For the Second Time in Less Than Three Months, My Debit Card Has Been Hacked

First time was shortly after I got laid off. I went to pay for a pedicure, card declined. Fortunately Ivylad was with me, so he covered the charge. I called the bank, they said there was some fraudulent activity in Texas (I live in Florida) so they killed my card.

Today, I’m going through my bank account online today to pay a couple of bills and balance my checkbook and there’s a charge on Feb 4 for UPCOMINGEVENTS.COM for $25.06. No idea what that is for. I’ve disputed the charge and they’ve automatically killed my card. That’s the second time in about two and a half months.

Last week the bank called Ivylad because of fraudulent activity on his card. Again, card killed, wait around for a week for another one.

I know I’m not on the hook, but this is damned inconvenient.

Makes me wonder what establishment you are patronizing where your card info is being stolen.

Nothing out of the ordinary. We’ve had to curtail things since the lay-off, so no real travel or excursions.

Doesn’t take anything out of the ordinary. Could be as simple as a card skimmer on a gas pump 3 blocks from your house (or an ATM or at a restaurant etc).

Do you file police reports when this happens? You should, so the police can spot a possible pattern in your town. I mean if 4 people who regularly buy gas at the local Gas N Go have reported debit cards stolen in the past 6 months, that’s a good clue for the cops to make an inquiry to that Gas N Go.

But if no one reports it, no one will investigate.

Also…could you get a credit card? You’ve got way more protection with a CC than a debit…

Are your debit cards chip or magstripe? Magstripe cards can be read easily by what is basically a tape recorder head with memory. Any electronics student could build it with about a hundred bucks worth of parts. Chip, on the other hand, is much more complicated, with things like encryption and multiple messages passing back and forth between the card and the reader.

If it’s happened to both of you just recently you might want to check that no one is stealing or inspecting your mail.

What’s that got to do with it?

Because new cards arrive through the mail and could be cloned before the OP gets to use them.

OK. Sorry. I’m used to debit cards here in Canada, and they don’t come through the mail. You can get a new one in 5 minutes at the bank.

It is really inadvisable to use a debit card at anything but in-network (or at least trusted) ATMs, and for payments that will not take credit card (in the US, most government offices). Card information can be acquired by hacking poorly protected databases, skimming using modified or fake ATMs and gas pump readers, or just outright cloning by restaurant servers (the last is rare but has happened). Debit cards give potential fraudsters direct access to your checking account and very limited if any mandatory fraud protection, which credit card issuers are legally required to address fraud on disputed charges.


Definitely sounds like there’s something with a card skimmer or similar nearby, a compromised ATM etc.

Happened to my wife and I when a local pizza place was stealing card info. We both got hit within hours of ordering over the phone. Neither card had been used for anything else recently so it was easy to find the common factor.

Your card can be skimmed by a simple walk by. Cut out an aluminum foil sleeve and insert your card in it for carry.

I think that’s what happened in New York. Some guy bumped into me as we were walking by. I’ll try that when I get the new one.

My debit card is a chip.

We have a post office box, so no issue with someone stealing our mail.

I’ve never had an issue disputing debit charges with my bank. A couple of times they have caught the fraud and they killed the card, refunded the fraudulent charges, and sent me a new one.

Just to be thorough - you’ve changed your bank password, right? And your pin?

Do you use this card online? Have you run a deep deep scan on your computers lately?
My mom’s card got jacked a few months ago. The charges continued to show up on the statement for a few months, so keep your eyes open.

What you watch for is someone carrying a briefcase or something similar as it hides a scanner. I don’t know if you can fit one in a pocket.

That would only work if the card uses RFID*. The mag stripe and the chip (the cards with the gold contacts) need physical contact with a reader.

*Those are the cards that you can tap on a CC machine. They’ll have this logo on them somewhere.

And while they seemed to be popular for awhile, none of my recent replacement cards have had them to the point where now none of them do. I guess they turned out to be too insecure and too much hassle for the banks.

My card has both the strip and the RFID chip. Don’t most cards do?

Most (all?) cards have a mag stripe and a chip. On the occasions when I have to run a register, I see the RFID chip on, maybe, 1 in 30 cards.
The regular (contact) chips should be on just about every card. The RFID chips wouldn’t surprise me if they’ve already hit their peak. Apple and Samsung Pay work just as well so the card makers (and your bank/CC Company) may not want to pay the extra money if you’re not going to use it.