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What To Do When You Detect Unauthorized Transactions On Your Bank Card

Wong Shu Lee  


  December 11, 2021

Recently, a friend of mine detected an unauthorized transaction of over 100 USD  from an unknown foreign website on his debit card. He had never visited the website and had never received any notifications or OTP upon the transactions being made. He only discovered it when he login to the bank mobile application to check his account balance. 


He had called the bank’s hotline to lodge a complaint immediately when he noticed the unusual transaction. However, he had yet to receive a refund for the unauthorized transaction, nor any promise from the bank. 


On social media, we found many other people were experiencing similar problems recently. Although most of the victims didn’t do anything wrong that lead to the issue, these cases are wake-up calls for us to be more alert on the safety of our money. 


Below are some suggestions for us to minimize the damage in case the safety of our bank account or debit/credit card is compromised. 


Don't Put All Your Eggs In One Basket


If you’re using your debit card to make online purchases, it would be wise to split some of your savings into other accounts so that you wouldn’t lose all the money when your card information leaked. 


Check Your Statement Frequently


Check your bank transactions at least once a week to ensure there are no unauthorized transactions. Bank wouldn’t transfer your money immediately to the website owner when an online transaction is made. It would be easier to hold or revoke the transaction when the bank hasn’t paid out the money yet. 


Even if the transaction was already completed, it would be easier for the bank to investigate the issue if you report the problem earlier. 


Thus, it would be helpful if you could check your card statement frequently and report immediately if there are any transactions that you do not recognize or are unauthorized by you.


Don’t Connect To Free Public Wi-Fi


Free Wi-Fi access points are often available at restaurants, hotels, airports, bookstores, and even random retail outlets. However, this freedom comes at a price. Devices that connect to the same network require no authentication to establish a network connection. This creates an amazing opportunity for the hacker to get unfettered access to unsecured devices on the same network. 


Thus, avoid connecting to public Wi-Fi networks, especially when performing banking-related transactions. Consider using your mobile phone data network or trusted private networks to access banking’s services instead. 



Most importantly, don’t get panicked or down when you detected a suspicious transaction on your bank card. Let’s gather the evidence, contact your bank’s hotline and speak calmly to seek assistance from bank officers. 


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