How to Handle an Unauthorized Debit Card Transaction

Anyone else feel hungover from the Holidays?  Vacation is over.  Decorations need taken down.  Unwanted gifts need returned, and in my case, I never even received one of the gifts I ordered for my kids.  I’ve tried contacting the online retailer via email and phone, and they still haven’t responded. If you have a similar problem, or uncover any type of unauthorized debit card transaction, here’s what you should do.

It’s important that you inform the bank and dispute the charge within 60 days of your account statement date.  To do this, notify your local branch by phone, letter, or in person, and be prepared to provide the following:

  • Name, phone number, and account or card number.
  • Dollar amount of the suspected error.
  • Describe the transaction and explain why it is unauthorized.

It’s possible you may be contacted for additional documentation or information, but Bank of the Ozarks will pretty much take care of it for you from there.  If only I could get the bank to put away my Christmas ornaments too.

By Adam Lucas Adam Lucas holds a Finance degree and an MBA from the University of Kentucky. His work has appeared in many major outlets including Yahoo,, and

Monday on the Money is a weekly commentary from Bank of the Ozarks providing financial advice and solutions important to you and your family.