Credit Card Fraud- it's that time of year, unfortunately...

MielR

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Got a call today from my credit card company telling me that someone in another state had tried to use my card number to buy $300 worth of stuff at Walmart. Fortunately, they were unsuccessful, and my card company is issuing me a new card/number.

This is the first time this has happened to me, and it's really scary. I have no idea where they could have gotten my # from, but to be on the safe side, I made a phone call to the last place I used the card and spoke to the manager.

I checked my credit report online and it looks OK- for now, but this whole thing has left me feeling very uneasy.

Who else has experienced something like this?
 

Stan

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Did you recently call customer service for a cell phone provider?

They contract most of out, have massive turnover and hire anybody who can talk and type. They also have full access to all the info to use your credit cards. Name, address, card number, expiration date and they'll ask you for the security code on the back of the card.

Very easy to walk out with that information, stolen from multiple customers at any time.
 

Michelle Schmid

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Just happened to me as well. Got a call from my bank and someone had tried to purchase a $700+ airline ticket on an international flight. Apparently, they had also used my cc# to purchase ~$2 of stuff right before and since that charge was small it went through w/o a problem so they knew the # was good. They then tried the airline ticket but it was flagged as fraud and the charge was stopped. My bank then reversed the $2 charge as well since I hadn't made it. The scary part is I have no idea how this happened as I STILL HAD THE CARD. I cut it up while talking to the bank and they've since sent me a new one. I also hadn't charged anything on the card in quite awhile.
 

MielR

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No, I've got one of those 'pay as you go' phones. I buy refill cards every so often, and the drugstore where I buy them only accepts cash for them.
 

Bryan X

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I'm fairly certain receipts do not print you entire credit card number so I don't think that's a concern. But you probably did hand your card to the waiter/waitress who walked away, out of sight, to "process" your payment and they could very easily write down the information off the card. Not to say that's what happened to you, but just to highlight how easily someone can get that information.
 

MielR

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Most receipts only have the last 4 digits, but I think sometimes in restaurants the merchant copy has the whole #.

In any case, it could have been any number of places. The last place I used the card was a grocery store who's headquarters is in the state where the fraud attempt occurred, so I gave the manager of the store a call. He said he'd send an email to their corporate office.

I guess I could call a few more places where I used that card in the last few days, but it would probably be a waste of time.

It makes me not want to use a credit card at all anymore (or as little as possible, anyway).
 

Paul D G

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Well, fact is, it was caught and you're not responsible for the charges so apart from the feeling of invasion you're really not out anything. It's also why I always advocate against using debit cards for everything. Had they been successful that'd be $300 less out of your checking account and that WalMart charge may not have been a red flag to the bank.

BTW - It happened to me once as well. It was on a Amex card that I never use but did for a car rental from a major company. Two weeks later Amex called to ask about the suspicious charges. My card was canceled and they sent me a new one overnight. I called the car rental agency and no one could have cared less about my complaint.

Fact is, any place you use your credit card you have an opportunity to have the number stolen. That it doesn't happen more often should what's surprising. (that was meant to be comforting!)
 

JoeyR

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Hey Miel, did they tell you which Wal-Mart they did this at? 2 weeks ago a credit card my mom keeps on her and was last used at Wal-Mart locally(Louisiana) was used at a Wal-Mart in California to buy 500 dollars worth of stuff.
 

MielR

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It was in Miami. I also use that card when I shop at Walmart, and the connection did cross my mind. I think I'll be paying cash next time I shop there.

What happens to a person when they attempt to use a card number fraudulently- do they just let them leave the store?
 

JoeyR

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Yeah that was my question to in talking to my mom, she closed that account but I wonder if it will come up as a denial, stolen, or what?
 

Yee-Ming

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Hasn't happened to me in 15 years of using credit cards, but recently it happened to my wife: fortunately the bank flagged as suspicious the attempt by someone to buy train tickets in Italy on her card, and called her to check. What was really bizarre is that some time later, a similar charge (train tickets in Italy) was attempted on another credit card of hers, issued by another bank


I suggested she review any online retailers at which she had used both cards. She could only identify one, a reputable US department store, so we're not sure what to make of that.

(FWIW, I've been buying stuff online for years, mostly at Amazon but at a few others as well, and still haven't had any trouble.)
 

Scott Merryfield

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I had this happen to me a couple of years ago. Two small charges appeared on my card. I was able to contact the merchant in each case and have the purchase refunded -- didn't even need to file a claim with the credit card company. I then had Citibank issue me a new card.

I download all transactions into Quicken so I can see purchases soon after they occur, so I am not waiting until I receive a monthly statement to verify all charges are correct.

My wife has had problems twice with her Discover Card. On one occasion, someone had charged an international telephone call on her card. Discover knew who had made the call, yet chose to not pursue the matter because "it was too costly". I was not impressed with their lack of concern and promptly canceled my Discover Card.

I have received calls from Citibank on several occasions when they notice unusual activity on my account -- once there were charges from 4 different states on a single day. In each of these cases, though, the charges were legitimate (we were traveling the day of the "four states transactions"). I do appreciate that Citibank is paying attention, though.
 

Mort Corey

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I noticed a charge on my checking account statement a while back notating a charge from my ATM card posted to an on line florist. Only problem was that I have never had an ATM card nor ever even used an ATM. Ticked me off that my bank (former bank now) required a written statement to that effect before they would restore the funds to my account. You'd think they might have been able to check their records to see if I'd ever had such a card issued since I'd been their customer for over a decade.

All said....no harm no foul....just a moron bank.

Mort
 

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