Saturday, March 17, 2007

Fraud Alert

Last night dh opened a gas credit card bill statement and just about had a heart attack! The bill was for almost $700. (we both drive a lot but not that much!) As he looked closely at the statement, he noticed lots of gasoline charges for gas stations in areas where we don't drive to, or fill-up at. (sorry about the dangling participle). About $500 worth of unauthorized charges. Both dh and I checked our wallets to be sure that we were both still in possession of our credit cards...which we were. I then immediately called the credit card company to report that our credit cards had been used fraudently and to close out the account. They took the information, closed the account and told me that I would have to call customer service on Monday to file a fraud report.

Everytime I go into this brand of gas station, the machine at the pump always asks me for my zip code. I assumed that if I put in the wrong zip code that it would not allow me to pump gas. Now I wonder. How is it possible for someone to charge over $500 to our gas credit card if they don't have the card with them? Are thieves so sophisticated that they are able to make new cards? How could they have gotten our number?...and what a pain in the neck for both dh and I. This one gas station is the most convienent for us to use. It is the one located right when we get off the freeway. Until this mess is settled, and they send us new cards with a different account number, we will have to either fill up with a different brand of gasoline, or use cash...( with the price of gas these days, I don't think I want to carry enough cash to be able to fill up my car.)

Both dh and I are angry. Hopefully we will be able to resolve this matter, and not be responsible for the charges that are not ours. Now dh has to look at last months bill (which was higher than normal) to see if there were any fraudalent charges on it. Has anyone else been a victim of credit card theft? Did you still have your cards, or were you cards stolen? Did you have to jump through hoops to get the matter resolved or was it a relatively painless process? Any suggestions on how to deal with the credit card company? Help!


Patti said...

Sorry no suggestions, just condolences. We haven't had that happen to us with our gasoline credit cards.

How much does it cost where you guys live in Calif.?

ours is now $2.67/gal. for unleaded.

meno said...

Sadly, there are many ways to get ahold of someone's credit card number.
I'm sorry, that sucks.

Joan said...

I'm sorry to welcome you to the credit card victims' club...what a bummer. In my case, the credit card company called me because someone attempted to charge gas with my card number in Phoenix! Anyway, eventually everything was taken care of and I'm sure your card company will do the same.

Renee said...

We don't use a gas card...just our regular credit card (they give us a bonus for gas purchases).

From what I know, which is just by reading the stories of others, it really depends on the company that you're dealing with. I'm sure that the purchases that are clearly not in your area won't be your responsibility... but you may have to produce receipts as proof if there are any near you.

Will your favorite gas station take a major credit card?

Rhea said...

That stinks! My credit card number was apparently used a few months ago to purchase computer equipment online. My credit card company caught it, though, I guess because they didn't have that little 3-digit security code. The company canceled my account so no more fraud could be committed.

Lynn said...

Patti - Gas it about $3.25/gal. for unleaded. Thanks for the condolences.

Meno - Yes it does!

Joan - I hope so.

Renee - My gas company does take major credit cards...but if someone from the gas station swiped my number then they would have had my major credit card number and I think that might have been even worse.

Rhea - Thank goodness for you that your credit card company caught the misuse of your card. ...too bad my Gas credit card company didn't catch it.

patches said...

I'm sorry you're having to deal with this it is a pain. Mister Hombre had two incidents in the last twelve months with credit card fraud. His cc company did not hold him responsible for the fraudulent charges in either instance.....After the second time though he was a little leery of replacing the card with the same he switched.

Pam said...

Lynn, as a matter of fact, we just had major fraud committed on our Master Card. When our kids are/were in high school and college, we give them a card on our account for gas and emergencies. When I went to get gas a few weeks ago, my card on that account was denied. Husband called the bank and they froze the account because of unusual activity on daughter's card. Someone had tried to charge thousands of dollars on airline tickets to Asia, attempted to pay an $800 hotel bill, along with a few other smaller charges, some of which went through. We did not have to pay for anything we didn't charge, and because the charges were so out of character, it was easy to figure out which ones were fraudulent. We have no idea how they got daughter's card info but can only figure it came from an online purchase she had permission to make around Christmas time. I have to say our bank was very cooperative and helpful. Good luck and I hope it gets resolved quickly for you.

Lynn said...

Patches - It's good to hear that Mister Hombres cc company did not hold him responsible for the fraudalent's hoping my cc company follows suit. p.s. if you eat canned or wet food from sure to let Missus Chicca and Mister Hombre know that there is a major recall on canned and "pouched" cat food.

Pam - Thank goodness that your bank froze the account and you weren't responsible for the fraudalent charges...just wondering, how long did it take you to get replacement cards?

Pam said...

It was less than two weeks, I think for the replacement cards to come -- a surprisingly painless process. There might be a small amount of paperwork we have to fill out to finish things up, but all in all they took really good care of us with as little disruption as possible. It could have been much bigger on the headache scale.

Our daughter-in-law had a much worse time of things when someone got ahold of her check card number and cleaned out her bank account right after the wedding. Eventually the kids got the money back from the bank, but not until after they jumped through all sorts of hoops proving fraud had occurred -- it was a couple of months before it was over. Those check cards - debit cards - whatever - they seem riskier to me than credit cards. Maybe I'm just an old fuddy-duddy but I prefer to write my checks.

Patti said...

price update: today unleaded was $2.69/gal.

patches said...

Thanks for the heads up, Lynn. We checked the list of brands and we are in the clear.