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What Do I Do If I Receive an Alert but Can’t Match It to a Transaction?
What Do I Do If I Receive an Alert but Can’t Match It to a Transaction?

Suggestions on how to locate transactions associated with alerts prior to resolving them

Max Jones avatar
Written by Max Jones
Updated over a week ago

Prevention alerts can help resolve disputes before they progress to chargebacks (click here to learn how prevention alerts work).

In order for an alert to be effective, you need to match the prevention alert to the corresponding transaction so you can issue a refund. Usually, prevention alerts contain the following details that can be used to make a match:

  • The first 6 and last 4 digits of the cardholder’s account number

  • The transaction date

  • The dispute amount

  • The customer name (only included with certain alerts)

  • The acquirer reference number or ARN (only included with certain alerts)

However, there may be situations where you receive an alert but you are unable to locate a corresponding transaction in your CRM or gateway.

This could be caused by a number of different factors. The following explains why you may be unable to locate the transaction and provides suggestions for troubleshooting.

NOTE: It is very important that you read through this article BEFORE you resolve the alert.

POTENTIAL PROBLEM #1: The Currency Doesn’t Match

If you are trying to match the prevention alert to a transaction based on the alert amount, you could run into issues if the currency isn’t consistent.


Confirm that the currency of the prevention alert matches the currency used to bill the customer. If it doesn’t match, use a conversion calculator to convert the currency to the original transaction currency.

POTENTIAL PROBLEM #2: The Amount Doesn’t Match

There is another reason why the alert amount might not be an effective search criteria.

If you’ve checked the currency, but you still can’t find the corresponding transaction, it might be because the alert is a ‘partial amount’ dispute. Sometimes, a cardholder will only dispute a portion of the original transaction, meaning the alert amount will be less than the transaction amount.


Try using other information provided with the alert — such as the cardholder account number — to search for the transaction.

POTENTIAL PROBLEM #3: The Date Doesn’t Match

If you are trying to tie the prevention alert to a transaction based on the transaction date, you could have trouble finding an exact match.

The transaction date stated on the prevention alert notice may not be accurate — it might differ by a few days from what is noted in your CRM or gateway. The discrepancy could be caused by a few different things. The issuer might have used:

  • The date the transaction was authorized

  • The date the transaction appears to have settled on the customer’s account

  • The central processing date (CPD)


If you can’t find a transaction in your CRM that matches the date provided on the alert, broaden your search.

If you authorize and settle transactions on the same day, check one or two days before and after what is listed on the prevention alert. If you pre-authorize transactions and delay settlement, you’ll need to broaden your search even more. How far out you search will depend on how much time passes between authorization and settlement.

POTENTIAL PROBLEM #4: The Account Number Doesn’t Match

The cardholder’s account number is another characteristic that you can use to match a prevention alert to a transaction. However, this might not be the most efficient search criteria.

Cardholder account numbers are periodically updated. This commonly happens when a card expires and a new one is issued. There are two ways an updated account number could cause difficulties.


If a cardholder’s account number has recently been updated, the prevention alert might contain the new number whereas your CRM or gateway would have the old number. If you search with the number provided in the alert, you obviously won’t find a match in your CRM.


Rather than search exclusively for the last four digits of the account number — which might have changed — use all the information provided in the prevention alert. This typically includes

  • The issuer’s bank identification number (the BIN is the first six digits of the account number)

  • The transaction date

  • The disputed amount

Some prevention alerts will also include the acquirer reference number (ARN). If your CRM or gateway allows for it, try searching for the ARN as this shouldn’t fluctuate (like the date) or be inaccurate (like the account number).

Other prevention alerts (typically those issued by Verifi®) will include the cardholder’s name. This is another search criteria that could be helpful. Search for the name and then narrow down the options by transaction date and amount.


In other situations, the alert might include the old account number, but your CRM has already been updated with the new number. Again, searching with the number provided in the alert won’t yield a matching transaction in your CRM.


If you can’t find a matching transaction in your CRM, check your gateway. Your gateway will have the original account number used to process the transaction.

Once you locate the transaction in your gateway, collect alternate information that can be used as an identifier — such as the customer’s name or email address. Then, search for the criteria in your CRM.

POTENTIAL PROBLEM #5: The Alert Doesn’t Belong to You

If you’ve completed all the troubleshooting steps outlined here and you still can’t locate a corresponding transaction, it’s possible that the alert doesn’t belong to you.


Please review this article if you believe the alert does not belong to your business.

If you cannot locate the transaction after following these steps, please reach out to the support team PRIOR to resolving the alert. We may be able to assist further.

NOTE: Alert resolutions cannot be reversed, so it’s important to contact us before responding. You should use the “transaction not found” response option as a last resort and only after we’ve tried all possible troubleshooting techniques.

You can use the chat feature or email

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