A U.S. Army veteran has won a two-year tug-of-war with Bank of America over more than $25,000 in fraudulent charges he claimed were made on his debit card.Here’s what went down:
John McDevitt took two weeks off from his post in Afghanistan for a quick jaunt to Greece back in 2010, where he claims a nightclub popped him with six charges totaling $25,243, according to ABC News.
BOA initially issued a full refund but then clawed the cash back after determining the charges were legitimate. Media swooped in on the story when McDevitt, who now works as a New York state auditor, protested outside a local branch in March with a sign reading “A soldier that puts America first should have a bank that puts the soldier first.”
Playing the patriotism card worked. BOA announced on Friday that it would refund McDevitt – again.
“From day one our fraud team handled this case by the books, following all internal and external protocols including attempted arbitration with Visa and it was determined that the dispute is between the merchant and Mr. McDevitt,” a spokesperson told ABC. “That being said, in light of Mr. McDevitt’s service to our country we are extending him the benefit of the doubt and refunding the full amount.”
There’s a big difference between fraud protection on debit and credit cards. Many credit cards offer zero liability protection for consumers, which means whatever fraud occurs is refunded at no cost.
In case of debit fraud, you have two days to report the charges in order to limit your liability to $50 under the Truth in Lending Act. After that, your liability jumps to $500 and once 60 days pass, you could be on the hook for everything.
And even then, banks will ask for proof – usually in the form of receipts – for whatever charges you’re disputing. McDevitt couldn’t come up with this receipts and the nightclub argued the charges were legit, which left BOA to make the final decision.
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