Thursday, August 8, 2013

Credit Card Fraud

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I've always considered myself to be pretty savvy about protecting my identity, my credit card number, etc.  I only use my credit card for specific purchases, I read over my statements, I don't buy from unknown online websites.

And I got a call from my credit card company about my card.  It was a recording asking for information.  I ignored that and hung up because I'm smart like that and would never give the last 4 digits of my social security number to a source that I didn't call myself.  Instead, I called them back to see if the call was legit and if so, what the problem was.

My card was flagged for possible fraud.  I thought I was going to puke.  "What was the amount and for what?"  I thought surely they were flagging it for my big freezer purchase at Sears this week.  "It's for the Library Hotel in the amount of $7.77 at 11:20 am today."  No, that's definitely not me.  I haven't even left my house today; I haven't gone online and bought anything in the past week.

Account closed; new card being issued.  Half an hour later I still feel ill.  I've always wondered what would happen if someone stole my credit card number.  Would it get flagged immediately?  Would it show up on my bill?  Would I even notice?  How would they get my number?

And it comes down to this.  I have a wonderful credit card company who called me immediately.  And they just called me again for a second transaction attempt.  I am so very grateful to them for noticing a strange transaction and calling me--how did they know this purchase was fraud in the midst of all my other random purchases?  A trip to the Smokies, a trip to Disney World, etc.  And I also learned a valuable lesson.

I will never buy something over the phone again.  I assumed it was safe--I called them; Sears is reputable.  Lesson learned.  After talking to my credit card company, I've discovered that they don't go after the thieves.  But I can file a police report if I am pretty confident in where the theft occurred.  I will have to think about that one before deciding.  I am 99% sure, seeing as it's the only time I've purchased something over the phone in a really long time.  I just hate the thought of embroiling myself in yet another long, drawn out battle after all I went through with AT&T (a story I will share with you next week).

So, for all you credit card savvy people like me, don't assume it can't happen to you.  I thought I was doing everything by the book; I was doing everything by the book.  Check your credit card statements.  Be leery of buying things over the phone, even from a reputable company.  And when you get an automated phone call that claims it's from your credit card company, hang up and call them yourself so you know it's real.  Because sometimes the call is actually fraud in itself; but sometimes, like now, it's legit.

1 comment:

  1. I hate to be the one to tell you this but businesses can have a disreputable employee who gets your credit card information when they are checking you out, especially if they take your card and go out of sight. On the way back from the Dominican Republic, two of our ladies made charges at the same two places. Evidently one of those places has such an employee because both credit cards got flagged for subsequent fraudulent charges.