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Have you been the victim of credit card fraud? Up until last week, I would have said no. We use credit cards a lot. It’s the easiest way to track our spending, but we pay it off every month. The bills for the card two cards we frequently use get serious scrutiny. On the other hand, I have one credit card I use only for business, maybe one or two charges per month, and the bill is automatically paid through my bank account. I almost never look at the bill. Not smart, but understandable, right?
Last week I got an overdraft notice from my bank, the one only used for business. Hmm. When I looked back at my statements I was a little surprised to see a charge for Netflix. We stopped our Netflix account about 6 months ago and it was not on this card. Weird.
I called my credit card company (No Hassles). I felt a little goofy disputing a charge under $6. When they looked it up, this charge started over 6 months ago!! They went through each month and disputed each charge. On their advice, I called Netflix. No, the account with my email was closed, but there was an open account with my same shipping address. Huh? We hadn’t gotten any movies! I asked for the email address, but they wouldn’t give it to me for privacy concerns. Hmmm. That’s strange considering it’s MY account, MY credit card and MY address!
Then, pretty frantically, I looked back at my monthly statements. More charges. 6 months of charges for only $1 each for some company that provided nursing home care? What? Another $1 charge for another bogus company.
It gets better. About 4 months ago, monthly charges of just under $30 starting cropping up. Again, a bogus company.
After about an hour on the phone, all charges were disputed, my account was closed and a new card was issued. Now I have a stack of paperwork to fill out. Yuck.
So, what was the point of these charges? Part of the money actually went to Netflix. I’m sure the rest went to crooks, but really, it was a pretty paltry amount. What gives?
Here’s my theory: Somehow someone got ahold of my credit card number. They place a small charge for Netflix to see if I notice. Hey, familiar company name, lots of people have accounts, who’s to know? Then they place a small charge for an unfamiliar company. Did I notice? Nope. Then comes a bit larger charge but still nothing huge. However, if they are able to pull this for months and months on thousands and thousands of people, they can probably make a tidy profit. On the cards we use all the time, these charges may have slipped by for years.
The fraud department of my credit card company is following up. I’m not sure how hard they’ll be working to regain their couple hundred dollars, but I suppose if it happens often enough, they will take notice.
Is all credit card fraud thousands upon thousands of dollars? Nope.
1) Check ALL of your credit card statements carefully.
2) Dispute ALL charges, no matter how small.
Now go check your statements!
Find Your Fabulous,
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