All You Need to Know about ATM Fraud Investigation Procedures


Banks and financial institutions take the process of investigating bank card fraud seriously. Unfortunately, each year the number of ATM crimes increases and bank employees have to process more and more applications. This is a long and complicated process that requires a lot of attention to detail and analysis.

This article will help you understand the specifics of the bank card and ATM fraud investigation process in more detail. Make sure to read the blog post to the end – it will be worth it!

What is ATM Card Fraud?

There are several common types of ATM card fraud that you should be aware of:

  • Stealing a bank card and then using it without permission in stores, ATMs, cafés, gas stations, and online sites;
  • Theft of confidential bank card information and its subsequent use, primarily in online stores;
  • Fraud involving the cancellation of successful transactions and unauthorized refunds for purchases or services.

If you discover any of these types of fraud, you should contact the security service of the bank that issued the card immediately. Please note that VISA, MasterCard and other card issuers are not involved in disputes with ATM card fraud. On the basis of agreements with banks, they delegate all disputes to security services of the financial organizations that operate ATMs. Accordingly, you should contact the security services even if you notice a missing bank card, a skimmer on an ATM, or an attempted unauthorized transaction from your account.

What is the ATM Fraud Investigation Process?

The process of investigating ATM fraud can take up to 10 days or more. It happens in several stages. In the end, you can get your money back if bank security detects fraud and can find the culprit.

Let’s take a look at the 3 steps of the ATM fraud investigation process:

Detecting ATM Fraud

In most cases, bank security teams become aware of fraud attempts due to the attentiveness of customers who detect a suspicious transaction. Also, banking institutions may detect an attempted withdrawal or an unsanctioned transaction on their own. In this case, they will temporarily block the account and try to contact its owner to clarify the circumstances.

Investigating the Case

Some information will need to be clarified to investigate the incident, so it usually takes 1 to 10 days. In some banking systems, information is collected automatically by software such as Verifi Order Insight or Consumer Clarity. Based on this information, the bank’s security team makes a verdict on whether a refund is possible. It is also more common to send a notification to the police if fraudulent activity is detected.

Reimbursing Stolen Funds

The terms for recovering funds lost through fraud vary, depending on the country or state in the United States. For example, some banks hold the customer liable for credit and debit cards from $50 to $500. Increasingly, however, banks are imposing zero liability policies. This means that the money can be fully refunded after an investigation if the culprit is discovered or fraudulent activity is confirmed.

How Do Banks Investigate Fraud?

Banks use a lot of data to investigate ATM and card incidents. The information analyzed includes ATM and incident location data, IP addresses, photos, and videos of the ATM at the time of the crime, analysis of bank account activity, transaction data, behavioral factors and more. Accordingly, the collection and analysis of this information can take more than 10 days, if required.

What Does the Bank Do in Cases of Fraud?

If the customer proves that fraud has been committed, they can immediately contact the bank and request a credit freeze to protect their credit rating.

As for the transaction, there are 2 option:

  • The bank may declare merchants liable for chargebacks, where the money is shared with the bank and incentives are given to the cardholder.
  • If the customer owes $5, and the cost of preventing that loss through the chargeback processes is more than $5, it’ll be easier for you to just accept that loss.

When there is an objection to a transaction, it may take up to 90 days before an investigation and chargeback are complete. The process can also take even longer if the merchant decides to contest the dispute. This is called representment: the merchant needs to “re-present” the transaction with evidence in order for it to be upheld.

So, ​​a bank must take into account new evidence and repeat their credit card fraud investigation before resolving the chargeback process.

However, in banks with an advanced security system, it is easier to detect fraud. Therefore, the possibility of the culprit being identified and you being issued a refund is higher.

Who Is Liable for ATM Card Fraud

If you are a victim of credit card fraud, the Federal Fair Credit Billing Act protects you. If your physical card is lost or stolen, you will be protected, so long as you’re liable for up to $50 in fraudulent charges.

When it comes to making payments, the bank requires merchants to reimburse payments made by users. In addition, banks will charge a fee or “chargeback” if an error is found.

If a consumer reports debit card fraud to the bank within two days of when they received their statement, they are only liable for $50. If they report it after two days but within 60 days, they are only responsible for $500. After 60 days, the consumer will be responsible for any expenses related to the fraud investigation process.

Merchants can have the best customer service in the world, but if they handle their end of unauthorized transactions poorly, their customers will take their business elsewhere.

ATM Fraud Prevention and Dispute Handling Solution

ATMEye.iQ provides a system of security measures for ATMs and banks in order to detect and prevent fraud attempts in time. It is one of the most effective systems used in banks around the world.

The comprehensive security system includes a monitoring system with multiple sensors, automatic updates, remote monitoring and security service optimization.

Integrate your bank’s security system with ATMeye.iQ’s solution for ATM security, dispute resolution and fraud prevention. The system was developed by BS/2, part of the Penki Kontinentai Group of companies and a Diebold Nixdorf distributor in 13 countries, for over 20 years.


If you find suspicious activity involving your bank card, you should immediately contact your bank’s security service. Every financial institution has a security service that investigates ATM and card fraud. It can take up to 60 days or more to find out everything, so take care to have funds outside your account, as the ones on the latter can be blocked while the investigation is underway. If the bank confirms the fact of fraud, you can get your money back under the conditions set out in the law and in the bank agreement.


How long do bank fraud investigations take?

The standard procedure for investigating bank card and ATM fraud takes up to 10 days. During this time, bank representatives must decide whether a crime or attempted fraud has been committed. If so, the customer will receive compensation or temporary credit until the disputes are resolved. However, the investigation period can increase to 45 days if required.

What happens when your bank account is being investigated?

During the investigation, your bank account may be temporarily blocked. This is necessary for a detailed examination of all suspicious card transactions. In addition, attackers could get hold of the account data and take advantage of it. This is why accounts are blocked for the duration of the investigation.

Can the bank find out who used my debit card?

Information about the use of a debit card by criminals can be revealed using such data as the time and place of the transactions. This also includes the data of the recipient (in some cases, attackers unauthorized transfer of money to their own account).

How long do banks keep ATM camera footage?

Typically, banks keep ATM security footage for 60 days. Accordingly, you can report an ATM fraud incident involving your card within this period. Otherwise, it will be difficult or impossible to remedy the situation.

How does an ATM dispute work?

A dispute with the bank is usually resolved in writing by submitting an investigation request to the bank's security service. The response may come in the form of a letter or email, depending on the institution's terms and conditions.

Do bank press charges for fraud?

Financial institutions are not authorized to press charges against potential abusers or suspects. For this purpose, the bank's security service promptly sends a request to the police if there is substantial evidence to that end. The security service conducts its own investigation beforehand.

What should I do if my bank denies my fraud claim?

Typically, banks will deny a fraud request if there is no evidence of any wrongdoing, the reporting period has expired (more than 60 days from the incident), or other factors are in play. You can try to resubmit your report or contact the police directly.

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