The other night I was checking my credit card balance to make sure that my latest payment went through. I then noticed that the monthly minimum payment had increased by more than $50. WTF? So I checked out my latest statement, and was horrified to discover that earlier this month, some asshole had pilfered my credit card number and gone on an internet shopping spree for several days. The charges were all in the UK: Bournemouth, Kingston, Birmingham, Sheffield, etc. and they were buying all sorts of crap like beauty care produts, pet products, candy (!), and all sorts of electronics. All told, they charged $900 to my card. It could have been much worse, but still…!
I have no idea how this happened, because this card never leaves my sight and I don’t fall for phishing emails or other scams. How did they get my info? I then headed over to Consumerist.com and saw a story about a recent surge in credit card fraud — they’re speculating that it’s because data from over half a million people has gone “missing” from hundreds of retail stores across the country. But that’s only one possibility — data thieves are getting increasingly clever with how they operate. I do use the card for online shopping occasionally, so who knows. I may switch to using a temporary credit card for online purchases in the future. (Also, the fact that my eBay account was hacked a few months ago makes me even more leery…what’s next??)
Anyway, I called the credit card company and had them close the account, and they’re mailing me an affadavit so I can dispute the charges. I’d recommend that everybody out there check those credit card statements and scour them for anything that looks suspicious. Check your debit account too, while you’re at it. I try to remember to do this, but it’s been a couple of months since I last looked and luckily I caught it fairly recently after it happened.