Credit Union won't cover fraudulent charges?
June 1, 2022 7:37 AM   Subscribe

Last weekend my partner's debit card was taken and used to buy gas in a town we've never been to, and now the credit union won't cover the fraudulent charges. What are our options?

We reported the card stolen as soon as we noticed the charge and the missing card, and the money was reimbursed.

Today we were told by Navigant Credit Union that they are taking the money back out of the account, and they will not explain why. Navigant said to talk to fraud claims, fraud claims said the card wasn't reported stolen (it absolutely was). When pressed for an explanation, they said "we gave you an answer, it seems like you just won't accept it."

Why won't they cover an obviously fraudulent charge? Why won't they give us a straight answer? What are our options here? Navigant said we could dispute it, but then fraud claims said no we can't.

I'm at a complete loss as to what our options are aside from let them steal money from us and to take our business elsewhere, which is less than ideal.
posted by rustybullrake to Work & Money (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Generally, banks and credit unions are overseen by some kind of consumer protection function -- the state AG, or a special ombudsmen or similar. And they will usually provide info on all the steps you can take before you complain to them. So figuring out who that is in your jurisdiction and reading what they have to say about these issues might be a good first step.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:41 AM on June 1, 2022 [5 favorites]

Credit unions are regulated by the NCUA. See here for instructions on filing a complaint.
posted by praemunire at 7:52 AM on June 1, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: IANYL, but this NOLO article summarizes the law regarding debit cards pretty clearly if it helps.
posted by mcgsa at 7:54 AM on June 1, 2022

Best answer: Sorry, just realized this isn't an FCU. Navigant's in Rhode Island only, so you want their Department of Business Regulation instead.
posted by praemunire at 7:55 AM on June 1, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Write a letter with all the details in date order. On May 20, the card was reported stolen. Attached is a screenshot of the phone history. blah, blah. request a written response stating why the charges are not being covered and ask what the process os to appeal the decision. Send a copy to the state Attorney General's office, whatever the dept. of bank regulation is.

Either way, time for a new credit union, unless there are massive benefits.
posted by theora55 at 8:51 AM on June 1, 2022 [11 favorites]

Best answer: debit cards are a huge liability; I've known folks to get entirely cleaned out (used their card as a "credit" in a restaurant in Europe, someone grabbed the number and cleaned out the account, wasn't replaced.) Cash transactions are limited by a daily use max, but ones labeled "credit" are typically not. One thing you can do to defend yourself in future is have a small transaction limit put on the "credit" transactions, and never use the debit card for those yourself.
posted by fingersandtoes at 9:06 AM on June 1, 2022 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank you all! We really appreciate the help. We're both strongly considering ditching debit cards after this.

I gave this info to my partner, who went into a branch with all the dates and times of everything written down, ready to escalate it if necessary.

After explaining the situation to the manager and providing the relevant information, it was immediately discovered that the card was marked as having not been reported stolen or missing. This was obviously (to us) a mistake on their end. The manager said they'd have to check the transcripts of the call we made when we reported the fraudulent charges, and get back to us.

A few days later, the money was returned to the account.

So they made a clerical error, and the call center people were gleefully antagonistic about it, but we got our money back.

Thanks again!
posted by rustybullrake at 10:53 AM on June 8, 2022 [1 favorite]

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