Los Angeles, CA asked in Banking and Consumer Law for Washington

Q: My debit card was skimmed at an ATM and I am having difficult with the bank investigating and refunding.

I reported the 2 fraudulent withdrawals immediately to the fraud department and was told an investigation would begin right away and the card would be de-activated. I also reported it to my bank by email and by phone the next business day. When I received no communication in regard to it, I was told I had to go into a branch and fill out a dispute form. I am a travel writer who is traveling internationally and won't be back for several months. They finally agreed to have me mail a form in which will take quite some time outside of the country. Is this legal? Reading consumer law it looks like they have 10 days to investigate after it's reported and I can't imagination they can require multiple levels of reporting especially without informing the consumer. What is the law in regard to this? Do I have to wait for them to receive the form by mail or should they be investigating by now?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick
  • Business Law Lawyer
  • Tallahassee, FL

A: Simple question, simple answer: If you ever expect to get any of your money back you will have to cooperate with the bank, because they are the only ones who can help you (now). it does not matter where you on this earth you are or will be, or how many days they should have to start the investigation, or whether you have a duplicate card, or whether you are trying to open a new account elsewhere, etc. To get along you often have to go along.

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