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Coinbase provides a service similar to Paypal. People use it to send and receive money.

You are seeing a charge on your statement because someone connected your bank account on our website and used it to purchase bitcoin (a digital currency).

If you don't recognize this charge, it's possible that someone has connected your bank account without your permission. Read on to find the best way to resolve this.

By following the steps on this page you can get your money refunded and ensure this does not happen again.

How did this happen?

Identity theft is (unfortunately) becoming increasingly common on the internet. If you don't recognize the charge, it is likely that someone was able to obtain your online banking information and is using this information to try and take money from your account.

This can be scary when it happens, but as long as you notice the activity within 60 days and report it to your bank you will be able to recover your funds.

How did a fraudster get my bank information?

Your bank information may have been stolen in a few different ways. A few examples include:

  1. You may have a virus installed on your computer called a "key logger". Fraudsters can use this virus to record your keystrokes as you type (such as your username and passwords) and use it on sites like Coinbase.
  2. Keyloggers can also be installed on public computers (such as at a hotel or library) if you've ever signed in to online banking from one of these computers.
  3. It could be a friend or relative who shares your account and is using your account without your permission.

Why didn't you stop this person from using the stolen information?

We make each user on our site go through several verification steps. Having just the account number, routing number, and name on the account is not sufficient to generate a charge.

If the fraudster was able to connect your account on Coinbase it means they were able to complete one of these steps:

  • Entering the username and password for your online banking. This includes any additional sign in steps used by your bank, such as pin code.
  • Telling us the amount of two small credits to your bank account. This means they had access to the bank statement (usually via online banking). If you see several small credits for less than $1 to your bank account, then this verification method was used.

If you are seeing a charge it means someone was able to successfully impersonate you using one of these steps.

How can I fix it and get the money back?

  1. The first thing you should do is run a virus scanner to ensure they can not steal additional passwords from your computer.
  2. Next, you should change your online banking password so the attacker can not try to use your stolen bank account information on any other websites.
  3. Next, you should report the transaction as being fraudulent to Coinbase. This will block the fraudster from using your account further on Coinbase (note that this does not perform the refund).

    Transaction Date Amount ($) First Eight Digits of Payment Code
  4. Finally you should report the charges as fraudulent to your bank and initiate a dispute. This will recover your funds and result in a refund to your account.

Coinbase bears the cost of these disputed transactions when funds are returned to you, and the fraudster has already sent the funds elsewhere. As long as you catch fraudulent activity within 60 days, your bank will be able to help you recover your funds.