FREE Consultation
FREE Initial Consultation

Charges Authorized on My Account Without My Permission

Have you ever found unauthorized charges on your bank or credit card statement? Discovering charges that you didn’t approve can be a frustrating and alarming experience. With the help of a Kansas City consumer protection lawyer, you can better understand unauthorized charges, identify them, take the necessary steps, and prevent them from happening in the future. 

Contact Bell Law, LLC to speak with a Kansas City consumer protection lawyer today. Dial 816-281-0649.

Understanding Unauthorized Charges

Unauthorized charges refer to any purchases, withdrawals, or transfers made on your account without your permission. These charges can occur due to various reasons, such as identity theft, fraudulent transactions, or even mistakes made by merchants or financial institutions. Understanding how these charges happen is crucial in protecting yourself from potential financial risks.

Definition of Unauthorized Charges

Unauthorized charges are transactions made on your account without valid authorization. This means that someone other than you, the account holder, has initiated these transactions without your consent. Unauthorized charges can range from small purchases to significant amounts, depending on the skills of the fraudster or the extent of the breach.

How Unauthorized Charges Occur

There are several ways unauthorized charges can occur. The most common methods include: 

  • Compromised credit card information: Fraudsters can obtain your card details through various means, such as data breaches, phishing scams, or by physically stealing your card. Once in possession of your information, they can use it to make unauthorized purchases online or in-person.
  • Identity theft: In these cases, someone may have access to enough of your personal information to impersonate you and open new accounts or make purchases in your name. It’s important to be vigilant and protect your personal information to minimize the risk of such incidents.
  • Mistakes made by merchants or financial institutions: These errors can occur due to technical glitches, incorrect billing, or human error. While not intentional, it’s crucial to monitor your account activity regularly to identify and rectify any unauthorized charges resulting from such mistakes.
  • Online scams and fraudulent websites: Cybercriminals create fake websites that mimic legitimate ones to trick unsuspecting users into entering their payment information. These fraudulent websites may look identical to the real ones, making it difficult for users to differentiate between the two. Once the user provides their payment details, the fraudsters can use the information to make unauthorized charges.
  • Mobile payment apps: With the rise in popularity of mobile payment platforms, fraudsters have found ways to exploit vulnerabilities in these systems. They may use various techniques, such as hacking into user accounts or manipulating transactions, to make unauthorized charges on unsuspecting users’ accounts.

It’s important to note that unauthorized charges can have severe consequences for victims. Apart from the financial loss, victims may also experience emotional distress and a loss of trust in financial institutions. It can take a significant amount of time, money, and effort to resolve unauthorized charges, including contacting the relevant financial institutions, disputing the charges, and potentially filing a police report.

Hiring a skilled Kansas City consumer protection attorney will provide you with the necessary support and guidance you need while navigating this difficult process. 

Identifying Unauthorized Charges on Your Account

Recognizing unauthorized charges is essential in taking prompt action to mitigate any potential damage. Here are some signs that can help you identify unauthorized charges:

Unauthorized charges on your account can be a cause for concern and may indicate that your financial information has been compromised. It is crucial to stay vigilant and keep a close eye on your account statements to catch any suspicious activity early on. By being proactive, you can take immediate action to protect your account and finances.

Signs of Unauthorized Charges

  • Unfamiliar transaction descriptions or merchant names on your account statement: When reviewing your account statement, it’s important to pay attention to any unfamiliar transaction descriptions or merchant names. If you come across any charges that you don’t recognize or remember making, it could be a sign of unauthorized activity on your account.
  • Multiple small charges from unknown sources: Another red flag to watch out for is multiple small charges from unknown sources. Fraudsters may use this tactic to test the validity of stolen card information before making larger unauthorized transactions. If you notice a series of small charges that you didn’t authorize, it’s crucial to investigate further.
  • Online purchases that you didn’t make: If you receive notifications or see online purchases in your account history that you didn’t make, it’s a clear indication of unauthorized activity.
  • Cash withdrawals from ATMs that you didn’t authorize: While most unauthorized charges are associated with online transactions, it’s important to be aware of any unauthorized cash withdrawals from ATMs as well.
  • Notifications or alerts from your bank or credit card company about suspicious activity: Your bank or credit card company may have sophisticated fraud detection systems in place to identify suspicious activity on your account.
  • Incorrect billing amounts or duplicate charges: Reviewing your account statements thoroughly can help you spot incorrect billing amounts or duplicate charges. If you come across any discrepancies, it’s important to address them promptly.

Steps to Take When You Spot Unauthorized Charges

Discovering unauthorized charges and credit card fraud can be distressing, but there are steps you can take to rectify the situation and protect yourself. Here’s what you should do:

Unauthorized charges on your bank account or credit card statement can be a cause for concern. Not only can they disrupt your financial stability, but they may also indicate a breach of your personal account information. Taking immediate action is crucial to minimize the impact and resolve the issue efficiently.

Contacting Your Bank or Credit Card Company

The first course of action is to contact your bank or credit card company as soon as possible. Inform them about the unauthorized charges and provide them with all the relevant details. Most financial institutions have dedicated fraud departments to handle such situations and will guide you through the necessary steps to resolve the issue.

