Woman Tries To Report Credit Card Fraud, Almost Gets Arrested

Imagine how fun it must be to have your credit card stolen and then be accused of being a thief yourself. Oh, you’re right, that doesn’t sound very fun at all. A woman in Salt Lake City tells the story of a woman who had to go to great lengths, first to prove fraud, and then to defend herself against it.

Audrey says she has one credit card that she only uses for emergencies, and uses it so rarely that at first she didn’t notice it was gone from her purse, reports KUTV. But when she opened her monthly statement, she saw a string of charges she didn’t make, totaling $1,524.74.

When she called Discover, they told her she’d have to report the theft to the police to have the charges waived — in fact, she’d have to report it in every city where the card was used. So she walked into eight police stations and presented her statement to cops there, with mixed results.

“Some of those police departments were great and some were actually quite difficult to work with,” she said.

Police questioned her to make sure she wasn’t filing a false report, and most cops believed she was telling the truth. But at one station, an officer decided she was the one exhibiting fraudulent behavior. He reportedly accused her of fraud, threatened to arrest her, and read her her Miranda rights.

Audrey says he focused on the few charges she actually had made on a duplicate card, and not the string of bogus ones. The officer contacted all the other police agencies to report her, writing, “There is a strong possibility that the cases she filed with their jurisdiction would also be false.” The station notified Discover as well, telling it not to pay her.

So she took matters into her own hands to clear herself — presenting stamped time-cards and emails to show she was at work when some of the charges were made. She even pulled dental records to show she was at the dentist during some of the charges.

“To me it’s black and white, you can see that I didn’t make the charges,” she said.

She went back to the police stations for round two, and one of those agencies cleared her name as well as filing charges against a man for stealing her card.

Unfortunately, Discover wouldn’t change its mind at first, writing, “it has been determined that no fraud has occurred on your account.”

When KUTV contacted Discover and told them that charges were filed against someone for stealing Audrey’s card, it finally waived the fraudulent charges.

We’re exhausted, now.

*Thanks for the tip, Brady!

Credit Card Company Disputes Stolen Card, Charges [KUTV]

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  1. Cat says:

    Centerville. Huhuh….

  2. Leksi Wit says:

    This is why I love Amex. When we had fraudulent charges on a trip to Hawaii, they did not make me go report it to the police department, but immediately started the fraud investigation process themselves. It took a couple months to have everything cleared, but all we had to do was make 2 phone calls. One to report it and one to activate out new card.

    • Marlin says:

      I was about to ask is this a discover thing? I have never had to talk to the police when reporting bad charges on my CC.

      • FatLynn says:

        I had four cards in my wallet when it was stolen, and I think only MC asked for a police report number. When your whole wallet is stolen, though, you should file a report whether or not your CC company asks for it, as someone now has your ID’s and stuff.

        For regular bad charges? Nope, never had a problem with Discover reversing things, including things where I had a legitimate complaint about a merchant.

      • erinpac says:

        No. Discover usually just takes the report on the charge.
        However, it sounds like she did not notice the card was gone for quite a while and perhaps that contributed.

    • Necoras says:

      Bingo. Got a call from Amex about $4000 worth of charges on my wife’s card in California (we live in Texas) before I even saw them. They cancelled the card on the spot, sent us a new one, and had the charges reversed within a week. Super easy, and they took care of everything. I couldn’t imagine having to deal with the police over something like this.

    • menace690 says:

      Amex all the way. Someone opened a Paypal account in my wife’s name and her Amex account. Amex reversed the charges within two weeks.

  3. comatose says:

    I hate so say it, I would file some kind of suit or complaint for false imprisonment. Just because they had a “feeling” is not good enough. Of course, they will not face any consequences like most police misconduct and mistakes. Imagine if you or I false imprisoned or made a citizen’s arrest on someone on a “feeling.”

    • Lyn Torden says:

      I want to know which city has the stupid cops.

      • dobgold says:

        Play pin the tail on the donkey with a map of the US (or probably of the entire world) and you’ll find your answer.

    • deathbecomesme says:

      It doesnt say they were arrested. Just got read their rights. Cops can read you your rights and still not arrest you. it just clears the way for them to file charges on you and say you made the fraud report/any statements with out a lawyer present and were aware of your rights.

    • ZachPA says:

      She does not have a case for false imprisonment. She does, however, have an excellent case for libel and/or defamation!

      If a police officer wrote to other stations outside of his jurisdiction and said that the OP was committing a fraud, because it can be proven that she wasn’t, the police department is liable for their officer’s writing. If the police officer called any other officers outside his jurisdiction or Discover with the same information, then he committed defamation of character, and his department is liable for damages.

  4. Lyn Torden says:

    “she’d have to report it in every city where the card was used”

    Someone is stupid here, and it’s not the card holders. This can be very impractical when the card is used at a great distance.

    Ultimately, we know these card companies would rather stick the charges to the card holder rather than have to pay for it themselves, or fix the broken credit card system.

