you can do about it is determined by your contract with the credit union and card usage agreement; read that and talk to the credit union's fraud person. You may be responsible for the charges, maybe not. You will be able to file a complaint and go through that process, and it may or may not help to be reimbursed for the fraud.

And look at local and state consumer laws which may give you more options. And look at Consumers | National Credit Union Administration for information.

As a last resort, if the bank still wants to make you responsible for the charges, Google for free/low cost legal aid in your area. But you could be bound in the banking contract to arbitration and won't be able to go to small claims court.

  • thank you for your speedy response. At this point, it does not seem like they want to hold me responsible, its self-evident to them it is a fraud charge, I am just concerned by the non-chalant way. For example, I am about to make a police report and yet my credit union never said, make sure you get a police report, these are your other steps, nothing, its like here is your new card, have a nice day. – Daniel Nov 6 '19 at 16:56
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    That is their choice; fraud is very prevalent, and they probably accept a certain amount as a cost of being in the banking industry. You could file a complaint with the NCUA, but it's doubtful the bank is out of compliance. – BlueDogRanch Nov 6 '19 at 17:22
  • I noticed. I also noticed that fraud protection seems to be a choice only. With Capital One, they would have never allowed the transaction as there is a pattern mismatch. You see some small local charges and then a whooping charge over five hours away late at night. That screams something is wrong. Looks like its time to find another bank, one with fraud protection. – Daniel Nov 6 '19 at 17:53
  • Sometimes the cost to prevent fraud outweighs the cost of simply paying for the fraud. Small banks can be at a disadvantage. – BlueDogRanch Nov 6 '19 at 17:55

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