Credit Card Fraud

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billyo44
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Credit Card Fraud

Post by billyo44 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:56 pm

We have been getting extra charges on our Mastercard...would like some feedback from others that may be experiencing these types of issues:
1) Stayed at a privately owned Hotel...was charged twice for the room + an additional $50 each night.
Solution: I disputed the duplicate charge with Mastercard and they dropped a single room charge but not the additional $50/each night that was charged leaving an over-charge of $100. Making a long story short..called the Hotel and was told..."we are sorry for the mistake.." but gave no reason why the double charge or the extra $50 each night. When prompted about it the Rep explained.."Yes, it's like a room deposit...". There was no info in the fine print about a room deposit or any other type of charge that may occur...I believe this incident to be strictly fraud...eventually the extra charges were dropped.
2) Restaurant in Kansas City...should have been one transaction for the amount...was charged two separate transactions for this amount (double-charged).
Solution: Disputed the charges with Mastercard...charges eventually dropped.
3) Local restaurant added "a little extra" to the bill.
Solution: Called the Manager this morning...she found the receipt and stated..."we have to charge a little extra..."...but the extra charges should "come off in time"... Note: At the bottom of each transaction slip that we all sign it states ' I agree to pay above total amount according to card issuer agreement'. This means the 'stated' amount (plus any tip included), not the amount someone swiping your credit can arbitrarily enter.

Question for fellow Bogleheads: Is this the 'new norm' for restaurant/hotel credit card transactions...just plug any amount for the transaction that you please and be dishonest when confronted?

Feedback from those experiencing the same issues, please?
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Alexa9
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Re: Credit Card Fraud

Post by Alexa9 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:06 pm

I've had desperate waiters add more to the tip line. It was only a little bit so I just never returned and gave a bad review on yelp.

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oldcomputerguy
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Re: Credit Card Fraud

Post by oldcomputerguy » Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:22 pm

billyo44 wrote:We have been getting extra charges on our Mastercard...would like some feedback from others that may be experiencing these types of issues:
1) Stayed at a privately owned Hotel...was charged twice for the room + an additional $50 each night.


Frequently hotels will advertise their nightly prices, then in the small print state that there is a "resort fee" that supposedly includes the cost of things such as WiFi, use of the onsite health club facilities, etc. I always look for that when I book a room. Las Vegas is particularly bad about that; last stay I did in LV was at Bally's for an advertised $39/night, with the fine-print additional "resort fee" of $26/night.

2) Restaurant in Kansas City...should have been one transaction for the amount...was charged two separate transactions for this amount (double-charged).
Solution: Disputed the charges with Mastercard...charges eventually dropped.


Exactly what I would have done.

3) Local restaurant added "a little extra" to the bill.
Solution: Called the Manager this morning...she found the receipt and stated..."we have to charge a little extra..."...but the extra charges should "come off in time".


Absolutely not acceptable. If this had happened to me, I would report them for credit card fraud. There is no requirement that I am aware of for a restaurant (or any other merchant) to "pad" the bill, even if it does come off later. Don't go back there.

This sort of thing is exactly why I keep all my credit card receipts until the bill clears, and why I check charges online several times a week.

Side note: while doing just that, I noticed a couple weeks ago a charge on my card from United Airlines, it was tagged as "airfare", around $6-$7. I last travelled in December (via United), so I knew I had not made any such charge. Turned out the charge was legitimate, it was for an in-flight snack I had purchased on the way to LV, it just took United two months to run the charge through. I'm sure it was United's fault because I pursued it over the phone both with the credit card company and with United. So I guess I won't be preferring the "Friendly Skies" for my future travel needs. :x
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DaftInvestor
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Re: Credit Card Fraud

Post by DaftInvestor » Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:26 pm

I've never had any of these issues.
For #1 and #2 are you sure the charges went all the way through? I will routinely see "Pending" charges from hotels on my card (they test the card when you check in to make sure it is valid by running through a minimal charge) but these charges are always canceled and never finalized. Sometimes I do see them sit around for a day even after I close out of the hotel. Similarly with restaurants - I will see a "pending" charge for the amount without the tip and then a final charge for the amount with tip. Again - the pending charge will eventually drop.

For #3 - I would never eat somewhere that tells me that they need to "Charge a little extra" - unless again - this was just a pending charge that would have been auto-canceled after a day.

Gryphon
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Re: Credit Card Fraud

Post by Gryphon » Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:33 pm

Like DaftInvestor, I've had hotels place a hold on my credit card to cover any potential room charges, but they've never shown up as actual transactions.

I've seen a similar thing at gas stations. Just a couple days ago, I bought about $25 worth of gas; while checking my IMs a couple hours later, I saw one from the credit card company that the gas station had charged me $151. When I logged in to the credit card website, I saw the correct amount for the transaction, not $151. The $151 must have been the hold they placed when I initially swiped my card, which subsequently got replaced with the actual purchase amount.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Credit Card Fraud

Post by DaftInvestor » Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:49 pm

OP: If the charges you see and are complaining about are "pending"
Here's a good description of what I was trying to say (Taken from here: https://www.simple.com/help/articles/tr ... ng-charges)

Why is this transaction marked as pending?
When you make a card purchase, it’s usually authorized right away, and you'll see a pending charge appear on your account. The transaction will be reflected in your available balance and your Safe-to-Spend right away, though it may remain pending for a while before it's finalized.

