Are Citizens Bank Accounts Protected From Fraud?

If you’re facing fraud and Citizens Bank won’t listen, we want to hear about it…

Identity theft and fraudulent activity can be incredibly overwhelming, shut down all of your accounts, and cost you a great deal of money. If you have issues with hidden fees, suspicious activity, or fraudulent accounts, you expect Citizens Bank to help. But what happens when they don’t? We explain. 

Are Citizens Bank Checking and Credit Card Accounts Protected from Fraud?

There are different Federal regulations that protect accounts from fraud, based on the type of account. For credit cards, § 1026.12 Special credit card provisions stipulate that consumers are only liable for up to $50. For checking accounts, Federal Reserve Regulation E guarantees no liability for cases of proven fraud. 

Does Citizens Bank Reimburse Stolen Money?

Yes. Citizens Bank has a zero liability policy which means you are not liable for any unauthorized purchases made on your account as long as you report them immediately. Once you report fraudulent activity Citizens Bank deactivates your card, issues a new one, and opens an investigation. With Citizens Bank any fraudulent purchases or stolen money only gets refunded to you once their internal claims group has confirmed the activity as unauthorized.

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Report Fraud to Citizens Bank

If you see any fraudulent or suspicious activity on your account, you must immediately contact Citizens Bank. You must call 1-800-922-9999 or the number on the back of your monthly statements. If you received any suspicious emails, you can forward them to abuse@citizensbank.com

What Can a Scammer Do with My Account or Card Number?

If a scammer gets ahold of your account number or your credit card number, they can make unauthorized purchases, transfer money out of your account and into their account, take money out of an ATM, get a cash advance from a credit card using Western Union, and potentially steal your identity. The sooner you can identify fraudulent activity and report it, the less likely someone is to get away with multiple fraudulent acts.

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Do Financial Institutions like Citizens Bank Really Investigate Fraud?

Yes, financial institutions like Citizens Bank really investigate fraud. It’s in their best interest. If they don’t investigate or follow up, they don’t have the opportunity to catch the perpetrator, let alone prevent it from happening in the future. You might not hear much from Citizens Bank once you submit your initial complaint because they are conducting an investigation. They might reach out to the merchant or email them when this happens, but they don’t need any information from you. That doesn’t mean they are investigating, it just means that they sent you the provisional credit and are following up with the fraud department. 

In fact, Citizens Bank has systems to detect unusual activity patterns indicative of fraud. If they see something on your account that could be fraudulent, they will contact you to verify the activity. They also urge you to independently verify the number they use to contact you. You will never get a call or an email from Citizens Bank asking for any login credentials or passwords. 

Sometimes this results in Citizens Bank mistakenly freezing transactions because they suspect fraud, which can cause delays for consumers getting their money. One customer noted:

“I deposited a retirement loan check into my account drawn off Prudential on 9/9. My account was locked down for fraud due to the check on 9/14. My check card was deactivated and I was unable to gain access to my existing funds in my savings or checking. Customer service transferred me to fraud card services who told me they couldn’t assist me. I called back through customer service and asked for account fraud services. I was told by the foreign rep that he could not lift the hold due to the fact my account is under investigation. He said the check is on hold and it could take up to 2 to 22 days to resolve. The funds that I had available, prior to the check is also frozen. Thankfully this isnt my primary checking account or I would up the creek. Once this account is off hold, I am closing all my accounts and transferring my money back to Webster. Hate this bank.”

In spite of the safety provisions and fraud detection, there are still times when Citizens Bank doesn’t honor its fraud policy. One customer explained:

I had multiple fraud problems and this last one they are refusing to refund me almost $2000! They said with a business checking I should be checking my account every 24 hours. I noticed about a month after the fraud took place as I don’t even use this account and they are refusing my claim! Shame on them for failing to protect my money and not refunding me! I literally used this account one time to order checks. How can fraud take place!?” 

Related: How to Spot and Report Illegal and Unfair Banking

What to Do If Citizens Bank Won’t Help

If you are still struggling to get a resolution and Citizens Bank customer service isn’t helping, you have other options. You can try to file a complaint against Citizens Bank, sue them in small claims court, or use consumer arbitration.

Share your complaint about Citizens Bank with FairShake today. 

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