Fight Fraudulent Credit Card Charges

A thief charged over $1,600 to my credit card at Bed Bath & Beyond. Here’s how I responded:

  • I Caught The Fraud Early: I dive into my accounts regularly, like Scrooge McDuck without the gold. I caught the charges the day after they cleared and quickly ended the theif’s joyride. Once someone gets ahold of your card, they charge as much as they can before the credit line snaps.
  • I Called My Bank: I immediately called my bank and reported the fraudulent activity. I asked them to cancel the card, issue a new one, and make sure no shady happenings were affecting my other accounts.
  • I Filed A Fraud Alert: Just to be safe, I put a fraud alert in my credit file to make it difficult for anyone—myself included—to open new lines of credit. I filed the request online with Equifax, which then notified the other two credit bureaus. Filing a fraud alert also entitled me to a free copy of my credit report, which I requested.
  • I Asked For Help: Sure, I’m a consumer advocate and I know how to handle these situation, but I’m also a forgetful yutz who can’t remember what happened yesterday. To be sure I didn’t leave anything out, I touched base with Ben, Meghann, and Chris. It turns out I did everything right, but there is never any shame in asking for help.
  • I Was Grateful: This happened last Saturday, the Ides of March. Things could have been worse.

I chose not to file a police report. I still have the credit card so there isn’t a physical theft to report, and my bank already agreed to remove the charges. If I had lost the card or thought my identity was stolen, I wouldn’t have hesitated to call the police.

All in all, this isn’t a biggie. I spent 45 minutes on the phone and relied on my backup card for a few days. I don’t have debt collectors clamoring for buckets of cash and my credit isn’t ruined. If this was bona fide identity theft, I would have used this post as a guide back to sanity.

Perversely, it was almost fun to use the tools I spend so much time writing about. It’s something I hope none of you ever experience, but if you do, staying calm and knowing how to respond can make all the difference.

Comments

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  1. tortcat says:

    Why would you not file a police report? To me that makes no sense as the person will not be punished and I would think that “could” possibly come back to bite you later if indeed this person does have your identity.

    I would be even more concerned since you DO still have the card…how did they do this? Did they clone your card or do they have more of your credit id?

  2. fredmertz says:

    The police would have ignored your complaint, as they do with any such complaint below $10k.

  3. fredmertz says:

    I had fraud involving a big order for Dell computers. The fraudsters had the computers ordered to their home address, which Dell had on a list of suspicious addresses, so they contacted me before shipping. So the police had the actual address where the criminals resided, yet didn’t care as it was less than $10k. The NYPD must have bigger fish to fry.

  4. goodcow says:

    What bank issued your card? When my card started getting $100+ charges at Sports Authority and Blockbuster, they immediately suspended the card and called me to verify the charges.

    I’d be upset if I were you that the bank didn’t do that for you, unless you regularly spend $1,000 at Bed Bath & Beyond.

  5. clickable says:

    @tortcat:

    The bank’s fraud department will act, and they can do a better job in this case than his local precinct. That’s exactly what they’re designed to do. They have their methods and I think they may actually have some success. They don’t report the outcome, partly so as not to disclose their methods (at least that’s what they told me). He’s right, the local police precinct can’t do much but take a report.

    @goodcow:

    I had that happen twice, actually, where the bank called to report “suspicious activity” because we normally don’t spend thousands of dollars at the Apple Store early on Saturday mornings. The other time there was a flurry of activity overseas.

    In the Mac-loving thief case, my wallet had in fact been lifted the day before without my noticing it. Their call was how I learned about it, and I was able to retrace the steps and figure out where it happened.

    In the international charges case, someone in the family was traveling and making purchases in art galleries, so the charges were legitimate. But I was impressed that those kind of charging patterns trip their “suspicious charges” wire.

  6. DeltaPurser says:

    OK… where’s the story?

