If your debit card was stolen or you see unusual debit card charges, you should contact your bank. But how to find out who used the card? Can the bank find out who used your debit card?
Banks can find out who used your debit card. When you call them, they should be able to tell you whether the culprit made the questionable transaction through your debit card or an electronic or ACH (automated clearing house) network.
It is easy for banks to find out who exactly charged your debit card. However, while it is theoretically possible, tracking the person who did it will not really happen. Credit card fraud today has already grown massively. Issuers of credit and debit cards consider this problem as part of their cost of doing business.
Read on to learn more if your bank can find out who used your debit card, how someone can use your card without your knowledge, how to find who used it, and how you can prevent others from using it without permission.
Can the Bank Find Out Who Used My Debit Card?
Your bank does have the capability of finding out who used your debit card. When you call your bank, they should be able to tell you if the questionable transaction was made using your debit card or through an ACH (automated clearing house) network.
To process a debit card charge, a person should have a merchant account. This account is usually linked to personally identifiable information about its holder or owner. So, it is straightforward for banks to find out who exactly charged your debit card in theory.
However, actually tracing those who charge debit cards of other people will not happen in the real world. Credit card fraud has already grown massively. Issuers of credit and debit cards consider this problem as their cost of doing business.
Dispute Your Bank
It is possible to trace purchases done through your debit card without your knowledge. If you encounter this problem, you can dispute it with your bank. They should have a security camera that will show who conducted the transaction.
If the culprit made the transaction online, they could start an investigation. So, they will track the shipment of the item to the person who charged the item through your debit card.
There are conscientious credit card companies that inform their cardholders when they notice an unusual purchasing activity using their cards. They call the particular cardholder to check if they were the ones doing the transactions.
If the cardholder does not know the transactions being charged on their card, it is card fraud. Somebody is committing a skimming scam, and they stop the transactions right away. So, if the credit card companies can do this, they can also trace who is doing the scam.
For sure, there are many methods that banks can use to trace a transaction forensically since there are many numbers involved. For one, for each transaction, there is just one point of sale. Each transaction and point of sale is recorded somewhere at the time it was performed.
This is required by law. In other words, there is a way to see the transactions charged on your debit card, even online transactions. You can see the who, the when, the where, and the how much of each transaction.
How Can Someone Use Your Debit Card Without Your Permission?
It is straightforward for tech thieves to use your debit card without your knowledge and permission with modern technology. They can easily clone your card. That is why financial experts advise you not to use your debit and credit cards carelessly or leave them lying around somewhere.
It is effortless to clone magnetic strip credit and debit cards. A dishonest but knowledgeable person can do it at any point in sales, such as a restaurant, a grocery store, or a gasoline station. But the part that gives card cloners the most problem is the PIN.
The following should assure you that your debit and credit card are safe. There is no way for card cloners to access your PIN – unless you allow them to do so. So, you need to do your critical part to keep it safe.
Your PIN is not in the magnetic stripe of your card. So, even if they could clone your card, they won’t be able to use it without knowing your exact PIN. The PIN is not, nor ever will be, encoded onto the card’s magnetic stripe.
Why Are They Able to Use Your Card Without Your Knowledge?
The cloners were able to devise a trick to get your PIN. And this is what they were able to do successfully.
They install very small, hidden, and inconspicuous spy cameras on ATMs and some points of sale that they can access. Then they capture your PIN as you type it in a while using the ATM or paying at a certain point of sale. They can also stand next to you and watch as you enter your PIN in a point of sale or an ATM.
Once they have all they need, they can use your debit card and charge their purchases on your account. The lesson: you need to be careful in entering your PIN whenever you are in an ATM or a point of sale.
Be sure that no one is standing next to you and no one is watching. Check if there is a hidden camera that can record your movements. If you can, cover your fingers as you type your PIN on an ATM. This will prevent thieves from getting your PIN.
Why Do You Need to Protect Your PIN?
If the thief used your card and entered your PIN to withdraw money or pay for an item, it will be hard for you to prove to the bank that you don’t know about the transaction. It will be hard to dispute the charge. So, protect your PIN at all times.
But still, other people can withdraw money from your bank without using your card. This is possible because bank services allow you to make cash withdrawals, not from your bank, but from the ATMs of participating bank without using your physical card or PIN.
