Thursday, February 4, 2010

identity theft...

Well, I’m not sure that our “identity” was necessarily stolen, but we did notice a couple of strange charges to our credit card the last couple of months.

I didn’t just let it go either – we called immediately to inform the credit card company.

The first charge we noticed was last month was for just over $30 and it was for some magazine subscriptions.  We assumed that the magazine renewed itself, so we weren't so upset about that one and the credit card company reversed the charges - so all was good.

This month, there was a charge for just under $100 to Overstock.com.  We've never purchased anything from that website.  I emailed Jerome and asked him if he bought something from them and he said "Oh-Oh…nope. Overstock is definitely not ours… Looks like someone might have our information..."

So, I called the credit card company.  They asked me if I was sure that we or someone in our household hadn't made a purchase to that website?  I reassured her that the charge did not come from us.  she put me on hold for quite some time while she called Overstock.com to check it out.

When she returned she told me that indeed, the charge came from someone named "..." from Missori and that they purchased a book on aging.

Overstock said that there had been several fraudulent charges coming from that computer.

So, they needed to cancel our credit card right away.  And let me tell you, it was immediate!

I'm glad they did mind you, however we use our credit card for EVERYTHING.  And we only use that credit card.

We pay the balance every month.  We use it for everything for points toward gasoline.  (side note: in the year 2008, when gas prices were through the roof, we earned $1000 of free gas from using this credit card , their membership card & gift cards - this past year we were lucky to receive half that.  But still, nothing to sneeze at!).

Every bill that we pay automatically from that credit card needs to be contacted and told the new credit card number...which, by the way, we won't have for 3-5 business days...and yet, bills are being paid before we'll have the new number.  So, not only will we have to contact them when we have the new number, but I had to contact several today with a totally different credit card so that the bills would be paid and we wouldn't get a late fee or worse, have it effect our credit score.

Today it was comcast, netflix and aflac...I think that's all we'll need to do for now.  But once we get the new number, I'll have to redo those three and an additional 10 companies and websites will need to be informed.

So, Mr. Identity Theif, THANKS ALOT for all this hassle.  And for what?  Some mags and a book on aging???  WTF?

BTW, the credit card company actually told me this guys name.  I googled him, I have his address and his phone number - I could go visit him if I wanted...he lives in what looks to be a very nice home close to a body of water.  Lucky guy.  I don't understand, if the credit card company knows the guys name and it's easily google-able, then why don't they go after him - especially since they said that there have been other fraudulent charges coming from that computer.  Is it because of the size of the charges?  Not a big enough fish?

4 comments:

Charisa said...

This has happened to us twice. We're like you - we charge everything to get points and always pay the entire monthly bill. Such a hassle switching everything over and so embarrassing when you realize you forgot to let one company know and they hit you with an overdue notice.

Credit card companies drive me nuts - they froze our account because we had a random charge from a Macy's in Ohio (the charge was legit - it was a wedding present I ordered online). At the very same time Justin was in India using our card frequently and that didn't alarm anyone. We're in MO and the questionable charge was from OHIO?

Wait - if your thief is from the St. Louis area let me know! I'll go knock on his door! What a pain!

baby sister said...

He's from Lees Summit...let's just say his lane is southwest of a breezy point :D

Yeah, we've had near misses like you and Justin - we'll be in France when all of a sudden the card is turned off. Luckily we have another account we use while in Europe - otherwise we'd be up a creek.

And I'm happy that they do that - I certainly don't want to have to pay for someone else's fun time.

Jabbles said...

That's a pain. Why so long for a new number? I can understand the actual card but the number should be instant.
I had heard they can randomly turn off your card while traveling, I made sure they were well aware of my travel plans when I went to Japan.

baby sister said...

I'm not sure why they couldn't just give me the number...but they didn't. Yeah, typically we call the credit card company before we head off somewhere to let them know - sometimes I'll be here and Jerome will be in Mexico, Japan, Europe...whatever and it's important to let them know that 2 cards are in use in different places.

But then again, sometimes I forget to let them know...oops.