    • crispyduck13 says:

      Word. I had some fraudulant charges made in the Czech republic while I was in Pennsylvania. The CC rep never told me I had to fly to Europe to contest the charges.

      What a load.

    • FatLynn says:

      I have never had a problem getting fraudulent charges reversed. Something here doesn’t add up.

    • skloon says:

      That could be fun, my Visa got used in Luxembourg last week, they called me the next morning, I had a hangover but no recollection of going overseas, they closed the card and I had a new one in 4 days

    • BluePlastic says:

      That’s what had me confused. A stolen card could be used anywhere, far from where the victim lives.

    • ZachPA says:

      When a charge is deemed fraudulent, it is the merchant who is left holding the bag, not the cardholder and not the card issuer. Merchants who accept credit cards should take due care to ensure that the cards they accept are legitimate and not stolen.

  5. spartan says:

    So if some fraudster clones my Discover card and uses it in Guam, Saigon, Paris, and Halifax, I essentially have to make a round the world trip to file police reports?

    • FatLynn says:

      I would LOVE to hear Discover’s side of this story. When my card was stolen, they called me about an hour later, before I even noticed. I reported it to the police in the county where it had taken place, but neither Discover nor AmEx asked for that info, while MasterCard just wanted the report # and a signed affidavit that I had not made the charges in question.

      Another time, my MasterCard was used fraudulently, and they immediately called me to verify, and when I said it wasn’t me, they sent me a new card.

      The point is, if these charges were very different from her regular pattern of behavior, I’m extremely surprised a) that the CC company didn’t catch it themselves and b) that they would give her a hard time about the reversals.

      • Thalia says:

        My credit card company not only didn’t want to believe me, but then told me the charges were reversed, and sold the debt to a collection agency. Who sued, and dropped the case when I counter claimed. CC companies are inconsistent, and can rot in hell.

    • samonela says:

      Chasing a woman in a red trench coat and red fedora?

      • AstroPig7 says:

        Don’t worry, you’ll catch her after clearing two false leads and looking up several destinations in your Fodor’s USA Travel Guide.

      • RavenWarrior says:

        Just make sure you find the loot and the warrant before finding the crook.

  6. southpaw1971 says:

    What little thoughts I’ve ever had to get a Discover card have completely vanished now. Visa and MC actually handle the fraudulent charges for you. Why would anyone want to own a Discover card?

    • FatLynn says:

      Because hearing one side of this woman’s story doesn’t override my personal experiences?

    • plasmatop says:

      Low interest rates. I’ve had my Discover card for several years now and my interest rate is still 0%. I’ve never had a problem with their customer service. Perhaps this woman just got a moron on the phone. When you get a moron, you hang up and call again.

    • rookie says:

      I have had a Discover account for about fifteen years. I have never had anything but good experiences with these folks. When I call customer service for any reason, they are proficient to a fault. Two years ago PayPal charged $108 on my card. I haven’t dealt with PayPal because of their CRAP for ten years or so. I called Discover, they asked if I wanted to just call the PayPal number and try to straighten it out with them. I asked the rep to just reverse the charge and be done with it. 30 days later, all was well, and I have not heard from PayPal. About a year ago, someone in Florida charged about $1000 worth of metal detecting equipment on my card. Discover promptly reversed the charges and issued me a new card in two days.

      I know other card companies do well by their customers, too…
      I’m not changing a thing.

  7. FatLynn says:

    This is the exact opposite of the experience I had with Discover. When my card was stolen, Discover called me to let me know before I even noticed.

  8. abucsfan says:

    snip snip that’s the sound of my Discover Card made before going into the trash!

  9. Here to ruin your groove says:

    What a terrible ordeal. I hope that cop is shamed for being an asshole and an idiot.

  10. Here to ruin your groove says:

    What a terrible ordeal. I hope that cop is shamed for being an asshole and an idiot.

    • wrbwrx says:

      To be fair to the cops, we are only hearing the Card user’s side of the story. She could be much better at writing than speaking and the cops might have had a hard time understanding her side of the story. we have empathy based on this write up, but maybe we would not have if she told us this story in person.

      • Here to ruin your groove says:

        If a retail employee made this mistake and contacted other stores with this false accusation I imagine a defamation suit would be in order. But it’s the police so it is OK. If it wasn’t for her efforts she would be in a world of shit because one cop decided he was judge and jury and accused her of filing false police reports all over the place.

  11. Jane_Gage says:

    That’s an odd piece of public art. Where would it be appropriate to display? PI office? History of crime museum?

    • bdgbill says:

      I took the photo. The relief is on a building in Montreal that was built as a combination Fire/Police station.

  12. Extended-Warranty says:

    More often than not, getting your credit card “stolen” is your negligence, losing it.

    • VintageLydia says:

      Aren’t you a little ray of sunshine :D

      • Cor Aquilonis says:

        Welp, somebody has to blame the OP.

