I was recently the victim of credit card fraud. My number and some of my info was compromised and subsequently used to run up about $500 worth of online charges within a week's time.

This was on my Bank of America VISA Debit card. I reported this to Bank of America after verifying I still had the card in my possession an I was certain the charges were not mine. BoA immediately cancelled the card and issued me a replacement.

After a few days I was issued a temporary credit for the total, while an investigation was done.

About a month later I received a notice stating that my claim had been denied and the temporary credit had been reversed. I was furious. They gave me little or no explanation (the CSR I talked to was basically reading verbatim from some policy manual and could offer no explanation or details about my case). I pleaded with them to reconsider, at while point she said she could request the case be re-reviewed. She told me without any new information it would most likely be denied again.

The best reason I could get from anyone was that BoA investigators contacted a "few" of the merchants involved (They would not tell me which ones or even how many), and they were able to "verify my information". To me, this means that the criminal using my card had also gotten hold of my name and mailing address, obviously since that's generally required to get a charge approved.

Is this complete incompetency on the part of BofA? What are my recourses? I was not expecting this level of difficulty and felt covered by the VISA promise of "Zero Liability". I contacted VISA directly and pleaded my case to them, and after lots of back and forth I was forwarded to a Credit Card Fraud department which went to voicemail. I have not yet heard back from them 2 days later.

Please help!

  • 6
    This is exactly why I NEVER use debit cards (too risky), and exclusively use credit unions instead of commercial banks (who couldn't give a rat's ass about their customers).
    – JohnFx
    Mar 19, 2010 at 14:01
  • 1
    It really makes me sad to hear this story. These banks are too big to fail, take tax payer bailouts, and then keep on screwing with little guys. $500 is nothing to them but everything to people like me and probably Mark.
    – MrChrister
    Mar 19, 2010 at 15:22
  • 9
    I can't speak for BOA, but before you get too upset about them taking the bailout money you should understand that most of the banks that did were threatened with severe consequences if they didn't take the bailout, which was a loan at above market interest rates. That said, I have no love for BOA regardless of current events.
    – JohnFx
    Mar 19, 2010 at 19:45
  • 5
    @JohnFx - please don't bring sanity and rationality to my knee-jerk reactions and scape goating. =)
    – MrChrister
    Mar 19, 2010 at 20:57
  • 1
    @Mark, did you get it sorted?
    – Force444
    Sep 30, 2014 at 8:29

2 Answers 2


The best way to get satisfaction is report them to the appropriate agency that regulates the bank.

This is usually the Office of Comptroller of Currency (OCC), but some banks are regulated by a different agency. However, start with these guys. They can refer you to the right agency if it isn't them.

Here is a link to their consumer complaints page

The other banks are regulated by the Federal Reserve Board. Here is their consumer complaint page: http://www.federalreserveconsumerhelp.gov

Given the current environment where the Government is threatening more regulation of the financial industry, the last thing the banks want right now is a lot of complaints on file, so they have a lot of incentive to try and make you happy if you show that you know who to tattle to.


I don't know what the legal situation in the US is, but in the UK I would take the bank to court. Your case is simple - you never authorised the transactions, and they have provided no evidence to you that you did. The details of the VISA "zero liability" promise you mention may also be worth quoting as it ought to form part of your contract with the bank.

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