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Recovering from credit fraud

By Megan Brantley, mbrantley@wcyb.com
Published On: Oct 10 2012 05:09:01 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 10 2012 04:07:46 PM CDT

You may be a victim of fraud, but if the bank does not catch it first, what do you do? Will you get your missing money back?

ABINGDON, Va. -

You may be a victim of fraud, but if the bank does not catch it first, what do you do? Will you get your missing money back?

"I balance my checkbook every week and make sure I didn't miss any debits that I went through the week and forgot to write down," said Jae Canter, a victim of fraud.

Canter tells us he happened upon a few transactions that he knew he did not do. "One of them was just a pre-authorization so it dropped off, but the other two were totaled around $91," said Canter.

News 5 learned that many other people become subject to identity theft, but do not know how to fix it or if they will be refunded.

The Federal Trade Commission website says that there are four steps that you should take to get the problem resolved.

The first is to place a fraud alert on your credit reports. Places like Transunion, Equifax and Experian are toll-free consumer reporting companies that are able to help.

Secondly, you should call your bank and close accounts you know or think could have been tampered with or opened fraudulently. Local bank representatives told News 5 they will take up to 10 days to investigate the case and refund any missing money.

The next step in this process is to come to the police department to fill out a police report. You need to make sure you also bring with you documentation of why you think you are a victim of identity theft.

Last, we found out you should report the fraud to the Federal Trade Commission to help them track down identity thieves and stop them.

News 5 learned that according to the bank regulations that money that goes missing is at the expense of the bank.

However, representatives from the bank tell us that it is also a personal responsibility of the person to make sure they are not giving away information about their debit cards.