Published on 12-15-2017
Categories: Member Tips
We realize it can be very frustrating to have charges in your account that you don’t recognize. We know that the only thing that matters to a member experiencing this is identifying the charge or recovering their money.
We’ve recently noticed an uptick in credit and debit card fraud disputes that, upon investigation, turn out to not be fraud. Typically, in this situation, we might hear from a member who sees an unfamiliar transaction on their account and reports it as an unauthorized charge. Our team then works with Visa to confirm its legitimacy.
In a growing number of cases, the merchant has been able to demonstrate that the member actually made the purchase, but didn’t recognize the charge when it came through on their statement. Some examples of where this has happened recently:
When members submit disputes each one is different. In situations like the ones above where the member established a relationship with the merchant, it is not fraud. The member was required to provide their credit card number to enroll. They also agreed to the merchants’ terms and conditions. Unfortunately, we cannot treat situations like these as fraud and are obligated to pay the merchant. Also, Coastal is only able to dispute transactions once, and once they have been resolved, we cannot submit those same transactions again for dispute. The member’s only recourse is to contact the merchant to recover their money.
If services were cancelled or services weren’t delivered as promised, but the member was charged anyway, we always recommend contacting the merchant. This is the easiest way for members to recover their hard earned money (when returning merchandise to the merchant, always request a return shipping label from the merchant to ensure receipt). If the merchant still has not issued a refund the member, Coastal will initiate the dispute on behalf of the member as long as you can show proof the services were canceled. If the merchant has proof that the member agreed to the terms and conditions, unfortunately, the member will lose the dispute and not recover their money.
In most instances, a member’s best defense is to be vigilant when making online purchases and not be caught by surprise later on.
Tips to Avoid Getting Surprised by Unknown Card Transactions:
Paul Narcisse is Coastal’s AVP, Fraud. He and his team work diligently to protect Coastal and our members from exposure and losses caused by fraudulent activity.