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While I was Sleeping--Credit Card Fraud

Fern Modena

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I got a robo-call from Bank of America's Fraud Division this morning at 8:30am. I had just awoken. It was the fraud department, saying they detected fraud on one of my credit cards and wanted to verify some info.

Well, I don't talk to recorders, so I took down the info for a call back, and went to the online credit card page. Sure enough, the account was blocked with a message to check the fraud page. I went there, and it appears my card was used by somebody who used foreign currency for a purchase at Amazon.com and also "tested" the card at the I.D.F...no purchase there, but a test transaction.

So I called the fraud people, and they asked a few questions and said to tear up the card and I'd get another within five days. They would also send me some papers to sign so they could investigate, and they'd back off the charges while they did so.

The interesting thing about all this is that I never take this card out of my home office. I only use it online, and I hadn't used it for any foreign transactions in months and months. But somebody, somewhere, got the number and/or sold it.

It is a tad disturbing becase I use this one for Amazon and a couple of regularly scheduled things, which I will have to change. Oh, well.

Fern
 

glypnirsgirl

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Fern - I am so sorry that you are being inconvienced that way. It is a quandary how the fraud occurred with such tight control over the card.

elaine
 

joycapecod

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Same sort of thing happens to me about 6 months ago. I have a card I only rarely ever use; it has a high credit line but the iterest rate isn't as favorable as my one from the credit union. I used this unfavorable card for an on line purchase at Walmart.

I get a call several weeks later from the Citibank fraud department to verify some activity that they think is not valid. Seems my card (they had a physical card) was scanned at the Super Walmart in Winston-Salem NC to the tune of $500 plus. It was then tried at some place in San Francisco. That charge was a test try.

I had the card in my hand when I spoke to fraud. Makes me wonder how the valid accounts numbers are being gotten. This card supposedly had my name oin it too. My last name is unique; there are only 60 people in the US, Canada and Mexico with my last name.....and we are are directly related.

Joy
 

bogey21

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Who knows what is going on out there. I had a similar situation with one of my Discover Cards; physical card used 6 times in about a 3 hour time frame in Green Bay, WI. The interesting thing is that card has been in my safe for years. I don't use it because I have a 2.99% to maturity advance on it and don't want to mess with it. Discover was great. They reversed the charges and sent me a new card almost immediately.

George
 

riverdees05

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We have had similar things on three of our cards in the last four months. A real pain, but it was taken care of by the credit card companies.
 

Htoo0

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The sad thing is (at least as we were told in our case) they don't even bother to do anything about it beyond issuing a new account. DW used hers in Vegas to purchase show tickets and a pair of shoes. A few days after her return, there were charges at a drug store and payment of a cable bill in Vegas. You would think it wouldn't be difficult to track those down but the company said it would cost more than the ~$500 in fraudulent charges to investigate so they just write it off. While I understand the cost part, it seems to me that it just promotes theft when there's no consequences.
 

ronparise

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Ive been using a paypal debit card. The day after I used this card at Wyndhams Ocean Walk at check in, (for a damage deposit) there were two charges, one was small to Skype, the other for $350 in Greece

Paypal reacted quickly and no money ever left my account

I know that there are bad guys out there and that they are tough to avoid, But I had hoped that I could trust the Wyndham desk clerks.
 

IngridN

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Who knows what is going on out there. I had a similar situation with one of my Discover Cards; physical card used 6 times in about a 3 hour time frame in Green Bay, WI. The interesting thing is that card has been in my safe for years. I don't use it because I have a 2.99% to maturity advance on it and don't want to mess with it. Discover was great. They reversed the charges and sent me a new card almost immediately.

George
Inside job. This is one of the reasons I never let the bank know when we are traveling. Years and years ago, my father's closed (closed about 1-2 years) credit card was re-activated. The police came looking for my father because a thief using the re-activated credit card and a driver's license in my father's name :eek: rented several cars and never returned them.

Ingrid
 

Catira

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A couple of years ago I noticed some fradulent charges on my visa debit card. I contacted the bank and they provided me with merchant's 800 # from where the charges were being posted. Turns out it was a XXX adult phone call center. I contacted them and they gave me the man's phone number that was using my visa debit card to call. Gave all this info to the local police dept when I filed my police report and they basically told me they had bigger cases to investigate. Wonder how many other credit cards that man had in his possesion. My visa debit card was in my wallet when I discovered the fradulent charges.

I deligently check all my statements when they come.
 

funtime

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Debit cards are more dangerous to use because they have less protection - than credit cards but when I am over my credit limit on the credit cards, I have to use debit card. Sorry for your loss everyone including Fern. funtime
 

normab

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It IS disturbing, but happy for you that the fraud department caught it. About 2 years ago on Christmas morning while we were in church, someone had my credit card number and made several purchases. I received a call midday from the fraud team and was happy that they caught it quickly. I think this is unfortunately the consequence of our modern day convenience of using credit cards.

I frequently check my online statement. Last year someone at Home Depot used my credit card 2-3 months after we had purchased carpeting (a sizeable purchase done in person at the store). I caught a $300 charge that I knew I hadn't spent that much during that time period. I had to cancel my card to report the fraud. Pain in the neck but at least we didn't have to pay--they couldn't substantiate we had made any purchase.

