Can I keep money occurring from a bank error? I'm not even sure if it is a "bank" error. It was an honest mistake.

Asked over 1 year ago - Dracut, MA

I had $500 dollars stolen from my account after my card was copied and used at a high end retail store in LA . The bank handled it and mastercard flagged it as being a fraudulent charge. The high end retailer put a provisional deposit into my account for $500, and the bank told me I could come in the next day to close the account (I've had a lot of issues with this bank and just wanted to be done with them). A day later the same retailer put in an additional $500. I closed the account. I didn't realize until I got to another bank to open a new account that I had way too much money. They went over the entire account and allowed me to close it, will the retailer or bank come after me for this? I'm worried but honestly need the money after getting behind on bills from the fraudulent charge.

Additional information

Would I contact the retail store or the bank? I work 60 hours a week I'm not taking time out of my life to track down the proper department of this massive high end retail chain, am I obligated to? I live across the country from the location the money came from, it's not like I can drive down there and hand it to them. I'm sending them and the bank an email and leaving it at that.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Thomas J Callahan

    Contributor Level 18


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . No, you can't keep it.

    To questioners from West Virginia & New York: Although I am licensed to practice in your state, I practice on a... more
  2. James Thomas Kinder

    Contributor Level 14


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . No. You may not retain this $. Aside from the legal issue, consider the ethical dilemma: say YOU accidentally over-paid for a service or merchandise, you would expect the over-payment to be returned, correct. Do the legal, and the right thing and notify the MasterCard bank and return it.

    Legal disclaimer: DISCLAIMER This answer is provided for educational purposes only. By using or participating in... more
  3. John P Corrigan

    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If money not yours and you willfully took it knowing there was an error than may be criminal repercussions here if you get caught.

    My answer is not intended to be giving legal advice and this topic can be a complex area where the advice of a... more

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