Bank fraud and unauthorized payments can be a difficult problem for people that have many transactions done via the Internet. You could require an Automated Clearing House (ACH) block or a "hard hold" on a bank account if you detect unauthorized transactions. ACH debits are electronic debits that are set up to be taken out at a specific time. Often, the bank account owner is not notified if an authorized or unauthorized ACH debit is sent to the account.
Placing an ACH Block
Check your bank statements. It's imperative that you check your bank account statements and go over all the charges and be on the lookout for any unplanned or unknown charges. If the charges are electronic based, then they are likely ACH debits and they may happen again.
Contact the bank. The bank can place an ACH block on your account that will block any and all subsequent ACH from your account. This will keep you bank account from being charged these fees and prevent any overdrafts and overdraft fees.
Monitor the account. Even though there is an ACH block on the account, its important to monitor the debits just in case the bank will let one slip through. It's not impossible for the bank to let one slip especially if the company sending the ACH debits sends several of them at different amounts.
Placing a Hard Hold
Close your account. In order for a hard hold to be placed on the bank account, it must first be closed by the bank. Even though the account is closed, without a hard hold any debits sent to that account will be returned and you will be charged a overdraft fee.
Ask for a hard hold. When the bank account is closed, make sure to contact the bank and ask that a hard hold be placed on the account. They may be unwilling, but persistence will pay off and a hard hold will eventually be placed on the account.
Pay bank credit cards. The bank may not want to place a hard hold on the account if you have any outstanding balances on a bank credit card. You should make sure all credit card charges are paid and no additional charges are forthcoming.
Brock Cooper attended Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Ill. He was a reporter for seven years with a daily in Illinois before branching out into marketing and media relations. He has experience in writing everything from press releases to features on a variety of subjects and forums. His work can be seen in NewsTribune newspaper, Chicago Parent magazine and several websites.