Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Credit Card Maxxed Out - By Some Other Bastard

Take care with your credit card people. I've just become the victim of credit card fraud. Whilst walking with my colleagues at lunch time I received a phone call from a private number, which in itself was a bit weird, and the guy was from the bank. He mentioned that a couple of strange transactions had taken place on my credit card and asked if was I aware of them. I asked him to call me back in ten minutes time when I would be in the office and could hear him better.

Back in the office I checked my credit card statement and found two purchases for AirAsia flights. These, in fact, weren't the purchases that had set off the bank's credit card fraud mob. There were another couple of transactions that maxxed the card out and happened late at night on the Monday and so weren't on the statement yet. Glad to see that the bank was monitoring it properly. Card was stopped immediately. Luckily the card wasn't linked to any automatic debit payments otherwise I'd have a real headache.

Now, I'm a careful bloke when it comes to money. And doubly so when it relates to my credit card. I've had a credit card for 17 years and keep a written record of purchases and the receipts so that I can check every statement off. In 17 years I haven't had a fraudulent purchase occur. Four cases in a two week period after that is certainly not a coincidence. I keep the statements and receipts for a period of two to three years then shred them. Anything with my address or contact details is shredded and not just thrown out. I discourage mail in my letter box as it is quite easy to steal to obtain personal details. When at a restaurant I go with the credit card to make the payment not trusting the waitstaff to handle my card by themselves. You're not supposed to reveal your PIN to anyone and I haven't. This annoys my wife even though she has no need to know anyway.

So how did this happen? Hm, could have been from any number of shops which have credit card/EFTPOS facilities where I make purchases from. I make purchases online but use HTTPS Websites. It's possible that the credit card details are stored in cookies on my computer but I don't think that my computer has been compromised as I have an up-to-date antivirus package and firewall. Still possible though for a virus to get through. The Websites visited may have some code installed, by others, that allows them to copy credit card details. Could have been a skimmer in the shops - McDonalds had a big problem with that recently and I refuse to use my card there. Somebody in a shop may have just copied the card details down when they had an opportunity. Plenty of ways when you think about it.

I'm sure the Australian Federal Police would be most interested in who took the flights on AirAsia. If you were a criminal, and not too stupid, you certainly wouldn't be booking a flight for yourself with stolen credit card details. It's probably gone to a third party who's using fake ID in any case. Maybe I'm just giving the crims too much credit.

Be careful with your credit cards and who has access to the details. Be vigilant with checking your statements. Use secure Websites. Report any fraudulent activity to your bank.

Reminds me of a joke.
Frank says to his mate, "You know, Ted, some bloke stole my credit card a few months back."
"Really?" said Frank. "That's terrible. What are you gonna do?"
"Well, I think I'll let him keep it. He spends less than my wife used to."


Anonymous said...

That sucks. Third parties can read your information over the net. The banks do have good fraud protection though. It is best not to have one at all if possible. Good day. Gil Ps. Who did it?

Hammy said...

I don't know who did it and I'm not sure if I'll ever find out. Time will tell.

Anonymous said...

I think it may be a distant relative of yours I met that looks almost identical to you but, he is much older. He is wanted for murder. He may try to use your ID to prevent him from being captured. Be careful Hammy please. Gil

Susan Ham said...

I know it is not at all funny about this, but, on the top of your page is an ad for eliminating credit card debt!!!~

Hammy said...

Perfectly targetted ads. I had to laugh.

Anonymous said...

I think he is secret agent man or something of that nature. Gil