I was convincing myself to get out of bed this morning when the phone rang. It was 8 am. A little early for the scammers or those soliciting donations for charity.
Has something happened to a family member or friend?
I hopped out of bed and answered the phone. A mechanical voice said it was American Express calling and asked if I was SusanB. I said yes, wondering why on earth AmEx was calling at 8 am.
Being not fully awake and hard of hearing, I didn’t understand what was said next. I waited for the system to timeout and repeat what it had said. They were calling to verify some recent charges to my AmEx card.
Did I charge $500 at unintelligible vendor in the last 2 hours?
Please wait while we connect you to a real person.
The real person had an accent that I had trouble with. I asked her to speak more slowly, repeat, and even spell some things.
Someone went on a shopping spree early this morning. These are the pending charges showing on my account. They aren’t “posted” yet, but were already there to see. Click to see a larger version if the print is a little small for you.
Exactly one of those charges is legitimate. The $39.95 to Time Warner Cable for my Internet Service. The other $2,617.59 are fraudulent charges.
The real person with the accent canceled my card and initiated the process to issue a new card. It’s being sent UPS and should arrive on Wednesday. I’m impressed. Last time I had to get a new credit card, I had to wait a week or more for it to arrive via snail mail.
There was a message on one of my Yahoo groups yesterday that a company I occasionally order from had a security breech. Customer order information, including credit card numbers, had been accessed. Cancelling our cards and getting new ones was suggested.
I have a few payments set up that charge my AmEx card each month: phone, Internet, satellite TV. It’s a bit of a hassle to update the billing information, so I decided to wait and see if I had a problem. I did!
I’m thankful that American Express had the checks in place to detect this thief so quickly. I typically charge $400 to $500 a month on my AmEx card, so 6 charges totaling $2,600 in a few hours was definitely a red flag! I don’t know if American Express or the 6 businesses are out the $2,600, but it won’t be coming out of my bank account.