I use credit cards **a lot ** because I like to earn travel rewards.
- The first card that was compromised was back in January, and was a brand new card, just 9 or 10 days old. I’d only used it at 5 places, including one very large purchase (my daughter’s tuition), before someone ordered something online from an overseas “herbal” store. Because it was an online purchase, someone could have just copied the information off my card, or even gotten the card out of the mailbox and copied it, but it would have had to have been just a few days prior because I’d just gotten the card.
The herbal store purchase was flagged immediately by Citibank, and they were on it immediately. They suspended the account, emailed me, and called my home phone to alert me to the suspected fraudulent activity.
- The second card was used just about 2 months ago, and it’s the primary card both me and my daughters use for everyday spending. We use it a ton, for both online (Lands End, Amazon, Eddie Bauer) and local stores (restaurants, Kohls, Target, Costco, gas stations, drugstores, grocery stores), so it’s impossible for me to figure out how/when it was stolen.
I caught the fraudulent activity on this one myself when I went online to check on activity for all my cards, something I do regularly since the first incident. Honestly, I might not have caught it at all had the thief used it at a place that we frequent, such as Amazon. But it was for DicksSportingGoods.com, where none of us shop, it was made the day prior, and it was for over $200. It stuck out like a sore thumb.
The CSR couldn’t or wouldn’t tell me anything other than the dollar amount (over $200) and the time and date of the transaction. Personally, I think that they should release this information so that I could see if the shipping address, or even what they bought, could help me narrow down who the thief was. But they don’t. The good news is that the activity was still in pending status so I hope that Chase was able to reverse it before the item(s) ever shipped.
- The third incident happened just last night. I was checking activity on all our cards, as I do almost daily now. Lo and behold, my CapOne card had a note that the account was restricted and to please call this 800 number. Really?
I called the fraud department, and the CSR asked me if I had just tried to make a $200 purchase at a store in Canada. No, I hadn’t. He said that 18 minutes prior, someone had used my card to make a Safeway purchase in Canada for ~$100. It was approved. The second purchase was declined.
Now, I’m totally with you in suspecting an inside job at this point, except for two things. First, is that while the CapOne account is technically in my name, neither I nor my kids ever use this credit card. My husband does. It’s HIS primary card. So if it’s someone who’s been in my house, they rifled through both my purse AND my husband’s wallet (which is always on his person or on our dresser), at various times throughout the year. This narrows it down to about 2 kids – my youngest daughter’s best friend and my older daughter’s boyfriend.
However, this latest purchase wasn’t an online purchase, but a brick and mortar one. Since the card was still in my husband’s possession, the thief made a duplicate card. No way is either of these kids sophisticated or wily enough to make a duplicate credit card. Nor is either of them in Canada at the moment.
P.S. To add to the mystery, my credit card procurement card at work has been compromised twice in 2 years. That card is never on my person, and it’s always locked in my drawer at work. The only times I’ve gotten it out of the drawer were the two times I created profiles at the only two vendors that I use, Amazon and Staples.
I’d theorize that the thief could be someone at work, and they found where I hide my key and rifled through my work drawer (where both my procurement card and purse is kept)…EXCEPT for the CapOne card. How did they get my husband’s credit card?
It’s a mystery.