Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Credit Card Used Fraudently

This week, I received a call from the fraud division of our credit card company inquiring if we had made a purchase over weekend.  I was a little shocked to get the call, since we are careful about protecting our credit card info.   I didn't make the purchase.  My spouse wasn't available so I couldn't check with her.  So I asked if I could call back.   The representative gave me a toll free number to call back.

After I hung up, I wondered if the call was really from a scammer who was phishing for information since they asked me for my birthdate.  However, when I checked the call back number it was for the fraud division of the credit card company.   So I called the number, which asked me about a different transaction.  I decided to ask to speak to someone.

After getting my information, the customer service rep (CSR) asked about the same transaction again, which confirmed the first call was legitimate.   I tried the log onto our account, but was denied access.  The CSR reauthorized access to the account and I saw four transactions over the weekend which I was sure we didn't make.

I was informed that our card was going to be cancelled immediately and a new account would be opened for us.  We were to destroy our current cards and wait for the new cards to arrive.

Overall, I was impressed that the credit card company caught the fraudulent use so quickly, within a couple days.  We wouldn't have identified the issue until our next statement, which was a couple weeks away.  Once the credit card company resolves the issue, I will be interested if there are any steps we can take to avoid the issue in the future.

For more on The Practice of Personal Finance, check back every Wednesday for a new segment.

This is not financial or credit card advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

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