Monday, March 12, 2012

Credit Card Numbers Ripped Off AGAIN

I received a phone call from the Fraud Division of Citi credit cards, checking on some suspected attempted fraudulent purchases on one of my credit cards. I have begun to lose count, but I believe that this is the fifth time someone has gotten my numbers and attempted to charge items to one of my accounts. Fortunately, I had not been using this card frequently, and I believe I can pinpoint the transmission where the number was obtained. About a week ago my son used the card to order something from Amazon. Shortly thereafter, the fraudulent charges began.

One charge actually was approved -- apparently to an online Spanish website that deals with recharging phones. Almost always, the scammer tries out the card by making one or two minor purchases. If these purchases are approved, the next step is to attempt to charge things that cost in the hundreds or over $1000. So no, as I told the fraud rep from Citi, I did not attempt to charge anything to Czeck Airlines or Abercrombie. Fraud had already picked up on those requests and they were not approved.

As usual, the problem is easily solved. The company issuing the credit card closes your account and sends you new cards with new numbers. Any disputed charges are usually handled pretty easily. It still sucks to have to deal with this, though. And you always wonder when they will get your information next and what else virtually anyone in the world can access about you. Welcome to the digital age!


Blogger Memphis MOJO said...

I've heard if they get the actual card (I assume in your case they just got the number), they try and buy $10 worth of gas to see if it works okay.

I wonder if it's Amazon's fault, or perhaps the computer used to make the purchase has a problem?

11:40 AM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

MOJO, I had been told before that most of the theft is accomplished because some business along the whole digital payment route might not have updated security software. I was also told that a lot of the theft takes place outside the United States.

11:51 AM  
Anonymous KenP said...

I agree with Mojo. Multiple occurrences add to that. I'd want to run virus/trojan checks. AVG is a product you might have your son start with.

Young people tend to pick up trojans and such more than those going toward overly mature.

Amazon is one of the more secure sites, nothing untoward has ever happened with the many transactions that I put through there. Suspicion of them seems at the c- threat level. That leaves the computer conducting the transaction.

12:10 PM  
Blogger JT88Keys said...

Let me throw my two cents from an IT desktop and server support specialist behind Mojo and Ken's suggestion that the problem might be on one of your computers used to make online purchases.

I would also recommend another freeware program for cleaning up bad stuff.

I've had Malwarebytes clean up stuff my Symantec Endpoint Protection couldn't.

12:45 PM  
Blogger crafty said...

I'm surprised. I worked for a company that had an e-commerce presence and they took the safeguarding of that data extremely seriously. As a database guy, I was one of only five or six people who could access both the data and the decryption tools necessary to read it - and our engineering department was almost 20 deep.

If your data has been compromised five times in the recent past, there's something afoot here that goes beyond buying something through Amazon. The numbers are just too far out of whack for that. There's something else going on.

12:45 PM  
Anonymous KenP said...

Any virus testing software is a help. I actually had a virus a while back. AVG found it and Malwarebytes didn't and it wasn't a new one.

To steal from a friend: Just sayin

1:03 PM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

The five times is cumulative over many years. The most recent was about a year ago. The others go further back.

Oh yes -- I will have fun speaking with my tech-savvy son about this, for he thinks that he is the god of all things computer. To be honest, he really does know his stuff in this area.

2:05 PM  
Blogger Zooks64 said...

I too have had this happen several times over many years. It gets annoying having to update your CC info at all the places but it beats getting screwed over.

I shop so much online, but I'm aware of only one time that it was a direct result of that. The rest of the times I have no clue how they got my info.

4:54 PM  
Blogger grrouchie said...

Wow man, that sucks. Sorry to hear it.

I have yet to have any negatives happen to me other than an ATM not spitting cash out for me and having to go through an annoying process to get the money credited back to my account.

8:42 PM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

It is not actually that bad. The fraud divisions of credit card companies are quite good. They close the account pronto and get you new cards within a day or so. It is a bit of a hassle if you have auto payments generated on the card, though.

8:49 PM  
Blogger Suraj said...

This article is amazing as it helps me to get the sort of information that i needed. I am thankful as i got your article when was searching pay rent by credit card

1:51 AM  
Blogger The Neophyte said...

One thing you also might want to check is your router if you are using a wireless one. You could be losing info there.

9:54 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

Sorry to hear about your troubles. Knock on wood, I've never had any "electronic" problems with this but eons ago I was mailed a brand new gas credit card (back when you had to have one of those specifically to buy gas) and it somehow got stolen before it got to me! I forgot about applying for it and then one day I got my first bill for over $1000 in purchases I never made. I called them and of course they cancelled the account, withrdew the charges, sent me another card, everything was fine. But I did have to fill out a legnthy form stating I didn't get the card and charging the unknown party with fraud. Never heard anything further about it.

9:35 AM  

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