Yes, my credit card was recently compromised. I received an email yesterday from a company whose bill I pay automatically with my credit card.. They informed me that payment was refused. Huh? What’s up with that?
I looked online this morning at my credit card activity and there were all these charges that I didn’t charge – and in California to boot! I got a sick feeling and immediately called Chase to let them know that my card had been compromised. I really don’t understand how it happened as I have the physical card and I am about 2,000 miles from California.
I rarely use this card – a few online automatic payment and then I used in person twice this past month. Since we are in a small village in northern Michigan I can’t imagine any of the two Mom & Pop stores that I went into having any kind of scammer on their machine that they run cards through and would “capture” my card numbers. Regardless, my account is closed and a new card with a new account number will be winging it’s way to me. I actually caught this before their fraud detection department did. All of the charges were under $200 so I’m sure that it didn’t set off any alerts. I generally check my cards about once a week though this was an exception since a charge had been denied.
About an hour later I receive a telephone call from a detective in Orange County, CA who was with the Auto Theft Task Force and they caught the guy! Really. He had just purchased something with my card and left the store in a stolen car. They found a handmade MasterCard with my numbers and name on it. The detective had last night proactively called Chase to inform them (they didn’t tell me that though) that my card had been compromised and he had the fake one in his possession. He was able to get my local phone number from Chase and call me to ask if I wanted to press charges – “Hell yes” I replied “and if you need me to come to California I suppose I could fly and rack in some extra points and miles”. I really did say that. When I asked him how the perp (too many Law & Order episodes, sorry) got my number he suggested it might have been when I ran my card through a gas pump card reader. I told him no way that would have happened. I would have used the Chase Freedom card to give me the 5 points per dollar at a gas pump. He chuckled.
The morale of this story – stay ever diligent when it comes to your credit cards. Check them online frequently and stay on top. At the first sign of trouble, call the credit card company and talk to the Fraud Department. They are very helpful and will make you whole again.