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how hard to get fraudulent CC charge removed?
Old 10-27-2010, 03:47 PM   #1
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how hard to get fraudulent CC charge removed?

Last month I noticed an unauthorized charge while looking at my credit card activity online. It was a single transaction for several hundred dollars, and no other unusual activity since. Well since I'd heard this was fairly common and easy to take care of, I called my CC company to dispute the charge. They asked me a lot of questions to see if I might have forgotten the purchase, loaned out my card, etc. Their transaction records showed a physical card had been swiped at the merchant. They'd mail me an affidavit form to fill out. So far all seemed reasonable.

The affidavit form arrived in the mail leaving only a few days before the bank's deadline to return it. I FAXed it back, called to confirm receipt, and figured it was taken care of. Then a couple weeks ago, I got a followup letter saying the merchant had sent them a copy of the CC receipt and I was again liable for the charge. A copy of the receipt was included, where the name and signature on the card was not mine! After calling again and being transferred around, finally someone in the fraud dept looked at the receipt and concluded this should be a fraud case. They cancelled my card and are reissuing a new one.

This is the first time I've had to dispute a fraudulent charge in many years, and somehow I didn't expect to meet so much resistance. Does this seem unusually difficult?
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Old 10-27-2010, 03:53 PM   #2
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It depends. Once I did have to return a signed affidavit that this charge was not authorized, but it felt like a mere formality as they had already tentatively reversed the charge off of the account.

Another time I noticed a few rapid-fire online purchases for electronics and car parts totaling about $3000. I called the card issuer to report it, told them which ones weren't mine, and they eliminated the charges almost immediately. I had information about where the stuff was shipped to (some place in Louisiana, IIRC) but they didn't seem to care. As I remarked earlier, it really sucks that their attitude is that it's cheaper to eat the cost of fraud than go after the fraud artists...
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Old 10-27-2010, 06:19 PM   #3
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Seems like if it is the card company that discovers suspected fraud and they contact the cardholder it is easier than if the cardholder just reports suspected fraud.
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Old 10-27-2010, 06:59 PM   #4
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As I remarked earlier, it really sucks that their attitude is that it's cheaper to eat the cost of fraud than go after the fraud artists...
Go after the fraud artists -- with what? Has your local police force increased staffing in the last year? Actually, they do collect data and aggregate it to go after the fraud rings -- but it takes awhile.

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Old 10-27-2010, 07:03 PM   #5
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This is one reason I have used a Discover Card as my main CC for many years rather than switching to one with a better rewards program: On the few occasions this has happened to me, it was resolved with nothing more than a short phone call which did not involve any accusations, extended questioning, etc. I do not believe they even even sent me a form to sign. (They were definitely the easiest company to deal with when I have had a wallet stolen.)
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Old 10-27-2010, 07:07 PM   #6
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We have a chase visa and the few times that there have been fraudulent charges all it took was a phone call to resolve it. I believe they also usually sent an affidavit for us to sign and return.
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Old 10-27-2010, 07:12 PM   #7
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Go after the fraud artists -- with what? Has your local police force increased staffing in the last year? Actually, they do collect data and aggregate it to go after the fraud rings -- but it takes awhile.

-- Rita
My experience with calling in to report fraud had been fairly successful to get the money refunded. But I pretty much knew who stole the details of my card because I had only used it online at a couple of very reputable sites, Amazon, NewEgg, etc. BUT, I used it in an emergency at a motel and the lady insisted on swiping it and having me sign the receipt. I was 99% sure it was her but the lady at VISA fraud said, "don't need that info".

They could care less it seems but as you say, they may develop some trend data to catch multi-million dollar stuff.
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Old 10-27-2010, 07:15 PM   #8
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It depends. Once I did have to return a signed affidavit that this charge was not authorized, but it felt like a mere formality as they had already tentatively reversed the charge off of the account.

