Nice Try, Credit Card Scammers!

Whelp, it looks like I’m officially a victim of credit card theft.  Some asshat tried stealing my c/c number to make all kinds of purchases online, but was promptly REJECTED cuz they were going up against our beloved USAA (BAM!).  So bye bye went their $300 purchase failed attempt in Green Bay, Wisconsin, as well as their $2.00 trial out in the UK (probably to see if it would go through so they could forge ahead with larger charges). Needless to say though, I was both shocked, and the opposite of, at the same time.

You never see this stuff coming, but when you’ve got a killer company watching your back you tend to be a lot less stressed about it :)  Within 6 minutes I was notified of these jackass attempts, told they’ve frozen the account and no more charges will be made on them, and then re-issued a brand new card to be FedExed.  Not too bad! Of course it sucks and it’s annoying cuz now I gotta go back and update all my automatic bills all over the web and what not, but it’s a small price to pay (or not pay!) to be safe and secure again.  And I give mad credit to USAA for being so proactive about it all.

(Once they texted me when a weird $100 charge hit my account at an airport.  It was really just me blowing some money on some sunglasses, but still – it could have been a thief!)

It also helped that these jackals didn’t have my expiration date OR the CVC code or whatever that’s called. So they must have skimmed it off some site or got into some database somewhere and just ripped off the numbers.  I’d imagine that if you had physically taken the card from me at some point, that you’d be smart enough to take down the rest of the info too – so we’re ruling that one out ;)

All this just goes to show that it’s important to pay attention!!  With what sites and banks you trust, places you frequent with your business, and more importantly REVIEWING your credit card statements every month.  Even if USAA hadn’t picked up on these and had let them through, I would have caught it within a matter of days anyways – the next time I logged on and skimmed the latest transactions (I literally do it at least once a week cuz I’m pretty anal like that, but a good rule of thumb is once a month).  It honestly only takes a few seconds to eyeball down the transactions and make sure nothing funky is standing out.  Then when it does, all you have to do is call your bank/credit union/etc and ask what’s up.

So if you haven’t reviewed your accounts lately, go and do it now! It’s not a matter of IF you’ll become a victim, but WHEN. Take a few minutes and catch those jackals before they rob you blind. Don’t let them win! :)

PS: If you ever wondered why I had 16 accounts with USAA, now you know.

(Photo by xJason.Rogersx)

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  1. Call Me What You Want Even Cheap May 15, 2012 at 7:31 AM

    I agree, I check my accounts daily online. That might be a bit much, but I work in the financial industry and have seen a lot of fraud in my time. The banks here are pretty good at catching fraud, but I check daily anyways.

    I am glad they caught the loser.

  2. The Happy Homeowner May 15, 2012 at 8:00 AM

    Ahhh…this happened to me a few years ago! Luckily, I’m also super anal about checking my online transactions, and I caught/reported it within a day of it posting. Gotta kick those scammers to the curb when it comes to getting into my accounts!

    Hats off to USAA–sounds like supremely good customer service. Kudos to them and to you for proverbially punching the numbskull in the face!

  3. Michelle May 15, 2012 at 8:18 AM

    I review mine everyday. I’ve been a victim too many times!

  4. Money Beagle May 15, 2012 at 8:32 AM

    Glad that you and your card company were able to nip it in the bud. This is why we check our balances and such at least 4-5 times per week.

  5. Rich Uncle EL May 15, 2012 at 8:55 AM

    USAA is killing it with customer service, If I had a family member in the military I would def open an account there. Yes I check my CC statements once a week on any active accounts that I have. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Jessica, The Debt Princess May 15, 2012 at 9:25 AM

    At the gas station the other day, the attendant asked if I wanted my receipt. I said “no” but then watched it print out and the attendant crumble it up and put it into his pocket. I immediately changed my mind and asked for the receipt. I don’t normally think of things like fraud or scamming but when he did that, it was red flags all up in here.

  7. Jessi @ PracticallyFunctional May 15, 2012 at 9:54 AM

    So glad they caught that and that it was handled so efficiently! I recently had the weirdest card thief experience…someone managed to get a hold of my debit card number and used it to pay for their credit report online. My best guess is they were trying out a small purchase to see if anyone would catch it, but still…credit report? And I did catch it, because I never use my debit card, so sucks to them! I have a new card now and it’s all good, but absolutely, you gotta be vigilant!

  8. Trinnie May 15, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    YEAH! USAA is amazing! (and yes, i’m an employee)…I’m so glad they stepped up and nixed that nonsense!

  9. Jen May 15, 2012 at 10:21 AM

    We just had to get a new CC too because of fraudulent activity. Luckily I didn’t have to update any automatic bills…. the last time we had this happen I moved all my automatic bills over to a different CC account than the one I use day-to-day.

