How to identify unknown transactions on your statement

We’ve all been there; that moment when a quick balance check turns into an investigation.

“I didn’t make that transaction” springs to mind when you find an odd-looking account among your transaction history. Whether it’s the name, the price, or the date that looks a bit off, it’s something that can be easily checked out.

We’ve pulled together a few things to consider the next time you find yourself in this situation. If you’re not sure whether a transaction is suspicious or not, you might want to run through the following steps.

And if you know that a transaction is suspicious, contact your provider immediately.

Compare your receipts

This may seem like an obvious one, but it can save a lot of hassle:  cross-reference the transaction history in your account with your receipts. Compare account numbers, double check the price, and make note of the business name on the EFTPOS receipt, as some merchants appear by their registered business name, or parent company name rather than the name on their shopfront, or trading name.

Double check transaction dates

One that applies more to online transactions, but can still apply to  in-store purchases, is the date on which a transaction is processed on your card. Depending on factors like the location of the receiving business, purchase time of day, and transaction clearances, funds can take time to leave your account after a transaction is confirmed. Online purchases may take at least 24 hours to appear,

Confirm conversion rate

Even in this age of globalisation and digital marketplaces, international conversion rates can still cause some confusion. The first thing check is to know the location in which the transaction is being made. Even if a website advertises Australian dollar prices, the Seller may process the transaction in the country out of which they operate, and if that is not in Australia you’ll be charged for an international transaction.

With that out of the way, you may still see a variance on your statement. This could be due to a delay in the transaction processing, and a fluctuation in currency rates between your purchase date and the actual authorisation date.

Go online and search the account name/number

If you can’t figure a transaction out based on date, rate, or receipt, then you can always search for the account name debiting the funds online and find out about them that way. Several companies have registered business names that are different to the shopfront or website URL, and a quick web search can clear that up in an instant.

If, after all of that, you’re still unsure about a particular transaction in your account history, your credit card provider is only a call away!

If you need to question a transaction on your Virgin Money Credit Card, call us on 13 37 39.