Saturday, August 08, 2009

Credit Card Fraud Redux

Once again, I've found myself the target of credit card fraud, and once again it had absolutely nothing to do with our activities as cardholders.  Not sure how they got the card number this time, probably from a weak link in the processing chain at a miscellaneous vendor.

What's interesting  though was the savvy shown by the fraudster - instead of shooting for the moon with $3,500 in jewelry, there were only 2 relatively modest charges:  $1 at iTunes, ostensibly to test the validity of the information on hand (in talking to others to whom this has happened in recent memory, iTunes has been the unwitting accomplice as the verification service in those cases as well), then on to ~$230 in wireless charges and hour and a half later, which, if they were smart, went into equipment and prepaid services rather than traceable account goods.

Also unlike the first time, the credit card company did not catch this one with their normal fraud watch.  It was left to me, the consumer, to catch the abuse when reviewing my account.

The moral of this story?  Check your accounts, and check them often - the customer service numbers are open 24x7.

Anybody interested in a legitimate looking credit card number to test their MOD10 algorithms with can use 4768 0001 9098 5014.  I wouldn't recommend trying it out online though, as the card in question was cancelled a week ago and the number is most certainly on The List.


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