I had the experience of dealing with someone illegally using my checking account for their personal gain. Do you realize the hassle you have to go through to secure that it doesn’t happen again?
When I discovered the unauthorized deduction from the checking account, I immediately called the bank and asked them how could they let someone deduct from the checking account without having their name associated with the account!
So, when you make an online payment, you enter the your bank account number and the routing number. Once you submit, the payment is accepted. The banking institute doesn’t really have any way of checking who entered the information. They accept the payment and proceed to process the payment. It’s up to you to reconcile your account to match your authorized deductions.
Once I informed the bank that is was fraud, I had to go to the bank, fill out the paper work with the Fraud Department and file a police report against the perpetrator. I was fortunate to be able to contact the payee and make them aware that it was an illegal deduction and stop it from happening again.
For a month, I had to send a report to the bank’s Fraud Department on all transactions that I wrote out of the account even the ones that I made over the internet on a daily basis. The one suggestion that the bank made was for me to close the account and re-open a new account. It sounds simple, but do you realize if you have automatic authorized withdraws from the account for payments towards any loans that you’ve set up, you would have to call and inform them of the changes? If you forgot one, the payment would be declined and then you could end up paying a late fee.
What a hassle! Will that person realize all the trouble that they caused with the unauthorized deduction from my account?
My take on this is that if a bank really wants to get a competitive edge in the marketplace, they will make accounts completely theft-proof.