Debit Card Dispute And Fraud

When debit card charges show up on your statement and you don’t know why.

Debit Card Disputes, Fraud and FAQ

Sometimes these charges are due to fraud, but sometimes this is not the case. To assist you in making the decision about whether you should dispute a charge or make a fraud claim, we've developed this reference guide. Note that our policies and procedures for processing fraudulent and disputed transactions are governed by Mastercard® and the Electronic Funds Transfer Act, or Federal Regulation E, which is outlined in our Electronic Services Agreement and Disclosure.

ATM Transactions

If you believe someone used your ATM or debit card and PIN to complete transactions without your knowledge or permission, and you did not authorize anyone to perform ATM withdrawals or other ATM transactions on your account, complete the ATM Transaction Statement of Fraud Form. This form must be completed by the person whose name appears on the card, and the card with the suspected fraudulent activity must be closed. Please call us at 888.336.2700 during normal business hours, or 888.918.7880 after hours to close your card. This will prevent any further transactions on this card.

Determining Dispute or Fraud

Please read the following information carefully. Filing a claim incorrectly will result in a delay of our investigation. Please note: there is a difference between a cardholder dispute and fraud.

  • Cardholder disputes differ from fraudulent transactions in an important way: with disputes, the credit union is submitting a dispute between you and the merchant to Mastercard on your behalf. Mastercard makes a final determination as to whether or not we can charge back the transaction to the merchant for your purchase. If we can charge back the transaction, you will be reimbursed for the purchase. However if we cannot charge back the transaction, you will not be reimbursed. Before we can submit a dispute on your behalf, you must first attempt to resolve the dispute with the merchant. Documentation showing you made an attempt to do so is required before we are able to submit a dispute to MasterCard on your behalf.
  • For a transaction to be considered fraudulent, you must be able to answer 'no' to the following questions:
    1. Do you know who made the transaction using your debit card?
    2. Is the transaction a result of you signing up for a 'free trial' on the Internet; however, it required you to use your debit card to pay for 'shipping only' or another similar charge?
    3. Did you voluntarily give your debit card number to anyone over the phone, provide it on a mailed form or email, or enter it on an Internet website?
    4. Did you give or loan your debit card to anyone? (No claims can be made if you voluntarily gave your card to someone.)

Filing a Dispute or Fraud

Timely notice is critical. You must notify us within two (2) business days of the date you first become aware of the loss or theft of your card. Failure to notify us within two (2) business days may increase your liability to $500. If you do not notify us within sixty (60) days of when the transaction appeared on your statement, you are liable for the entire transaction amount. The form you need to file a dispute or fraud claim is below:

Debit Card FAQ

What if my ATM or Debit Card is lost or stolen?
Report a lost or stolen card to DFCU Financial immediately. Please call us at 888.336.2700 during normal business hours (M-F 8am-6pm; Sat 9:30am-2pm), or 888.918.7880 after hours. To protect your card from unauthorized use, memorize your PIN, and don't keep the PIN with your card.

Are there any fees when I use my card for cash transactions?
There are no fees when you use your card at ATMs owned by DFCU Financial. Most retailers do not charge a fee. However, when you use your cards at ATMs from other financial institutions, there may be a small fee. See our Fee Schedule.

May I use my card at any ATM or Retailer?
Your DFCU Financial debit card gives you access to your funds at DFCU Financial ATMs, any ATM that accepts cards from Mastercard®, NYCE®, CO-OP Network® and most retailers.

How much cash can I withdraw?
You can withdraw up to $500 per day, provided the funds are available in your account.

What is the difference between a credit card and a debit card?
When you use a credit card, you borrow money against your available credit line. You pay that money back when you make your monthly payment. When you make a purchase with your debit card, the money is withdrawn directly from your checking account. The funds must be in your checking account at the time the purchase is made.

Does my debit card have a spending limit?
Yes. Your DFCU Financial debit card has a spending limit of $5,000 per day. The spending limit is equal to the available balance in your Checking Account minus outstanding purchases that have not posted.

What does it mean when I use my debit card and the clerk asks 'debit or credit?'
There are two types of debit card transactions: the 'debit' option requires you to enter your Personal Identification Number (PIN) to complete your transaction; the 'credit' option requires your signature.

  • DEBIT Option: When you pay for a purchase, the clerk will ask, 'debit or credit?' When you select the 'debit' option, you must enter your PIN after the card has been swiped through a point of sale terminal. With PIN transactions, funds are withdrawn from your checking account when the transaction occurs.

NOTE: The debit option must be selected if you wish to get cash back from the merchant at the time of transaction.

  • CREDIT Option: When you select the 'credit' option, it becomes a 'signature transaction.' You may be asked to sign or enter your PIN to verify the transaction; you may not need to do either. With a signature transaction, funds are held in your checking account at the time of purchase until the transaction posts to your account in one to three days.

Is there a fee to use my debit card for purchases?
No. There's no fee to use the debit card to make a purchase. It's a fast and simple way to pay from your checking account.

What if a purchase posts to my checking account that I didn't authorize?
You won't be responsible for fraudulent purchases. If your DFCU Financial debit card has been lost or stolen, or you suspect unauthorized use, report it to us immediately by calling us at 888.336.2700 during normal business hours (M-F 8am-6pm; Sat 9:30am-2pm), or 888.918.7880 after hours. To protect your account from unauthorized use, memorize your PIN. Do not keep your PIN with your debit card.


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While the DFCU Financial Board of Directors intends to pay Cash Back every year, and has done so since 2007, Cash Back is not guaranteed and will depend on our financial performance and other factors. Annual Cash Back payments are limited to an aggregate of $25,000 for each tax-reported owner. The IRS requires that Cash Back for an IRA be paid to the same IRA account, and that it be open when Cash Back is deposited. Cash Back to Business Banking members is subject to additional terms. Anyone who causes DFCU Financial a loss for any reason is not eligible for Cash Back.