Whitesburg KY

Someone stole my credit card number

Sometimes what you think is a scam phone call … isn’t. Sometimes it’s the real thing. Like the call I got today.

When the phone rang I didn’t rush to answer. The foreign sounding man who left a message said that he needed to verify certain recent transactions on one of my credit cards. The only reason I paid attention was that this same thing happened to me 15 years ago.

Still, I was leery. Instead of calling back at the number he left, I called the number on the back of my card and asked for the fraud department. Sure enough, my card number had somehow gotten out and people were busily trying to make purchases all over the country — at that very moment! By that time, the attempts to make fraudulent purchases had exceeded $4,000.

The man immediately canceled my card and said that another one would arrive at my door within 48 hours.

I asked him how this could happen. My card was in my hand. I don’t keep a list of credit cards on my computer. I shred documents that have personal information. I don’t use the card at small mom-and-pop places (which was my mistake 15 years ago) because their security isn’t always the best. I don’t use the card at ATMs that might have a skimmer. I hadn’t fallen for any scammer tricks over the phone. I hadn’t clicked links in any suspicious emails.

So, how did that number get out? He couldn’t tell me. He said it happens far too often, and it’s nothing the card owner has done.

I suspect that a few months from now we’ll learn that there has been another massive security breach, similar to the Target breach of 2013 where the information on 40 million cards was stolen.

(c) 2019 King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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