There is a pretty good reason that I log onto my bank/insurance/investment accounts at USAA.com everyday. And yesterday this reason came to light. Some asshole actually stole and used my credit card number. When I saw the pending purchases that I know I didn’t make, I immediately knew that I became a victim of credit card fraud.
How Did I Know?
I went online at USAA.com to pay my credit card monthly transactions. When I clicked on the account, I noticed two unknown transactions that were made on the previous day. The first transaction was made at Frosty Freeze, and the other was made at Romanos Macaroni Grill. I never been to either one of those places before, and don’t even know what Frosty Freeze is. So after a quick determination that my credit card had been hacked, I checked my wallet to make sure that my credit card was still there. It was. Somehow, I concluded that someone remotely hacked my credit card.
How Did It Happen?
The only transaction that I made on the 14th of March was over the phone to The College of Financial Planning in Denver, CO. I gave my credit card information to the University to pay my upcoming semester’s tuition. So, I’m guessing that someone hacked into their registrar’s telephone line to obtain my and other people’s credit card information.
What Did I Do?
It’s a good thing that USAA makes occurrences like this easy to handle. I simply clicked the link to the right of my account register that said, “Report card lost/stolen/damaged.” It took me no more than 3 screens and 3 minutes to have my credit card blocked and canceled, with a new one set to be mailed off to me.
As far as the pending charges of $43.23, I called USAA’s fraud protection and was immediately connected to a customer care representative, even at 8 p.m., when every other bank is usually closed. I was quickly told that one of my transactions was made in Texas and the another was made in California. Of course, they recognized that I was in North Carolina. Therefore, I was told that my case would be investigated and my account should be credited with the $43.23 returned in 2-3 days.
How Would You Protect Yourself?
Last year, I wrote, “Protect Yourself from Credit Card Swipers.” One of the most important take aways was, “check your accounts regularly“. Some may call my daily log-ons excessive or border line paranorma, but I like to call it convenience, and a deterrent from exacerbating situations like this. Besides, it’s now routine for me to check my accounts every time I get on the Internet. If I can check my email or Facebook everyday, why can’t I just spend a few more minutes to make sure my online accounts are in order, especially since USAA pulls in all of my account information from multiple sources such as my investment institution and other banks–USAA makes it pretty damn easy?
I also said in last year’s post to ensure that you use a credit card for questionable transactions. This is one of the main reasons why a credit card, as opposed to a debit card, should be used for over the phone transactions. If I only had $43 to my name, and that money was in my checking account, I would literally be broke until this investigation was resolved. However, with a credit card, I don’t really lose out on any money and I certain won’t have to pay any interest on the fraudulent transactions. This was the first time that my credit card was hacked, but about two years ago it happend to a friend. Her debit card was hacked and she had over $800 stolen at a time when she needed the money badly. She had to wait seven days for her money to be returned.
If You Are a Victim of Credit Card Fraud or Identity Theft
Make sure you check out all of the information provided by the Federal Trade Commision’s Identity Theft Website. We can’t entirely stop ourselves from being victims, but there are steps that we can take to minimize an occurrence. We should at a minimum, at quickly to resolve the incidents. Credit card thefts usually make a few small purchases, like the ones above, to ensure that the hacked credit card number works. After a few successful attempts, they’ll hit the card with a big purchase. Will you be prepared to lose or fight with a bank when a thousand dollars is at stake?
Have you ever been a victim of credit card theft? What was your experience at your bank?
Search this Site:
Need help with your finances? CLICK ON THE IMAGE!!!
- Blogging (27)
- Business (12)
- Life (75)
- Money (232)
- My Personal Finance Book (21)
- Relationships (38)
- Reviews (16)
DisclaimerThe opinions expressed on this blog are mine and represent my views only. I have very strong opinions, but am also an open-minded individual. If you refute my view with supported, educated and well-argued points, I could very well change my opinion.