  7. Juliekins says:

    @DeltaPurser: The lack of the story IS the story here. Not every theft of a credit card (or a credit card number) has to turn into some big Sturm und Drang tale of identity theft, lawsuits, collections agencies, and other woe. Then instead of asking where the story is, you’d probably be posting about how the victim could have done all the stuff Carey did and then there’d be no story.

    GOD posters like you are so full of win! It makes this a better place. :P

  8. boomerang86 says:

    Watching my credit card account through online access is exactly what I do, every couple of days not unlike the author.

    A similar fraud happened to me over a weekend three years ago in July; my card likely got skimmed at a local “national casual dining” restaurant. Over a 36 hour period that followed, no less than FIVE seperate charges totaling over $2K were done at automated ticket vending machines of the NYC MTA & NJ Transit. Called the credit union right away and reported the number stolen, filed the “Affidavit of Fraud”, got a new account number and haven’t had any trouble since.

  9. johnva says:

    @goodcow: Why would you be upset that the bank didn’t suspend your card? You’re not responsible for fraudulent charges anyway.

    I always find it funny how some people here are upset when the banks don’t reject “obviously” suspicious transactions, and then other people are upset precisely because the banks DID suspend their cards over admittedly unusual transactions!

  10. tortcat says:

    @clickable
    yes..I would agree on that aspect, but I would still, myself anyhow, have filed a police report. If for no other reason(s) then to be 100% certain someone in the future never could come back and say ” well you should have reported it”.

    Plus there is always the chance with a Police report the same person or persons involved may end up getting caught, especially if they are doing this to more then one person.

    I am wondering though, did the perps clone a credit card using the card numbers? I am assuming they needed an actual card to use, yet the poster said they still had physical possession of the card? ( I’m just curious thats all…I can think of lots of ways they could get the actual cc numbers)..but that part strikes me as odd

  11. shor0814 says:

    x2 on reporting to the police. Nothing helps a criminal more than for victims to remain quiet about it. I can see the headlines “Ring of CC forgers gets away because nobody reports a problem.”

  12. johnva says:

    @tortcat: It’s really easy to “clone” a credit card once you know the card numbers. There are readily available machines that can easily write to the magnetic strips. The thieves somehow stole the numbers (or guessed them using a card number generator) and then made a card with those encoded on it. Credit cards are not secure at all against forgery.

  13. Coles_Law says:

    In defense of the local police (or at least my local police), I had a credit card opened in my name thanks to an application that went to an address I hadn’t lived in for 5 years. I didn’t learn of it until it went to collections. Despite the trail being a few months old, the police department tracked down and arrested the guy. (Not too hard-they had his address, but trying to find a store tape of him making the purchases from a few months prior was no easy task for them).

  14. SoCalGNX says:

    I have contacted the local police in two different geographic locations about fraud. Neither of them seemed very interested in taking a report and made lots of excuses. Granted the problems were not as large monetarily as this but they were more than $50 each.

  15. Pandalume says:

    You aren’t out anything, the bank is not out anything, but Bed, Bath and Beyond is on the hook for $1,700 in lost merchandise. As long as it is only the retailers who take the hit and they to accept credit cards, credit cards will be insecure.

  16. Frostberg says:

    If the thief didnt physically have the card, how did the charges go through? Inside job at BB&B? Sophisticated credit card manufacturing?

  17. Antediluvian says:

    You might be able to file the police report over the phone. My bank requested I file one when there was fraud against my debit card. Took about 5-10 minute and cost me nothing but cell phone minutes.

    Yeah, it sucks the police won’t likely investigate, but who knows — maybe your report is the one that triggers a break in some other case. Or a future case of fraud against you might bump the total to a number that someone WILL investigate, or at least take notice of.

    Another good reason to file is to be able to show a pattern in an area. Also, the police or Attorney General or District Attorney base budget decisions and priorities on hard numbers. They could decide to fight fraud more aggressively by pointing to the number of unsolved but small cases.

    If you don’t file, it didn’t happen, from the police department’s perspective.
    I vote you should file a police report.

