Keep an eye out for a refund check if you think a mystery debit sucked money from your bank account. It may have happened after you shopped with an online discount site or while you applied for a payday loan.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is sending 34,859 refund checks to people whose bank accounts were debited, allegedly without their consent, by Nevada-based payment processor Automated Electronic Checking Inc. (AEC).
A total of $870,000 is on the way to consumers who found these surprise debits on their statements. The amount you’ll receive depends upon how much you lost. The average check will be about $25. It’s not a lot, but it is something and it is the holiday season.
The FTC says the debits occurred “…through a relatively new payment method called remotely created payment orders to give merchants access to consumer bank accounts, AEC debited many consumers who had never heard of AEC or its client merchants.”
It may seem like found money, but be sure to cash the check as soon as possible. Your check must be cashed within 60 days of the mailing date.
Be aware that some people may contact you and suggest that you pay money or provide information before you can cash the check. That’s another scam. If you have any questions after you receive the check, call the FTC refund administrator, Analytics Consulting LLC, at 1-855-529-6824, or visit www.FTC.gov/refunds
This investigation was part of President Obama’s initiative to fight financial fraud at the consumer level.