This is the 2nd time this has happened to me. The first time was several years ago with my United Visa. Now, it happened with my American Express card. I am confused how these people intercept my card numbers and information? I keep all receipts and shred everything. I keep internet transactions to a minimal and rely on ‘known safe sites’. Yet, somehow, people are still able to get my card information and use it.
Today I received a call from the Society for Human Resources Management trying to confirm an order I had just placed with them for $489. After talking with them and getting as much information as I could about who was placing the transaction (some Jonathon Cole in Baltimore, Maryland), I called American Express.
After speaking to them and re-tracing all of my purchases, I can not figure out when and how the mis-hap occured. I don’t use my American Express card (rarely) but chose to use it this weekend because it doubles as my Costco Membership card and I wanted to fuel my vehical at Costco. It happens that I chose to use it for an Amazon.com order on Saturday as well. So, we have the following few purchases up to the fraudulent use:
Purpel Cafe on Tuesday
Amazon.com on Saturday
attempt to pay for my Australian Visa online (declined) and
Costo fuel on Sunday
The crime has to have happened from one of these three places. Seems like the likeliest is either Amazon.com or the australian embassy site since both are internet specific. I wouldn’t know how else someone could come into this information, otherwise. Also, when you discover you can buy goods with someone’s card, don’t you just ‘go for it?’ I mean, the likelihood that they knew this information and then waited is quite small, right?
The only other way I could imagine an interception is via the cell phone. American Express called me to verify a transaction. I assume it was the Australian Visa transaction. During that call, on the cell phone, they asked me for my card number, including the ‘special digits’ that indicate the card is in my possesion. The person did not say there were any unordinary charges at that time so he cleared the account.
Now, as of today, there are at least 20 new charges (many $1 charges) and quite a few >$300 charges. None of them have posted and all are up for dispute. I had to pay for the Visa using my Visa card and have not seen abuse on that, yet. I would assume if it had been intercepted it would be treated similar to the American Express incident. Does that mean that the site I paid it on was safe? or just the Amex transaction got intercepted….how do they do it?