  18. Antediluvian says:

    @SoCalGNX: I say that you should push for filing police reports, even if the officer(s) you speak with try to persuade you not to. Make them do their job for the reasons I described above.

  19. Rusted says:

    It’s awful hard to catch a thief if you let them keep stealing. Report the sucker.

  20. wickedpixel says:

    @Frostberg: You don’t need the original card. Once you have the number you can just make your own. Probably scenario: Carey goes to Red Lobster. After eating his dinner he hand the young waiter his credit card. The fine young waiter takes his card to the back and jots down his information before returning the card.

    The waiter returns home where he has a magnetic card writer and some blank cards ([www.hackershomepage.com]) and makes his very own swipable version of Carey’s credit card.

    Now he just takes the card to a store where he can swipe the card for payment himself without having to hand it to the cashier (which is practically everywhere these days) and voila… our fine young waiter gets a whole new set of bedroom decor and a lifetime supply of shower curtains for free.

  21. JohnnyQ says:

    I have had this happen a few times. I have found that you should use American Express when paying at any restaurant. A LOT of credit card fraud happens when waitservers or staff swipe your number, pin and expiration date. If this happens, AMEX is much easier to deal with than the reapers at Visa/Mastercard. If you can’t pay your AMEX off each month, then just get an AMEX Blue Card — you still get their good customer service and its like a regular credit card. ALSO, NEVER, EVER, EVER, pay online with a debit card or even at a restaurant. If someone swipes that number, you will have some major angst. On the prosecution side, the cops almost never follow up or prosecute. Frankly, credit card fraud is a great racket if you’re willing to take the 1-2% risk that you’ll get arrested.

  22. Antediluvian says:

    @Frostberg: (How did the fraud committer get the card numbers):
    My debit card was defrauded ($900, 3 each $300, all gift cards: 2 at Game Stop, one at Sears) by someone 3000 miles from where me and my card were at the time.

    People online buy and sell card numbers, so it’s easy to get distance between the crime and the victim.

    Details below.
    —-
    More details:
    I think someone copied my numbers when I used my debit card as a Mastercard at a fast-food place. I no longer ever use my debit card at a place like that — not Dunkin Donuts, Wendy’s, McD’s, Starbucks, etc (only one of those I even still go to is Dunkin anyway). Easy to do — especially at the drive-thru where your card is out of your sight.

    The credit card company wouldn’t cover the charges for my bank (my bank ate them) because the merchants claimed “card present” at the transactions, and they were signed for (totally different name and sig).

    I think it’s also possible there was collusion with the employees of the stores and the thief.

    After this incident (caught on Sunday evening because we look at balances online very regularly), I had my bank lower my daily limits to $500 for debit and $500 for ATM withdrawals. I plan ahead for cash needs, but I’ve never come close to those limits.

    While those limits serve my account, they also serve the bank. I’m okay with that — I’d be out some amount of money (possibly all of it, if a thief drained my account) until the bank chose to refund it into the account, and they might still consider it in limbo until the case was investigated, leaving me penniless for the time being. So this limits the potential for harm to my account and my money.

    I also happen to be okay with my bank (a small-town operation).

  23. banmojo says:

    Good job! You were vigilant, caught it early, dealt with it appropriately, and never lost your cool (well, never really needed to :^)

    Kudos.

  24. Antediluvian says:

    @wickedpixel: Or the fine young waiter hooks up online with a fine young waitstaff network and they swap card info from across the country, making the fraud more difficult to track down.

  25. G-Dog says:

    In my experience, the only problems I’ve had when fighting fraud is the time it takes to get a new card issued. Every time I’ve dealt with the credit company in question, they were more than helpful.

  26. johnva says:

    @Antediluvian: These are good reasons to prefer credit cards to debit cards. You’re better protected and it’s not your money that is in limbo during an investigation.

  27. jpp123 says:

    Re the police. Credit card fraud falls through the cracks, cardholder in one city / state, thief in another, merchant in a third. Also the crime is against the merchant not the cardholder.

