Joe Maller.com

Who stole my credit card number?

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. 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.


  • Debbie

    Same thing has happened to me. I received DVD’s from Columbia House, books from Disney Club, business cards from Visaprint, videos from video professor. I didn’t order any of that. Seems like someone is just out to ruin our credit. It’s such a pain to get accounts canceled with these type companies. One difference with your case and mine, was that they did not use my email address – but rather a yahoo address they had stolen from someone else.
    I agree — the hours spent on getting this straightened out has been ridiculous. I plan to check my credit report in a couple of months just to make sure…

  • Eric

    I had some guy steal my Debit card number and he spent 300, I found his aol address from one of the memberships he used my card to sign up for, I already had a free account with the site (reunion.com) but he used my card number and his email address, now I have all his info-myspace id,phone number ,home address,age, etc, I just need to file a report and hopefully they will get the S.O.B.

  • rebecca

    i can’t beleive it either somebody stole mine to buy xxx movies and some porn stuff and it get to my house i received a box with a lot of xxx videos and porn stuff

    bye\

  • Kathy

    It happened to me too. Only $110 worth of worthless stuff sent to me in someone else’s name. Nothing xxx rated, thank God. But blank business cards, t-shirt, movie from Netflix (Hitman), and photos printed (look like stock photos). What is going on? I couldn’t get through to “my” vistaprint.com account, because they need the email address that goes with the bogus name they are using. They don’t have my email address, but someone else’s. It’s a real catch-22. What was their point?

  • Steve

    Happened to me a short while back. I received 3 DDS from Netflix, some from Columbia House, and something from Stamps.com was on my card statement. I disputed my charges with my bank and even though they said it was just my debit card number that was used, I decided to open up a new bank account. I called up all three of these websites and asked their fraud respective fraud departments to reverse the charges and to review their logs for this person’s IP-Address, etc. One of them said that they had been getting numerous similar complaints, while the other two were not as willing to let me know anything other than taking down my case info. None of them gave me the e-mail address that was used other than one which said it was a yahoo.com address but said that for investigative purposes they could not let me know what it was. Go figure.

  • Bess

    It’s happening to me, too. They tried to get my credit report from freecreditreport.com, signed me up for Netflix, realgamepass, stamps.com and ordered business cards from Vistaprint.com. I’m seeing others with same fraud happening on other blogs.

    1 – get a 3-month fraud alert on your credit report, so no one can open credit accounts in your name.
    2 – file a police report with local police.
    3 – file a report with ftc.gov

    We need to band together and find other victims to report this fraud. Can anyone figure what the scammers are after? ID theft? Or are they being paid by these companies to set up bogus accounts in the hopes that customers won’t notice the charges for awhile?

  • Jen

    Okay, so I’m trying to figure out what’s going on as well. What’s strange to me is that these people are charging to the same companies for all of us? Has anyone found out any information?

  • Karen

    Happening to me now too!

    I have NOT seen it on my credit cards…when did you all start seeing the charges?

    I have gotten 1 digital prrint, diet tea, blank business cards….I am thinking it is as Bess said, “Or are they being paid by these companies to set up bogus accounts in the hopes that customers won’t notice the charges for awhile?”

  • Tina

    It happened to me to. I got an email that said thank you for your generous donation of $1,000.00! It was a receipt saying they used my Mastercard. It was a donation to a homeless shelter in Wheatfield IL and I live in Florida. They then proceeded to try and charge 3,000.00 and then 1,500.00 to the same place. The shelter had nothing to do with it and reversed the charge. Bank also was helpful. But it did take up 5 hours of my time. Like the others I don’t understand what the theives are getting out of it. I tried to file a police report and the police said I was not a victim of a crime, since I go my money back!

  • Markee

    some uknown phone # text me and said it’s an automated message its said my card has been suspend and call 1-866-801-8293 i called it it said enter card info and its said enter pin number so i did and said card was recativated after i told my bro and he said it was a scam although i had no money on the card and it’s prepaid but wat should i do plz help

  • Adrienne Owen

    I had a purchase on my atm card for a laptop computer for $679.14 from newegg.com and a purchase for a video game for $49.99 through my bank account. The items were sent to my billing address and my own email address was used. How could someone know that information? Why would they send something to a billing address? What the Heck happened? I am confounded.

  • http://phishtrackers.com/xzclf/1_Prevent_Identity_Theft/ Kasey Tyacke

    I usually submit my phishing scams to Phishtrackers(dot)com many seem to get listed in google so others find out about the scam.

  • Kevin

    Same thing just happened to me. BlockBuster.com Columbia House 4Ink Jets. Lean Spa.

    Would you believe that Lean Spa is trying to make me pay to ship it back? The worst customer service I have ever seen.

    What a pain in the BUTT!!!

  • J-

    something happend to me while i started using a site that is call BBsite for single some old dude jacked my credit card info and not only that, i did have a profile running thru the site with my pic on it. and he deleted my pic put his pic on my profile he add a different email address almost the same like mine but with numbers between. but i did copy the dude pic to my computer so ill know who is doing this and i can reported to the FBI or something

  • NO

    JesASS

  • JACKASS

    TROLLLOLOLOLLLLLLLRLTLRLRLRTLRLTLUHUHUGUHUHHGHGHDKMFGMMSANAPPPLEFUCVKHNBOOB

  • MissMouthy

    I had a weird credit card  issue with Netflix. Was it similar?
    http://missmouthy.com/have-you-been-a-victim-of-credit-card-fraud/

    • Chuckseaman

      No.  It wasn’t similar.  Didn’t you read the post, clue?