This article covers how to dispute a charge with your debit or credit card company. It can be very frustrating and stressful to be charged for a transaction you feel you shouldn’t have to pay due to reasons such as fraud or never receiving the goods of services.
Why would you need to dispute a charge?
There are many reasons why one would need to file a dispute with their credit card company. For example, if you have been the victim of a scam, or you’ve noticed something fishy going on with your card, you should speak to a fraud representative. You could also contact the three credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, and put a fraud alert on your credit file.
How to protect yourself from credit card fraud?
Your credit card company and the credit bureaus are working hard to make sure your information is secure. But, there are some simple steps you can take to make it even safer:
- Don’t give out your personal information unless it’s a trusted source.
- Don’t click on links in email that are asking for personal information.
- Only enter your personal information into a website when you’re on the company’s official website. You can do this by clicking on the lock icon 🔒 to check the SSL details match the company name
- Check your credit card statements and bank account information regularly, and contact your credit card company or bank if there’s been any suspicious activity.
- Ask your credit card company to send your statements in a secure manner.
If you’re worried about identity theft, there are also some steps you can take to protect yourself:
- Register with the National Fraud Information Center, which is a partnership between the Federal Trade Commission and the Bureau of Justice.
- Subscribe to a fraud alert service, which will notify you of any suspicious activity on your credit card, bank account, or any other accounts you have registered.
- Tell your bank to call you if any suspicious activity is going on with your account. Consider freezing your credit, which will prevent any new credit applications from being approved. It can be hard to open a new account if you do not have credit, but it is a good way to prevent identity theft.
What can I do after I’ve noticed a fraudulent charge on my credit card?
The best way to protect yourself from credit card fraud is to not get scammed in the first place. If you do become a victim, it’s important to take action right away. If you’ve been targeted by a scam, the FTC has put together a list of steps you should take to protect yourself. The FTC recommends that you:
- Contact your credit card company, consider freezing your card if necessary.
- Contact the three credit bureaus and consider putting a fraud alert on your credit file.
- Ask your bank to call you if there’s any other suspicious activity on your account.
- File a complaint with the FTC or your local police department.
Credit card scams can be devastating, but there are several things you can do to protect yourself. You should also take steps to protect yourself from all types of scams, including phishing scams, by being aware of what’s going on in your area. This is important, because scam artists are constantly looking for new ways to get your money, and they’ll use different tactics in different areas.
How can I dispute a charge on my credit card?
Your credit card company will usually request you email a letter them asking to refund the charge, at the expense of the merchant. In your letter, be sure to explain exactly why you feel you shouldn’t have to pay the charge. Also, it’s a good idea to enclose copies of your receipts and past charges.
It’s also a good idea to include a copy of your credit card agreement, which you can find online. In your letter, make it clear you are asking for a full refund of the disputed charge as well as any interest and other fees that may have accrued. Here is a sample letter that you can use in your dispute of a credit card charge:
Dear Sir or Madam:
I am writing to dispute the charge for $____ on my credit card account. I have been a loyal customer for over ____ years and I have never been charged a fee for a late payment. This charge is completely unjustified and I am sure that you will agree when you review my account. The merchant was not authorized to charge this amount on my card.
I am requesting that this charge be fully refunded to me as well as any interest that may have accrued on this late charge.
What happens next?
The credit card company will usually send you a letter within 2 weeks of receiving your dispute letter. In the letter, the credit card company will either:
- Agree with you and give you a refund for the amount disputed
- Ask you for more information regarding the dispute; the bank also may issue you a temporary credit while their investigation into the charge is pending
- Or, the bank could disagree with you and say that you owe the amount charged; in these cases the merchant wins the dispute due to the bank decision.
- Should the bank disagree with you, there may be the option to take the dispute to arbitration
Depending on the response from the bank and the sums of money involved, you may want to contact a credit card dispute attorney to review your case. This will ensure you’re getting the best advice from an experienced professional.
Hopefully this guide on how to dispute a credit card charge has been helpful. If you have any questions about this, please leave a comment below.