Answers about Unauthorized Charges on Your Credit Card

What should I do if there are unauthorized charges on my account?

You should contact your bank right away.  It is important to notify the bank promptly upon discovering unauthorized charges in order to limit your liability.

You may contact the bank by phone but it is best to notify the bank in writing about unauthorized charges. The bank should have provided you with information on how to notify it when you believe there is unauthorized use of your credit card. The address to write to may be different from where you send your payment.

After receiving your notice, the bank must conduct a reasonable investigation of the claim if it may hold you responsible for any part of the unauthorized use.  Actions that a bank may take in reviewing a claim include:

  • looking at the transaction in light of other purchases,
  • reviewing if the goods were delivered to the residence or place of business,
  • comparing signatures,
  • requesting a police report,
  • requesting documentation to assist in validating the claim,
  • requesting a signed written statement from the cardholder or authorized user, and
  • requesting information about the cardholder's knowledge of the person who allegedly used the card or of that person's authority to do so.

The bank must notify you of the results of its investigation.

March 2010