Credit Card Fraud -- what to do?

Hi everyone,

This really stinks. Really. I got a call from both American Express and Visa to say that both my cards have suspicious charges on them and they are definately not my charges.

What I can’t figure out is how someone got both my card numbers and if they have that much information, what else do they know and how did they get that information?

Also, other than cancelling both my cards, what do I do now?

Never order online again?

This really stinks and of course, dh is out of the country until Friday. This so very much sucks!

Anyone have any experience with this and know what I should do now?


call the 3 credit bureaus and put fraud alerts on your ss number/ credit reports. NOW!! you were hacked somewhere- sorry. it is awful. I had a wallet stolen and tons of damage done.

file police reports if you can figure out how they were stolen. document real charges and phony ones. check all your credit reports for new (fraudulent) lines of credit. call the banks for new account numbers, not just new cards with the same number. if you are concerned about your bank account: change your account. there are fraud service agents in most banks these days, find them for your bank to let them know.

suspend/ change paypal/ebay/amazon “buy it now” stuff.

the next few months will be tough, trying to figure out what has been compromised.

it now takes practically an act of congress for me to open a new credit card, and I prefer it that way.

I’m so sorry it happened to you!!! at least they called!!!

oh yeah- could your hubby have been scammed overseas? do you share those accounts? you don’t want to strand him without a CC, but I’d bet that is where it happened if you share card accounts.

Luckily we have separate credit accounts.

Ugh. That sucks. My husband’s debit card # was somehow stolen earlier this year. Someone charged $1900+ to a travel agent in Norway (among a couple other things)! The bank called us to notify us of the charges. We still had to call the bank & disputed the charges. We actually had to dispute them twice–the first time, the bank denied they were fraudulent charges. So he went down to the bank & visited with the bank VP, who called the home office & got it straightened out. In the meantime, he was getting irate emails from ebay merchants, wanting payment on stuff. Ebay was really good about working with him to get this settled.

I also saw this happen to a friend of a former employer. He ended up signing affidavits stating that he had not made the purchases (at the time the state of TX had your name, address & ssn available online through the dept. of motor vehicles:doh:).

Good luck!!! :hug:

Well if you’re worried about ordering online, then there is a couple of things you can do, most ordering sites are secure, however that doesn’t necessarily mean that somebody isn’t tracking your keystroke, if you have a local computer guru around, have them check your computer for any third party program that isn’t supposed to be there. more than likely you’ve got a behind the scenes program like a keylogger that is tracking your every keystroke. I know it’s scary, but back up what information you deem important and have your computer guru reinstall your o/s. Just my 2 cents.

Someone might have already said this but two of the most common points where cards are copied are cafes and taxis. Never sit in the back of the taxi if you intend to use a card. If you pay at a cafe you don’t know, go with the person to their counter and watch.

Amex are good about wiping bills they know aren’t yours.

By the way, they copy the strip. There is literally a machine that does that. They take the strip copy, put it on a card and there you are, the strip records the purchases in your name. Happened to my son when he was last in the US but Amex simply wiped all the bills for gym equipment and perfumes etc knowing they were atypical purchases and he was hardly likely to buy large gym equipment when traveling!

I have a Mac – do they have 3rd party programs like that for Apple yet? I know how to find all that stuff on a PC but on my Mac I wouldn’t know where to look.
ETA: Now that I think about it, I’d better check the pc that the kid’s use. I was laid up for a while and I bet I might have used it to make a purchase or two (yarn, I’m sure!) which would explain why everything else but those 2 cards seems intact.


I’ve had two credit cards compromised from Internet dealings. The first was a Visa card used strictly for on-line purchases and the second was a MC to replace the Visa and also used strictly for on-line purchases.

Whenever possible I now use the Discover card secure on-line account numbers. Discover issues a one-time only account number for the transaction and no one ever knows your actual account number. American Express also offers the service. I’m not sure if other cards offer the service yet.

The other option is to make a phone call to place an order.

Credit card companies will now call the card holder if the charges go over a certain limit or the card shows suspicious activity, unlike when my first card was compromised and charges were already in the thousands of dollars before I got the statement of all statements!


The safest way to make online purchases is to use a prepaid credit/debit card. Only put on the amount needed for your purchases. If anyone gets the number it’s useless to them if there’s no money on it.

