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Esedess's avatar

What investigation takes place when you report fraudulent activity on your debit card?

Asked by Esedess (1226 points ) January 13th, 2012

So I log into my BofA account today to find an $8 charge from Netflix, which caused me an overdraft. I don’t have a Netflix account, and never have. After speaking with a representative she tells me that this charge has occurred for the last 5 months straight. We eventually got Netflix on the line and found that I indeed did not have an account with them, but that my card was registered in one of their accounts. Netflix said they would do an investigation and get back to me once they worked things out.

I have a sneaking suspicion that my ex-SOB-roommate is behind all this. At some point or another he probably used my card to pay for a month of Netflix, and then just left my card active on his account. Regardless of how much I hate this guy (and believe me, I REALLY rightfully do at the moment) I’m not looking to cause more waves between us (especially now that he’s finally gone and out of my life). That’s not to say I don’t want my $70 back of course. I just want it back without a big scene.

What does the “investigation”, which the Netflix rep. spoke of, entail? IF it is my ex-roommate, what will happen to him as a result of this?

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9 Answers

BhacSsylan's avatar

So, it depends to a degree on your bank’s policy. You’ve attested wrongful charges, Netflix will look into it to see if it was indeed wrongful. They may or may not find it so, definitions get a little tricky. Since you don’t have an account but the card was used I feel like you’re probably okay, but that will depend on Netflix. From my experience, even if they deny it, though, you need to just explain that you were not the one to use the card and did not benefit, and it’ll be taken care of.

Admittedly, this was my experience with WF, not BofA, but I can’t imagine it being too different as they’re governed by federal regulations. I had a wrongful single charge, I contested it and the company said, essentially “no, this is totally the charge we’ve been making for years”. I explained to WF that it (quite obviously) was not, and a few weeks later I got a letter saying, in short “you’re fine, all charges taken care of”. So good luck!

auhsojsa's avatar

It’s a criminal offense. Right now it is in the hands of Netflix corporate office via fraud department. What they might be able to do is track the IP address or find the home where the signals are going to. Then you will have to rally the information back to your bank most likely. Where there is proof shown you were a fraud victim and then they will waive the fees. It’s timely and consumptions. Stay vigilant, keep calling but most of all practice patience. I can’t stress that enough. I had to deal with a Capital One fraud that took about 6 months.

BhacSsylan's avatar

Well, obviously, very different experiences, so it can change a lot. I wonder if it was the type of charge, or the bank, or the companies? Any matter, I would agree to stay vigilant, and see if you can get to the account info of who is using your card, in terms of where the account says it’s located/used (I doubt you can get an IP, but maybe something about the area or provider?). That could help immensely.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Anytime we’ve noticed fraudulent activity on a credit account, it’s been handled immediately by our credit card companies. We instantly get sent new cards (overnight via FedEx) and the charges have been removed from our acount.

If BofA hasn’t sent you a new card, call back and insist on speaking to another rep regarding this matter. I’d expect nothing less than the immediate removal of unapproved charges, period.

auhsojsa's avatar

Oh yeah also to add, Capital One asked me to file a police report. Since it’s a criminal offense. What happened in my situation was a detective from the SDPD also went over the facts. But I don’t think there are very many tangibles in your case? What they could find out is the day it was charged and tinker around that, who you’ve been with and etc.

Esedess's avatar

@SpatzieLover @BhacSsylan @auhsojsa
I’m quite certain I will get my money back. That’s not much of a concern for me right now.

Really, at this point, I’m more worried about criminal charges being levied against my ex-roommate. I wasn’t trying to take the situation there. Like I said, yes, I want my money back, but I don’t want to create more drama between the two of us.

My question is regrading the method and result of investigation on the part of the fraudulent party (keeping in mind that this incident was under $100).

BhacSsylan's avatar

From what I know (which is quite limited, so add liberal salt), there probably won’t be criminal charges? Netflix will say it was an incorrect use, BofA’s insurance will cover the money, and you’ll get a new card and the Netflix service will be summarily terminated. Since it much easier for them to prosecute in this case then it was in mine (i got a payment account hacked, rather badly), they possibly could, but I’d find it highly unlikely. They would spend probably several hundred dollars at least filing a claim on $70. Not worth it, when fraud is already covered by their insurance.

More to the point, I think the investigation goes to the point of “wrongful use, okay, we’re done here” and that’s about it, from what I’ve seen.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I agree with @BhacSsylan. The investigation usually means that the company (in this case Netflix) will make certain you didn’t approve this, then they’ll cut their losses.

auhsojsa's avatar

@Esedess What you can do is file a police report against this guy because you have probably cause against this guy and the police can link his current charges to the Netflix case. Believe me on this, scammers are in their own head and feel indestructible. Nail this sucker while he’s doing small time stuff. I strongly dislike a scammers mindset.

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