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Credit card info stolen - any suggestions?

LUVourMarriotts

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My wife and I were shopping at an outlet center about 45 minutes away yesterday. We used our Marriott Visa to make one purchase at a childrens clothing store, then used the card again to buy lunch in the food court.

We then went to other stores and a few hours later I tried to use the card again to buy a bathing suit (for our upcoming trip) and the card was denied. We figured it was the stores reader. Went to another store, denied. Went to another store, denied.

Got home a few hours later and had a voicemail from Chase fraud prevention. I was planning on calling them anyway, so I called. We found out that someone tried to use our card number to buy something via PayPal for over $500, then again buy something at a horse riding sporting store for around $50 and then again a few dollars at the bus station. The sporting store and the bus station uses show as having a physical card swipe according to Chase, and those attempts were in the same town where the outlet shopping center is.

Chase cancelled my account and put a stolen card alert on it for future uses. I don't have to pay for those charges, which it sounds like Chase had denied anyway, including PayPal. They told us to go through our purchases when we get our next bill and call if any others are fraudulent.

I called the children's clothing store and the Desert Moon managers and told them what had happened. I suggested that it is likely someone working there that did this. They both denied it was possible, as I expected. I wasn't looking for them to throw me a name or anything, I was just letting them know it happened and it could have been there store.

Any suggestions about what else we should do? My wife wants to go to the credit bureau's and see if there is something they can do. I haven't checked yet, but will, to see if there is anything that would do to help. But this sounds pretty specific to that one card, not an identity theft. What do you recommend?

Thanks in advance - BT
 

KCI

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I'd recommend you go to one of the 3 credit bureau's and file a 90 day fraud alert. That credit bureau will inform the other 2 automatically and all 3 will send you a letter stating that the alert has been placed on your record. It is totally free and does not require a police report be filed. It will stop anyone from opening any credit in your name unless the credit bureau gets your permission. If it was a joint credit card you should do a separate fraud alert for both names on the account.
We do this every 90 days as a matter of fact, just to protect ourselves. It takes about 15 minutes to do each on line.
KCI's Windman
 

KCI

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Richard, I guess you and I were typing at the same time. I tried clicking your link and nothing happened. The fraud alert is not placed on your credit card, it's placed on your credit as a whole. If your credit card info is stolen they can still use the card, but a fraud alert will stop them from opening other accounts, mortgages, car loans, ect. You only need open the fraud alert with one of the credit bureau's. At least that's my understanding.
KCI's Wingman
 

Kal

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Make sure you review any ongoing charges where that card would be used in the transaction. If those exist, go back to that authorization and change it to reflect the new credit card number AND expiration date.

I had a similar problem but didn't remember that the card number was set up for an important payment 6 months later. When that transaction occurred 6 months later it was denied and resulted in my loss. I talked to the vendor within 24 hours to no avail. It was a unique reservation which went to others who were in line. Net result my head is still sore from whacking myself. If only I would have remembered about that card being used I could have easily made the change in plenty of time.
 

tlwmkw

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We had the same thing happen. They don't actually use your card, they have dummy cards made up and then add your number. We live in Virginia and the people who did it to us tried to charge a bunch of stuff in New York at Macys. They charged about $4000 in a 20 minute period. The people we spoke with at the fraud department said the card number could have been obtained in any number of ways and usually isn't because someone at a store sold your information- though we did have a ring of waiters at a local restaurant who did just that. There are gangs who have ways of obtaining the numbers and then use them. How the cc companies recognize the fraud is a mystery- especially if the folks using the fake cards actually do so in your town. It is scary how easily people can get this information and then charge a huge amount very quickly.
 

DeniseM

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Have you set up online access for this credit card so you can monitor it daily? If not, I'd do that immediately. There is usually a link for online access on your monthly statement. That way you don't have to wait a month or more for your paper statement to come, to look for any more fraudulent charges.
 

MULTIZ321

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KCI,

The link worked fine for me (Firefox Browser). Perhaps it's a browser issue.

Thanks for clarifying. I'm not sure I would wait for on the companies to notify the other two. I would feel more comfortable doing it myself. The link provides 800 phone numbers for each of the national credit bureaus.


Richard
 

Jaybee

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We've had that happen with 2 credit cards, and the CC companies were, thankfully, very quick, and notified us before we were aware of a problem. The only inconvenience we encountered was notifying companies that we had automatic debit accounts set up with, so they debited the new CC number.
Just watch your account closely, maybe on a daily basis, for a bit, but once the number is closed, you aren't likely to see anymore false charges. At least, that has been my experience. Jean
 

pjrose

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How the cc companies recognize the fraud is a mystery- especially if the folks using the fake cards actually do so in your town.

