How to Handle Credit Card Charges That Aren’t Yours

Being able to access your online credit card account has the added benefit of allowing you to spot unauthorized charges sooner. Even when you’re careful with your card, there’s always a chance that hackers can steal your credit card information in other ways. For example, thieves may breach a company you’ve previously done business with.

Fortunately, credit card companies are getting better at spotting fraudulent credit card charges. However, if a charge slips through the cracks, you’ll have to work with your credit card issuer to clear it up.

Liability Protection

Many credit cards carry zero liability protection that keeps you from being responsible for any fraudulent charges made on your credit card. As an added layer of protection, Federal law limits how much you could be responsible for.

When unauthorized charges are made using only your credit card information and you still have your credit card in your possession, you won’t be responsible for any fraudulent purchases made to your account.

If your card is lost or stolen, you could be liable for only up to $50, if you report the missing card right away. You won’t be responsible for any purchases made after you report missing card. However, your credit card issuer can hold you responsible for a maximum of $50 if charges are made before you report your missing card,

Reporting fraudulent charges quickly is important not only for making sure you’re not responsible. It also prevents any future charges from being made on your account.

When you spot suspicious charges on your account, report them to your credit card issuer right away. Call the number on the back of your credit card and speak to a customer service representative about the unauthorized charges. They’ll launch an investigation and send a new credit card to you if necessary.

Billing Disputes

You may need to write a letter to your credit card issuer if you see fraudulent charges on your credit card statement. The Fair Credit Billing Act protects you from being responsible for falsely billed charges, but you need to make the dispute in writing.

You have 60 days from the date the billing statement was mailed to you to dispute the charges in writing. Otherwise, if you wait too long, you may be responsible for the charges that were billed to you.

While the credit card issuer investigates your dispute, you’re not required to pay the amount in dispute. You do, however, have to make any other minimum payments due on your account.

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