Around the world, people use their credit cards every day for almost every kind of purchase. E-commerce, which became possible because of credit cards, is extremely popular. Every 30 seconds, people shopping on their desktop computers to spend $931,490. Through their mobile devices, during that same time, another $269,683 is spent. When people are shopping online, they are often offered incentives such as free shipping for orders over a set amount and as a result people do spend more. The average United States consumer spends $78 per order. Most online shoppers know where they are going to buy something when they go online. Almost half (48%) admit this. All of this shopping has led the way to a lot of credit card fraud. As a consequence, credit card companies have instituted a number of protections for the legitimate users of credit cards. The credit card chargeback process is an example of this.
If you find there are charges on your statement that you did not make, there are steps you can take if you cannot get help from the merchant or store. Here are the steps you need to take to initiate the credit card chargeback process:
Start with the merchant or store. The first thing you need to do when you get your statement and find charges that you do not recognize, you should call the merchant or store. Most businesses will work with you. When a business has too many chargebacks, it hurts their relationship with their secure payment processing company. In addition to losing the money from the sale, they are often charged a fee. That means, if your statement has a charge from them, they will be better off if they work with you rather than make you go to your credit card company to start the credit card chargeback process. Keep records of any communications you have with the merchant. This may not be needed if they just take the charge off your card but if they refuse, you may need it.
Call the issuer of your credit card. The sooner you contact your credit card company after you find the charge you want to dispute, the better. Different credit card companies have different rules and regulations when it comes to the credit card chargeback process and set different time limits for reporting bad charges. What typically happens when you report a charge that you did not make, the credit card company will issue a provisional credit to your account. They will then start the credit card chargeback process by investigating your claim and the charge. You will also not be charged any interest on that amount while the charge is being investigated.
Do you know the charge is fraud? Make that clear. There are times when the charge on your account can only be fraud. If the business in question has gone out of business, it is absolutely fraud. If you suspect the charge on your account is the result of fraud, make sure the person with whom you speak at your credit card company is aware of that fact. Sometimes your credit card company may notice fraudulent use of your card before you do. Most monitor for strange or unusual purchases and reach out to their customers. If you live in New York and suddenly someone spends $1,500 in Ames, Iowa on farming goods, they may call to ask if that was you. It is in your credit card company’s best interest to protect you from credit card fraud.
No one expects to be the victim of credit card fraud or need to take advantage of the credit card chargeback process but it happens all of the time. In the United States, it costs the economy at least $8 billion every year. Globally, the cost was $16.31 billion in 2014. Experts in the credit card chargeback process say that by 2020, that number id expected to climb to a whopping $35.45 billion. Luckily, if you see charges on your statement that you do not recognize, there are things you can do to dispute them. You are not responsible for charges on your statement that were not made by you.