Direct Express debit cards are issued to thousands of Americans who receive government benefits like Social Security, disability, or unemployment compensation. When you live on a fixed income, the consequences of bank account fraud and debit card fraud can be devastating.
Unfortunately, debit cards are frequent targets of identity thieves. Even government-sanctioned debit cards like the Direct Express card can be hacked, counterfeited, or simply stolen and used without your knowledge, leaving you penniless and desperate. Thankfully, there are laws that can protect you and your finances if you’ve been the victim of unauthorized charges.
So for those of you who have already been the victim of identity theft, or have seen unauthorized charges on your credit or debit card, what can you do about it?
It’s surprisingly easy: send the bank a letter. In the letter, you should identify yourself, the account, and the transactions that were fraudulent. Include the dates and the amounts of any unauthorized charges. Then, request that they correct the error immediately. Send the letter by certified mail (not required by law, but definitely a wise choice) to the address for disputes on the back of your most recent statement. It would also be a good idea to include a copy of the statement showing the fraudulent charges, which should be underlined or highlighted. Do not call them on the phone – that’s a waste of time and oral disputes are harder to prove in court.
Here are two sample letters to illustrate what an EFTA dispute letter looks like.
The bank has 14 days to fix the error. If they don’t refund your money, they have to tell you why in writing. If they take more than 14 days to resolve the issue, they have to provisionally recredit your account while they complete their investigation. If they wrongfully refuse to refund your money, you can take them to court for a refund, plus up to $1,000 of statutory damages, plus lawyer’s fees.
We don’t charge money unless we win. If Direct Express has done you wrong, we can help you get compensated. Call us today. 251.272.9148.