Unauthorised and mistaken transactions

If you find a transaction in your account that you don’t recognise, it could be unauthorised or mistaken.

If you think something is wrong, contact your bank as soon as possible.

Signs of unauthorised and mistaken transactions

An unauthorised transaction is when someone transfers money from your account without your permission.

mistaken transaction is when when you pay the wrong person or company by using the wrong bank details.

When you check your accounts, look for payments or withdrawals you don’t recognise, such as:

  • a payment to a person or company you don’t know

  • a cash withdrawal from a place you’ve never been

  • a transaction on a date when you didn’t use your account

  • a payment made twice

When you check transactions, keep in mind:

  • Transactions can take days to show up in your account. If you buy something on a weekend, the transaction might appear the next week.

  • The name of the shop or restaurant might not match the name on your bank statement. Check the business and trading names online.

How to get your money back

If you find something wrong, contact your bank as soon as possible.

The sooner you contact your bank, the more likely you are to get your money back — and if the transaction is unauthorised, the sooner the bank can stop any further transactions.

When you report a mistaken or unauthorised transaction, make sure the bank gives you a reference number. This will help if you to need to contact them again.

If your bank has signed up to ASIC’s ePayments code, they have to take steps to help you.

Mistaken transactions

You are likely to get your money back if it is still in the recipient’s account and if you report it to your bank:

  • within 10 business days

  • after 10 business days — but it will take longer to get your money back

  • after seven months — if the recipient agrees to the refund

Unauthorised transactions

You are more likely to get your money back if:

  • a forged, expired, blocked or cancelled card was used

  • a bank employee or a seller made the transaction fraudulently

  • the transaction took place before you received your card, PIN or password

  • a seller incorrectly debited your account more than once

  • the transaction took place after you told your bank that your card was lost or stolen

  • the transaction took place after you told your bank that someone else may know your PIN or password

  • it’s clear that you haven’t contributed to the loss

You are less likely to get your money back if you:

  • acted fraudulently

  • didn’t keep your PIN or password secret

  • unreasonably delayed telling your bank that your card was lost or stolen

  • unreasonably delayed telling your bank that someone else may know your PIN or password

  • accidentally left your card in an ATM

Protect yourself

Check your bank statements regularly, and get familiar with the different types of transactions in your account. This can make it easier to spot a mistake.

Source: moneysmart.gov.au
Reproduced with the permission of ASIC’s MoneySmart Team. This article was originally published at https://moneysmart.gov.au/banking/unauthorised-and-mistaken-transactions

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