Holiday Season for the Good and Bad - Credit Card Scam

Holiday Season for the Good and Bad - Credit Card Scam

PostBy: billlindley On: Mon Dec 08, 2008 5:13 pm

So I am out with the girlfriend yesterday doing some X-Mas shopping and stopping for a nice dinner when the phone rings. On the other end it is some character indicating there has been some fraudulent activity on my Amex card and that I just needed to verify some information. Of course I think that is the scam part so I tell them if it’s legit I will hang up with them and call the actual Amex # on my card. They are fine with it so I do. Turns our after reaching the AMEX fraud department that during my X-Mas shopping swiping my card hear and there that some scam artist stole the information and decided to ring up about $10,000 worth or charges within a few hours. The kicker is that they charged $1.00 to some service to ensure the card worked and then 2 $4,600 charges and 1 for $654. I couldn’t believe it. I rarely even use my card and never carry a balance and some how my information was stolen.

Makes you wonder when it happened and if anything else has been compromised. Make sure to check your statements regularly around this time because you never know what may be on there.
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Re: Holiday Season for the Good and Bad - Credit Card Scam

PostBy: pvolcko On: Mon Dec 08, 2008 6:10 pm

Had this happen a couple years back with a visa card. Employee at a gas station scarfed the card info, made an authorization request to make sure he had it right, then proceeded to charge $2k of stuff over a week. Each charge small enough not to tip off the fraud dept so I didn't catch it until the bill came. Lots of *censored* out there.

Re: Holiday Season for the Good and Bad - Credit Card Scam

PostBy: WNY On: Mon Dec 08, 2008 6:51 pm

Another friend of mine on my mustang forums just got his ID stolen, and then teh guy got a "instant credit" at ToysRus and only thing they needed was a Drivers License, which the guy had a fake one made and charged up over $700 or more. And went walmart and tried. Luckily walmart needed more info and mailed a credit app to the guys house that tipped him off.

Anyone have LifeLok or anything to help stop this. I was thinking about getting it.

This day and can happen almost anywhere. That's why I still like using CASH whenever possible.

So much out there.....Also be weary of Phishing Emails for Fraud Checks, IRS payment emails, etc..Phone calls for more info on accounts, jury duty, etc....Geesh, when's it gonna end.??? :(
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Re: Holiday Season for the Good and Bad - Credit Card Scam

PostBy: billlindley On: Tue Dec 09, 2008 9:56 am

I've been looking into a few "identity protection" products but I am not sure they work. Take Lifelock for example and Todd Davis who always gives his SSN# out, even he has had issues with people using his informaiton becuase not everyone uses the 3 main credit bureaus. I think it's pretty much a crapshoot. If it happens just pray you find out soon enough to handle it.

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Re: Holiday Season for the Good and Bad - Credit Card Scam

PostBy: Horace On: Tue Dec 09, 2008 11:27 am

I ran the department that handled debit/credit cards for a financial institution for a few years. The scammers love the holiday season because they know that people are getting too busy to check their statements or go online to watch their accounts. The problem with identity theft "insurance" is that it is reactive, not proactive. They will help you restore your credit and get your money back, but they won't catch it in the first place. Pretty much every card issuer out there runs fraud prevention software to protect your account and identify fraud. However they are walking a line between protecting your account and pissing you off. They want to catch the fraudulent activity, but they don't want you to go to Best Buy for that huge TV that you've had your eye on for the last six months and have your card decline because it's outside of your normal spending habits. Be prepared - if you go on a buying spree this year, particularly with a card that you rarely use, you MIGHT have your card suspended at some point. We looked at the previous six months' worth of transactions as a base-line for each customer's habits. Only use your card once a week to buy gas and then suddenly 15 transactions happen within a day? We would probably suspend the card and call you.

Big points to Billlindley for calling AMEX back. You'd be surprised how many people don't or won't do this. If it's your bank or issuer, they aren't going to care if you do this. In fact, they WANT you to do this. If it's a scammer, they will argue with you. Hang up and call them using the NUMBER ON THE BACK OF THE CARD! Don't use the number that they give you.

Once a scammer has your number, they will run a couple small dollar items to ensure that it works. Pay-at-the-pump is great for this. Then they will go nuts on it. As a cardholder, you have a lot of "rights" because of Visa/MasterCard/AmEx/Discover's regulations, plus you are covered under Reg E (if you're an insomniac, read Reg E and you'll nod right off). The long and short of it: you are entitled to get your money back for any transactions that you feel are fraudulent. The burden to prove that the transactions are NOT fraudulent fall to the merchant and the issuer.

Even though you get your money back, it is a PITA to fill out the paperwork. Everyone on this site has a computer, and nearly every bank and issuer has some version of on-line banking. Get in the habit of checking your accounts to look for anything outside of the norm. Don't wait for your statements each month. Even if you see a transaction that MIGHT be legit, don't hesitate to question it. Your bank/issuer can request a copy of the receipt for you.

Also, if you are using a Debit card - ALWAYS use the credit "side" of it when making purchases. Don't use your PIN. Most places (like Wal-Mart) automatically prompt you for PIN. Cancel it and use Credit. You have better rights to get your money back by doing this. It also costs Wal-Mart more to run the transaction this way, so you're screwing them in the process. They cannot make you run it as debit - it's your choice.
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