  28. Concerned_Citizen says:

    @fredmertz:
    It’s not about if the police will act in this specific case, but it’s more about reporting a fraud so that if a certain store is ending up with more than one case of these, the cops can act. If no one reports these things, the cops have no idea it is going on.

  29. Mary says:

    @FitJulie: Agreed. I’ve had fraudulent charges on my debit card a few times in the past year. I followed these steps because the second I saw something I didn’t recognize I called the bank and they walked me through. Then I was ready for the next set.

    I do wonder how the people got my card number without stealing the actual card. But at the same time, I highly doubt there’s any way for me to find out. If there is, I’d love to know it.

  30. Antediluvian says:

    @johnva: (credit cards offer more protection) You’re exactly right, and that’s one of the reasons I don’t use my debit card for big-ticket purchases. I do use my debit card for fuel (but not AS a debit card, as a “check card”) and groceries, where I usually get cash back with the groceries, saving an ATM trip.

    Most other stuff I use cash or put on credit that I (try to, and usually do) pay off each month.

  31. Antediluvian says:

    @Meiran: (how do they get my numbers)
    If you’ve ever let your card out of your sight with someone whose ethics will ensure that they either (1) stay at minimum wage forever or (2) will eventually be CEO of the next Enron, you have your answer.

  32. Buran says:

    @johnva: Bingo. I no longer have a debit card (just an ATM card) and don’t carry cash because if I do lose my wallet or it’s stolen, the card is worthless without the passcode.

    Someone will still blame you for that — yesterday in the Starbucks thread someone came along and got in my face about not carrying cash, as if it’s their business how I pay for things I buy…

  33. Buran says:

    @Buran: erm. don’t carry cash because if the wallet’s stolen I’m out the cash, but with the credit cards I’m not. And the ATM card is useless (can’t be used to empty the account) w/o passcode. doh.

  34. Buran says:

    @G-Dog: That’s why I’ve always had two credit cards (three now; got a reward card and just got my first check, sooner than expected and for more than expected! bonus!). It came in handy two years ago when, in rapid succession, both card numbers got used for fraud — first my MC (so I used my Visa while waiting) then the Visa (then I switched back to the MC until I got a new Visa too). The third one just adds redundancy, and getting bonus cash even if you pay it off monthly, like I do, is nice.

    I don’t have a zillion department-store credit cards like some do, but I do suggest using widely-accepted credit cards for fraud protection, paying off monthly, AND having 2-3 of them so you don’t get stuck using risky debit cards (you’re out the money during the “investigation” if someone gets ahold of the number) while your new card is mailed to you.

  35. johnva says:

    @Antediluvian: Personally, I don’t use debit cards for POS transactions at all anymore (only ATMs). I want my number exposed to the absolute minimum number of (possibly insecure) computer systems. So far, it’s worked, and I haven’t ever had debit card fraud (and I HAVE had credit card of the same type as this article refers to, where my number but not my card was stolen). It would be even safer to ask for an ATM card that is not also a debit card from the bank, but I haven’t bothered to do that yet.

  36. Antediluvian says:

    @johnva: All very true, but I consider my (minimal) use a “calculated risk” I’m willing to take, at least at this point in my life. In the future, perhaps not. But even bank ATM’s are susceptible to skimmers, so I don’t consider any choices we have these days to be 100% safe and secure.

    Like you said, I attempt to minimize my exposure as much as practical for me.

  37. bjcolby15 says:

    I’ve had that happen to me over the past month or two with my American Express Blue card.

    I went to the Burger King for a quick breakfast, and used my Blue Card. A week later, very strange things began to show up at my house, like subscriptions, vitamins, and coffee (including grinders and brewers). Called AMEX that night, and they closed that account and sent me a new card. I also filed a fraud report with all three CRAs.

    I discovered yesterday the receipt for that breakfast. I noticed that the last four digits of my card number was off by one on the last digit and it also had an approval of “online.” I figure that’s where the fraud began.

