This morning we received a call from the fraud department of our credit union’s credit card division that they detected some fraudulent charges on our card. Being that the card was apparently my card, my wife let me know and I called the 1-800 number provided. Knowing that we get tons of scam calls weekly from “Member Services” asking us to hit “1″ to speak to a representative about lowering our interest rate, or any number of other possible messages, I was a little concerned to say the least about providing them with my personal information. After Googling for the number and finding many contradictory statements, I simply decided to call my bank directly.
I spoke with a nice woman who took a look at the recent transactions and found that two charges had been attempted on my card at a “St. Paul” Wal-Mart on 6/5 at 11:34:00 AM and 11:34:37 AM. One was for $320 and the other for $312. The first transaction was approved and the second was declined for insufficient funds which was actually because the second transaction had been marked as fraudulent. They had no other information for me at that time but put me in touch with their credit card division to see if I could get anything more from them.
The woman who talked to me from there wanted to know why I wouldn’t call them directly. I explained my being uncomfortable due to the number of scam calls and she told me that my bank repeatedly informs me of what numbers would be calling if there were fraudulent activities on my account. I politely explained that I couldn’t imagine keeping a list of what numbers my bank would call me from to let me know there was fraudulent activity on my card with me at all times. She seemed to understand my comment, however probably didn’t know that by then I wanted to reach through the phone and strangle her for being so ridiculous.
Without any more specifics than I had already been given and the promise that they would call as soon as the full billing information appeared on my account (which would include the actual store number instead of just an arbitrary city which could be almost any city in Dakota County as well as St. Paul proper), I hung up with them and contacted the Apple Valley Police Department to report the fraud.
I spoke with a woman who told me I’d have to speak to the dispatcher and have an officer call me back. I did so, explained the situation to the dispatcher and I waited. Fairly soon after, much sooner than I expected, a patrol officer called me back to take down all the information I had. He informed me that I should probably place a fraud alert with the credit agencies and that when I get the actual store number and credit card statements I should let them know. If the store is in Dakota County, Apple Valley would handle it all. If it was indeed in St. Paul, they would hand it over to the Ramsey County.
So we added the fraud checks to the credit agencies and froze the credit card I have in question and now we’re simply in a holding pattern until the full details post to our account.
What I do know is this: we’ve used the card twice in recent times. The first was a flower shop in PA for Mother’s Day. I made that payment over the phone. The other place I used it was at Enjoy! on Mother’s Day for brunch. Perhaps it was coincidence that a stolen number was used in MN and it came from the place in PA, however I have my doubts.
This is just one gigantic hassle. While I appreciate the professionalism from the credit card company, aside from the snide remarks about their phone number, the credit union and the police department, I really had better things to be doing today than dealing with this crap because someone couldn’t resist attempting to spend nearly $700 at Walmart after I used my card to pay for Mother’s Day gifts.
Have you ever had your credit card information or identity stolen? What sort of things have you done as a result of that happening? Did you find the experience to be more of a hassle than anything? Were the people who stole your information ever caught? Did you ever contact the police about it? What do you think happened here to my card number to get it out into the wild? Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.