Their computers are set up to flag atypical use. Friends from New England were alerted when their card was used for electronics in the South. I once did a lot of shopping in a single day with multiple charges at the same type of store, and when I got home I found a message from their fraud department. I asked the person I was connected to, and s/he noted that, for example, too many gas station purchases in one day will flag it.

We've done the Fraud Alert bit with the credit bureaus, and recommend it. Once we forgot about it, and tried to open a new charge, which was denied. We had to jump through a few hoops to get it opened - which was fine, as it prevented someone else from potentially opening a new account.
 

dougp26364

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We had this happen several years back with a BoA card. For us, it was pretty easy to pinpoint where it might have happened. That card wasn't used for anything other than to rent a car at Alamo in Vegas and for the security deposit at Polo Towers. The guy behind the Alamo counter had to leave to "update" something on our account while the card never left my sight when checking in at Polo Towers.

According to BoA at the time, it's likely that the Alamo guy had a small card reader that would store information from the magnetic strip. These are pretty small and can fit into a jacket pocket and be held in the palm of your hand. What they do is swipe your information and the reader will store it. They will later upload that information into a computer and then download it back onto blank credit cards to use at the stores.

In our case, there were several gas station purchases made before each major store purchase. BoA said that they would do this to make sure the card was still active, then go on a spending spree. For the last several years I've noticed most gas stations in Vegas make you put in your zip code before authorizing the purchase.

The only card we had a problem with was that one BoA card. There was one other card we used on that trip for all other purchases and it never had an issue. Most of the time these are isolated cases and won't affect your other accounts or your credit rating. Banks are pretty good at noticing the large charges that suddenly show up and shut them down rather quickly. In our case, there were two large charges at Home Depot and Walmart.

What's sad is it wouldn't take much to stop this sort of fraud. Most of the time, checking ID would put an end to a lot of it. Checking the signature on the back of the card does very little when the thief is the one signing the forged card. Still, most stores refuse to check ID. It's sort of stupid since, as I understand it, it's the stores that get hit with the loss rather than the CC company. You'd think they'd want to protect themselves from this sort of theft.
 

pcgirl54

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It can happen when the card is in your wallet and you live on the opposite coast . Report it to all 3 credit bureaus and get a new acct #.

Also got called by Chase. They said someone was using our acct # in CA an hour earlier. Chase said often try to charge gas to see if the numbers work. Again the cards never left our wallets and we were in MA not CA.
 

LUVourMarriotts

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Thanks everyone. I did submit the fraud protection request through Equifax. Hopefully we'll get the new cards (new acct #) soon.
 

T_R_Oglodyte

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Happened to us a couple of times. Once the police traced it down pretty easily. My wife was out to dinner with six other women, each of whom paid separate checks. Everyone in the group had their cc info taken. It clearly happened at the restaurant with a particular waiter.

The other time also happened to my wife, though where the swipe was done was less clear. We think it happened at a store in large shopping mall. That time we got called by the CC company when charges started coming in from stores in Paris.
 

caribbean

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Fortunately have never had an problems. But BkofAm has called us on several occassions to check in. Once hubby was in Tampa and I was at home in VA. We both made gas purchases within about an hour of each other, which prompted a call to us on the cellphone. Another time we were in Tampa on vacation and had been shopping at several stores in the mall. They called to check because there had been several purchases in a short amount of time and the rep said did not match our spending pattern. Boy was he right, cause I am not a big mall shopper, only when we are on vacation. It seems that they kind of profile your spending habits and call when there is anything out of the ordinary. Once when we were in the Caribbean on vacation, they froze our card. Apparently they had tried to call us and when they could not get us, they froze the account. Since then, we always call in advance and notify them that we will be out of the country and using the card.
 

Bill4728

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When we were in Europe last year, we noted that the restaurants there don't take your credit card back to a cash register but have a hand held card reader that they bring to the table.

Nice idea, the CC is never out of your sight.
 

DG001

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We had seen that technology pretty frequently in France in 2001 - I guess US businesses aren't going to adopt it if they haven't yet.
 

"Roger"

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I've had this happen two or three times. I'm afraid it is common these days.

As far as monitoring your account online, at least in my case, I was denied access to the account information online when the fraud was discovered. The credit card company was not taking any chance that whoever stole the card number would gain access to my account information.

The fraud alert department for the credit card company went through my purchases and asked which were valid.
 

Chrisky

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When we were in Europe last year, we noted that the restaurants there don't take your credit card back to a cash register but have a hand held card reader that they bring to the table.

Nice idea, the CC is never out of your sight.

Some of our restaurants are using the card reader.
Also our credit card company has now issued new CC with the 'chip & pin' system, which is more secure, as you use a CC reader when making a purchase and don't sign anything but use a pin number.
 

bogey21

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Happened to me with a card that has been in my safe since issuance. I opened the account to take advantage of a 1.99% to maturity loan. Where they got my number, I don't know. Clearly not from me using the card

George
 
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