Norma
 

basham

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The credit card companies are advised of breaches to companies systems and usually do detect it themselves.

Lately Visa called me and said there were charges they had blocked and to expect a new card in the mail.

While I do travel, it has been infrequent of late, the charges blocked were airline ticket charges.

Seems Visa was content to just issue new cards to all, and continue on.
 

MuranoJo

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Was with 2 other couples who used the same ATM in MX several years ago. The withdrawals didn't appear until about 6 mos. later and were tracked to South America.

For DH & me alone, they burned through $8,000. The credit union replaced all the funds (as the debit card was insured), but they said--even at $8k (not including the hits our friends took)--it wasn't worth pursuing by the insurance companies. Given this, it's hard to imagine how much is lost to fraud.
 

dioxide45

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The thing is that it ends up being the merchants that take the hits most of the time. The credit card companies just charge these back to the merchants that sold the goods/services.
 

artringwald

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We got a call from the fraud department last month. They had detected unauthorized charges, so they suspended the card, and sent us new ones by express mail. It's the third time in the past several years they had to send us new cards. The first two times I caught it and notified them. I have Quicken automatically download all our transactions daily. With our memory getting bad, if we waited until we got the monthly statement, we might not be sure if unauthorized transactions we ours or not, especially if they are smaller ones. :ponder:
 

caribbeansun

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Happens all the time it seems - I had charges to a card I had used exactly ZERO times. So did someone "get" the number or are they just randomly attempting to use numbers - no idea...
 

Tia

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The thing is that it ends up being the merchants that take the hits most of the time. The credit card companies just charge these back to the merchants that sold the goods/services.
Merchants need to maybe ask for picture ID or lately they've been asking for my mailing zip code. :shrug:
 

Fern Modena

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Lowe's by me always asks for a photo ID if you use a credit card, no matter the account. Some other places do it too, but offhand that is the only one I can remember that always does it.

Fern
 

hvsteve1

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The Lowes by me doesn't ask for ID but does ask for the last four digits on the card. I believe the reason is that many scammers don't have the equipment to produce cards but simply produce a magnetic strip to apply to the back of another card. Those people have no idea what the last four digits are because the card has no relation to the info on the magentic strip.

I think back to years ago when I was manager in a big box store with front checkouts. In those days, cards were scanned by the cashier and, if there were any issues, cashier would call the credit card company. As they did not have computer systems that could easily kill use of the card, the person on the phone would ask the cashier to keep or cut up the card, usually for a cash reward. This would result in some funny scenes. If the cashier already had the card, there would be a shouting customer watching the card being cut up. If the card had already been handed back to the customer, a cashier would, sometimes, actually try to climb over the checkout to grab the card away (Hey, five bucks is a lot of money to someone making six bucks and hour). There are ways to protect your credit cards on the internet. There are probably some to find in a search of PC World or other such sites.
 

JeffW

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Not sure if true, but I thought I read a few years ago that there were different processing rates for credit cards:

- most expensive was simply entering the acct number (like what's done over the phone)
- next (lower) was a mag strip swipe
- next (lower still) was to physically take an imprint of the card.

I agree that requiring last 4 digits is a way to beat scammers who magnetically clone the card, but don't actually printing a card with the raised account number.

Now a days, between the CID and the billing zip code, it probably adds enough security that even internet/phone charges can get a favorable rate.

Jeff
 

isisdave

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We had ours compromised two weeks ago. There was a 64 cent charge to an auto body shop in Idaho, and a 2-dollar one to an Irish scrapbooking website.

And apparently these "probes" are what tipped off the fraud computer. I don't get why people do this ... if I had a hot card, I'd buy $30 of gas at an all-night unattended station, and hit Best Buy at 10am.
 

MuranoJo

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Seems they 'bulk-sell' the card #, so multiple people 'test' them before slamming them into 5th gear. Idaho and Irish website? :shrug:
 

dioxide45

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Merchants need to maybe ask for picture ID or lately they've been asking for my mailing zip code. :shrug:
The problem is that asking for ID does nothing to protect the merchant if someone attempts a charge back on the charge. Zip code verification is a decent layer of protection, but not all merchants use that. I have seen it mostly at pay at the pump gas stations.

Signature verification is really the only protection that a merchant has. They should be verifying that the signature matches the card. If the card says "See ID" they should decline to accept the card. The problem is, with self swipe terminals at most stores, the clerk never asks to look at the back of the card.

My bet is that a lot of these unauthorized charges are online purchases. The scammers do these test charges at different sites to find the ones that have very poor card verification. When they find a good site to use, then they run up the charges.
 

6scoops

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Same thing happened to me with my debt card, while I was in NY at Manhattan Club. They got $1000.00 in ATM withdrawals. Chase did credit me but it took a few days and I had to cancel the card, I was planning on using for the trip. What a pain, and scary how easy it is for them to make a duplicate card and somehow get my pin number?
 

artringwald

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Signature verification is really the only protection that a merchant has. They should be verifying that the signature matches the card. If the card says "See ID" they should decline to accept the card. The problem is, with self swipe terminals at most stores, the clerk never asks to look at the back of the card.
After I read this article on outrageous signatures, I started scribbling instead of using my real signature. After hundreds of times doing it, only once was I questioned about the signature not being anywhere close to the one on my card.
 
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