Travel agents are being told how they can challenge fraudulent chargebacks by customers.

A recent study by fraud management and chargeback protection services specialist ClearSale in February suggested that as much as 86% of chargebacks are potentially fraudulent.

Chargebacks are when a transaction is reversed and the bank takes money paid to the retailer and returns it to the consumer after a claim that a transaction was not genuine.

Travel agents can dispute chargebacks and ask for the claims from cardholders to be investigated if they can provide enough documentary evidence.

More: Profit warns firms to report every fraud case to police

Anti-fraud awareness campaign to launch for travel industry

But the onus of proof for what is often termed ‘friendly fraud’ is on the retailer, with the final decision resting with the card issuer.

A new email campaign, which includes free tips on fraud awareness and prevention, is being run by travel anti-fraud group Profit in conjunction with the Fraud Intelligence Network (Fin) and the City of London Police.

As part of the latest installment of the campaign, Profit warned travel companies: “While merchants have the right to dispute illegitimate chargebacks, crafting an effective dispute takes significant amounts of valuable resources—resources the merchant should be using to grow the business. Without professional help, these chargeback disputes rarely result in the merchant’s winning.”

The campaign has recently sent out advice on payment fraud and how to reduce this by validating bookings, for example by contacting the lead passenger who made the card payment and asking them to repeat and verify their personal details.