  10. Ryan May 15, 2012 at 10:23 AM

    USAA is awesome. :)

    Last year I went on vacation and made a $200 purchase in Texas (I live in IL) and they called me by the time I made it to the parking lot. I told them I was on vacation and everything was good to go.

    Unfortunately, I had a case of fraud on my USAA card around New Year’s Eve when someone in Paris charged around $1,400 worth of stuff. USAA was great about reversing the charges, but I had to initiate the fraud investigation, get a new card, and change all my info.

    They handled it great though, and I was impressed with them.

  11. Lance@MoneyLife&More May 15, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    I check my credit card statement against my receipts monthly to make sure nothing like this happens to me. You have to be diligient or things can slip through the cracks.

  12. Young Professional Finances May 15, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    That’s great they caught it so far! My Capital One card caught it once and was able to reverse all the charges. I was so relieved!

  13. William May 15, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    My Pay Pal CC was reissued because of potential fraud in the number series of my card. I didn’t see any mysterious charges on my card, but the creditor slammed the door shut.

  14. Ash (in US) May 15, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    Go USAA!!! Nice!

    Isn’t there a way to have a USAA account without being in the military, now?

  15. Big Reg May 15, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    Yes Non military can open accounts with USAA. Bank accounts, investments, credit cards, etc…. You do however have to have a military affiliation (either yourself, parents, spouse, etc) to have Insurance with them…what they call P&C eligible. If you’re not eligible for insurance there are some other “features” you won’t be able to utilize, like making deposits with your smart phone….STILL one of the best deals in the biz, in my opinion.

  16. From Shopping to Saving May 15, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    Ooooh I think I better start using my USAA accounts. I have them but I rarely touch it. I only use it if I need to pull cash out of a random ATM. I check my Chase statements all the time since I have both my checking and 2 credit cards with them so it makes it easy to check them all at once.

  17. Carol in Mpls May 15, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    Yeah USAA!!! Love them. I have mine set up to send me an email when a charge exceeds a certain amount I’ve designated. They’ve called or notified me when a charge seems odd or out of my normal travel areas. I’m really happy with their service and watchful eye.

    I’m lucky, as a military offspring, that I can use all their services (insurance, credit card, investments, etc.). They are a superior customer service organization, and as a non-profit association, I usually get a small rebate back on my insurance each year.

  18. MoneySmartGuides May 15, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    Great point about when you become a victim. The odds are you will, regardless of how much protection you use. The solution is to look over your monthly bills and keep an eye out for anything fishy.

  19. J. Money May 16, 2012 at 6:12 PM

    Proud of y’all for staying on top of all this too! It’s great everyone’s so on top of it, well done :)

    @Rich Uncle EL – You can still get banking products through USAA even w/out military connections, you should call them :)
    @Jessica, The Debt Princess – Woahh I’ve never seen that one happening before! Freaky. I ALWAYS always ALWAYS ask for receipts when paying w/ credit card, and then I just throw them all into one of my drawers. Ya never know when you need to prove something later on, it sucks.
    @Jessi @ PracticallyFunctional – Credit report? Ahahahahha… now THAT is funnny. Wow, good story!
    @Ryan – That’s pretty funny that they caught the Texas charge pretty fast, but not the Paris one ;) At least they got it all cleared up though!
    @Ash (in US) – Yup! What Big Reg said :) (Thx Big Reg!)
    @From Shopping to Saving – I’ve been using them for over 10 years now and haven’t looked back since. Sometimes it’s annoying if you come into too much cash and you want it to put into your checking account (although, also a GOOD problem to have! haha…) but other than that it’s awesome. Plan on using them for many many more years to come :)
    @Carol in Mpls – Oh cool! I’ve heard of that notifier system thingie, but haven’t set any up yet, other than when something funky is going on. I like that a lot though – esp when we’re talking in the higher numbers out there. Go USAA!
    @MoneySmartGuides – YUP! Exactly. You will 99.9% become a victim at some point, just a part of life :( People are assholes sometimes.

  20. Kris May 19, 2012 at 8:35 AM

    Fraud protection is something the credit card companies usually do pretty well. The few times this has happened to us the company has called us before we got our bill. Which is definitely a good thing for them and us. Not sure how they got our CC numbers, but it wasn’t from stolen or lost cards so either they tried a random number and got lucky, or somehow stole the numbers from a merchant.

  21. J. Money May 21, 2012 at 10:01 AM

    yeah, probably the latter. that’s the only sucky part about all this new online technology and what not – if any of those big places gets hacked, so can all of our cards they have on file :( but at least security measures are also getting better over time too!