Another time I noticed a few rapid-fire online purchases for electronics and car parts totaling about $3000. I called the card issuer to report it, told them which ones weren't mine, and they eliminated the charges almost immediately. I had information about where the stuff was shipped to (some place in Louisiana, IIRC) but they didn't seem to care. As I remarked earlier, it really sucks that their attitude is that it's cheaper to eat the cost of fraud than go after the fraud artists...
The thing is, the CC companies don't eat the cost, they immediately issue a chargeback to the merchant, and apply a hefty fee of at least $35 to the merchant. The merchant can "dispute" it, but the customer only needs to re-affirm their stance that it is fraud through an affidavit (which could maybe later be used against the customer if a high amount of $ is involved and the merchant would actually sue if they are pretty certain the CC user is lieing, which they almost never are). The merchant is then left holding the bag to somehow get its merchandise back. The CC companies only risk is when CC users (and in rare cases businesses) default+bankrupt their debt, they make sure to charge well above market rate interest and/or fees to cover that risk. The CC company can assess a $25 fee if the customer has actually lost their card, but otherwise cannot oppose a CC user about a charge-back.

This is just my experience from the last time I had to deal with this, could have changed a bit by now.
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Old 10-27-2010, 08:08 PM   #9
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We're running into some issues with one of our American Express Cards. A card my husband never carries and ONLY uses for scheduled recurring charges from a select number of companies.

Small (< $25) charges have been showing up from various "internet merchants" and I would never find the company information on-line. Each different company, but all out of CA according to the charge. Charge would have an address - but never a phone number. Hmmmmm!

The first I was able to dispute on-line and they automatically credited us. The next two, however, I couldn't dispute on-line because "This company is enrolled in the American Express XXX program which means they are not required to show proof of purchase." (paraphrasing)

We're like - what? Nice out for fraud!

Anyway - we just had to talk to a human at American Express to get them to work on it. The person we talked to never heard of that program - LOL!

I'm sure AMEX will figure it out. But what a hassle!

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Old 10-27-2010, 09:06 PM   #10
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I have been really pleased with American Express in this respect. They have twice caught a string of fraudulent charges and called us at home to straighten things out. We went through the list of charges and I told them which were legitimate and which were not ours. They immediately removed the fraudulent ones, issued a new card and we were good to go.
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Old 10-27-2010, 09:11 PM   #11
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I have been really pleased with American Express in this respect. They have twice caught a string of fraudulent charges and called us at home to straighten things out. We went through the list of charges and I told them which were legitimate and which were not ours. They immediately removed the fraudulent ones, issued a new card and we were good to go.
Yeah - I'm not worried about this. It's just been a bit more of a hassle than I've had to deal with before due to this "program" they have with these mysterious vendors. But they have definitely take the onus on themselves to sort it out.

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Old 10-28-2010, 08:04 AM   #12
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Their transaction records showed a physical card had been swiped at the merchant.
I suspect that "physical card" was the key. I had one fraudulent charge years ago - a phone call was all it took. More recently, I was double-billed and the merchant said they had no record of the second billing on their side. A note on the contact page got it straightened out with no hassle.

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Old 10-28-2010, 08:15 AM   #13
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I've had the exact same experience twice.
After sending them the affidavit, and with the fraud office activated, I didn't have any more difficulty, except for dealing with the new card number.
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Old 10-28-2010, 04:40 PM   #14
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The issue with the affidavit of fraud is that the bank cannot pursue criminal charges without it. When I was doing fraud investigations the bank security people all knew we wouldn't even look at a case without that document. Normally it also needs to have your notarized signature on it. Yes it's a PITA but it is part of the legal system we have to live with.

The reason is the Fourth Amendment's "...no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause..." and that affidavit establishes probable cause that a crime has in fact been committed.
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Old 10-29-2010, 04:06 PM   #15
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I had an issue with a Credit Union Card, they closed the card out immediately and took my word for which charges were mine.........there were many tiny charges ($2 and less) as well as some rapid fire charges for meals and electronics totaling about $2k. The credit union was much more interested in making sure that I opened a new account with them than pursuing the crook. Most of these cases are so obviously "out of pattern" and it only takes a pair of eyeballs and some common sense to determine possibility of fraud in the case of a longtime customer.

Are they still saying the card was physically swiped?
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