General Question

jca's avatar

If a stranger tried to make an unauthorized purchase with my credit card number, what else should i do besides cancelling the card?

Asked by jca (27869 points ) December 22nd, 2009

i got a call today from Chase Fraud Unit. Someone tried to make an internet purchase with my credit card. it was for about $450. The purchase did not go through because fortunately Chase realized i don’t use the card much. They could not tell me much other than the attempted amount and the internet site.

what else can i do to protect myself beside canceling that card and checking my other cards to make sure no purchases were made with them? this information was unsettling, but i am happy they caught it. i am feeling unsettled because i’m not sure how this person, whoever it was, got my card number.

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6 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Here is the government’s web site about protecting yourself against identity theft.

pjanaway's avatar

Get a new card is all I can think off. Plus always make sure you have credit card protection/insurance or whatever its called.

Jeruba's avatar

Anyplace you make a credit card purchase, there is a potential for the clerk who ran the card through to capture information from the charge slip. Same with phone purchases. We are more vulnerable than we think, really all the time.

One time when we got a call like yours, we were able to figure out that the fraudulent use came from an employee at an auto parts shop where we had purchased a battery. If I recall, someone had saved the carbon paper from between the charge slips and run up a bunch of bad charges. It wasn’t possible for us to go further and find out which employee. We changed cards immediately.

I keep a file in which I list everything that gets billed automatically (such as Netflix) and everyplace where I have recorded the number (such as Amazon) so that every time our card number changes, I know all the places I have to contact to update billing information. It’s a real pain, but it’s better than waiting for all the charges to bounce.

Also I always check my bill very carefully.

Someday this system will seem so primitive and vulnerable that people will wonder why we put up with it. We actually had a lot less trouble with checks and real cash.

philosopher's avatar

Cancel the card. You need to have an agency watch your cards and credit rating.
How did you find out ? Did the credit company tell you?

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

What are the steps I should take if I’m a victim of identity theft?

If you are a victim of identity theft, take the following four steps as soon as possible, and keep a record with the details of your conversations and copies of all correspondence.

1. Place a fraud alert on your credit reports, and review your credit reports.
2. Close the accounts that you know, or believe, have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.
3. File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
4. File a report with your local police or the police in the community where the identity theft took place.

This is a brief summary of the detailed guidance on the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) website that @Marina pointed to in her one line response. Go to: FTC

jca's avatar

@philosopher : the credit card company called you (i explained that in my details). they also told me they would report it to the three credit bureaus.

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