Can I sue somebody for obtaining my checking accountnumber and charges me without my authorization?

UPDATED: Jul 21, 2010

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Jul 21, 2010Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can I sue somebody for obtaining my checking accountnumber and charges me without my authorization?

My cable company obtained my checking account number and charged me $150 but I’m not a customer and never been.  I don’t know how did they got my account number because I did not authorise that nor give them my account infoormation. Can I sue them for that? If so, for how much?

Asked on July 21, 2010 under General Practice, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

If the cable company charged you $150 without authorization, you can sue them for the $150, plus any additional charges or fees growing out of it: for example, for any administrative costs, or the cost to possibly change banks or accounts to avoid this in the future. The problem is, in lawsuits like this, you can *generally* only sue for the actual losses or damages you suffered.

Sometimes, there may be a law or statute allowing a suit for a multiple of losses in certain defined cases involving,  for example, consumer fraud; and in a very few cases, if the defendant's conduct is sufficiently egregious, punitive damages may be allowed, which again are typically a multiple of the actual loses.

The problem for a lawsuit is that even if there is some way to get 2 or 3 times your losses, it's still not worth the cost of a lawsuit.

However, more importantly, is: 1) how did this happen; 2) who did this; 2) what else has been done--for example, have you been the victim of identify theft. You may wish to contact the police, because taking your bank account number and charging without authorizaton would be fraud if done deliberately; you should make you bank and the utility look into the matter, to determine what happened; and you should probably check your credit report.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption