Someone Steals My Credit Card Number So They Can Buy Credit Protection From Experian

[Ed. Note: Reader J. first mistakenly told us the credit bureau involved in this story was TransUnion. He subsequently corrected his error and the text has been edited accordingly to reflect Experian as the credit bureau.]

Credit protection programs often cost money. So what’s a someone who can’t get the credit to buy such a program supposed to do? Well, in this case the answer was apparently “steal someone else’s credit card number.”

Consumerist reader J. writes in with this head-scratcher:

So I was perusing though my recent credit card statement the other day, when I noticed a charge from [Experian] for $19.95. Having recently requested my annual credit report, I figured I must have “accidentally” clicked on some type of “credit protector” option.

I tried filing an online charge dispute with my credit card company, but for some reason they wouldn’t take the dispute, because of some arrangement they have with [Experian], and told me to contact [Experian] myself.

A quick call to some outsourced customer service rep from [Experian] and I was able to confirm that Credit Protector seemed to have been purchased with my credit card. But for someone named Angela C. (they wouldn’t give the full last name)

Since I don’t know any Angelas, I asked them, “Angela Who?” All I got back was, “We’re not allowed to give over that information.”

I quickly demanded a refund, which they did agree to. I did ask if they thought it was weird that someone used MY credit card to purchase a program that is supposed to protect you against such things… All I received back was, “Have a nice day… click.”

We’re going to assume the Experian rep didn’t actually end the conversation by saying “click,” but it is funny to imagine a CSR doing that rather than actually hanging up the phone, mostly because it reminds us of this scene from one of the greatest movies of all times:


Edit Your Comment

  1. Cat says:

    Wait — WHAT?

    Well, that’s not right. It’s funny, and ironic, but still, it’s just not right.

  2. dolemite says:

    TransUnion? They are the scummiest by far of the 3 agencies. I don’t even like them having access to my accounts. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are just charging random numbers and hoping no one notices.

    • Schmoozer says:

      And soon they could block access to this site because you said that.

      Not sayin;, jus sayin’

      • dolemite says:

        In He-Man voice: “I….Haaaave….the Poweerrrrr (to get your site banned with innuendo and hyperbole with the help of the corporate puppeteers that run our government)”

    • vivalakellye says:

      Unfortunately, I have to like them because they’re the only one out of the three major credit bureaus that allows me to get my free credit report online. (The other two always ask me identifying questions that I can’t respond to, since none of the answer choices they provide for these questions are applicable to me.)

      • Not Given says:

        There is a form you can print out and mail in to get all or any of them free once a year.

        • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

          Being the suspicious type, I have never requested this info in the mail. I mean, that request would be an identity thief’s dream! It only lacks a photo and fingerprint!

      • TasteyCat says:

        I had that same issue when trying to apply for a loan with Up2Drive. After I said I didn’t want to take the loan because it wasn’t going to be enough, they said I might as well take it anyway since I already had a hard pull from them, and there was no obligation. Then they asked me some questions, at least 1 of which I couldn’t answer, and turned my approval into a denial on that basis. I joined a credit union and got both better terms and more money, so it worked out alright in the end.

  3. ThatTastesTerrible! says:

    When I shoot my gun I yell “Bang! Bang!”. When my clip has been unloaded, I yell “Click! Click!”

    • Agent Hooter Enjoys Enhanced Patdowns says:

      I like to follow my “Click, click” with a toss of an imaginary hand greanade and yell “Boom!”
      Sometimes people mosh instead of pretend dying in agony.

      • Rocket says:

        Click Click Boom!
        I’m comin’ down on the stereo, hear me on the radio
        Click Click Boom!
        I’m comin’ down with the new style and you know it’s buck wild
        Click Click Boom!

    • Don't Bother says:

      My favorite will always be the laser noise.

      Pew Pew Pew!!!

  4. smo0 says:

    Hahaha… man… how bad off do you have to be…..

  5. Darrone says:

    Surely credit card thieves understand better than anyone the need for protection….

  6. Rachacha says:

    We had a fradulent charge appear on our credit card for a hotel stay. We had never been to that city or stayed in that hotel, so we contacted our credit card company to dispute the charges. The Hotel submitted the hotel bill as evidence that the charge was real, but they included the name and address of the individual that stayed in the hotel. The person was not related to us, we did not know the person, and they lived in another state than us. so we once again said the charges were not authorized by us. The hotel protested again, saying they had a signed receipt, and this nonsense went on for several rounds. We finally called the credit card company, had them conference in the hotel, and after doing a simple google search for the guy’s name and address we came up with his home phone number and provided that to both parties and told them to figure it out for themselves.

    It was sad that neither the hotel or the credit card company thought to contact the guy that apparently made the charge to see if he actually stayed at the hotel, and if so, request current credit card information.

  7. humphrmi says:

    Dick: It sound like some one snipped the wire.
    Dora: Really, what did it sound like?
    Dick: Snip.

    Ah, Murder by Death, how many times do I get to quote that one?

  8. Jawaka says:

    If the OP had Trans Union credit protection it never would have happened.

  9. dush says:

    Transunion is nothing more than one third of a cartel.

  10. TasteyCat says:

    Disregarding that this is the dumbest credit card thief ever for a moment, people use cards belonging to others (married or unmarried partner, parent, etc.) all the time. I wouldn’t consider it a red flag.

  11. Lucky225 says:

    It’s far more likely a criminal stole HIS credit card, and then used it to access SOMEONE ELSES credit report, which came with the credit protection included and he just remained checked during the sign up and/or the criminal just wanted to monitor someone else’s credit to track where they are by getting alerts when this person applys for credit.

  12. Lyn Torden says:

    Time to change your credit card to another provider, too. Who know who else they have these “no disputes allowed” contracts with. And I doubt they would provide a list.

  13. aleck says:

    “I tried filing an online charge dispute with my credit card company, but for some reason they wouldn’t take the dispute, because of some arrangement they have with [Experian], and told me to contact [Experian] myself.”

    What a bunch of BS. An “arrangement” between a vendor and CC company can not exempt them from a Fedral law. The card must take the dispute and hit Experian with a chargeback. The whole “credit protection” racket has gone too far.

  14. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    I fully expect that the person purchasing the credit protection service was not Angela C. Most likely identity thieves trying to get more information for a heist of more than $20.

  15. sock says:

    Similar thing happened to me with my Capital One card and Experian.

  16. Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

    How “meta”. That is all

  17. NotEd says:

    I’m mildly tickled that Student Bodies made it into a Consumerist post.
    What a great movie. Makes me want to dig out my copy of it.