Your Consumer Rights in Internet Banking

There is much controversy over whose responsibility it is when something goes wrong in internet banking. Banks sometimes step up and hold themselves accountable for security measures as they should. Other banks want to lay the burden on the consumer.

You do have rights as a customer of internet banking. For example, a phishing scheme might lure you into giving out your personal information. This, in turn, could result in your internet banking account being raided.

Internet banking companies are quick to point out that it is your responsibility to keep your username and password secure. It must be un-guessable in the first place. You must never write it down. You must tell no one. It is your consumer right to keep this information to yourself and not divulge your password to a bank employee.

You might be wondering who is responsible. After all, you did fall for the scam, not your internet banking establishment. You were the one who gave out all that information. However, there is a regulation of the federal government that can help you. It is referred to as Reg-E.

This is the Federal Reserve Board's Regulation E. It covers all kinds of situations revolving around transfers made electronically. The most important thing to remember about Reg-E is that you will recover your internet banking losses according to how soon you discover them.

For instance, you might get your internet banking statement, see that fraud has taken place, and report it immediately. In this case you will be required to recover your money. Yet, you could get your statement, let it set on the server for two weeks without looking at it, and then discover fraud. In this case, you would get less of your money back.

The longer you waited, the less you would get. At some point, you would lose everything in the account plus overdraft charges. That is why it pays to take a quick look at your internet banking account frequently. Even if you do not have time to go over every transaction, you will often notice discrepancies that you can report.

If you wait two days or less from the time you get your official internet banking statement, you will only be liable for the first $50. Another day and the price goes up to $500. After 60 days, you have no recourse through the bank. You would actually have to find the perpetrators of the crime, bring them to justice, and be awarded compensation.

Furthermore, your internet banking is protected in ways that traditional banks are always protected. You should receive safeguards to your personal banking such as the Fair Credit Opportunity Act. The Truth in Lending and the Truth in Savings Acts are important to internet banking customers to assure that they get what they have agreed to. Banks in this country are also required to have FDIC insurance.

Most internet banking companies are on the level. They are trying to establish a name for themselves through tight security. Barring that, they seek to remedy the situation with great customer service. Find a bank like this and you will have no problem getting them to respect your consumer rights.


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