    There are still additional charges on my new card that likely came from the other card, but I figure AMEX does that to keep a paper trail and to catch the crooks who did this. They will remove these charges once they square it up with the companies that had fraudulent accounts opened in my name.

  38. Ilovemygeek says:

    I had the exact same thing happen to me this week only the charges came from Newegg. My credit card company suggested a police report and my local sheriff’s office not only came to my home for me to file a report they were at my home in less then an hour. I live in suburbia though so maybe that has something to do with it.

  39. dotcomrade says:

    I Filed A Fraud Alert: Just to be safe, I put a fraud alert in my credit file to make it difficult for anyone-myself included-to open new lines of credit…”–OP

    “Fraud alerts may be easy to set up (a simple phone call will do) and free, unfortunately, they often don’t work.

    The alert is simply a note in your credit file that advises businesses that you might be a victim of ID theft.

    Lenders can still pull your credit report and dole out loans or credit cards in your name. Fraud alerts also expire in 90 days, unless you follow up with paperwork, so you might as well get a credit freeze.

    Security freezes provide much stronger protection. No one can access your credit report without your permission, period.

    The credit bureaus encourage consumers to get only a fraud alert because their agenda is to keep you an active participant in the credit market (i.e., they want to keep pushing credit cards at you).

    You are better off with a security freeze, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

    While the freeze provides solid identity theft protection, it’s hardly foolproof. It can’t stop non-credit-related forms of ID theft, such as the creation of a duplicate driver’s license or criminal identity theft (when a suspect gives your name to police when booked for a crime).

    It also won’t stop an undocumented worker from using your Social Security Number to obtain employment.

    And sadly, it won’t stop every company from accessing your credit report. New creditors are largely frozen out, but existing lenders — your current credit card company, for example — can still view your report and offer you new credit cards. It also won’t stop those pre-approved credit card offers. The bureaus can still give your name and address to credit card companies. Of course, you can stop those mailings by visiting [optoutprescreen.com]

    A credit freeze is the best thing you can do – and in fact, the only thing you can — to stop identity theft before it starts.

    Think of it like The Club you place on car steering wheels. Yes, the car can still be stolen, but many car thieves see a Club and move on to another target.

    ID thieves who face security-freeze speed bumps when trying to get credit cards or loans in your name are just as likely to move on to the next Social Security number.”

    –quoting from this excellent article:

    [redtape.msnbc.com]

    [consumerist.com]

  40. PølάrβǽЯ says:

    Damn fine advice. This is one OP who actually has a brain. Hopefully we can all learn form this and be prepared if ever need be. Thanks for posting this, Carey!

  41. Antediluvian says:

    @dotcomrade: Like you said.

    Everyone absolutely should opt-out of all pre-screened credit offers. Those are basically inviting identity theft.
    This site [www.ftc.gov] has good basic info. From that site:
    Call toll-free 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688) or visit http://www.optoutprescreen.com for details. [www.optoutprescreen.com]

    The hubby and I opted out years ago, and we’re very happy we did. It also cuts down on junk mail and temptation.
    To opt-out permanently, you have to mail in a form. It’s mailed to you if you do it by phone, or you print it if you use the web site. It’s very simple, but the credit reporting companies don’t want to you do it because they make money by selling your info to the credit card companies. Do it anyway — they don’t necessarily have your best interest in mind.

  42. tcp100 says:

    These comments about filing a police report are really a case of YMMV. Maybe if you live in Mayberry they’ll listen, but the sad fact is that occurrences like these are extremely common, and unless your wallet was physically stolen, it’s usually just adding complexity and frustration to try and get the police involved.

    This stuff is not really prosecuted by local police, anyways.. It usually takes something huge and by that point the FTC and FBI are involved. This is primarily because in the end you are not the one who was stolen from. The credit card company was. It’s up to the card company to prosecute. They sometimes do.

    I had a similar thing happen here in Fairfax County, Virginia. The police basically told me not to waste their time… And, they were right. The onus is on the credit card company (and by way of them, the merchant) to prove the validity of the charge.

