Strange Debit Card Happening

On Tuesday we received our bank statement. It had a “recurring charge” of about $20 on it for Experian which as far as I know is a reputable credit agency. The bank statement had an 800 (actually 877) number on it which I confirmed was actually an Experian number. I called them and said we had not authorized the charge nor signed up for the service. The agent was very polite and helpful. They removed the charge and we confirmed that the charge had been made through my wife’s ATM/Debit card. This was not a scam (or was a very good one), the agent and I read alternate numbers off the card and he specifically told me not to tell him the CVN. In any case the card has been canceled and replaced and the bank informed. Both the bank and Experian put in a fraud alert so I’m not really worried about my bank account etc. This is my question.

The service charged was an ongoing credit monitoring. They would not tell me the name of the person, but did tell me the first name and last initial and asked if I knew anyone who fit that and I did not. A simple error in credit card number seems like the most logical explanation to me except that Experian and the bank both insist they would not process this without the CVN. The thing is, my wife is virtually blind and does not go out alone. The ATM card has never been out of the house since it arrived in the mail, and is never used for online purchases. In fact I had to go take it out of the small strong box it sits in. We have no cleaning service or anyone else who comes in the house.

Can anyone think of any reason someone might do this fraudulently? “This” being sign up for a credit monitoring service for which presumably you must give all kinds of personal information and use a stolen credit card to pay for it? I do not think it was a test case because the initial charge was made 6/11 and accepted, and there was no further activity up through Thursday when the car was canceled.

I think either Experians pulling a fast one, or one of you two accidentally signed up for this (super easy to do) or that it’s a simple mistake.

My mother-in-law had the same thing happen to her. Someone used her credit card number to pay for a legitimate credit monitoring service.

Did you recently get a “free” credit report. I know a couple of people that did and one of the terms you agree to is a credit monitoring service. Of course they don’t tell you this. It’s part of the terms that no one ever reads when they click the agree button.

You may not have even given them your number. Remember they know everything. :dubious:

This. If you go to the Super Free Credit Report sites the fine print states that you will give them your left testicle if you don’t cancel within 7 days. Lately they are pretty good about cancelling, but in past years, they would routinely “accidentally” hang up on you and ask you 40 questions before they would cancel, offer a discount, and then berate you for being foolish enough to leave your credit un-monitored. Now, you can do it online.

If you want the truly free one yearly, go to

Neither of us signed up for a free credit report, and if we had, we’d hardly have signed up for it for someone we’ve never heard of. As I said the service was for someone else. They told me a first name, but I didn’t recognize it at all. Nor would we have used this card to pay for it. As I said, this card is never used and has sat in a strong box ever since it arrived in the mail.

I’m still betting on simple error.