In this day and age, credit card fraud and identity theft has become inevitable. I’m sure all of you either know someone who’s been a victim of identity theft, or you’ve experienced it yourself. Sometimes it’s a full on assault – someone gets a hold of your SSN, opens up a ton of credit cards, and you’re left to clean up a hell of a mess. Other times it’s an unauthorized charge that is quickly taken care of by your credit card issuer. Usually this happens when someone gets a hold of your credit card number and the charges are made with an online merchant.
I’ve had two different cases of fraud happen to my family in the past year and still don’t understand how it could have happened. Today, I logged into my brother’s Chase account to make sure a payment I’d made at a branch had posted. It did, but I saw something peculiar in the activity section. Three days ago, someone made two charges at Walmart for $51.49…in Riverdale, Georgia. In addition to these two charges, there was another one at the same Walmart for $53.01 and one at Kroeger’s Fuel in the same town for $54.
My brother has never been to Riverdale, and especially not in the past three days when he’s been cramming for exams and writing papers. I asked if he had lost his card, but he didn’t. It was in his wallet all along. I don’t know how thiefs are managing to use credit cards at physical locations without having the actual credit card on hand, but this isn’t the first time this happened. Last year a fraud alert was placed on my Citi AAdvantage card over a couple of charges at a liquor store (over $200) and one at Walmart (can’t remember the exact amount, but it was high). Once again, the card was in my wallet and I try not to buy anything at Walmart unless it’s a money order. So how did this person manage to use my card when I had it with me? I suggest you all keep an eye on your balance and check it often. I think it’s very smart of the thiefs to keep the charges at the $50 mark, since those are less likely to alert credit card companies or even card users.
Has anything like this happened to you? If anyone has any insight into how a scam like this can be carried out at actual stores without the card on hand, please share below.