That’s the only way I do online purchases.

But others are correct that online is not the only way your cards can be compromised. There is an entire industry out there devoted to stealing credit card info, Always, always get the carbon if they do a mechanical transaction (rare these days but some still do them).

That’s why I prefer using cash for all live transactions.

We have a card strictly for on line use. And one not for on line. Then if there is a problem we know where the trouble lies. And of course we have only had problems with the on line card a couple times. One time someone bought 100’s of dollars in I-tunes! Our computer is really secure, but sometimes you never know - some sites might say they are secure but not be quite as secure as others. Another good thing is to not have too many kinds of credit cards- we only have the two. And to purposely ask to have a low limit on them. Then, like the pre-paid cards, they aren’t worth as much. Besides, if you [I]need [/I]a super high limit then you have more problems-interest on credit cards is too high to run them up too much.

Also don’t use debit cards on line; that links directly to your checking and typically banks have fewer protection features for fraud on debit cards than they do for credit cards.

Anyways, good luck with all this.

That really stinks. I don’t have any advice that everyone hasn’t given but good luck. I hope you get everything resolved.

well gosh arms folded my posts not useful? :slight_smile: Terrible being a bear among the bares…

I am forever trying to get people to daily check their credit cards and bank accounts. I balance both everyday. If someone has gotten ahold of my information, one days charges are better than several days or even weeks worth before discovery. Almost all companies have online situations where you can keep track. Believe me, it is better to take a little time out of your day to do this then finding out you have lost thousands. My dd and her husband had this happen recently to their bank account using their bank card online for a purchase and someone took the information and used it. I think they lost something like $4000 before they discovered the error and it takes up to 60 days sometimes to get your money back. BE VIGILENT folks !!!

Oh, Susan, did my unintentional ignorance of netiquette make you feel slighted? :aww:

Now I can see why those “Thanks” have the potential to cause all sorts of trouble.

Actually, I had wanted to respond to you but was trying to find the words. I just kept thinking about what you posted and shuddering about how unprotected we can be on a day to day basis as we unknowingly carry out our business.

So here it is: Thanks for your response (and everyone else’s too!)

Now I’m going off to activate my new card and be way more careful about using it.

The other Susan P.

[SIZE=1]I hate that freakin’ thanks button.[/SIZE] :grrr:

Back to the thread…did you ever find out how, what, when, where it was compromised? I have learned alot from this thread though even though you had to go through this. It was a wakeup call and there is alot of good advice here.

I recall another member saying in a thread something like “what was my comment, chopped liver?” and laughing about it.

Heh. I was skeptical of it’s value at first but I actually think it has some good uses. If someone is thanked a million times but has offered one thanks themselves, then the equation is skewed somewhere!

zkimom…thanks for the comment :slight_smile: and glad you are off to get a new card. Did the company wipe those payments?
Power to the susan p’s of the world!

I don’t know that I will ever find out just how it happened.

I suspect that it was through my dh’s pc I was using – most of the time when I shop online, I use my Mac and so I’ve never had a problem. But I must have gotten lazy and used it. Who the heck knows what kind of spyware and viruses are on the pc – it used to be a work computer and it’s been all over the world and used by a ton of different people.

The tough part is that it didn’t have to be an online transaction – it could have happened anywhere. Most of the charges were caught before they were even posted and I am sure that they were declined by American Express and Visa – I was lucky in that respect. There are some things on my Amex that I will have to challenge but I don’t think that will be an issue.

I have had this issue twice - and had never used either card online. In fact, I had not even used either card AT ALL, ANYWHERE, in over 2 years - and I had the physical cards with me, actually locked in my safe.

I have only 1 thought about where they got the number - from the trash, where my statements may have been thrown - although before the 1st time, I had been shredding them for a few months.

However - the credit card company in both instances (I think it might have been the same major bank) took care of everything - they voided the charges and sent notices to the credit report companies. The first time they sent me a new card, new #; the second time I said to just cancel the account.

I have read that closing credit card accounts can mess with your credit (can’t recall the references right now) so I have not been closing accounts I don’t use.

In light of my experience, I would not assume the credit card number was stolen after using it online. But I don’t really know where they get them - maybe they have a random number generator, and hit the jackpot every now and then with a number??