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Edelman Combs Latturner & Goodwin, LLC Edelman Combs Latturner & Goodwin, LLC
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What to Do if You Suspect Bank Fraud

With cybercrime attacks on the rise, it’s more important than ever for consumers to protect their assets and financial interests. From fraudulent credit card transactions to unauthorized ACH payments, knowing and exercising your rights is nonnegotiable to protect your hard-earned assets against fraudulent banking activity.

What steps should bank fraud victims take to hold offenders accountable? Keep reading to learn how to recognize and report unauthorized fraudulent activity in financial accounts.

What Is Bank Fraud?

In legal terms, bank fraud refers to a range of criminal activities involving deceit, misrepresentation, or unauthorized actions targeting financial institutions, their customers, or the banking system.

Fraudulent activities are committed to obtain money, assets, or sensitive information unlawfully, resulting in financial losses for the victim. Bank fraud can take various forms, such as:

  • Credit card fraud: This occurs when someone uses another person's credit card information without authorization to make purchases or obtain funds.

  • Check fraud: This involves forging or altering checks to withdraw funds from another person's account.

  • Identity theft: This occurs when the offender steals the victim’s personal information, such as social security numbers or bank account details, to access accounts or open fraudulent accounts in their name.

  • ATM skimming: Criminals attach devices to ATMs to capture cardholder information, including PIN numbers, allowing them to create cloned cards and withdraw funds fraudulently.

  • Phishing schemes: These scams involve tricking individuals into revealing their personal or financial information through deceptive emails, texts, or calls to use for fraudulent purposes.

  • Insider fraud: This occurs when individuals within a financial institution abuse their position and authority to carry out fraudulent activities, such as embezzlement or manipulating account balances.

  • Mortgage fraud: Mortgage fraud can involve various schemes, such as providing false information on loan applications, inflating property values, or using straw buyers to secure loans fraudulently.

Consumer Protections Against Bank Fraud

Various legal protections are in place to protect consumers against bank fraud and other fraudulent financial activity, including the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA). Enacted in 1978, this federal law protects consumers against fraud and errors in electronic fund transfers (EFTs) and remittance transfers.

The EFTA covers:

  • ACH systems

  • ATM transfers

  • Remittance transfers

  • Remote banking programs

  • Point-of-sale (POS) terminals

  • Telephone bill-payment plans

Recognizing the Signs of Fraudulent Activity

As a consumer, it’s imperative to be aware of common signs of fraudulent banking activity. Some red flags to keep in mind include:

  • Unexpected notifications or alerts regarding account changes or activity

  • Unfamiliar transactions or charges on bank statements or credit card bills

  • Inability to access online accounts or sudden changes in login credentials

  • Receipt of suspicious emails, texts, or phone calls asking for personal information or account details

5 Steps to Take as a Victim of Bank Fraud

Our firm understands the lasting effects that fraud can have on the stability and longevity of your business. Our seasoned attorneys have over 200 years of combined experience protecting the rights of consumers, making us well-equipped to pursue justice on your behalf.

We can help you navigate the legal intricacies of your claim by guiding you through the following steps:

  1. Contact your financial institution: Notify your bank or credit card company immediately to report the fraudulent activity and request a freeze on your accounts.

  2. File a police report: Contact your local law enforcement agency to file a report and obtain an official record of the fraud.

  3. Gather evidence: Collect any supporting documentation, such as bank statements, transaction records, and communications related to the fraud.

  4. Notify credit bureaus: Place a fraud alert on your credit reports with major credit bureaus to help prevent further unauthorized activity.

  5. Partner with an experienced attorney: Consult with a bank fraud attorney experienced in consumer rights. They can guide you through the legal process, protect your rights, and help you recover your finances.

Importance of Hiring Experienced Representation

If you suspect bank fraud, partnering with a trusted banking fraud lawyer is essential to protecting your rights and recovering financial losses. As one of the leading firms in consumer rights, our attorneys can assist you with your case by:

  • Providing sound legal counsel and guidance specific to bank fraud cases.

  • Assessing the strength of your case and advise on the best course of action.

  • Communicating and negotiating with financial institutions on your behalf.

  • Taking legal action by filing a lawsuit against the perpetrators.

  • Working towards recovering your losses and seeking compensation for damages.

Remember, time is of the essence when dealing with bank fraud. Taking prompt action and partnering with an experienced attorney can significantly increase your chances of recovering your finances and protecting your rights.

Contact an Experienced Banking Fraud Attorney

At Edelman Combs Latturner & Goodwin, LLC, our knowledgeable advocates have protected the rights of Chicago consumers since 1991. From telemarketing abuse to student loan debt to debt collection rights, our firm is committed to keeping our clients educated and informed of their rights under the law.

If your rights were violated in an unauthorized transaction or scam, we can fight tirelessly to recover the compensation you deserve. With over $500 million recovered for consumers in Illinois, New York, Indiana, Wisconsin, and beyond, put decades of legal experience in your corner by partnering with our consumer rights attorneys.

If you discover fraudulent activity in your bank accounts, our Chicago attorneys can aggressively protect your rights. Call (312) 626-3585 to schedule a consultation.

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