Wells Fargo Bank CC Dispute

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jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#21
For what it's worth, this is standard operating procedure in the credit card industry. I use Citibank, which can be draconian with security measures, and I've gotten similar calls/texts asking for confirmation on simple purchases as well as unusual charges while traveling.

In all cases, your replying to the confirmation simply tells the CC company that it's really you. But the charge has already been declined at that point.

You must resubmit the charge or make the purchase again for it to go through -- now that the CC company knows it's you. The reply back from Citi to my confirmation literally says: "Thanks. Please reprocess your charge."

Switching CC companies won't change any of this.
So true! Chase and I went round and round for several YEARS about their "draconian" security measures ... the perfect adjective. I got the fraud department on the phone after the first couple of years and told him that I wasn't going to let Chase know every time I left my house. I mean, a $70 charge at a supermarket? It was in Houston, but really, if someone's going to defraud me, I don't think they'll be buzzing around with a cart full of groceries. I wouldn't do business with Wells because they're an unethical bank, but it sounds like their credit card security is just like everyone elses. As Christina points out, all for our protection, of course.
 

mmb

Verified Member
Jan 20, 2015
986
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#23
I don't think they'll be buzzing around with a cart full of groceries.
Except....that’s exactly what they did with my cc info.
NFCU let someone charge three different trips to Winn Dixie grocery store in Tampa, (I live 3 hours south in Naples) in one day. Person just got bolder and spent more $ each trip. They also bought gasoline. Who knows how far they would have gone if left unchecked
Agree with Christine, fraud does cost us all, in the end, even if we don’t have to pay the charges.
 

johnbaker

Verified Member
Oct 2, 2014
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#24
@jsn55 Last time my card was skimmed they started with a $0.70 charge and went from there... Fraud costs everyone eventually... Banks just aren't going to "eat" it indefinitely.
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
1,420
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113
Maui Hawaii
#25
@jsn55 Last time my card was skimmed they started with a $0.70 charge and went from there... Fraud costs everyone eventually... Banks just aren't going to "eat" it indefinitely.
Typically the card thieves start with a minor charge. Once it goes through they start charging larger items until the CC carrier picks up the out of area and otherwise unusual charges and sends an alert. We went to a museum in Denver 2 years ago and when we arrived home that eve found an alert from Chase for multiple charges that day from the Denver area but not in the area we had visited. The charges were from gas stations and convenience stores starting with a sub-$1 charge and going up to $50-100 charges. We had used the card three times at the museum for admission and lunch, but had never used the card anywhere else in the area (we live 2 hrs away). The museum of course denied that the card theft could have happened there. I called the police and the local news station who pursued it. I was never informed about the result of the investigation.

We were not responsible for the charges but had to cancel the card. This costs the card issuers billions of $$ per year, which is passed on to all of us.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
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Dec 27, 2014
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#26
Wouldn’t you rather be safe then sorry? My wife had her debit card info stolen at a gas station. After a $500 gas charge the bank called and they were able to stop it at that point but the thieves bought gas starting in Brooklyn all the way down to Atlanta and drained the bank account. If they had an alert sooner she would have been able to stop it sooner.

That’s the last time she ever used a debit card at a gas station and now we both tug on the card reader when we use a machine to make sure the reader doesn’t come off.

I get an alert every time I use my Amex card without swiping it. I’d rather do that than have to worry about an unauthorized charge.

If you have ever had your account compromised you probably wouldn’t mind the alerts.
 
Feb 3, 2017
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#27
I have alerts set up with all my cards so whenever one is used without my swiping it I get an immediate notice of it which is how I caught a fraudulent charge -

As soon as I saw the alert, I called my bank and while I was on the phone discussing killing the card, the customer service rep suddenly said "another charge for the same amount at the same place just came in" - I pretty much shouted "kill it!" - (I was sitting in a doctor's waiting room - not a great place to be shouting such a thing....)

Having the alerts is how I learned right away about a fraudulent charge on my Amex as well. They may be annoying to some people but I find they provide peace of mind more than anything -

If LW sets up these alerts it is a chance to catch such situations quickly; the LW would have known the charge didn't go through as she would have expected such an alert and when it didn't come in, LW could have called right away to find out status of the charge.
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
1,420
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113
Maui Hawaii
#28
Wouldn’t you rather be safe then sorry? My wife had her debit card info stolen at a gas station. After a $500 gas charge the bank called and they were able to stop it at that point but the thieves bought gas starting in Brooklyn all the way down to Atlanta and drained the bank account. If they had an alert sooner she would have been able to stop it sooner.

