Credit cards Disputes: Know Your Credit Card Legal Rights

Your Credit Card Rights:

What to Do If You Have A Problem After a Credit Card Purchase or Charge

What can you do to defend yourself from scams, frauds and identity theft? Whether you think you have been the victim of a fraud or scam or want to be proactive in protecting yourself, here is a list.

  • Unauthorized use of your payment card 

     As a payment cardholder, you have many protections against the unauthorized use of your payment card (such as a debit, credit, or stored value card).

  • Many countries have laws that limit your liability for unauthorized transactions and some card issuers provide additional protections voluntarily.
  • In some cases, you may be liable for a portion of the unauthorized charge; (in the U.S., your maximum liability is $50 from the point you notify the credit card issuer of a lost card), in others your liability may depend on when and how you notify your card issuer.
  • What to do:

  • Contact your card issuer to find out what protections you have and how to use them.
  • See these pages for information about and from specific credit cards:
  • MasterCard
  • VISA cards
  • What can you do if you pay with a payment card but don't receive the product, receive the wrong product, or are billed for the wrong product?  

  • Some countries have laws protecting payment cardholders in the event of non-delivery or delivery of the wrong item.
  • In some cases, card issuers provide protections (you may want to contact them to learn about these protections).
  • In either case, you may want to contact the merchant to try to resolve your problem directly. You can also contact the card issuer.
  • What happens if you buy a product with a payment card and are unhappy with the quality?
  • Protections against problems related to the quality of goods purchased online with a payment card are less common. The best approach is to do what you would do offline: try to resolve the issue directly with the merchant.
  • If you are not successful, contact your card issuer. Legal protections may apply in some countries.
  • You might also consider alternative dispute resolution.
  • What can you do if the amount on your payment card statement differs from the amount stated on the website when you made the purchase?
  • Contact the online merchant and ask that the discrepancy be explained or fixed.
  • If you are not satisfied, contact the payment card issuer by letter to ask that the discrepancy be fixed.
  • Read your monthly statements promptly. Keeping good records about your transactions, including print-outs of your purchase confirmation pages, should help you resolve any errors.

Source: OECD's "Using Payment Cards Online: Frequently Asked Questions," which may be found at the OECD's Consumer Policy home page.

And please let us know about any suspicious calls or emails you receive.  We look for patterns so that we can alert the authorities and victims to new scams, before it is too late!




For a comprehensive list of national and international agencies to report scams, see this page.