Violated

I just received a call from Chase, who informed me that some unusual activity had occurred on my card. Turns out someone charged over $1500.00 using my account at three locations in Georgia.

I was connected to the fraud department, who verified that I did not make the charges, closed my account, and answered my tsunami of questions. They are launching an investigation, which will include trying to get security camera images of the person/persons responsible. I won’t know anything for 10-15 days.

I am completely distraught. I have no idea what to do. This is the only credit card account that I have, but I’m worried about the money in my checking account. I’m worried sick about identity theft, but know it’s too early to check my credit report. I feel a strong desire to go through and change all of my online passwords, even though I know that’s probably a silly idea. The thought of ever using a credit or debit card again terrifies me.

I feel incredible anger at the assholes who did this. I can imagine them gathering up clothing and other merchandise, then grinning like Cheshire cats while sliding my card through the reader. I want them to pay in ways that don’t involve money.

Anyone have any experience with this type of thing? I’d appreciate your words of wisdom.

Author: Brian

Blogger. Bookworm. Michael Jackson fanatic. Lives in Kentucky with partner of 11 years and three fabulous felines.

9 thoughts on “Violated”

  1. In college someone stole my checkbook and used three checks at three separate Food Lion grocery stores. Then, even after I worked it out with the bank and avoided paying penalties, Food Lion still wouldn’t accept my checks. They were like, “Oh well your checks had stop payments put on them, so we can’t trust you anymore.” And I tried to explain that of course those three checks had stop payments because THEY WERE STOLEN. And it was the fault of those Food Lion’s cashiers that they didn’t card the person who used the checks to see if the identity matched or not. They could have prevented it by asking for a license, but their poor training did them in and they lost more than $300 worth of groceries. This was in the days before debit cards. Also in my purse that got stolen was the key to my dormroom and the college maintenance lady made me pay the fine to have the locks redone, and I had to pay to get a driver’s license, and all that. It was no fun at all. I can understand your anger. :(

  2. Someone hacked my credit card a few years ago. We got alerted when he/she purchased first class airline tickets to France, and also attempted to stay in a luxury hotel. :)

    My experience was actually entirely positive. The money was refunded no questions asked, within a few days. We obviously then closed the account so the only pain in the ass was changing all our online billing to reflect the new number. But I haven’t had a problem since, and we were really, really glad that the fraud dept. caught the issue before it got too far out of hand. :)

    Hang in there…I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you. It is, indeed, a cruddy feeling, especially since you’ll probably never know how it happened. Try not to blame yourself.

  3. Over a decade ago, I got a call from Dell about some $6000 computer that was ordered on my credit card for delivery to someplace in San Diego, where I do NOT live. They were very good about canceling the order, but then I had to go through the inconvenience of canceling the card, getting a new one, and then setting up all my automatic billing again. More recently, I’ve had BOA spontaneously issue me a replacement card (I guess because someone stole one of their backup tapes or something) and then about two months ago, Countrywide notified me that some a**hole ex-employee of theirs had sold a bunch of identity information.

    Don’t lose heart! This isn’t personal. Somebody found a receipt somewhere, or somebody stole credit card information from one of the folks you bought from.

    So: watch your credit card transactions online, regularly. Keep or shred all your receipts, but don’t be afraid. Don’t hesitate to get and use a new credit card — it is, after all, much easier to clean up credit card fraud than debit card fraud. Take comfort that the credit card companies have some very sophisticated profiles of your usual credit card behavior, and are very aggressive about watching for fraud, since it’s really THEY who are being stolen from. (You don’t say, but I assume they reversed the charges?)

    Your credit report will show you whether NEW credit has been procured in your name, and I think that the “credit inquiries” section is essentially “real time”, so if you’re concerned that someone stole your SSN, you CAN check that quickly to see if anyone has TRIED to use it to get credit. I personally use a credit report monitoring service which gives me free anytime access for all three agencies.

    — Mario

  4. Ugh. Brian this is awful, I feel so bad for you. These are nefarious times we live in. The way everything is set up, we’re never safe. The world is crazy now and I’m sorry you’re having this horror show.

    For me, the horror show is a strange debt collector who is harrassing me for an electric bill that I PAID. The bill, from 2002 mind you, was for some reason marked unpaid and sent to a collection agency, who sold it to another agency, who sold it again to the agency that is after me now. Naturally I never kept my cancelled check — it was in 2002 for crying out loud. The original bill was for $300-something, and now that all these weirdos who bought it have tacked on their charges, the current agency is demanding over $800. I’m having to hire a lawyer at my own expense, to defend me for a bill that I paid years ago. To top it off, it’s on my credit report as a $800 bill I never paid.

  5. Thanks to everyone for sharing their stories. It makes me feel better to know that most of them turned out okay (I’ll keeping my fingers crossed for you, Wendy).

    I’ve tried to take all the necessary precautions to prevent any further damage to my finances. I’ve changed passwords on my online accounts and paid a visit to my bank to make sure that my checking/debit account is okay. They issued me a new debit card and reassured me that I would not be held responsible for any unauthorized charges on my account with them.

    I think I will take Mario’s advice and sign up with a credit monitoring agency for a while just to make sure that none of my other accounts were affected.

    The banker that I talked to today wondered if the credit card company is responsible for the entire thing. She said they might have issued a card to another person and accidentally put my number on it. Don’t know if that’s possible, but it would explain why a card number that I haven’t used in a couple of years was suddenly stolen.

  6. Brian, I’m very sorry to hear that this has happened to you. I’ve used a credit monitoring company for the last 7 years because I had a checkbook stolen several years ago and it was a pain for a few weeks, but fortunately not a long term issue.

    I wish you all of the best and I hope that you’re able to work everything out painlessly and quickly.

  7. I didn’t mention earlier that I had a random charge show up once from someplace in Italy (France? Spain? I forget; well, somewhere in Europe). Turns out some clerk manually took down the credit card number and transposed a couple digits.

    OTOH, I’ve also had some charges of my own just not show up…

  8. Oh, Brian, how awful!
    That is scary! There are several ways that it could have happened. That is what is so scary about today’s tech-living world! I really hate that for you!

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