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Defending Consumer Rights: The Power and Pitfalls of Chargebacks in the Battle Against Credit Card Fraud

November 10, 2023


Credit card fraud is certainly not a recent development or even one confined to the twentieth century. In 1899, transportation companies issued credit cards that allowed passengers to travel by private carriage and pay the tab later. According to the Library of Congress, the first reported case of credit card fraud happened when a farmer threw away a transportation credit card offered to him, having no interest in such shenanigans. In the end, the farmer was stuck with a $27 bill (worth over $700 today) for private carriage rides he never took.1 Lesson learned.

Seventy-five years later, The Fair Credit Billing Act of 1974 was enacted by the government to protect credit card holders and limit their liability from unfair billing practices, such as unauthorized charges as a result of theft, charges for products that may have been lost, stolen, or damaged en route, or any charge that may be in error.

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