Often, when purchasing through unsafe online shops or when falling for phishing scams your credit card numbers and secure personal information related to it, get stolen. Such crimes many times make it to the headlines of newspaper or television. This led many people to believe that a credit card is the most unsafe method of online payment, however the truth is not as black and white. Because every credit cards owner has a right to file a “charge back” to a particular transaction, it makes it to one of the safest payment methods, if you take the necessary prevention steps first.
Your secure personal information may get stolen in a number of ways. If you’re connecting through the internet through an insecure connection, such as in an internet coffee or public wireless connection or through a proxy, your secure data may go to another recipient before it reaches the vendors destination. On the other side merchants may have insecure websites or even purposely storing your personal information for later fraudulent use. Your computer may also be infected with a backdoor virus that sends such information directly into the hands of a thief as soon as you’re online. The best solution to this is that you use a separate credit card with a low limit for your online purchases, therefor if in the event of a credit card fraud only a low amount of money can be stolen before it’s blocked. How low the limit will be depends on the weight of your pockets and your lifestyle. It is your choice. Determine how much you would spend online at most in a month and set that limit. This is one of the most important precautions you can take.
Reasons For A Chargeback
* Charges for items you have not ordered. Unauthorized use of your credit card, most likely it was stolen or counterfeit.
* Duplicate transaction. If you paid twice for one item or service.
* Receipt of transaction is incorrect, incomplete, or illegible.
* Merchants has a money back guarantee and you requested a refund but haven’t received it.
* Ordered an item or service but never received it, is different from the description or you’re not satisfied with the quality.
* Other problems such as a declined transaction, error in transaction amount, incorrect transaction date or time, account numbers don’t match, invalid expiration date.
Initiating A Chargeback
If you are a victim of a fraudulent transaction and want your money back you would want to contact your issuing bank. Before you do that, please try and resolve this matter with the merchant who charged your credit card. Merchants are billed for any fees generated during the chargeback so unless the merchant is not responding to your calls or emails, don’t do a chargeback. Attempt to find a mutually beneficial solution. If for any reason you are dissatisfied with the merchant request a refund and give a chance to the merchant to reverse the payment voluntarily. If nothing works and the merchant does not cooperate proceed with a chargeback. Do not procrastinate, act quickly. Most financial institutions only allow a sixty day time limit for initiating a chargeback.
Prepare yourself with an exact explanation why you’re doing the chargeback and what went wrong. Acquire all details you have about the transaction in question. This may include invoices, emails, credit card statements and any other related papers. Now notify the financial institution who issued your card to make a chargeback. Explain the matter clearly with dates, written documentation and any other related information. The process begins and the vendor will now have to provide evidence they have given you their service properly. If the vendor is found guilty of charges and can not provide the required opposite proof, the financial institution initiates a reversal of the transaction amount from the merchant and credits it back to you. Similar procedure applies for the dispute process at paypal. If you paid with paypal, first go to their dispute center and try to settle the matter there, if it’s not working out, file a real chargeback like explained above.
Usually this process is pretty straight forward, but because every institution and credit card company is slightly different and subject to frequent rule changes it might get complex. Such can happen in an occasion where your charged back amount is pending transaction, because of an overdraft. The merchants account may not have sufficient founds to cover the chargeback and therefor a debit may not be possible. If your bank does not approve your request and you believe that you have provided all the required evidence, you can make a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office.