Credit card fraud – happens to the best of us

I’ve always been very vigilant about watching the transactions that appear on my credit card, which is even easier to do when you can view them online via internet banking before they disappear off to your paper statement copy.  Fortunately the fraud department at my business bank is just as vigilant, stopping a transaction from Cebu Air and notifying me about it.  We played safe and cancelled the card, which saw me issued with a new number.  And wouldn’t you know it, a week later the second card (different number, same linked account) of my husband’s also was subjected to a declined Cebu Air transaction.  Yup – cancelled and reordered his too.

If this has ever happened to you, you may have also gone into a spin about where you have used your card and how someone else has obtained your details.  I’ve been purchasing online safely for the last 10 years, and this is my first attack.  I’ve always preached that you should only buy from sites you know and trust, that have secure SSL encypted payment pages (which changes the site address to https:// and gives you a little locked padlock in your browser).  So you’d think I’d be pretty careful when it came to that sort of thing.  And I am.  Very.  However, I’m still in a spin about how someone else has obtained my details!  And not only mine, but my husband’s too.

Our card numbers are not recorded on any of our inhouse computer systems (which I’m pretty sure are secure but how sure can you be)?

I did feel somewhat better when the bank advised that the credit card company has issued an ‘all points bulletin’ for a range of card numbers that had been ‘compromised’ – ours included.  Did this mean that I had not foolishly and willingly handed over my details to someone dodgy, but was the victim of a systems failure or a syndicate of cyber-criminals far more geeky than myself?

Hmm.  OK.  Don’t feel better anymore … how the heck did they get my details???

All credit (pun intended) to the bank and their fraud dept for providing a fantastic service to protect my accounts.  If the transactgions had gone through and I had disputed them, I still would not have been liable, with the bank wearing the cost and refunding my card.  Consumer protection is an awesome thing, completely underrated under you happen to need it.

Oh, and if you pay us by credit card, never fear – we enter your details directly into our bank processing terminal then destroy the piece of paper on which they were written.  By shredding .. or fire .. or by eating them a la Maxwell Smart .. or by numerous other ways which we cannot divulge 🙂

-SCuff

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4 thoughts on “Credit card fraud – happens to the best of us

  1. The Cebu Airline fraud is still happening. I got nailed a few days ago and have been very busy canceling cards and changing codes. No fun 😦 The bank called me the day it happened which allowed me to cancel the corrupted card quickly. Three fraudulent charges shadowed three legitimate charges which leads me to believe this is a very sophisticated fraud. The fact that it is still happening after two years since S Cuff’s report is upsetting.

    Greg

  2. Thank youuuuu scuff!!!!!! Thank you for sharing!! It’s a relief to know that the same thing has happened to someone else – don’t mean in a bad sense 🙂 but it is good to hear of such an incident occurred while I have been boggling my mind over this, as to where exactly I went wrong. I am pretty confident myself, as you have mentioned yourself, that I was the most careful with these things. Like you said, I have been so careful to use it on the most trusted and secure sites only but I still haven’t been able to figure out just how they managed to get hold of the numbers, atleast to know if it was online or offline.
    And it was not just 3 Cebu Airline ticket transactions, there were two other smaller amounts – one of which was with a T-Street Jewelry (most probably an offline purchase) and the other was an online transaction on a charity website called http://www.oxfam.org.uk
    The transactions were happening so quickly that I was not sure what was going. But a big thanks to my bank’s SMS alert system which sends alerts each time even a single transaction occurs, right at that instant. Without this I would not have know what has happening to my card and would have had to wait another 2 days for the online statements to update. The money would have just kept on dissapearing if I had not called up the call centre and had the card blocked immediately.
    I thank again the bank’s SMS alert systems – funny how somethings, that we least bother with, can be of a great help at times.

  3. This happened to me yesterday. I got called on my mobile whilst in class from the Fraud Detection Dept from my bank. I didn’t like talking over the phone so I went to my local branch. Turns out someone had attempted (10mins before the phone call) to use my card for a £330 transaction with Cebu Air. Luckily I managed to reverse the transaction before it went through.
    It’s a horrible feeling, knowing that you’re not 100% on SSL servers nowadays. But as SCuff said, our banks are really onto it.

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