When you contact your bank or credit card company, they will likely ask you to provide specific information about the unauthorized charges. This may include the credit card transaction, dates, amounts, and any other relevant details you can provide. The more information you can provide, the easier it will be for them to investigate the matter.

It’s important to note that timing is crucial in getting a favorable outcome. Different institutions may have different durations within which you must report the unauthorized charges to be eligible for reimbursement or protection from liability. Be sure to inquire about these timeframes and act accordingly.

Once you have reported the unauthorized charges, your bank or credit card company will initiate an investigation. They will work to determine the source of the fraudulent charges and take appropriate action to resolve the issue. This may involve freezing your account, issuing a new card, or reversing the charges.

Reporting to the Authorities

If you suspect that your account has been compromised as a result of identity theft or fraudulent activity, it’s advisable to report the incident to the relevant authorities, such as the police or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). These reports can help initiate investigations and increase the chances of apprehending the responsible parties.

When reporting the incident to the authorities, provide them with all the details you have regarding the unauthorized charges. This includes any communication you have had with your own card provider, bank or credit card company, as well as any evidence you may have gathered. This information will assist them in their investigation and strengthen your case.

Additionally, reporting the incident can be instrumental in safeguarding your legal rights and providing evidence of your proactive response in case of any complications down the line. It shows that you are taking the necessary steps to protect yourself and can help prevent further unauthorized activity.

Contact a Kansas City Consumer Protection Lawyer 

Contacting a consumer protection lawyer after experiencing charges on your account without your permission is essential for several reasons. First and foremost, a consumer protection lawyer has expertise in navigating complex financial and legal matters, ensuring that your rights are protected throughout the process.

They can assess your situation, gather evidence, and determine the appropriate course of action to dispute the unauthorized charges with the involved banks, financial institutions or merchants. They understand consumer protection laws and regulations and can advocate on your behalf to rectify the situation.

Additionally, unauthorized debit card charges might be a sign of identity theft or fraudulent activity, making it crucial to address the issue promptly to mitigate further financial harm. A Kansas City consumer protection lawyer can assist in identifying potential security vulnerabilities, advising you on steps to enhance account security, and, if necessary, guiding you through the process of reporting the incident to relevant authorities.

Preventing Unauthorized Charges in the Future

While you can’t eliminate all risks of unauthorized charges entirely, there are proactive measures you can take to reduce the likelihood of falling victim to such incidents. Here are some preventative steps:

Secure Online Shopping Tips

When making purchases online, it’s essential to prioritize security. Here are some tips to help you stay safe:

  • Shop only on secure websites with encrypted connections (look for the padlock symbol in the address bar).
  • Use strong, unique passwords for your online accounts.
  • Enable two-factor authentication whenever possible.
  • Be cautious of unsolicited emails, links, or attachments, as these can be phishing attempts.

By following these best practices, you can significantly reduce the risk of having your financial information compromised while shopping online.

Regularly Monitor Your Account Activity

One of the most effective ways to catch unauthorized charges early on is by keeping a close eye on your account activity. Regularly review your statements and transaction history, ensuring that any purchases, withdrawals, or transfers are genuine and authorized. Most financial institutions provide online and mobile banking services, making it convenient to monitor your accounts wherever you are.

If available, enable text or email alerts for specific transaction types or spending thresholds. These proactive notifications allow you to be immediately informed of any suspicious activity and take prompt action.

Legal Rights and Protections Against Unauthorized Charges

As a consumer, you have legal rights and protections against unauthorized charges. One of the essential laws is the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA), which safeguards you in case of billing errors or unauthorized charges made on your credit card.

Understanding the Fair Credit Billing Act

The FCBA provides specific guidelines regarding your liability for unauthorized charges. Under the law, your liability is limited to a maximum of $50 for fraudulent credit card charges. However, it’s crucial to report any unauthorized charges within 60 days of receiving your statement to enjoy this protection.

Furthermore, the FCBA protects you from liability for unauthorized charges made on lost or stolen credit or debit cards only, as long as you report the loss or theft promptly. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the specifics of this law to leverage its protections if you find yourself in such a situation.

How to Leverage Consumer Protection Laws

In addition to the FCBA, there are other consumer protection laws that can offer assistance during instances of unauthorized charges. Research and understand your rights as a consumer, both at the federal and state levels. These laws can vary, so it’s essential to be aware of the specific regulations that apply to your situation.

If you encounter unauthorized charges and believe that your rights have been violated, consider reaching out to consumer protection agencies or a Kansas City consumer protection attorney right away. These resources can provide guidance and support in navigating any legal processes that may be necessary. 

Contact a Kansas City Consumer Protection Lawyer from Bell Law, LLC

Unauthorized charges can disrupt your financial stability and cause significant stress. Even if you find yourself thinking, “this is not my debt,” you must take proactive steps to protect your financial future. By involving a consumer protection lawyer in Kansas City, you increase your chances of successfully resolving the matter, recovering any losses, and preventing future unauthorized charges or potential identity theft.

Contact Bell Law, LLC today to speak with an experienced Kansas City consumer protection lawyer. Call 816-281-0649 now.