Unauthorized pending debit transaction just disappeared. Fraud preparation? (need answer today)

I had a weird pending withdrawal show up on my Chase Visa debit card statement almost a week ago, in the amount of 76 cents. It caught my attention because I’ve been closely monitoring my spending lately and it didn’t match any of my known expenditures, and I would NEVER put that small of an amount on my debit card, anyway.

So I’ve been checking on the pending transaction every day, because I know you can’t dispute charges until they clear your account. But, it has since disappeared completely. I am quite sure it didn’t morph into something else, because I’ve been monitoring my online banking a few times a day. All expenditures that have cleared are ones I remember authorizing, and nothing new has shown up since the unauthorized transaction went away–in other words, I’m 100% positive this was not a legitimate transaction in disguise. There are no more pending charges on my account. This one just vanished completely.

Fortunately I copied the line into notepad just in case it changed later. What it said: POS DEBIT MJ AND B ENTERPRISES LL DOWNERS GROV RI $0.76

I googled MJ and B Enterprises and came up with nothing. I do live in a small city next to Downers Grove, IL, but I never shop in that city, and I’ve never put 76 cents on my debit card (especially not in the last week). I’d like to know if this is a precursor to fraud? What else could possibly happen to make a small transaction show up as pending, then disappear? Should I cancel my debit card before my paycheck is direct-deposited tomorrow?

That does sound suspicious. Have you called your bank and asked them what they think you should do? That seems like the starting point.

:: nods ::
Yes, do. That seems like a criminal test transaction if I ever saw one.

However, some companies do such test transactions when setting up for direct deposit; Google Advertising for example. You’d know about it though, either being informed when you apply, or through email.

Have you googled the company?

Yeah, I did google the company “MJ and B enterprises”, “MJ and B enterprises Downers Grove” with and without quotes. NOTHING at all came up. I would think that a company with enough of a web-presence to do direct withdrawals would at least be googlable. That’s why I’m so worried :frowning:

TBH, I’ve been meaning to get the card reissued anyway, since there’s a per-transaction and daily spending limit on my current one that I’m eligible to have removed. But it cannot be lifted until I get it reissued. Still, blah.

I’d talk to your bank and have a new debit card issued. A similar thing happened to me - a small charge of $20 on my Visa card and three charges for $300 each a few days later. It wasn’t a huge deal - Visa ate the charges, but it might be more difficult to get funds put back in your bank account if its a debit rather than a credit card.

The weirdest thing for me is that it says DOWNERS GROVE RI - which to me would indicate Rhode Island, when the only Downers Grove I’m familiar with is in Illinois. Unless maybe RI is a different abbreviation and not intended to indicate the state, but still. Weird.

Check with your bank if you are uncomfortable, but keep in mind that restaurants and gas stations often do business under the name of the operating company, not the name on the sign, and this type of business will pre approve your charges ahead of your purchase. That leads to pending transactions for amounts other than what you ended up really spending. 99% of the time you will be ok.
Have you rented a place lately? There is a J and B enterprises real estate co. In oak park.

It’s less than a buck and it went away on its own so why even ponder it? Somebody made an error and corrected it. I think the M stands for “memo.” It was not a customer transaction, but rather an internal correction to make something balance out.

Small initial fraudulent charges are a way of determining useful cards to later charge large amounts to. Fraud should be pursued regardless of the dollar value – a compromised card is compromised and should be replaced with a new card and number. Further, some scammers were known for charging large amounts of cards repeatedly for small amounts. Cite

I had some illegal charges appear on my Chase Master Card that were proceeded by something like this. Fortunately their Fraud Division called me to ask if I’d just withdrawn some weird amount from Romanian ATM (never been to Romania). I’d get in touch with them immediately, especially since you’ve got a Debit and not Credit account.

Thanks again for all the tips! I’m leery of ignoring it because if someone has my information, next time the withdrawal could be a lot bigger than this. And my rent comes out of this paycheck, so I can’t afford to gamble on whether it was a random oversight or not.

Given that I would like to have the card reissued anyway to get rid of the old spending limits, I’ll just go ahead and do it. The account started off as probationary ~3 years back due to a shaky credit history, but I’ve long since graduated to normal checking. I just haven’t wanted to change it badly enough to go without a debit card for a week while I’m waiting for the new one to arrive.

Call the bank - I had something like this show up (although for more than 76 cents) and it turned out the name on the statement was the corporate name for a place I knew by an entirely different name.

I know somebody does this legally, having a tiny charge that is later removed for some reason. Is it Paypal? ::googles:: Yeah, it is. You didn’t recently sign up to use Paypal, did you? Apparently changing credit card companies can result in the same.

I’m a little confused about why you haven’t actually discussed this with your bank as of yet. Whether or not you ultimately get the card reissued, this should be something you do.

When Paypal does it, at least in my experience, the charge very clearly shows up as being from Paypal.

Yeah, it’s definitely not a paypal thing. Like I said, I’ve been tracking my expenditures very closely, and everything that I’ve spent money on over the last week was accounted for (both while pending and after clearing), other than this one teeny charge. The only unusual place I spent money on was for a $7 purchase through newegg, but I’ve bought from them many times before and nothing like this ever resulted from doing business with them.

I’d get a little cash out first, before you talk to the bank. When it happened to me (7.00 random purchase in Arkansas - I live in California), I called the bank and they immediately shut down my debit card, which sucked because I was at work and had no cash for lunch or alternate form of payment. Took a week to get a new card!

It sounds like a standard pre-authorization to me. I saw it all the time when I worked in the helpdesk of fuel stations. Many places, especially fuel stations, will run a small test amount through the bank to find out if it’s a valid card, or if the account has enough money. I’ve seen people get insufficient fund messages because the preauthorized amount is put on hold for a few hours, instead of a few minutes. I’ve never seen it set to $.76 though, that’s an odd number to do a pre-authorization. If it’s disappeared then the charge was reversed as normal, but you can call your bank for piece of mind if you’d like. They can also tell you who MJ AND B ENTERPRISES LLC is.

Heh. Try having your card declared void* on a Friday afternoon before a bank holiday weekend when your nearest bank-acceptable ID miles away. Thank god for credit cards. (Looking on the bright side, it took less than five minutes to replace my card the Tuesday afterward.)

*It was thanks to me having used it in a debit machine that turned out to be bugged, if I understood them correctly.