That’s the last time she ever used a debit card at a gas station and now we both tug on the card reader when we use a machine to make sure the reader doesn’t come off.

I get an alert every time I use my Amex card without swiping it. I’d rather do that than have to worry about an unauthorized charge.

If you have ever had your account compromised you probably wouldn’t mind the alerts.
Wholly agree. I would rather get dozens of alerts for one theft of CC information. I thank Chase every time they flag an unusual purchase. Many are legitimate, such as a subscription that originated in the UK, but some are not.
 
Likes: VoR61
May 15, 2016
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#29
This is a real big problem - that has happened to myself. I purchase something expensive online- like an airline ticket. I get a text on the phone asking me if it is legitimate or not. I IMMEDIATELY respond that it is a valid charge. But that isn't fast enough for the airline to consider the charge to be denied when it isn't instantly approved. Now I am in a horrible limbo - not sure if airline tickets were bought or not, don't want to purchase a second set (Horror stories I have seen on Elliot regarding this kind of duplicate purchase), not sure whether initial charge will be actually charged or not. Check online with CC company - things could be "pending" for 2-3 days. meanwhile, you don't know if you actually have tickets or not. The problem is the limbo area of "pending claims" . Someone here said either a charge is approved or it isn't. But unfortunately that statement is not correct.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#30
This is a real big problem - that has happened to myself. I purchase something expensive online- like an airline ticket. I get a text on the phone asking me if it is legitimate or not. I IMMEDIATELY respond that it is a valid charge. But that isn't fast enough for the airline to consider the charge to be denied when it isn't instantly approved. Now I am in a horrible limbo - not sure if airline tickets were bought or not, don't want to purchase a second set (Horror stories I have seen on Elliot regarding this kind of duplicate purchase), not sure whether initial charge will be actually charged or not. Check online with CC company - things could be "pending" for 2-3 days. meanwhile, you don't know if you actually have tickets or not. The problem is the limbo area of "pending claims" . Someone here said either a charge is approved or it isn't. But unfortunately that statement is not correct.
Call the airline. Were you issued a ticket with an actual ticket number?
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Sep 19, 2015
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#31
Wouldn’t you rather be safe then sorry? My wife had her debit card info stolen at a gas station. After a $500 gas charge the bank called and they were able to stop it at that point but the thieves bought gas starting in Brooklyn all the way down to Atlanta and drained the bank account. If they had an alert sooner she would have been able to stop it sooner.

That’s the last time she ever used a debit card at a gas station and now we both tug on the card reader when we use a machine to make sure the reader doesn’t come off.

I get an alert every time I use my Amex card without swiping it. I’d rather do that than have to worry about an unauthorized charge.

If you have ever had your account compromised you probably wouldn’t mind the alerts.
Neil if it makes your wife feel any better my debit card was cloned — pre chip days — from an ATM at a bank in the US. My card was shut down while I was in Europe. Thieves got $400 before it was shut down and I could not get cash. The bank was super helpful— while on the phone to them they momentarily unblocked my account so I could get cash and then re-blocked it. The thieves tried to get another 400 but it did not work.

Later back in the US the bank told me that I was one of several — skimmer device and camera to catch PIN numbers — I had gotten cash before leaving during a weekend and that is when thieves often set up the skimmer and camera and dismantle it by Monday.

In the end I got the money back but it was an incredible hassle.

Always check the slot for a card skimmer and cover the PIN pad.
 
May 15, 2016
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#32
I am not writing for advise, nor about anything current. I am just pointing out how there is a "gray" area, a no-man's land so to speak, where bad problems occur, and there is no clear solution. This is regarding purchases that get suspended by CC company until you respond, combined with how the merchant handles this not-immediate approval. The approval comes a few seconds or minutes later, and the merchant (airline) has no clear policy on how it handles this late approval - does it process the ticket request? Is it already cancelled? If you call and ask the airline, can you rely absolutely on the response of the representative - do they make mistakes? Is there a pending charge on your CC bill - when will you know if it is actually charged or has it already been withdrawn? Then you need Elliott to resolve it - just a mess.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#33
I am not writing for advise, nor about anything current. I am just pointing out how there is a "gray" area, a no-man's land so to speak, where bad problems occur, and there is no clear solution. This is regarding purchases that get suspended by CC company until you respond, combined with how the merchant handles this not-immediate approval. The approval comes a few seconds or minutes later, and the merchant (airline) has no clear policy on how it handles this late approval - does it process the ticket request? Is it already cancelled? If you call and ask the airline, can you rely absolutely on the response of the representative - do they make mistakes? Is there a pending charge on your CC bill - when will you know if it is actually charged or has it already been withdrawn? Then you need Elliott to resolve it - just a mess.
My card issuer specifically says pending is an authorized charge.
 
