What to Do if Your Credit Card Has Fraudulent Charges

You will only be able to note credit card fraudulent charges if you monitor your statements. Many borrowers think credit cards are rarely incorrect, however fraudulent charges actually occur frequently. Some are the result of a simple electronic error. Other times, it is essential to note the problem immediately as you may be the victim of identity theft. In both cases, the process for removing the charges is the same.

Verify Your Statement

The first step to making sure your charges are handled is to verify each item on your credit card statement. If you think there has been a fraudulent charge, you should go back several months to ensure you did not miss any other charges. Next, you should look for more information on the charge. Typically, there will be a phone number you can call for the location where the card was used. You may sometimes find a retailer you shopped at actually uses a different legal name, and the fraudulent charge is actually a valid purchase. On the other hand, you may be entirely unfamiliar with the charge, and you must take actions to correct the problem.

Gather Information on Fraudulent Charge

Gather the information you will need to report the charge. This information includes the date, location, amount and other information reported on your account. You should also have your credit card account number handled. If you spoke to the retailer, you should document when you spoke to the individual and what occurred. This will help you show the credit card company you verified the charge was incorrect. It will also help should the credit card company attempt to claim the charge was from a different, valid retailer. 

Contact Credit Card Company

You will need to contact the credit card company immediately. Have the information you gathered on hand. Once you are connected to a representative, ask for the person's name and extension in case you get disconnected. This will also give you a person to follow up to directly. Explain the information surrounding why you are calling, and ask what you should do in order to have the fraudulent charge removed. Sometimes, you can contest the charge over the phone or online, which will speed up the processing of your request.

File a Proper Dispute

In most cases, you will need to file a written dispute by mail or by fax in order to have the charges dismissed from your card. The information you gathered on the charge will need to be placed in the body of the letter. You should also include your account number. Finally, provide a list of the steps you have taken so far. It is even advisable to provide the time and date you spoke to a representative and what exactly you were instructed to do. Finally, ask the charge be removed from your card immediately. If the company does not respond within 30 days, you will need to follow up again by phone and by email. Saving a copy of your initial report is the only way to verify it was sent to the company.

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