Monday, March 11, 2013

Well, That Was No Fun

No fun at all.

When I looked at the statement from a credit card this morning, I saw four charges that I had not made.  I don't even carry this card.  It stays in my knitting room and occasionally I use it for some impulsive important purchase from an online company.  But that is pretty rare since I use PayPal for most online shopping.

But there they were:  pizza, towing service, and two mystery charges.  I called the credit card company and they cancelled the charges while they investigate. One mystery charge was for car towing, and the other was for a credit card reader. Just the thing a criminal can make good use of, I imagine.

Two of the charges were listed as having been done through PayPal, but I don't use that particular card with Paypal.  I checked PayPal and there were no such purchases on my account with them.  I called PayPal.  The nice employee assured me that this can't happen with Paypal since they always send an e-mail asking if the attempted charge is legitimate.  But what probably HAD happened is that some businesses allow "temporary" accounts, and people can claim they have an account with PP.  If the punk*ss criminal had attempted to use a credit card that actually is on file with PP to set up a new or temporary account, the online merchant would have had the charge denied.  

So now little-old-me has a crime file # and my very own detective.  And with the help of the internet, I was able to track down the pizza store that took the online order for the pizza.  The manager there gave me the address the pizza was delivered to; it is a local address.  The car-towing service is local as well.  

And here is bad news:  the police officer who took my report said that people using other's credit card information fraudulently quite often use it to BUY information on their next victim.  There are online services that sell this information, pretty cheaply, and criminals sort of piggyback their next victim on the previous victim. 

I am pretty sure how this happened; I have my credit card information on file with a local g*m so that the monthly fee is automatically charged to that account.  It is really the ONLY local access to this card.  I am going there this afternoon, but the police officer told me not to talk to anyone about this identity theft.  They don't want the guilty party to have any advance notice that they are looking for him.  

I hope they get him.  And then tell his Mommy and Daddy (the police assume it is a kid old enough to drive). And then they put him away for a million zillion years.  


Sigrun said...

My credit card company notified me immediately when a purchase came through that looked suspicious. One was a gas purchase at the pump (I never buy gas at the pump as we have fuel tanks at home on the farm.) The card was immediately cancelled and a new one issued. A pain to notify all the utility bills that I pay on the card every month automatically. But I'm glad they notify me immediately.

cookingwithgas said...

Amazingly our son had his number stolen when he was in the service living in Calf. it was a pain. I hope they throw the book at them. Pizza and towing really?

Susan said...

I thoink it is amazing that the police are actually doing anything! We have had this happen, members of my family have had it happen and the police here do NOTHING even if provided with all kinds of information and ways to track the perp down. They say they don't have the on and on it goes.