May 15, 2016
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#34
"My card issuer specifically says pending is an authorized charge. "

I don't know how your card issuer informed you that a pending is an authorized charge. I can tell you for a fact that I use my CC card for business purchases and on a weekly basis, I get pending charges for purchases that are different from the final purchase amount. The vendor processes a pending charge for merchandise without knowing the shipping costs. A few days later, they get the final information from the shipping dept and the actual charge is different. (I have no idea why they do it that way - other vendors don't) . The pending charge means nothing until it is finalized.
 
Likes: VoR61
Sep 20, 2018
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#35
Again, the issuing bank responds with "Approved" or "Declined". Those are literally the only options.

Now, there are different ways for the charge to be submitted *by the merchant* (it can be submitted as a "hold" for, for instance, to be finalized (perhaps even to $0) at a later date/time), and some of the different "Decline" codes permit the charge to be re-submitted by the merchant later. You can peruse the tables of these things at various places online. None of the return codes are "pending cardholder approval", or anything like that. In Visa-land (and I'm sure the other networks are similar), there's three approval codes (Approved, Partial Approval, and "Approved V.I.P.", and dozens of Declined codes.

But finalizing the charge, or re-submitting it, is *all* on the merchant. The issuing bank *cannot* do it themselves. All I was responding to was OP saying they were going to switch banks because WF didn't go back and complete the charge after they said it was ok; it's simply not something WF is supposed to do, nor is it in their power.

The party to ask when a charge is in limbo like this is the merchant, not your bank.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Sep 19, 2015
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#36
"My card issuer specifically says pending is an authorized charge. "

I don't know how your card issuer informed you that a pending is an authorized charge. I can tell you for a fact that I use my CC card for business purchases and on a weekly basis, I get pending charges for purchases that are different from the final purchase amount. The vendor processes a pending charge for merchandise without knowing the shipping costs. A few days later, they get the final information from the shipping dept and the actual charge is different. (I have no idea why they do it that way - other vendors don't) . The pending charge means nothing until it is finalized.
It is on the Chase website.

“Pending Charges The pending charges line of your Account Details page shows the charges that have been authorized but not yet posted to your account.”

There is an entire explanation of the process. Gas stations are the typical example of not having the final amount.
 
Likes: VoR61
Sep 20, 2018
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#37
"My card issuer specifically says pending is an authorized charge. "

I don't know how your card issuer informed you that a pending is an authorized charge. I can tell you for a fact that I use my CC card for business purchases and on a weekly basis, I get pending charges for purchases that are different from the final purchase amount. The vendor processes a pending charge for merchandise without knowing the shipping costs. A few days later, they get the final information from the shipping dept and the actual charge is different. (I have no idea why they do it that way - other vendors don't) . The pending charge means nothing until it is finalized.
A charge that shows on your bank's website as "pending" *is* authorized. It hasn't been finalized yet, (it may be an indeterminate "hold" like a gas station, hotel, or rental car, or it may just be waiting on the end-of-business-day process to finalize charges), but it *has* been approved (vs. declined.) Now, I can conceive of a process where you if you report fraud after a hold has gone through, and there's some way for the hold to be rescinded, but in the meantime, the merchant *does* have authorization to finalize the charge.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
17,073
15,573
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www.promalvacations.com
#38
We can dispute the pending notification forever but that doesn’t change the OPs question. Companies don’t put a charge through again if it’s been declined by your bank. You need to contact them to have it reprocessed.

Until you have a confirmation WITH a ticket number- you don’t have a ticket.j

A confirmation means your information has been put into the airlines ticketing system to be ticketed. It doesn’t mean you have a ticket. Andvthis is a perfect example of why- the charge was declined by the cc company and no ticket was issued.

Once your confirmation is TICKETED, then you have a reservation. You will see a ticket number within the reservation number. Until you have that- you don’t have a ticket.

I hope that clarifies the different between a confirmation and a ticket.
 
Likes: VoR61

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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San Francisco
#39
Ten lashes with a wet noodle for my using an example of the supermarket in Houston. Very silly of me, and of course you're all correct ... the bad guys do start with a tiny amount(s) hoping nobody will notice. Then they move right in. I can only plead ignorance, as I've only had one issue in my adult life, and that was very minor ... charges on a new card we hadn't even received yet. However, reading your stories, I'm feeling lucky to be ignorant.