Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Stolen Credit Card Numbers

In the last 2 days, 2 friends have told me that they had fraudulent charges on their credit cards. In the first case, his bank called him and asked about an $800 online computer purchase. He did not buy a computer recently so the bank cancelled his card and issued him a new one. Now he has to scramble to write checks for those bills which were usually paid automatically with that card. Not fun.

In the second case, she was casually checking her card statement online and saw $300 worth of charges. This was alarming but not enough to cause her to call right away. It was 11pm and she decided to call first thing in the morning. She couldn't sleep though and got up at 3am to check her statement again. The fraudulent charges were up to $4,000 now including airline tickets to Holland, Turkey and Kosovo! She called right away and got the card cancelled.

The first card was from a bank who called their customer when the charges looked abnormal. The second credit card was from an airline and, well, I guess airline tickets to Holland, Turkey and Kosovo don't look out of the ordinary to them. Or maybe they weren't monitoring it at all.

I guess the tip here is to check your statements often. I usually check mine before the end of the billing cycle so that I am not surprised by the amount and just in case I need to shuffle money around since I have more than one bank account. Of course, credit card theft can happen to anyone with a credit card. I hope your credit card company is watching out for you but if not, definitely watch out for yourself.


Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog said...

That's so scary! I'm sorry that your friends are going through that.

Anonymous said...

Yikes! That's awful! I log on to my bank account daily and since my credit card is tied to my checking account, I just click on it more out of habit, but after reading this, I'm glad I do. Thanks for the reminder of how important it is to continually check these things.

The Executioner said...

Yeah, unfortunately, all you have to do is shop at a certain merchant, and despite your best efforts at protecting yourself, your information gets compromised when that merchant has a security breach.

I check my credit card activity daily if possible. It's part of my ritual, just like eating breakfast and feeding my dogs.

Over the Cubicle Wall said...

Scary stuff. You'd think credit cards would have a PIN or some other protection. Even if it didn't work all the time, it would be a start.

Daizy said...

It would be interesting if they found out how the card numbers were stolen. $4k is a felony I believe. I wonder how often the theives are caught.