How to handle unauthorized credit card fees

Unauthorized credit card charges can be a pain, but luckily you won’t have to pay these fees if you find and report them as soon as you receive them. To spot unauthorized charges, you need to pay attention to every transaction on your credit card statement, no matter how big or small.

Capture unauthorized costs faster by monitoring online transactions during the month rather than waiting for your billing statement to arrive in the mail.

Discover unauthorized credit card fees early

Woman receiving bad news on smartphone. Image taken with NIKON D800 camera system and developed from camera RAW.

An unauthorized credit card fee includes any type of charge to your credit account that you have not authorized. Often, unauthorized charges are due to the theft of a credit card – either from a stolen credit card or with a compromised credit card number.

Sometimes, unauthorized costs are caused by administrative errors or computer problems. In any case, it is your responsibility to find and report these costs as quickly as possible to minimize your liability. Before reporting costs, make sure that the charger is not made by a joint account holder or an authorized user in your account.

Many unauthorized credit card charges go unnoticed for several months because cardholders do not have a thorough review of credit card statements. Early detection is crucial when it comes to correcting unauthorized charges for credit cards. You can be held liable for charges if too much time goes by from the time you are charged to the time you report.

Specifically, the Fair Credit Bill states that you should report unauthorized charges and other errors when paying your credit card to the credit card issuer within 60 days of the date the error message was sent.

For example, if an unauthorized charge was made on February 15 and your statement was sent on March 1, you may dispute the charge in writing by April 30.

A credit card company is not legally obliged to resolve your dispute positively if you report after 60 days.

Report any unauthorized charges, regardless of the amount. In one specific type of credit card fraud, thieves charge a small bill for your account, such as $ 1, and then follow much higher rates. A small cost is usually just a test to see if your account is active and will pass a higher amount.

Credit card unauthorized pricing reporting

When you spot unauthorized credit card payments in your account, call your credit card company using the number on the back of your credit card. If you don’t have your credit card and haven’t kept a copy of your phone number, use your recently posted invoicing or card issuer’s website to find the correct number.

Never give information to someone who calls or emails that you claim to be your credit card company, no matter how legitimate it is. This is often a fraudulent fraud that thieves use to gain access to your personal or credit cards.

It is often a scam to gain access to a three-digit security code or your zip code. Always start the contact with the issuer of a credit card using a reliable phone number, for example. With your credit card, billing statements on or the actual website your credit card.

(See Identify Credit Card Fraud.)

Once you have the correct number for your credit card company, please call to report unauthorized credit card charges. It will usually cancel a compromised credit card account and reissue a new credit card with a new account number.

To further protect your rights, you should follow a dispute letter explaining the unauthorized cost of a credit card. Make the phone call and include the name of the customer service representative you spoke with.

Some credit card companies require that you first attempt to resolve the unauthorized charge with your merchant. You can usually identify the merchant by viewing your credit card statement. However, thieves sometimes pass on merchant information and it seems as if the accusations were made with a particular merchant when it really wasn’t (this is an ongoing issue with unauthorized iTunes charges).

In this case, you will need to settle through your credit card company, not your merchant.

Protect your rights

By law, you can be held liable for up to $ 50 in unauthorized charges before reporting a missing credit card, but many credit card issuers do not have any fraudulent liability policies that remove your liability for fraudulent charges. In addition, the Fair Credit Payment Act states that you will never be held responsible for unauthorized expenses incurred while your card was in your possession. In other words, if the unauthorized charges are made with your credit card information and not your credit card, you will not be liable as long as you have a physical hold of your credit card.

When you dispute an unauthorized payment, your credit card company typically removes it from your account. In the meantime, you are not responsible for paying the disputed portion of your balance. The card issuer cannot charge a fee or interest on this outstanding amount unless it is later determined that you have actually authorized the price.

To summarize: report any unauthorized charges as soon as they are received by either your merchant or your credit card company. Then follow up the dispute over the letter to the credit card company to ensure that your rights are fully protected. Take steps to protect your credit card information to prevent future unauthorized charges.