Information about Debit Card Fraud & Disputes
When charges and purchases appear on your statement that you do not recognize, they may be fraudulent, or they may not be. This reference guide will help you decide whether to file a dispute or a fraudulent claim. Amplify’s policies and procedures for processing fraudulent and disputed transactions are governed by the Electronic Funds Transfer Act, or Federal Regulation E, and they are outlined in Electronic Services Agreement and Disclosure
Differences Between Disputes and Fraud
The primary difference between a fraudulent transaction and a disputable transaction lies in whether or not the cardholder knowingly and willingly initiated the transaction with the merchant in the first place.
Disputes can arise between a merchant and a cardholder for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to overcharging the cardholder, charging the cardholder for merchandise that wasn’t received, or charging the cardholder for a monthly subscription that was previously cancelled.
If the transaction was never authorized or initiated by the cardholder, a fraud claim may be filed.
Determining Which Type of Claim You Have
Answering the following questions will help you to determine whether your claim is a dispute or fraud.
- Do you personally know who made the transaction on your debit card?
- Is the transaction a result of signing up online for a “free trial”, however you used your debit card to pay for shipping or a similar charge?
- Did you give or loan your debit card to anyone? (You cannot make a claim of any kind if you voluntarily gave your card to another person.)
If you answered “Yes” to Questions 1 or 2, this would be a Cardholder dispute.
If you answered “No” to all three questions, this would be considered a fraud claim.
If you answered “yes” to question 3, you do not have a valid claim. No claims can be made if you gave your card to someone voluntarily.
Debit Card Disputes
When you have a disagreement with a merchant about a charge they made to your debit card, this is considered a cardholder dispute. For example:
- You cancelled a transaction, but the merchant still charged you. For instance: you used your credit card to reserve a hotel room, and cancelled with the hotel in accordance with their cancellation guidelines, and you were still charged for the room.
- You purchased an item using your debit card, and later returned the item to the merchant, but your card was never credited for the return.
- You were charged the incorrect amount for a transaction, for example $400 rather than $40.
- You have an issue with the quality of goods or services provided.
Notifying Us of Your Dispute
It is critical that you notify us within two (2) business days of the date you first became aware of the transaction you want to dispute.
Failure to notify us within two (2) business days increases your liability from $50 to $500. Failure to notify us within 60 days of when the disputed transaction appears on your statement means you are liable for the entire amount of the disputed transaction. Please notify us of any disputes by calling 1-800-237-5087, option 3.
How Your Dispute is Processed
- You are responsible for the first $50 of any dispute. If your dispute is less than $50 it will not be processed.
- If the amount of your dispute is more than $50, we begin processing it as soon as you notify us about it. You may notify us in person or by phone.
- Once the investigation is complete, you will be notified in writing.
Fraudulent Debit Card Transactions
A transaction is considered fraudulent only when you have no knowledge of who used your card and you can state with certainty that you were not aware of the transaction. You will be required to sign an affidavit stating that you have no knowledge of who completed the transaction(s) in question. If you intentionally file a false or unsubstantiated fraud claim, you may be charged a fee.
Notifying Us of Fraud
It’s critical that you notify us within two (2) business days of the date you first became aware of the fraudulent activity.
Failure to notify us within two (2) business days increases your liability from $50 to $500. Failure to notify us within 60 days of when the fraudulent transaction appears on your statement means you are liable for the entire amount of the fraudulent transaction. Please notify us of any disputes by calling 1-800-237-5087, option 3.
Zero Liability Protection for Lost & Stolen Cards
Have peace of mind knowing that the financial institution that issued your MasterCard® or Debit MasterCard® card won't hold you responsible for "unauthorized purchases." Zero liability applies to purchases made in the store, over the telephone, or online. As a cardholder, you will not be held responsible in the event of unauthorized purchases provided that the following conditions are met:
Zero Liability does not apply to MasterCard® or Debit MasterCard® cards that were:
- Your account is in good standing.
- You have exercised reasonable care in safeguarding your card from any unauthorized use. Unauthorized use means that you did not provide, directly, by implication or otherwise, the right to use your card and you received no benefit from the "unauthorized" purchase.
- You have not reported two or more unauthorized events in the past 12 months.
How Your Fraud Claim is Processed
- Issued for commercial, business or agricultural purposes, except for MasterCard® commercial cards used for small businesses as listed on www.mastercardbusiness.com; or
- Issued or sold "anonymously" (for example, a prepaid card purchased in a store), until such time as the identity of the cardholder has been registered with the financial institution that issued the card; or
- If a PIN was used for the unauthorized purchase.
We begin processing your claim as soon as you notify us. You may notify us in writing or by phone. Amplify has ten (10) days to investigate your claim. If we cannot finish our investigation within ten (10) days we must provisionally credit your account for the amount of the claim. If your claim is determined to be invalid, you must return the provisional credit, and we will debit your account for the entire amount of the provisional credit within three (3) days of completing our investigation. We are allowed up to 45 days, or 90 days for POS transactions, transactions involving foreign countries, or new accounts to investigate your claim. Once the investigation is complete, you will be notified in writing.