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How to Get Money Back that was Stolen from Your Checking or Savings Account

If you have lost your debit/ATM card or fear that funds have been stolen from your bank account, follow these steps:

Step 1. Call the bank’s fraud division…now!

  • The sooner you contact the bank the better. Here is the breakdown of how much of the loss you might be responsible for:
  • No transactions occurred yet—no loss of funds
  • Within the first 2 days—loss limit of $50
  • Between 3 and 60 days—loss limit may be up to $500
  • Once you contact the bank or credit union, it usually has 10 days to investigate your claim. It has another 3 days to let you know of the results.  They have a total of 45 days to complete the investigation.

Step 2: Complete the bank’s affidavit

The bank/credit union will put your money back into your account after they receive a signed affidavit certifying that the charges in question were not made by you.  Return the affidavit through certified mail/return receipt requested so that you have proof of when and that it was delivered.

Step 3: Set up a fraud alert with the three credit reporting agencies

To further insure that the identity thief hasn't stolen more than your bank account information, set up a fraud alert with the three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, Trans Union).

Step 4: Get a new debit card or bank account!

The bank will be able to tell if the fraudulent charges were made with your debit card number or with your account number and bank routing number.  The bank should provide you with both a new debit card and a new bank account number.  Be sure to set them up with a strong PINs and/or passwords. Avoid using obvious personal information or dates in your PINs and passwords.