January 5, 2014

Beware of Credit/Debit Card Fraud

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!


  1. Lucky they caught it so quickly, Donna. It happens!!!! We have had it happen a couple of times through the years --but each time, we have caught it --and the credit card companies worked with us and didn't charge us.

    What many people don't know is that many debit cards are NOT guaranteed --as far as getting your money back from the credit card companies. That is why we do not use a debit card AT ALL. It's a crazy world we live in ---and there's alot of dishonesty out there...

    Glad it worked for you.


  2. Thanks for the heads up, Donna.
    Tim is checking our CC now.
    I shop Amazon regularly!

  3. it's a shame that some people make their living by stealing from others. Glad you caught the bogus charge and got it all taken care of

  4. i just went thru this on my visa from bank of am. it's about the 3rd time, but each time they're very good about flagging fraudulent activity, notifying me, reversing charges and issuing a new card. but it still is a pain to change all of the auto-pay accounts! and this time, because of holiday mail, it took a week to get a new card - and i realized how much i rely on having one. :)

  5. No credit cards, but I do use debit. I was a little worried when the Tar-get business was crazy especially since I had used my debit card there. But, I was okay. I'm thinking from now on I'll write checks for the every day use; people don't like to wait for that but I'd rather be safe than sorry. I have no auto-pay and write checks for the bills that come in the mail. Thanks for the heads up though, glad you caught yours. xoxo

  6. Scary isn't it though, glad you were on top of it !

  7. Thanks for the warning, Donna. Your a smart cookie :) I'll keep an eye on my accounts.

  8. We (my hubby) monitors our credit cards very closely and we have identity protection as well.. It's sad that we have to always have our guard up be tis' the world we live in these days.
    The good thing is credit card company's are usually very glad to work with you especially if you are on good terms with them. We've had a couple of fraudulent charges on ours and they did the same thing for us as they are for you.
    Glad you saw it quickly and were able to act.

  9. One really has to check their accounts regularly to monitor all purchases made on credit and debit cards. It's getting to be a very scary world out there! Glad you caught yours. I had a purchase made on my Sears card a couple years ago. It was for gas in Vancouver BC. They randomly swiped a card with random numbers and I was the 'lucky' winner! Sears called me and alerted me and it was corrected. You just never know do you?

  10. Thanks for the info! Good thing you were online when that came through. I'm surprised that all our accounts haven't been zapped to zero by now.

  11. Thank you for the warning Donna.
    I logged into my account on line to check and luckily things are OK.
    We all need to be vigilant.

  12. I don't darken the door of Target but I'm deep into Amazon. I always let TG know exactly what I've charged so he can tell if something's not right. I ADORE online shopping but this part is scary.

  13. I do the same. Pay the balance at the end of the month. Nice to get the points.
    Still very good advice. I had someone try to charge $800 worth of camera equipment on my Visa. Visa called me.

  14. I keep a close watch on mine too and I love that my Chase Visa helps. I always give them a call if I'm going to go shopping out of town and they call me if something not ordinary pops up the rest of the time. I also check my charges online to make sure they are all legit. The free credit reports are handy too, I just check at one of the credit agencies every 3 mons or so to make sure all is well with all my credit.

  15. We do exactly what you do regarding use of/keeping track of charges on our credit cards.........Bob is diligent about this part of life! We never ever use a debit card. Charge most everything and pay everything monthly - have never paid a cent in interest and have earned a lot of points to help with our travel costs! We were scammed once in London at a restaurant, a couple of other times too but the card companies caught the charges even before we noticed - that's always good.

    Thanks for the heads up Donna dear.
    Hugs - Mary


Marty, here! Donna loves comments, and I faithfully pass them on to her. Thank you so much for visiting!