    If you dispute it, and the company cannot prove that you DID make the charge within 30 days (not that you DIDN’T), they must remove it by law.

    The only point in which this becomes hairy is if the card was used by someone in your household – in which case the operative word is theft; otherwise, it’s just a civil matter and the police will not get involved for such a small amount.

    The amount charged on my card was $2,700. The Fairfax County Police told me that they really didn’t handle anything under $20,000 – but I could fill out a form if I’d like, and someone might call me to take a statement in 6-8 weeks.

    A signed, attested, and notarized Affadavit of Fraud is all you need – and is basically as valid in court as a police report. It shows that you have acknowledged, under penalty of law, that the charges are unauthorized. It shows intent to prosecute – as a police report would – but also puts you on the hook if you are found to be lying. If you’re not, you have nothing to worry about at all. (BTW, this is VERY routine to credit card companies these days, so don’t go acting like it’s the crime of the century when it happens to you.)

    In the past 15 years of having credit cards, I have had fraudulent (and errant – not always malicious) charges show up about 7 times. That’s a little less than once every two years. One was by someone who stole my wallet. I have NEVER had a problem getting them removed. I have NEVER heard of someone that really has had a problem with this, nor anyone that required a police report save for cases of outright theft or when a roomate or something stole the credit card number.

    Disputing and contesting charges is easier, and way more commonplace, than most folks realize.

  43. Mary says:

    @Antediluvian: I always wish that I lived in a world where I could trust people, but I see your point. I have used that card at restaurants, though that’s the only place I can think of where the card actually leaves my sight.

    Thankfully the bank worked everything out perfectly in both cases, and I had no trouble out of it aside from waiting for a new card. But I’ll be looking at my habits in restaurants from now on to see if I can find a better way to take care of myself.

  44. Zombilina says:

    I second everyone who advised the police report. As someone who’s had her pocketbook stolen, a police report can be of great help in dealing with your banks, credit card companies, and other entities – in my case, an airline, as I had to fly home and no longer had identification due to the theft (I was away from home at the time); I had to present my police report to get on the plane. I also faxed the report to my bank and credit card companies for extra reassurance that the fraudulent charges were, in fact, not mine.

    If anything, going through the hassle of getting the report will at the very least aid in covering your ass if need be. It helps your credibility if that comes into question. And the worst that can happen is you waste a bit of time dealing with the cops. They may not investigate the crime or catch the crook, but at least you’ll have a little documentation on your side.

  45. mobiusuk says:

    With regards to reporting it to the police, I wanted to mention that here in the UK the law was actually changed last year so you’re not even allowed to report it to the police. You’re legally bound to only report it to your bank and the police teams specialising in credit card fraud have now been disbanded.

  46. Antediluvian says:

    @mobiusuk & @tcp100:
    It’s not that anyone here necessarily expects or even wants our local police department to investigate a crime that actually took place several thousand miles away. That’s not really what the filing of a police report is for. (Local card fraud is another matter.)

    Among other things, it’s so there is a documented paper trail of the number and amount of such fraud, so resources to fight it can be allocated.

    If enough of these smaller cases get reported, they can get noticed, or they can be traced backwards from an event learned about later (god, that’s bad writing).
    Example: the Hannaford Bros Supermarkets, TJMaxx, and Staples breaches. Investigators (state, local, federal, internal to CC companies, media) can look at the police reports and see if they can be tied to one of them.

    This is the same reason why it’s useful to file a police report for all sort of little things that may never get solved (someone stole the flag at the end of my driveway, someone took solar garden lights from near the road, someone did ___, etc) — at some point in the future, they may demonstrate a pattern or maybe a cache of solar lights and flags will be uncovered in a basement (and the neighbors on TV will say, “She was a such a nice old woman, I never suspected she was a serial flag-stealer”). The police, in this type of case, could step up patrols in the area, or be on the lookout for folks found carrying solar garden lights who live in apartments.

