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San Diego County Fraudulent Charges Lawyer

One of the most unsettling experiences one can have is realizing that your money was stolen. Bank or credit card issuers can make it even worse by rejecting your dispute and withholding payment or even gaslighting you by claiming that you authorized the transaction. However, federal law states that consumers are entitled to get either a complete refund or be limited in their liability for transactions that were unauthorized. If a bank has refused to return your money and a debit card dispute is denied, reach out to a dedicated San Diego County fraudulent charges lawyer from Barthel Legal today.

Was Your Credit or Debit Card Dispute Denied? Contact a Fraudulent Charges Lawyer Today.

If you’ve recently discovered a fraudulent charge has been made on your credit or debit card, a competent San Diego consumer lawyer from Barthel Legal is here to fight for you. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you.

How Is Someone Using My Debit Card When I Have It?

Scammers get access to your card information through a few methods. Once they have it, they can make online purchases or even go to ATMs and withdraw cash. One way they steal it is through ATM skimming. During this process, they place a fake card reading device over the legitimate one that not only pulls your card information but also watches you enter your PIN. Second, scammers have devices that can read your debit card’s magnetic strip if it is close to your card. Lastly, scammers can also get your credit card issuer information by posing as a fake website pretending to sell legitimate products. In reality, they are just collecting your credit card account information.

How Do I Report An Unknown Charge On My Credit Card?

Every credit card company has an address or email where you can report fraud. You must send notice to this address/email of the credit card issuer. If it is a physical address, you should send your notice via certified mail. Make sure that your notice gives adequate information to the bank or credit card issuer so that they can identify you, the credit card, and the fraudulent transaction. Also, it helps to bolster your credit card dispute on the billing errors if you include a police report.

If you need a starting point for how to draft a dispute letter, check out our dispute process resources page.

Do Banks Actually Investigate Unauthorized Transactions?

Under the law, banks are required to investigate your claims of billing errors. In our opinion banks do not go far enough in their investigation. Banks and credit card companies will often have a checklist of items that they aim to meet and when met, they will deny your claim. Such reasons include “card was in your possession”; “purchases were made at current address or location you have been to”; “charges were made by an authorized user or permitted a third party to use/open the account”; “you are the only individual with the account number and the PIN”; or “you authorize, participated in or benefited from the purchase”.

What Happens If Credit Card Debt Due To Fraud Goes On My Credit Report?

If the credit card company reports a debt that you have informed them comes from a fraudulent unauthorized purchase, then you have a right to get that item removed. You should dispute with the credit bureaus directly and these credit bureaus will relay your dispute to the credit card company or bank. After 30 days, the credit card company will either remove it or they will verify it as accurate. If they do the latter, you have the right to bring suit for damages and statutory damages.

If you need a starting point for a demand, feel free to check out our resources page.

What is the Electronic Funds Transfer Act?

The Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA), is a federal statute that is designed to push the loss of theft onto the bank. It is designed to ensure that when there is either a billing error or an unauthorized transaction through an electronic funds transfer, the bank is required to investigate it and take appropriate action, which could include providing a refund to the consumer.

What is the Fair Credit Billing Act?

The Fair Credit Billing Act is a federal statute that is designed to protect victims of theft and fraud that have incurred a loss on an open-end credit. This means it could apply to credit cards, home equity lines of credit, or any other types of open credit. Credit card companies are required to investigate any disputed claims that are appropriately made to the credit card company. Therefore, if you are a victim of credit card fraud that you discover on your credit card bill, it is important to go through the dispute process and dispute this credit card fraud or other billing errors.

What Damages Can I Collect Under the Law?

Victims of fraudulent charges not only get a refund but could be entitled to actual damages and statutory damages up to $30,000, depending on the facts of your case. Furthermore, attorneys’ fees and costs are provided by statute, so you will not have to pay any out-of-pocket costs for them to represent you. However, a victim only has a certain amount of time from the billing cycle to submit a complaint form for a fraud claim. Specifically, the consumer should mail their dispute letter within 60 days from the statement to dispute the validity disputed amount of the fraudulent charge and to put the card issuer or the bank on notice.

Am I Liable For Fraudulent Charges On My Debit Card?

No. If the charges were the result of an unauthorized transaction, then you are likely not liable or depending on when you notified the bank of the fraudulent transaction. There is also a time requirement when you report a lost or stolen debit card to the bank in a certain amount of time.

Am I Liable For The Fraudulent Transactions And Charges On My Credit Card?

No. If the charges are the result of an unauthorized transaction, you are not liable for these charges. It is important that you send a dispute to the bank or credit card issuer as soon as you realize that there are fraudulent charges on your credit card statement. This dispute must be delivered to the credit card company as described on the billing statement. For a sample dispute letter you can use to dispute credit or debit card transactions that are fraudulent or inaccurate, click here.

If I Gave My Credit Or Debit Card Number To The Fraudster, Am I Liable?

Even if the fraudster gets access to your credit card, debit card, or some other access device (like an online computer account), through robbery or fraud, then it still amounts to an unauthorized transaction and can amount to credit card fraud. Therefore, you should still make sure to file credit card disputes with the bank or credit card issuer.

Can I Get My Money Back If It Is Stolen Through A Wire Transfer?

Yes. California law demands that banks refund money that has been wired out of accounts without the account holder’s authorization. In order to get this benefit, you must notify the bank that the wire was fraudulent within 90 days and notify the bank that you intend to hold them legally responsible for the wire transfer within one year. If these steps are not done, then you may not be able to get your money back from the bank. For a sample dispute letter that you can use to notify a bank that a recent wire transfer was unauthorized, simply click here.

Can I Get My Money Back If It Was Stolen Through Zelle, Venmo, Paypal, Or Cashapp?

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently ruled that peer-to-peer transfer meets the definition of an electronic funds transfer under the Electronic Funds Transfer Act. In other words, this means that funds taken out of your account through a peer-to-peer website application like Zelle, Venmo, PayPal, or CashApp can be returned to you. Under the currently written law if you are frauded into giving a fraudster access to your online account and then they remove the funds, then you can be refunded; however, if the fraudster tricks you to send them funds, then you likely will not be able to get a refund.

How Can I Avoid Being Made A Victim Of Fraud?

It is important to be vigilant and proactive about protecting yourself against fraud and identity theft. Here are some tips on how to spot potential scams:

  • Be wary of unsolicited calls, emails, or texts that ask for your personal information, such as your social security number or bank account information.
  • Check your bank or credit card issuer statements regularly to ensure that there are no unauthorized charges or wires.
  • Avoid sharing your personal information on public Wi-Fi networks or unsecured websites.
  • Be cautious of any offers that seem too good to be true.

Contact a Fraudulent Charges Lawyer Today

If you have fallen victim to fraudulent charges or wires, do not hesitate to contact a dedicated fraudulent charges lawyer from Barthel Legal. We offer a free consultation and will work to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.

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