Tuesday, October 07, 2008


I got a call from American Express this morning at work. They were suspicious of three transactions on my credit card. Here’s why. . .

They had sent a new credit card to me recently - - you know, one with an updated expiration date. Apparently, I never got it.

But someone else did.


This person had somehow activated a PIN number on this card and took out a hundred dollar cash withdrawal from an ATM machine. They tried it again and were blocked from doing so.

Then, they filled up their gas tank. Twice.

I knew these weren’t my transactions because I ONLY use my American Express card for car rentals (It comes with car rental insurance).

The nice woman at American Express wanted to send a replacement card to me and needed my social security number for security purposes.

“I’m not comfortable giving out that information on a call that I didn’t initiate,” said I.

She understood. Actually, she thought that was pretty smart of me.

I called them back, cancelled the account and they’re sending the necessary papers for me to sign, gave documentation to me to file a police report, etc. Of course, I’m not responsible for these charges. I never even received this card, nor did I activate it.

I had other questions. What personal information did this person need in order to activate the card and assign a PIN ? Apparently, they had my social security number.

I filed a police report and relayed that info back to AmEx fraud dept. I also put a protection alert thingy on my social security number.

I have an idea how this happened.

Next to the mailboxes in my apartment building, there's a big recepticle for paper recycling. I get so much junk mail that I'm pretty haphazard about tossing everything in there. That container would be a gold mine for any maintenance worker wanting stuff like this.

More than likely, I tossed the new credit card in there.

But still, just knowing someone did this. . .


Here’s a lesson for you folks. . .

Don’t ever think this stuff can’t happen to you. Keep a close eye on your bank accounts. Online banking enables you to monitor it. Every day if you need to.

And also, don’t give out any personal information unless you initiate the call.

And be very careful about shredding your mail, especially credit card offers and any other items with identifying information.

I feel dirty and violated.

Okay, I'm going in for a Silkwood scrubdown now.


At 10:59 PM , Blogger Miss Healthypants said...

Dude, that sucks!!

John's & my credit card number was stolen once, so I know what you're going through.

Good for you for taking all the smart steps to fix this situation! :)

At 1:27 AM , Blogger Iwanski said...

I don't think they need any info excpet the number on the card to activate it. Dangerous game. There's another couple hundred onto the bailout package.

At 10:44 PM , Blogger Barb said...

Wow... glad you caught it fast. Man, Silkwood. Hadn't thought of that movie in years. Meryl Streep and Cher. Doesn't get much better than that!


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