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     Help! Someone is using my Credit card number! (Credit Card Fraud Help)
    What do we know?
    Identity Theft and credit card fraud are a hot topics these days. A resourceful thief can pose as you using your name and credit card number and spend all sorts of money without your knowledge.

    Several credit cards I have possessed in the last 20 years have been used by someone other than me. It has happened with two Discover cards, two Visa cards, a Master card, and an American Express card.Fortunately, as a consumer you are well protected. In fact, the retailer really is the one who is ripped off. Not only is a retailer hit for 2 to 3 percent of the sale by the credit card company, but they also end up paying when the credit card company disputes any charges. If the charges are disputed and the merchandise is gone, there is nothing left but a police report to be filed. As the consumer you do not have to file a police report, because in the end you will be OK. Here is what to do in case you suspect fraudulent activity on your credit card.

    1.) Call the merchant. Most transactions have the detail with the merchant’s name, a phone number and a transaction number. Maybe you might have forgotten what you bought. If the merchant does not link your name with the transaction and perhaps cannot disclose any other information then move onto step 2. It can be helpful to notify the merchant that the charge was fraudulent. They might be able to halt shipment of merchandise or recoup some losses.

    2.) Call your credit card company. The number should be on the back of the card. In most credit card fraud cases, you are still in possession of the actual card. If you do not have the card, the phone number should be on your statement. Explain to the company that you have charges that are not yours. They will close the account, issue a new card with a new number, and set up a dispute claim on your previous card.

    3.) Pay your portion of the bill. The false charges may take a while to run through your statement. Only pay the charges you have incurred. Any finance charges will be negated once the false charges are cleared.

    If there is fraud, the merchant will not be able to tell you who used the card. These days fraud is perpetrated using phone sales or web transactions. It is very easy to do this, since you do not need the actual card in your possession. A common tactic for credit card fraud is to attempt money-laundering schemes. One example is using a credit card number to buy gift cards or phone cards.

    In my latest experience, thoughtfully called to confirm the purchase of a $200.00 gift card using my number. This was the tip-off that something was amiss. In this case, the purchase was not approved. Virgin Mobile will probably be able to remove the purchased minutes from a phone card that was purchased fraudulently, and perhaps block usage of the phone that made calls using that card. Staples and GTM may be out the money already if the perpetrator has already made purchases.

    Based on the purchases made, it was some (lazy ass) younger person with no real vital need for money. They made one song purchase at iTunes, and a ring tone at Virgin Mobile too. Maybe if they used it to purchase diapers or food, I might feel some sympathy.

    How did they get my credit card number? That I may never know. In one previous case, either a cashier or someone with access to the slips at a store grabbed the number. I had used a card only once while visiting Los Angeles. The next fraudulent purchases were made immediately after that in a different store in Los Angeles. Interestingly, that second store went out of business. Another time, I used a card to buy gas in Detroit. Later, fraudulent purchases turned up at other stores in that chain. This latest time, I suspect that someone got a hold of my payment envelope. I had placed it in my department’s outgoing mailbox. So either someone in my department or someone in the corporate mailroom got it. The payment had arrived late, which never happened. I should have thought then that something was fishy. However, the credit card company reversed those fees based upon my previous record of paying on time.
    Posted on Tuesday, November 14, 2006 @ 14:35:57 UTC by BB
    "Help! Someone is using my Credit card number! (Credit Card Fraud Help)" | Login/Create an Account | 1 comment
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    VISA security (Score: 1)
    by BB on Tuesday, November 21, 2006 @ 14:22:30 UTC
    (User Info )
    Check out the Visa security site for more information, especially about assigning a password to your VISA card for on line shopping.

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