So one of my credit card numbers got jacked and was being used for an incredibly useless shopping spree; all sorts of crap I didn’t order is showing up in my mailbox but well at least I’m getting card travel rewards. Good job morons.
Whoever did this either guessed my email or googled me. Records of fraudulent purchases came to both my normal email and my gmail account, which I don’t give out and rarely use. It almost seems like someone was deliberately trying to sabotage me, however the GMail account is such an outlier that I doubt it.
Credit card theft most often happens when someone takes a receipt from a store or restaurant. I rarely use this card physically, so I’m pretty sure I know precisely where and when the number was taken.
In a way, this episode might be an argument for lack of privacy, aka open secrets. I have a listed phone number, I still google well and, much as it sometimes makes me nervous, especially as a parent, it’s just not that difficult to find out information about me. That same information might be the reason I was able to find out about this fraud quickly instead of waiting several weeks until my credit card statement showed up.
I first noticed this because a slew of subscriptions to Jagex/RuneScape showed up in my email. Initially I thought these were just more spam, so I waited a day to call my card’s issuing bank. I wrote Jagex and they were very helpful, refunded all charges and blocked the card from future purchases.
Columbia House and BMG Music Club present an incredibly sleazy face to the world. Trying to get a phone number on their websites is just about pointless.
BMG had several numbers listed though most were “no longer in service”, thankfully one referred me to another number where I was finally able to get a person after pressing zero repeatedly. The phone number for BMG was 317-692-9200.
Columbia House was worse, there were no numbers I could find on the site. I ended up getting their corporate phone number via whois (then I found it in several other places relating to the corporation). The number for Columbia House is 212-596-2000, tell them you’re calling to pursue a fraud case and they get you to a person very quickly.
With both BMG and Columbia House, once I got a person on the phone they were very helpful.
Citibank’s fraud division has been amazing and I’m really not worried about having to pay for any of this stuff. Mostly I am worried that my email address, which I’ve been using for over 10 years, might be polluted to the point that I can no longer use it for purchases.
The only thing I definitely won’t be able to get back are the hours spent dealing with this.