Sunday, May 31, 2009

Electronic violation

It had been my intent to blog this week about the beautiful sunny weekend. It's been a perfect sunny 25 degrees celsius since Friday and in Scotland this is an event worth celebrating. I went to the beach twice and took my dog for a drive along our lovely coast. However yesterday there was a cloud ruining my fun. A telephone call from my credit card company asking me if I had just spent almost $600 in a Walmart in America a few moments ago. Sitting in my car in Scotland my heart sank along with the sunset I had been watching. After a run of security questions my credit card company told me it was all fine. They had cancelled the card, I wouldn't be charged for the false transactions and they would have a new card sent to me in a few days. Really all it will cost me is the inconvenience of changing any charges set up for the old card over to the new one.
So why do I still feel angry and violated?

I am angry that right now someone is sitting enjoying $600 worth of stolen goods and will very likely never pay for it. I am angry that someone took the trust I gave them by using my credit card and violated it by selling my details on to god knows how many other people. I am very glad and thankful to my credit card company for their vigilance which has prevented any more fraudulent use of my card and making this process as easy as possible so far. At the end of the day, it will only be a little inconvenience...


Patti said...

Cait, how awful Something similar happened after Hurricane Katrina. A new gasoline company card had arrived and I forgot to take it. After the storm wrecked everything, someone got hold of the card and shared it with friends to the tune of over $500. I had to file a police report before Shell would remove the charges. It's a scary, horrible feeling.

Sending hugs and cyber-chocolate to perk you up.


Nikki_Soarde said...

All I can say is thank God for the vigilance of these credit card companies and banks. I had a similar incident with a debit card a couple years ago. A debit card which was still securely tucked in my wallet....and which requires a PIN number, no less! some point someone managed to copy not only my debit account number, but the PIN number I had used. Honestly I sincerely doubt that someone watched me and memorized the PIN. It would have had to be done electronically. But at any rate I was astounded that such a thing can happen! And so many people worry about Internet transactions? They got away with $1000 cash (my daily limit) from a Banking machine almost 2 hours away from my home. The bank caught the very uncharaceristic transaction and cancelled the card immediately. The money was back in my account within hours, and the inconvenience amounted only to getting a new card and PIN number.

However, yes...there's this feeling of outrage that someone got AWAY with it! That while they may not have $1000 of MY money, we all do, in effect pay for these crimes, through inflated retail costs that retailers have to pay to credit card companies...fees which in part go to subsidize insurance rates for this sort of thing.

It's infuriating...and frustrating because it seems like there's nothing we can do. Do these new "chips" in the credit cards help? I have no idea...

Lynn LaFleur said...

It's a horrible thing to happen, Cait. I received a call from my credit card company about a year ago, asking me if I'd just made a $300 purchase online. Well, no! They immediately cancelled the card and reissued me a new one. Like Nikki, I have no idea how they got my card number since it's one I rarely use.

I hate thieves. They broke into my husband's vehicle twice and stole his fishing gear. We felt so violated at the destruction and loss. Unfortunately, they got away with it, just like the credit card thieves will probably get away with it.


Paris said...

So far I haven't had this happen, knock wood but my brother has. Twice, after using his card in the same restaurant! He was told that thieves will stand behind you, take pictures of your cards with their cell phones to get your numbers. I have one now that you just "wave" across the machine. The card never leaves your hand, which after reading about what happened at the hotel at RT this year, doesn't sound like a bad idea.