Privacy, Security, and Fraud Protection — Handling Fraud Disputes

Handling Fraud Disputes

Banks and credit card companies take security and the potential for fraud very seriously. You may get a call if charges are made in regions or countries far from your home, or if unusually expensive items that don’t fit your usual spending pattern are detected. They are looking out for you, but you are your own best defense. Staying vigilant—carefully reviewing your credit card and bank statements and keeping an eye out for charges you don’t recognize—is the best way to catch mistakes and potential fraud.

Contact your bank or credit card company and let them know that you have a question about a charge on your account.

  • Provide the company with as much detail as you can about the charge and your attempt to resolve the issue with the merchant. 
  • If the dispute cannot be handled over the phone, some companies require that you complete a form to describe the dispute in writing, sign and return. In addition to an explanation of the issue and cost, many companies also require that you submit copies of any related receipts.
  • Your credit card company will then respond to your dispute within 30 days of receiving the completed form.


  • Gather any relevant receipts before you call. It can be helpful to have copies of your receipts available to share with the merchant or send to your card issuer to help speed up resolution.
  • If there is more than one charge on your bill that you don’t recognize, someone may have access to your account number, which means you may be a victim of fraud. Call your card company immediately to report the potential fraud.
  • Most credit card issuers limit your liability for fraudulent charges. Some have zero liability policies and others cap the amount and you can be liable for up to the first $50 in fraudulent charges.
  • If your dispute gets denied, ask your credit card company about your options and see if there is additional information you can provide to change the outcome.

How can I make online shopping safer?

Your online security depends on how well you protect your information. Watch this video for tips on safer online shopping.

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