The exact timeframe depends on the merchant, since they finalize their transactions in batches. It's common for them to do this once a day, but some merchants batch their transactions less frequently, resulting in the transactions that stay pending longer.

Usually, the pending charge will disappear when the settled charge is processed, but occasionally, it will linger. This happens when the merchant creates a new transaction when they run the batch, rather than finalizing the existing authorization. The pending charge will drop off on its own, usually after a week or so.

What happens if the charge is canceled while it's pending?
If the merchant cancels the charge while it’s still pending, they’ll remove it from their list of transactions to finalize. They don’t usually have a way to remove the pending hold, but it'll drop off in time (usually after a week or so).

Why is the pending charge more (or less) than I paid?
You might notice a pending transaction for more or less than the amount you paid. This typically happens at restaurants, hotels, and gas stations—essentially, anywhere the final amount of the charge might change after your card is swiped.

If the pending transaction is more than you expected, it probably has something called tolerance, added to estimate the total charge. When the transaction settles, tolerance disappears and the transaction will change to reflect the amount you actually paid.

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billyo44
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Re: Credit Card Fraud

Post by billyo44 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 5:21 pm

I would like to thank those who have posted on this discussion today...all good insight and suggestions...the 'Tolerance' practice is something I didn't know about...and if a charge if 'finalized' incorrectly I will dispute the charge and give out bad reviews on Yelp/Trip Advisor as a last resort...and 'Yes' I believe all of the charges mentioned were still in 'pending' status' but in the case of the hotel a lot of $$$ over-and-above the actual amount booked for was 'pending'...in the future I'll wait until all charged are 'finalized'.
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grabiner
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Re: Credit Card Fraud

Post by grabiner » Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:07 am

Gryphon wrote:Like DaftInvestor, I've had hotels place a hold on my credit card to cover any potential room charges, but they've never shown up as actual transactions.

I've seen a similar thing at gas stations. Just a couple days ago, I bought about $25 worth of gas; while checking my IMs a couple hours later, I saw one from the credit card company that the gas station had charged me $151. When I logged in to the credit card website, I saw the correct amount for the transaction, not $151. The $151 must have been the hold they placed when I initially swiped my card, which subsequently got replaced with the actual purchase amount.


Sometimes, merchants will warn you about the hold. Hotels and rental cars often add an extra hold to ensure that they can collect any incidental charges; you might use the hotel phone or minibar, or owe a refueling charge or tolls on the rental car, or just return the rental car a day late.
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Watty
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Re: Credit Card Fraud

Post by Watty » Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:20 am

Just FYI this is a huge problem with debit cards since you money is locked up until the extra amount is released and that can cause checks to bounce.

TravelGeek
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Re: Credit Card Fraud

Post by TravelGeek » Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:48 am

oldcomputerguy wrote:Side note: while doing just that, I noticed a couple weeks ago a charge on my card from United Airlines, it was tagged as "airfare", around $6-$7. I last travelled in December (via United), so I knew I had not made any such charge. Turned out the charge was legitimate, it was for an in-flight snack I had purchased on the way to LV, it just took United two months to run the charge through. I'm sure it was United's fault because I pursued it over the phone both with the credit card company and with United. So I guess I won't be preferring the "Friendly Skies" for my future travel needs. :x


There are several reports if this problem on Flyertalk's United forum. Completely unacceptable.

HIinvestor
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Re: Credit Card Fraud

Post by HIinvestor » Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:14 am

Yes, it is surprising and upsetting when there are charges there shouldn't be on your bill. It's always important to check carefully. One hotel we stayed at charged us for parking two cars when we only parked one. We made them re-run a corrected bill before we left the hotel.

Just the other night, I was charged for a menu item I didn't order. I was surprised because no one else in the restaurant ordered that item, so I'm surprised they would add it to my bill. The owner tried to refund me a lesser amount but I pointed out that the item I was charged for was $6 and he was giving me $4. It was just odd, especially since we have been to that place quite often before and gave never ordered the item which was added to our bill.

Once we were charged for failing to cancel reservations we never made did a hotel we hadn't stayed at in over a year. We disputed it and complained to the manager. It was even a credit card that had been cancelled!

Once we rented a car from a small company. When I got my CCard statement, it showed I had been charged the quoted este plus an additional charge. I called and was told it was because I returned the car with a flat tire. I said I didn't think it was, but if they could please send me all the documentation so my insurer could handle the claim and reimburse (the credit card provided primary car rental insurance). I asked them several times but they refused to cooperate so I disputed the claim and didn't pay the extra charge they tried to assess. The CC company was very helpful.

Yes, folks need to watch the charge slips. The irony is that we were actually in the city where the hotel was but staying in a different hotel for the night in dispute.

Thus far, we have not had anyone adjust our tips, to the best of our knowledge. Some folks always give tips in cash.

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