Fraudulent Charges?

At 6 am this morning I returned a call from my bank’s fraud department… they left me a voicemail late last night.   Evidently some heathens are trying to steal my money… luckily, this account doesn’t have much in it- although with the overdraft protection they could have done more than a grand in damage.  Evidently someone thought I needed tickets to Asia… so far, three charges have shown up- JetStar Asia, (could this site have been set up purely stolen charges?… I cannot read the site as it is in an Asian language) and www.bangkokaoooo which isn’t even a full address.  I am distressed that someone out there got a hold of my debit card so easily.  I have used it for 3 online purchases in the last few weeks… with 2 different companies online.  While speaking with the fraud deparment I asked if I should contact these retailers, they said it wasn’t necessary as that’s probably not how the theives obtained my information.  Evidently, some people have nothing better to do than run constant computer programs designed to test out credit card numbers until they get a hit.  Looking back through my bank statement, I see a $10 charge a couple weeks ago that I have no clue where it came from… now I am wondering if that was a “test”. 

This tells me a couple of things.  I need to watch my bank accounts daily… check for any discrepancy and question it NO MATTER HOW SMALL. 

It also makes me question online purchases.  How scary that someone has my debit card.  When I think about it… I haven’t been careless with my card.  I only used it at two trusted online retailers.  Could the kid at the coffee shop have stolen my information, did some online hacker access my shopping cart and steal it, or is it merely a random generator that landed on my card numbers?  Whatever it is I am freaked out.  Looking through my actual purchases over the past couple of weeks, there aren’t many on this account.  A few from one day at the mall… an ice cream shop, lunch & coffee… a trip to two large stores, a couple more coffee stops (I really need to quit the coffee)… and a visit to the dollar store for some bulletin board goods.  That’s it with the exception of my two online orders.  I don’t want to say who the retailers were because I am sure it had nothing to do with them after speaking with the fraud group. 

I am thankful this is only my pin money account and not the account we use for household bills and expenses.  We use different banks for the various accounts, and this one doesn’t require any extra online security…   Our household account, which is through a credit union prompts for a second security check before any online purchases are processed.  I don’t remember the exact information it asks for, but a screen pops up that says your financial institution requires further information for online charges.  I wish all banks did that… then maybe less of us would fall victim to stolen information.

This really hits home… it can happen to anyone.  Evidently I am naive, I had no clue peeps sat around testing out random number generators… we have all heard of the kid at the gas station taking pictures of a credit card with his cell phone, or a phishing email that links you to a fraudulent site. 

From now on I will be checking my bank accounts several times a day.  Thank goodness for bank fraud departments and their watchful eyes… but we can’t rely soley on them.


About PolkaDotMommy

Wife to a teacher extraordinaire... Mama to Five littles... Conservative Catholic Christian with a Strong Environmentalist Mentality... Respecting Life... Living for our Savior... Learning to trust God in all things.
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