Well I guess it was bound to happen at some time with having over 20 credit cards open between Teddy and me. Teddy was approved for the Ritz Carlton credit card back in January so we could collect 140,000 points. Other than using the card to collect the points, it has been sitting in the “sock drawer” since February. Yesterday Teddy got a fraud e-mail notification from Chase that someone was trying to use his card out in California.
A charge for $11 did go through at The Gap, but after that Chase shutdown the card for suspicious activity. It looks like the criminal was also trying to charge the card through a Square terminal for dry cleaning.
After doing some manufactured spending $3,000 on the card to earn the points, the card went into the sock drawer and it hasn’t been charged on since February. It’s crazy to think that a card that only ever had about 10 charges on it was hacked so fast! We use our American Express cards and Chase Sapphire Preferred card religiously and none of those have been stolen before.
Check your accounts on a regular basis
I’m pretty good about logging into our credit card accounts to make sure everything looks squeaky clean. Our main accounts I log into at least 2 times per week. Even though we do have cards sitting in the sock drawer, I still get in the habit of checking those accounts at least once a month.
The above scenario is a perfect lesson that even though a card hasn’t been swiped in some time, it can still be prone to fraud! A store you swiped the card at could have been hacked and your account details stolen without you even knowing.
If you don’t check your accounts on a regular basis and the fraud charges do go through, you could end up having a balance at the end of the month. You may overlook your statement then which could lead to a mess for missing a payment! Don’t let this happen to you! Check your accounts regularly for activity.
Our Chase outcome
The call to Chase was less than 10 minutes and the charges were reversed! This was our first fraud alert since joining the credit card game over a year ago. I will say that Chase’s fraud system works awesome. For only allowing 1 charge to sneak through is pretty impressive in my mind.
With the U.S. credit card industry leaning towards chip-and-signature, I think this is a perfect example why we need to follow Europe’s standards and adopt chip-and-pin! If the U.S. banks follow Europe’s footsteps, it would have been more difficult for the criminal to swipe our Ritz Carlton card since he/she would have to know our PIN as well.