By: Revanche

Harsh lesson about debit cards

October 31, 2007

BoyDucky recently caught an erroneous charge to his debit card when he was preparing to pay bills to the tune of $450.

Luckily, BofA is willing to give him a temporary credit because he caught the charge the morning it showed up on his statement, but the onus is on him to disprove the charges, and to prove that the charge was made without his authorization.

If he doesn’t jump through their hoops, however, (returning the affadavit with the correct boxes checked off, the name of the possible perpetrator, etc., within 5 days of receipt; returning a copy of the police report within 7 days of reporting the incident) they’re going to take that temporary credit right back.

On top of being at an out of town hospital with his father 4 of 7 days of the week, he’s had to:

1. Contact the business where he believes the credit card number was stolen by an employee (because that’s the only time the card has ever been out of his sight);
2. Try to get the employee’s first and last names, which means explaining the whole situation to the various Supercuts managers;
3. Wait for the manager and corporate offices and police to review their store tapes. They found that it does look like the employee copied something down onto a Post-It and put it in his pocket;
4. Talk to the police and schedule an appointment to meet as soon as he’s back in town.
5. See if they can track down the charge and if it can be connected to that scuzzy guy who had his mitts on BoyDucky’s card.

I’ve warned him countless times of perils of using debit cards in fraud situations and he’s always shrugged it off. Believe me, I know the pain of dealing with false charges and credit cards are the way to go. If he hadn’t caught the charge immediately, BofA wouldn’t have given him a credit and he’d be out $450 for however long it takes to resolve the situation.

The most work I’ve ever had to do for false charges, like an extra “tip” a restaurant gave itself, was to report it as fraudulent to the credit card company. They immediately sent me verification paperwork to swear on someone’s grave that I did not, and no authorized users, authorized the charge, and then the company had to prove that they were allowed to charge my card. In one case, I had a copy of the receipt with my signature and written tip; in another, I never charged anything to that company so they had to prove that I did. I was never out any money, and the credit card company settled the problems painlessly.

Of course, my fraud problems were directly associated with a business and were obviously due to an employee stupidly trying to line his or her pocket for a whole dollar or so.

We’ll have to hope that the employee conveniently tried to pay on his account or something directly linked to him like that because if not, there’s no way that employee can be sacked based only on suspicion of stealing the card number.

5 Responses to “Harsh lesson about debit cards”

  1. SavingDiva says:

    I’m sorry to hear about BoyDucky’s bad luck! I had a problem with my debit card before…it’s just such a pain to deal with! I hope he is able to prove the fraudulent charges.

  2. As a waitress, I always get afraid that this will happen to me sometime. As in, I’m the person accused of writing down the debit card’s number. I’ve never ever worked with anyone dishonest enough to change a tip or steal a CC/Debit number.

    Once, a woman accused me of stealing her credit card, raised her voice and started getting in my face. I was nineteen at the time and nearly started crying; the woman ended up finding her credit card had fallen out of her pocket on the booth seat. Le sigh.

    Much condolensces to BoyDucky!

  3. What a pain. I didn’t know that debit cards were so much more difficult to deal with concerning fraud. That’s one more reason to always use my Southwest credit card.

  4. Ms. M&P says:

    Oh no! That’s awful. It’s happened to me before so I know what a pain that can be. Have you seen single ma’s credit report repair guide? It’s amazing and might have some useful tips for y’all. It’s not just about credit reports, despite the title. Best of luck.

  5. ~Saving Diva~ Thank you, so do I! And I hope this is resolved *soon*.

    ~Vixen~ Oh goodness, I’m sorry to hear that! I just want them to catch the right culprit, not make false assumptions/accusations. I think they’ve all been careful to research their beliefs, though, so *fingers crossed* with any luck, we’ll get the bugger!

    ~Bart~ I know, it’s hard for people to believe when I say that it’s easier to deal with CC fraud, but for me, the most important thing is not losing a huge chunk of money from my checking account when I need to pay bills! I don’t NEED my CC, I have alternates, but I do need my cash.

    ~Ms. M&P~ Ugh, you too? It’s such a pain!! I have read SingleMa’s guide but haven’t recently. I’ll refresh on it in case there’s anything he can use. Thanks!

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