Tenakee Springs, Alaska
I’ve posted this image before, but it’s so appropriate for my subject matter today, I thought I’d use it again! I got a fraudulent purchase posted on my VISA credit card this morning. Fortunately, I was sitting at my computer when an e-mail alert arrived for a $9.84 charge. It was an international charge, and I didn’t recognize the company. I knew right away that it was bogus.
A Google search confirmed that it is a fraud scam that is hitting a lot of people right now. There is suspicion (not confirmed) that it stems from an Amazon account breach. And no, I don’t shop at Target, so I am not caught up in that financial crime wave. Coincidentally, I just signed up yesterday for a year of complimentary credit monitoring service because Adobe's credit card records were recently breached. However, today’s incident isn’t related to Adobe because that involved my American Express card. And credit monitoring service doesn't offer any kind of protection for unauthorized credit card charges.
I immediately contacted Chase VISA and reported the fraudulent charge. Chase closed out the account number and removed the charge. They are sending me a new card via UPS Express shipping, and I should get it Tuesday. I am going through the process right now of changing all the autopay accounts I have with various businesses. Chase indicated that they will honor all of my established autopay charges for a period of 60 days. It’s very nice to have that time cushion, but I won’t need it.
We meticulously monitor our credit card charges, thank goodness. We have alerts set up for every single purchase, and we keep careful track of all charges as part of normal household budgeting. We use credit cards for convenience and ensure that we don’t pay a single dime of interest. And we don’t use debit cards because they provide less protection if there is any fraudulent activity.
So here is a word of caution. Beware of the credit/debit card crooks out there! Set up alerts (either e-mail or text) on all of your cards, even for very small purchases. Keep track of your card charges, and report suspicious activity immediately. If you use a debit card, be aware of the additional risks and liabilities associated with fraudulent use of that type of card. It is also helpful to maintain a list of all autopay accounts. You can easily refer to the list whenever there are changes to account numbers or expiration dates.
You never know when a crook is going to strike, so you have to stay on your toes!