A FRAUDULENT CHARGE is third party unauthorized card use: obtaining services, credit or funds through misrepresentation of identity or information (someone steals your card number). Fraud is NOT credit card misuse and abuse, disputed transactions, billing errors or the inability to pay.
A DISPUTED CHARGE is generally not the same as fraud. Whereas fraud usually involves a deliberate action on the part of an often-unknown third-party, disputes normally arise out of billing problems with a merchant with which the Cardholder has done legitimate business: double billing, over-billing, billing for goods not received, and problems with issuing credits.
Your department may become aware of fraudulent charges in several ways:
Department monitoring of transactions received in the FlexCard Allocation Module.
A telephone call from the Fraud Divsion of U.S. Bank, which monitors all suspicious activity.
- An email notification from FlexCard Administration, which receives weekly reports from the bank of declined transactions (often indicating attempted fraud).
What to Do if You Suspect that a Charge is Fraudulent
A. With U.S. Bank
If you are a Reviewer, ask the Cardholder if the suspicious charge is legitimate.
If the Cardholder confirms that the charge is fraudulent, they must IMMEDIATELY contact the Fraud Division of U.S. Bank at (800) 523-9078.
U.S. Bank closes the account, opens a new one, and mails a new card, with a new account number, to FlexCard Administration. When the new card arrives (generally within 3 business days), FlexCard Administration contacts the Cardholder for pick up.
In most cases, U.S. Bank mails a Statement of Fraud to the Cardholder for review and signature. The Statement MUST be returned to U.S. Bank: if it is not, the provisional credits which the bank has applied to the account will be removed after 60 days and the Cardholder and Department will be responsible for the charges. FlexCard Administration monitors the return of Statements of Fraud to ensure that this does not happen.
Be patient. It may take 30 to 60 days for the fraud resolution process to be completed and for all provisional credits to be transformed into permanent credits.
B. At UCSB
After having contacted U.S. Bank, the Cardholder informs their Department Administrator of the fraudulent activity.
The Department Administrator logs onto the FlexCard Management Module and submits a REPORT A REPLACEMENT CARD. This allows FlexCard Administration to create a record for the new account number when the new card is received.
The Cardholder cuts the canceled FlexCard in half and discards it.
All fraudulent charges that appear in the FlexCard Allocation Module must be approved by the Reviewer. By clicking APPROVE, he/she is not indicating that the charge is legitimate, only that the appropriate account is being charged (it is recommended that all fraudulent charges be allocated to the card's default LAFSO). When the credits are received from U.S. Bank, they are approved to the same account and zero out the initial fraudulent charges.
The Cardholder must retain a copy of the Statement of Fraud and all documentation and correspondence related to the fraudulent activity and its resolution with U.S. Bank.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If the canceled FlexCard was being used to pay for monthly charges such as Arrowhead Bottled Water, the Cardholder must contact the merchant and have the merchant account switched over to the new FlexCard account number.
What to Do if You Have a Charge to Dispute
A. With U.S. Bank
- If there is a billing problem, the Cardholder must contact the merchant and attempt to correct the issue (the bank will not intervene if the Cardholder has not first attempted to resolve the problem with the merchant). Most issues are easily resolved.
- If the issue cannot be resolved by working directly with the merchant, the Cardholder can enlist U.S. Bank’s assistance by calling Customer Service at (800) 344-5696 and filing a DISPUTE. This must be done within 60 days of the first statement on which the disputed transaction appears.
- The Cardholder is briefly interviewed to determine the specifics of the dispute. In many cases, the phone interview is all that is required for the bank to intervene.
- If the dispute cannot be resolved during the phone interview, Customer Service informs the Cardholder of any additional documentation that needs to be sent to the bank.
- Customer Services issues a case number and a Dispute Representative contacts the merchant. Additional documentation may be required from both parties and may take up to 35 days to be received from the merchant.
- After all documentation is reviewed, the Dispute Representative determines if recourse is available through VISA.
- If no recourse is available, if additional cardholder documentation is not received by the requested date, or if the dispute is resolved in favor of the merchant, the dispute is closed and the Cardholder is notified via mail.
- If recourse is available and the dispute is resolved in favor of the Cardholder, a credit is issued and the Cardholder is notified, again via mail.
Note: At this point, the merchant is still able to file a rebuttal and the case may remain open, as U.S. Bank continues to work with the Cardholder and merchant. If there is a rebuttal, the dispute process can take up to 90 days to complete.
B. At UCSB
- All disputed charges that appear in the FlexCard Allocation Module must be approved and allocated to the appropriate LAFSO.
- If the dispute is resolved in the Cardholder’s favor, credits issued by U.S. Bank will be allocated to the appropriate LAFSO and will zero out the initial disputed charges. If the dispute is not resolved, in the Cardholder's favor, the charges will stand. The Cardholder must retain copies of any documentation related to the dispute, including documentation sent to/received from U.S. Bank.