Mysterious Charge Shows Up On Bank Statements

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Mysterious Charge Shows Up On Bank Statements

OMAHA, Neb. -- A mysterious charge is showing up on some bank statements across the country, and bankers said a consumer's best protection is early detection.

Dimiter Todorov said his wife found a charge for $9.85 on their February bank statement for a company listed as Ich Services.

"She saw it and couldn't recognize it, asked me and I couldn't recognize it," Todorov said.

A toll-free number listed with the charge went straight to voice mail, and Todorov said the call was never returned.

The Internet is littered with hundreds of reports of complaints about the same charge with no response from the same company. The dollar amount is similar in each case -- under $10.

A consulting firm in Pittsburgh is called ICH Services. The owner told the KETV NewsWatch 7 I-Team that the charges aren't coming from him, and he said he was upset to find out someone might be using his business name.

First National Bank Second Vice President Clint Sporhase said the Todorovs' was the first complaint the bank has received about the Ich charge. The bank is trying to track the origin of the charge.

"We'll work back, either through the merchant if possible, or through the network it was processed through -- Visa or Mastercard -- to try to resolve this for the consumer," Sporhase said.

Sporhase said unusual charges often stem from the cardholder providing personal information to a Web site with which he or she is not familiar. To protect yourself, only do business with a site that has security features.

Check statements often and write down transactions, regardless of whether payment was by check, dash or credit, Sporhase said. Otherwise you may forget what you bought by the time it's reflected in your statement.

If you see a strange charge, call your bank and dispute it. Sporhase said that gives your bank authorization to fight the charge.

That's what the Todorovs did. "They sent me a new card, canceled the old one," Todorov said. "Not too bad. It could've been a lot worse."

First National Bank said that if it determines that the charge was fraudulent, it will reimburse the amount to the Todorov account.

Wells Fargo Bank said it, too, has received complaints from customers getting the Ich Services charge.

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