Daddy's Christmas Angel

Monday, September 10, 2012

Credit Card Fraud - How Does It Happen?

Sunset on Hilton Head Island - MMSikes
Is credit card fraud getting worse? We just had an experience with it that makes me wonder. Although we did not lose our cards, counterfeit cards were made with our information. The credit card company monitors accounts constantly. When they saw charges coming up that did not fit our profile, they immediately contacted us. There were charges for shoes at Finish Line in Columbus, Ohio that we did not make. Attempts were made three days later (after the account was closed) at Finish Line, Wal-Mart, and Shell--all in Columbus.

We haven't been in Ohio for several years. However, we were in Chicago's O'Hare International Airport for a few hours in late August. Was an image of our credit card captured there? Did it happen at a service station gas pump? An associate in the credit card fraud department told me that's a place it's happening a lot now. The crooks place devices to take images of your cards at the pumps. I'd heard of that being done on ATM machines, but not at gas pumps.

He also warned of two people waiting behind you in a line. One will memorize the first half of your credit card number, the other person will remember the second half.

Counterfeit cards first became a problem for credit card companies in California and Arizona. Now the fraud is "getting really big" on the East Coast.

The credit card company is investigating what happened to enable the counterfeit cards in our situation. Still, we are left with changing card numbers for those companies that automatically receive payments through our card.

Did the fraud happen because of use on the Internet? Was it at O'Hare? Was it at some random gas pump? The investigators may discover where it happened.

They may not.

Whatever happens, I'm posting another sunset photograph. Credit card fraud can't take that away.

--Mary Montague Sikes


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Something to watch out for. Glad your company caught it.

Monti said...

We are fortunate, Alex. Because of the situation, we've been without credit card use for about three weeks. Just got the new ones today. We only use one credit card.

KarenG said...

Oh, sorry that happened! It's always a shock. It's like an epidemic here in Utah right now because the Salt Lake County health department got hacked and thousands of people got their personal info stolen.

Monti said...

Wow! That's awful, Karen. That's for commenting.

Patricia Stoltey said...

These credit card companies are amazingly alert to fraud attempts. We recently had two unauthorized charges against a credit card we only use for internet purchases and don't carry in our wallets. The company called to verify the purchases the same day they were made. They cancelled the card and sent us new ones. It's scary how easy the crooks can get us.

Monti said...

That's a good idea to have a card for internet purchases only, Patricia. Thanks for sharing.