Bogus Credit Card Charges

Today TaxMama  wants to discuss the importance of reading your credit card statements on a timely basis.

Dear Family,

Yesterday, I received quite a shock after reading my latest Discover statement.

The statement showed a $347 charge that should not have been there. That wasn’t the shock. The shock came when I learned that this company has been charging me ever since July and I had not noticed. I thought I’ve been pretty careful about reviewing all the charges each month. How in the world did I miss this? By the time I’d caught it, they had already charged me again for September, with total bogus charges of nearly $1,000.

Never mind. It’s a long story. And my particular mistake won’t be yours. We all manage to find different reasons for not catching things. The point is – look at your statement carefully. If something appears that seems familiar, but you can’t quite place it? Call the phone number on the charge and follow up. Don’t just let it pass.

You generally only have about 60-90 days (read your fine print) to dispute a charge. So if you don’t catch it immediately, you won’t get the charge reversed.

While I was on the phone with Discover, Andrew was calling the vendor. They claimed they could only credit back the most recent charge – not the other few months. They didn’t have the ability to issue credits that far back. Really? Nonsense! I just asked Discover to issue the credits. They have. Oh, they will investigate. In the meantime, my report is on the record on time.

One of the tactics I’ve seen fraudulent vendors use is to make promises to you, to issue the credit. You wait to see it come through. It doesn’t. Your window to file the claim closes. These days, you don’t need to wait for your statement to see if the promised credit comes through. Go online, or call your credit card company’s customer service line daily. If the credit doesn’t appear within three business days – file your complaint and preserve your rights.

And remember, you can find answers to all kinds of questions about fraudulent credit card charges and other tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At www.TaxMama.com.

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