As someone who always tries to remain on the right side of the law, you may feel understandably shocked if Texas law enforcement accuses you of credit card fraud. Where did you slip up?
NerdWallet breaks down how friendly fraud works. Understand how to clear your name and protect your legal rights.
Dispute credit card charges properly
If you order something online and dislike it, you may feel entitled to a refund. While disputing a charge does not always put you on the wrong side of the law, you must ensure you dispute credit card charges according to the Fair Credit Billing Act.
If someone steals your credit card information and makes unauthorized purchases, you may dispute them. When making a legitimate purchase, the merchant may charge you twice or charge you for something you did not buy. Either way, you may legally dispute the extra charge. Say a merchant charged you for what you bought, but you noticed the item arrived damaged. You may try to resolve the issue, but the merchant could refuse to refund your money. If so, you may dispute the purchase as long as it meets specific legal requirements.
Recognize when you may request illegitimate chargebacks
Companies view legitimate chargebacks as a cost they absorb, but illegitimate chargebacks as stealing. One example of an unlawful chargeback is claiming a purchase a friend, relative or another authorized user made as an unauthorized purchase. Another example is requesting a chargeback before contacting the seller.
Think twice before asking your credit card provider to reverse a charge on your account. Without diving deeper, you could cause more trouble than you realize.