    It’s helpful in the aggregate to have a record of crimes committed, even if it’s frustrating that yours won’t (likely) be investigated.

  47. chartrule says:

    its too easy for the fraudsters these days

    especially when all they need in the information on the card and not the card to make a purchase

    stiffer fines/penalties and creating a more informed consumer would probably help

    not everyone watches their billing as much as the OP apparently does

  48. FLConsumer says:

    @JohnnyQ: Maybe it depends upon the bank & status of your Visa card, but I’ve found my Wachovia Visa Signature card to be excellent in the case of a fraudulent charge. When the VIP Tune thing hit, I noticed it the day it posted. Less than 5 minutes on the phone with Wachovia and a new card was overnighted to me and arrived 8am the next morning. They even asked me if I wanted to leave the card active until I received the new card, which I didn’t need but appreciated their effort.

  49. FLConsumer says:

    Ack, clicked Submit too soon. I also wanted to point out that most of the credit card fraud I’ve seen & experienced came from restaurants as well. Generally chain restaurants (Ruby Tuesdays/Bennigan’s/Outback/etc.)

    I wish we’d get some of the tableside card readers like they use in Europe. It’d certainly cut down on some of this, ‘though. It’s not foolproof as the beeb’s Newsnight showed, but it certainly adds an extra hurdle for the thieves, er, waiters to go through.

  50. aikoto says:

    *sigh* Not this again..

    Ok, for the last time: fraud alerts are worthless. They effectively do NOTHING. If you want to protect your credit, get a credit freeze

    (end soapbox)

  51. harryhoody says:

    My wife and I have a Discover Card, and one morning, Discover’s Fraud Dept. called her to verify a purchase at Home Depot. Since she thought the call may be a phishing scheme, she called the number on her card and transfered to the Fraud dept. Lo and behold, someone was trying to buy $1400 of stuff at Home Depot with an actual credit card with our number on it!

    The charge was denied, but the thief left Home Depot before the police could be caught. We think the number was stolen from her at a Thai restaurant she and her coworkers frequent, because coincidentally, the same type of transaction recently happened to a coworker.

  52. Raul_Pevre says:

    Last year my wife had her purse stolen in an ice cream shop, about 45 minutes later the card showed up in the worst neighborhood in Boston. The thief purchased $1500 of gold bling and a $3000 bedroom set before we could get in the fraud notice. We filed a police report but it was pretty clear that nothing would come of it. We pleaded our case to Citibank, at first they seemed helpful but a couple of weeks later they sent out a letter saying they were refusing the remove the charges. Citi claimed it was my wife’s signature on the receipts and in a round about way said “nice try scammers” to us. We had to spend several evenings on the phone with them before we could talk some sense into them. They finally gave up but not without a lot of fighting. It seemed to me that this was a pattern of theirs, they probably figure a decent amount of people will just give up and pay to make it go away.

    It still blows my mind that you can walk into a jewelery store and spend thousands without being asked for ID. Want a beer or a pack of Camels? Show me some ID. Want a bedroom set? Swipe your card please.

  53. kyle4 says:

    My dad had $3500 spent at the Brick from his card that was surprisingly in his wallet. The bank reversed everything and asked a few questions (about purchases, trying to see if he’d deny them or not, like $300 on groceries etc)

    I believe he got caught in one of those gas station scams where they take your credit card number after you’ve used the machine. That was terrible.

  54. troubled says:

    I’m not sure where to turn for advice on this but I need some help. I was in a Bar that I did do business with and they abused the credit card I gave them and secondly I believe they or someone in the BAR stole my other credit card. Within 1 hour there were over $12,000 in charges on my credit cards. To me this is obviously fraud but I am concerned how the investigation will go since I was in the BAR and admittedly intoxicated.

    Any thoughts?

  55. Anonymous says:

    A person I know had their credit card stolen and a few hundred dollars of fraudulent charges made on it. The credit card company was immediately notified, but after “investigating” declared the charges as having been approved, refused to do anything about the fraud and demanded immediate payment.