This is so messed up. What is wrong with the world today?!?
So, last night I was at home, minding my own business, I was planning to go to sleep pretty early, around 9pm, as I needed to get to work early today. But I was still up at 9:17 when I get an email from one of my CC companies confirming a purchase for $161 just made on Tobi.com. I’m like, what the heck is that?!?
Honestly, at first I thought, could this have been some old pre-order that I made some time ago and forgot about? Buying something that was out of stock at the time, and just came in and thus the charge? I go to that website, and nope, never saw it before. It’s some site to buy women’s dresses.
So I call that Credit Card’s customer service number, and sit through a bunch of pre-recorded messages as I’m trying to get to a live person, and as I’m waiting on hold to speak to someone, I get another email about another charge on my card, for the same site! This time it was for $265!
I have to say that at that point it felt really weird, as I’m thinking to myself this is happening right now. At this very moment, there is somebody somewhere actively stealing from me, by shopping online and making purchases with my credit card number.
I start wondering who this person is? Is it a woman, or could it be a man shopping for a woman? Was the first purchase a test, and once they saw that it worked they kept shopping and spent even more the 2nd time? Was that their mentality? And, of course, the main question of HOW THE BLOODY HECK DID THEY GET MY CC INFORMATION?!?
What’s especially puzzling about this incident is that that particular card is one I haven’t actively used for purchases since November. Back in January I’d transferred a large balance from a different card to this card because I’d gotten some kind of offer, like no interest on balance transfers for a year or something. But since then I haven’t used that card for further purchases, I’ve just been making monthly payments on that balance. I don’t even carry that card with me in my wallet, with the rest of my cards. I leave it at home, since I’m not using it. So where did they get the info from?!?
I will add, in my CC company’s defense, right after that second charge I got another email saying that charge had been flagged as suspicious, and asking me to please confirm if it was legit or not. But I was already on the phone with them by then. I was transferred to their fraud department, told them what happened, they said they’d put a freeze on those two charges, which were both listed as “pending” at the time, and would close the account so no further charges could be made. And I’m being issued a new credit card to replace it.
Well, I’m glad I happened to still be awake when this happened, so I could report those charges immediately. I’m also glad that I have set up these alerts, which I do on all my cards, to send me an email every single time a purchase is made, no matter how small, on it. That, and regularly checking my accounts myself, helps keep me on top of this. But this does show how vulnerable we become as more and more of our lives depend on technology, no matter how careful we are about it. There are tips we can all take to help avoid this type of fraud, but where there’s a criminal will, there’s a way.