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Holy &*#^ - credit card fraud on my account!

Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 2:38 am
by ViewsAskew
I accessed my credit card account last night in order to schedule a payment. While there, I reviewed recent charges for accuracy. Two things, minor amount 3.95 and 7.95 US, were on there from companies I'd never heard of. I did a bit of digging on the Internet, thinking maybe it was a company I use, but that uses a different name to bill.

First thing that came up for the one company was that a bunch of people had their credit cards used fraudulently!!!!!

So, I disputed the charges (it was 3 AM) and figured I'd do more work today. I called the first company. They indeed have had a rash of these. They work with affiliates - other sites who also sell their product for a cut of the action. The customer is shipped something for "free" (but they pay a shipping charge, so the company gets the credit card number) and then automatically, after 14 days, start billing the customer $80 a month for a month's supply of some product. In my case, one of these was Acai Slim flush and the other an unknown skin care product (I haven't received it yet).

Sometimes these affiliates use fraudulent information and submit it, hoping that the person doesn't notice the small charge. If you do not call the company within 14 days, the automatic billing starts. Then, the big payments kick in.

I wonder how many people don't notice this stuff?

At any rate, now I am getting a new card, I have to figure out if there are any autopay things going to this card. Yikes. And, have to hope that this is the worst of the fraudulent use....I'd hate to think someone is using this info to steal my identity or something.

Sometimes, my rose colored glasses get a real workout in this here world.

Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 3:32 am
by Aiken
That sucks, Ann. Glad you caught it quickly.

The two best things I've learned after being the victim of credit card fraud twice now:

1) When on the internet, use only credit cards that offer "one-time use" online card numbers. Discover is the one I use. You go to the card website, ask for a secure/one-time-use number, and it auto-generates a unique 16-digit number, 3-digit security code, and expiration date. The first company you use that number with is the *only* company that can charge to it afterward. If someone who works at, say, Amazon, takes your number and tries to buy a TV from Best Buy, it'll get flagged as fraud.

2) In the real world, do NOT sign your credit cards. Signatures are useless affirmations of identity in the first place. Instead, write in big, bold letters, "ASK FOR I.D." where your signature should be Then be prepared to hand over your driver's license every time you use the card. Even if someone steals your wallet, they can't use your cards in person unless they look like you, and chances are you'll have enough time to cancel your card before any online orders ship.

Item 1 is the big one, in my opinion.

Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 3:37 am
by Aiken
PS: Here are good to-do lists for a stolen card (number): ... fraud.mspx

There are more such lists, but you get the idea.

The important bit is having the reporting agencies attach a fraud alert to your records. You can use it to make sure no credit is issued without your permission. Also get a credit report in case you're unaware of other fraudulent activity.

Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 5:02 am
by ViewsAskew
I haven't heard of the first option. Thanks! I have a Discover card but rarely use it. I'll contact them and see how it works.

Like you, Aiken, I never sign my cards and I write ASK FOR ID on them. Amazingly, however, at least 50-70% of people do not ask. Amazing.

Chase is sending a fraud alert to all credit reporting agencies, my card is canceled, the charges are removed, etc. But, it's sort of scary to think that it's that easy to get this information.

Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 2:01 pm
by Neco
Me and my brother recently got hit at the same time, about 2 weeks ago..

The first charge on my Mastercard Debit Card was from APL*ITUNES, a company pretending to be itunes. The bank apparently started watching my account after that, as I had been meaning to call them to have a new card # issued, but then someone tried to buy $400 in train tickets and some other thing. They also confirmed my suspicion that the APL*ITUNES thing was a probe, and explained that they watch for activity after account probes.

But the bank automatically declined the charges as suspicious and then debit card security called me..

My brother got hit for like $700 or more I think, but his charges stuck because he has an actual credit card. The bank cleared that up for him too of course

Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 6:36 pm
by ViewsAskew
Chase didn't hesitate to cancel my card - the rep did it as she was speaking to me, saying, "I've just canceled your card," as I was trying to take it all in.

Posted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 8:38 am
by moonlight
Over here in Scotland my friend had her card details fraudulently used in India! the same day, but the card company intercepted it ,luckily as they could see something was far wrong.
But her card hadn't been stolen she had got fuel at a garage the day before they had swiped her card twice and that's how they got and used her details....she phoned me immediately , I dont have a credit card but apparently it can be done with debit cards as well....she was lucky!

moonlight xxx

Posted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 12:42 am
by Aiken
It can only be done with debit cards that masquerade as credit cards. I think they're called check cards, e.g. a Visa Check Card. These are NOT good ideas. Have a real credit card for credit card use, if you can, and have a debit-ONLY card for debit use. (Banks usually try to give you a check card, but if you ask, you can get a true debit card.) A true debit card can't be stolen with a double-swipe because you'd have to enter your PIN twice for that to work. You don't ever want something someone can directly deduct from your checking account with.