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Friday night at a restaurant I used my credit card to pay and was told the machine would not take the card. I didn't think much of this because when a card gets old, the magnetic strip becomes tarnished and some machines have trouble reading it. Yesterday I attempted to purchase gas and the pump rejected my card so I called customer service. I was told that a freeze was put on the card due to some suspicious activity. They listed the 3 most recent charges on the card, totalling $500, none of which I made, and they said there are further pending purchases made using the card. They told me that someone apparently got ahold of my credit card number, counterfeited my card, and was using it for purchases in another state. These were not online purchases but rather made in person at a retailer with a fraudulent card.

Fortunately it looks like I won't be responsible for these charges, but I have to wait a few more days for the pending charges to go through before I can file a report with them. I use my credit card online regularly but I thought that all websites encrypt such information. Then again, there are theives who do nothing all day but look for ways to get their filthy hands on such information.

Even though it is inconvenient for everybody, I now wish all retailers would require picture ID before accepting any credit card. I also wish the credit card company would have called me when they froze my card because I carry only one credit card and I almost got stuck washing dishes at a restaurant to pay for my dinner.
 

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That was my first question -- WHY didn't they call you when they put a freeze on your card? Ugh!

Good luck with that, I'm glad it was done in another state and you won't be responsible for it.
 

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I had a friend go through this a while ago also.
One thing you said peaked my interest. You used your card at a gas pump? That's how my friend got her card stolen!
Apparently one of the newer scams is that people can get a little reader that they can plug into the pump card swiper, and get people's numbers and names. Then they just go get new cards made.
Illegal card-reading devices are increasingly being used to intercept and record data stored on magnetic strips on credit cards when people use the cards to buy gas, Litan said. The skimming devices, which have very small footprints, are sometimes linked to the internal wiring of gas pumps; at other times, they are placed externally on top of the regular card readers, where they are hard to notice, she said
http://www.computerworld.com/securityto ... p2,00.html
 

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That's interesting about the gas pumps. I generally go to the same 2 gas stations but I seem to recall that I did use one lately that I normally don't use. I'll have to check my statement. I'll also have to look closely at the card reader.
 

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I also think the credit card company should have called you to let you know they were freezing your account. If by chance the charges were legitimate it would have given you the chance to authorize them. It certainly left you in a tough spot at the restaurant. :(

We made several large purchases on the internet within a span of a couple days and the card company called us to confirm it was indeed us making the charges. That I appreciated, and told them so when they called. I would have been quite upset had they frozen the account and not informed us.

That is frightening about the gas pumps, I use those things all the time.
 

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Lori said:
We made several large purchases on the internet within a span of a couple days and the card company called us to confirm it was indeed us making the charges. That I appreciated, and told them so when they called. I would have been quite upset had they frozen the account and not informed us.
That's happened to me as well -- I was very appreciative of them calling.
 

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That is pretty scary. I really like that my credit union calls me when they see large purchases on my account within a short period of time. My credit cards don't usually call me b/c I always do large purchases on there which is kinda bad now.....hmmmm :roll:
 
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