        • chefboyardee says:

          True, but (s)he does have a point. I’m a 30+ year old man who has never misplaced a wallet or credit card. I keep it safely pocket at all times, don’t take it out and put it on counters or anything like that, and when I travel I make sure it’s not somewhere obvious like my back pocket. I don’t really understand how a credit card can get stolen – either you’re inviting shady characters into your home, which is your fault, or you’re taking it out and leaving it in accessible places when you’re in public, also your fault. Someone sniffing data packets on free wifi (kind of also your own fault for using free unencrypted wifi) or a virus that keylogs, that’s semi-understandable. But losing/having stolen your physical card, that’s on you. It shouldn’t ever be somewhere that anyone else can get at it.

  13. DoraAreGames says:

    Poor lady. Credit fraud isn’t fun. Several years ago my husband and I woke up to find our bank account drained from purchases made somewhere else in the country. Surprisingly, Bank of America had it all back to us within a week with minimal fuss and were pretty good about the whole thing. I know we lucked out.

    Sometimes it seems like some police officers just feel like they have something to prove, or that if they aren’t seen as gruff, suspicious cops they’re not doing their jobs. When I called 911 a few years back after someone tried to break in while I was home alone (terrifying), of the five cops (with K-9 no less) who responded, all were awesome except one woman who seemed to think I was lying and made a show of listening to me with the most exaggeratedly skeptical face possible whenever I was talking. It was bizarre. She kept drilling me over and over, and I didn’t know what part of “Came out of the shower to find a stranger opening the back door, and he ran away when I screamed” was so preposterous. The K-9 lead them from my house to another down the street, and a little girl who was home alone answered and said she’d heard someone trying HER back door a while ago too. Scary!

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      I got one of those one day when a drunk wandered into the open back door of the restaurant I worked at in CA and started yelling “I WANNA BOWL OF SOUP! GIMME SOUP!” He wouldn’t leave, so I called 911 per my boss’s instructions. They could hear him yelling and they asked me “Are you in any physical danger?” I looked at this swaying and disheveled guy that I could have pushed over with one finger and was like, “Naah.” “Okay, we’ll send someone right away.”

      Two cops showed up, one short and one tall. Meanwhile, Drunky Dan had wandered away toward the grocery store next door. The short cop started asking me questions, but with an attitude and then kept interrupting me while I was trying to answer them. I looked at the tall cop like “WTF?” and he immediately took charge, asking me politely for a description, etc. I turned away from Shorty NapoleonComplex and just dealt with his partner. After I was finished describing Drunky Dan, Tall(andhot!)Cop thanked me and said “We’ll take care of it.” He was nice.

      You get all kinds of people. Most cops I’ve known are okay. But there are a few assholes, just like there are in any profession. I’ve even met nice lawyers, believe it or not.

  14. dolemite says:

    Funny…so a cop just looks at a bill and says “nope, I’m not seeing it”, and Discover is off the hook for waiving the charges?

  15. nicoleintrovert says:

    I don’t even understand how a visit to a police station to discuss fraudulent CC charges would result in Miranda Rights being read. Was she making a commotion?

    • winstonthorne says:

      You probably haven’t had very many interactions with cops.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      Apparently, she has a duplicate card. So some of the charges were valid, and some were fraudulent. So she came in to the police station trying to get a report that said Charges 1,3,4,5,7,and 8 were “fraud”, but charges 2,6,9, and 10 were valid.

  16. fruvous says:

    “A woman in Salt Lake City tells the story of a woman who had to go to great lengths, first to prove fraud, and then to defend herself against it.”

    Does the story change if a man tells it?

  17. longfeltwant says:

    ffs sue that police officer! don’t they have to have reasonable suspicion or something? is UNREASONABLE suspicion sufficient?

  18. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    OK, here’s what doesn’t make sense. If she uses the card “only for emergencies”, then how can some of the charges on the card be valid, enough of them that she can show when she was at work and also at the dentist?

    In all reality, I can somewhat see what confused/piqued the officers interest. So some of the charges were valid, and some were fraudulent. So she came in to the police station trying to get a report that said Charges 1,3,4,5,7,and 8 were “fraud”, but charges 2,6, and 9 were valid. Filing a false report IS a crime, and an officer doesn’t want to sign off on a report that he suspects is false. He probably tried to “put the scare into her” and let her know all the possible penalties for filing a false report.

    • longfeltwant says:

      How is that different than any report of credit card fraud? Most cards get used each month (I figure), so when there are fraudulent charges one would typically expect a mix of real and fraudulent charges. Wouldn’t you? I would.

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

        Not many people have duplicate cards though, or two cards attached to the same account that they keep both of them on them.

        • wiggie2gone says:

          I use my card a lot and most of the time I never have it on me. I know the #’s by heart and just use that instead. I can see not knowing your card is gone if you do a lot of shopping on the net or over the phone.

      • FatLynn says:

        You’d expect either:

        1) The card was no longer in her possession, so she’d notice and report it missing
        or
        2) She uses it too rarely to notice it missing, so there’d be no charges.

        It’s confusing that she wants to claim both of the above.

  19. SilverBlade2k says:

    Gotta love how a company will only respond when there’s a News crew on their ass.

  20. RedShirt says:

    She should sue the officer.