All you need is to log on to the internet platform of your bank, access your account and the service, enter the amount you want to withdraw, and then enter your mobile number. If any of this information is compromised, it will be easy for a third party to withdraw money from your bank account.
How to Find the Person Who Used Your Debit Card
Personally, you can do certain things to find out who charged your debit card. Follow these simple steps, and you will know the culprit:
1. Log On to Your Bank Account
This is why you need to have an online account with your bank. Log into your account and get all the basic information about the questionable transactions. Get the date and amount of each transaction.
2. Call the Bank
Dial the 800 number of the bank and choose the option to speak with a bank representative. Ask for all the details about the debit card transactions. Tell them about the date and the amount that the transactions showed in your account.
The bank representative should give you the company names, transaction IDs, and phone numbers. You can ask for the details verbally or ask the representative to give you a hard copy by email or fax. This will be your written proof or record of the transactions.
3. Call the Companies
If you don’t recognize some of the transactions, call the respective companies or persons who charged your debit card immediately. For each unauthorized transaction, ask for a refund of your money. If they refuse, call your bank and start a fraud investigation.
4. Additional Step
Find the bank branch or point of sale where the charge was made. Then call the place’s security officer. Request them to access the surveillance footage of the time and date of the transaction. This is thorny, though, because you may need to get a subpoena or police report from the country courthouse of the place to get the tape.
So again, can the bank find out who used my debit card? Your bank can find out who used your debit card. Your bank should be able to tell you whether the culprit made the questionable transaction through your debit card or an electronic or ACH (automated clearing house) network.
If There Is An Authorized Transaction on Your Account
If you want to prevent unauthorized transactions on your debit card, you need to check your transactions regularly and keep tabs on your account. Only in this way can you spot card fraud right after it happens. It is also possible to catch the fraud while it is happening. You need to act quickly once you see anything that is suspicious:
1. Contact Your Bank
If you notice something irregular on your credit charges, call your bank. Report the unauthorized charge. Do it immediately by phone. But don’t stop there. Follow your phone call with a formal letter of complaint.
You may also choose to cancel your card. Take note that your bank may cancel your card on the phone. But you still need to physically do it by surrendering the card to the bank and request for a new one.
2. Ask Your Bank to Freeze Your Account
Request your bank for temporary freezing of your account. This will prevent any unauthorized withdrawals. It may take the bank 10 days from the day you reported the fraud to investigate the matter.
3. Call the Vendor
Call the vendor who charged your account. You need to dispute the charge, and this will start the process. They should be willing to cooperate since they have committed fraud as an accessory. This is required if you want to press charges. It will also be necessary to produce a report to file with the authorities.
4. Dispute the Charge with the Credit Card Company or the Bank
To dispute the charge, you may need to fill out a form and provide relevant information about the questionable charge. You can do this online or do it personally at the bank or the credit card company. This proceeding may take 60 days.
5. File a Police Report on the Fraud
If the charges are considerable, you may need to file a fraud report to the police. You can also file an Identity Theft Report with the Federal Trade Commission at its website, IdentityTheft.gov.
If you choose the second option, you can forego filing the case with the police. But whatever route you choose, be sure to keep a copy of whatever report you will file. You may need it in the future.
6. Monitor Your Credit and Your Account Closely
After resolving the dispute, you need to continue monitoring your bank account and credit report closely. It is better to put a stop to a fraudulent charge before it worsens. If you don’t stop a thief on its tracks immediately, the situation may escalate into full-scale identity theft.
Check your bank charges and credit charges as frequently as possible. If you can, do it daily. This will help you see fraudulent charges as they come not one week or one month later. Choose to get bank alerts if they offer this kind of service.
Conclusion: Can the Bank See Who Used My Debit Card?
Definitely, the bank should be able to. If somebody used your debit card without your permission, your bank should be able to find out who that person is. When you call your bank, they will be able to tell you whether the culprit made the transaction directly through your debit card or if he/she did it through the ACH or automated clearing house network.
However, you should remember that this is only true in theory. That means banks don’t do this tracing. In real life, they consider this credit card fraud as just a part of their cost of doing business.