How to Respond to Debit Card Fraud

How to Respond to Debit Card Fraud
  • Opening Intro -

    Credit card fraud is widespread causing merchants, banks and consumers billions of dollars annually.

    Consumers have special protections when it comes to credit card fraud with issuers typically absorbing most costs.


When it comes to debit cards, you may find that fraud isn’t as common, but it still needs to be reported and handled to protect your rights.

1. Notify your bank — Contact your financial institution and get connected to its credit card department. Ask to speak with the person that handles debit card fraud. Write down this person’s name, title and direct phone number.

2. Explain your situation — Tell your contact what purchases or charges were made to your account without your authorization. Give the transaction date, the name of the merchant, location of the charge, the type of purchase and the amount debited.

3. Fraud claim — Find out what you must do to submit a fraud claim with your bank. Forms may be available online or the agent may be able to send this information to your designation address. Once you report unauthorized activity on your account, you are no longer responsible for additional charges after that time states the FTC.

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4. Deactivate your account — Short of closing your account, you can ask the bank to deactivate your account. This step will prevent further debits from appearing without your authorization.

5. File the appropriate forms — If forms are required by your bank, submit these as soon as possible by mail to the appropriate person. Confirm receipt of the same either by certified mail or with follow-up call to the bank.


Once you have notified the bank and processed the forms, obtain copies of your credit reports to determine whether additional fraud activity has taken place with your other accounts. You can head off or mitigate identify theft by disputing unauthorized charges to your other accounts.

Credit Management reference:

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Categories: Consumer Financing

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".