It’s not a walk in the park but you can still get money back from someone who stole it. It could be virtually from your bank account or in person (as long as you have evidence).
How to get money back from someone who stole it
If your money has been stolen from your bank account, you just lost your debit/ATM card, or you saw someone steal your money, do the following:
1. File a lawsuit
If you saw and caught the person red-handed, you could file a lawsuit if the value of the money is worth it and you can prove your claims. Your local attorney should be able to advise whether a legal move is necessary or not.
File a lawsuit against the person for theft in court. Again, filing a lawsuit could be a waste of resources—time and money—if you don’t have any witnesses, a contract, or some sort of evidence to show that they stole your money.
2. Call the police
File a police report to see if they can track the person. Note that the interest level of the police in your case depends on the value of the money, as well as your evidence. It can be hard to convince the police to do much if you can’t prove that the money was stolen from you.
3. Notify your bank’s fraud department
It helps when you contact your bank as soon as possible. The amount of loss you will be responsible for in your claim could be as follows:
- no loss of funds if no transactions took place yet;
- a loss limit of $50 (if within the first 2 days); and
- a loss limit of up to $500 (if between 3 and 60 days).
I recommend you read more here https://www.consumerfinance.gov/rules-policy/regulations/1005/interp-6/ on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau website concerning your liability as a consumer in the event of unauthorized transfers.
Generally, after making your claim to the bank or credit union, it takes 10 days to investigate and notify you within another 3 days. The timeframe for their period of investigation is within 45 days.
4. Complete your bank’s affidavit
Certify that the unauthorized transactions were not made by you by sending a signed affidavit to the bank/credit union to get your stolen funds back to your bank account. You need proof of the date and the time of delivery so return the affidavit through certified mail/return receipt requested.
5. Set up a fraud alert
Consider setting up a fraud alert with credit reporting agencies such as:
This setup will help to ensure that nothing more than your bank account information was stolen.
6. Request a new card or bank account
If you believe your personal information has been compromised, consider requesting a new card, closing your bank account, and starting a new one to keep you off the scammers’ grid on the dark web.
Generally, changing your bank login and debit/credit card password should safeguard your account. But a new debit card and an account number could be provided to you, after which you move your funds from the old to the new account.