Credit protection does not include bank accounts

Published: Nov. 22, 2012 at 10:13 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 2, 2012 at 10:13 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Hundreds of thousands statewide have signed up for credit monitoring, and while that protects your credit, it doesn't monitor your bank account also compromised in the state's breach.

"The credit reporting does not interface with banking accounts," said South Carolina Bankers Association President Fred Green, III.

South Carolina's banks are setting up a network to watch for suspicious activity and stop it before accounts are cleaned out.

Calls have flooded the phone banks at the Department of Consumer Affairs.

"What we've been saying so far, is monitor, monitor, monitor, " said Carri Grube Lybarker, Esq. of the DCA. "Of course make sure that you're looking at your checking account, that your balancing your book, that you're looking at the statement coming in."

But should you change your account number, just to be safe? The South Carolina Bankers Association says no, pointing out your account information is on every check you write. If your account is breached, the good news is, the bank's liable.

"There would be some affidavit that you would have to sign that attests that it is fraudulent, you're not aware of it and then the bank would start their research," said Green.

If proven fraudulent, the bank should re-deposit that amount in your account and the bank is the one who's short if they can't get the money back which is why they're working on an early detection, early reporting system statewide.

"They would just share examples of potential fraud, check fraud," said Green.

That would keep others from falling victim. If you want some peace of mind by changing your account, it could be a lot of work for you.

"If your payroll is tied to that account and it's automatically deposited," said Green. "If you're receiving social security and it's automatically deposited, the client would have to contact their employer, Social Security Administration or whoever is originating those direct deposits."

Most banks won't charge you a fee to switch to a new account number, but it will cost you for new checks on that account.

Typically banks will give you up to two months to recognize and report a fraudulent charge or withdrawal from your account, which is why they encourage you to check your statement every time you receive one.

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