Surprise fee on your bank statement

June 3, 2009 4:02:10 PM PDT
Take a close look at your checking account. Unauthorized charges could be draining it dry. It's happening to people all over the country, including right here in Houston. In the grand scheme of things it may not seem like a whole lot of money, but when someone is taking it out of your account without permission, $14.95 is a big deal.

"I think that it is some sort of a scheme or scam by somebody," said Steven Kenney who had money taken from his account.

Keeney says the charge to his checking account came from a company called Web Revenue Service. It's a company Keeney says he has never heard of and did not allow into his checking account. He's not the only one seeing the charges.

"I went online, just curious, I put in the phone number on a search engine and I came across a forum where a bunch of other people have the same charge," Keeney told us. "[It was] $14.95 by Web Revenue Services and no one had authorized their charges either."

The forum has people from Hawaii to Tennessee complaining about the charges. When Keeney called the number listed with the $14.95 charge, he left a message and the next day the money reappeared in his account.

"I would say check your online account, make sure you don't have any weird charges popping up, especially from Web Revenue Services," Keeney advised.

That's the same advice the Houston Better Business Bureau is giving.

"You need to make sure you review those charges very closely and do it every month," advised Deana Turner with the bureau. "And just because it is a small charge does not mean that it should be over looked."

Turner says the first thing someone should do if they see an unauthorized charge is to call their bank and the company charging the account.

"You don't even know who they are, it's not as if it was someone you previously did business with," Turner told us. "They are unknown and so that makes it even more egregious."

This morning we called the company that posted the charge and so far we have not heard back.

So how are these companies getting account information in the first place? There does not seem to be a common thread among those who have seen the charge, but remember all those credit card breeches? It is certainly possible that could be a way personal information gets out, but so far no one knows how the account numbers are getting hit with unauthorized charges.

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