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MORRIS: A frustrating tale of credit card fraud

Author: Greg Morris / Source:

Have you ever been the victim of credit card fraud or, worse yet, identity theft? I’ve had it with these low-life thieves who prey on people constantly trying to get something for nothing. I say, “Get a job.”

Knock on wood, I’ve never had a full-blown identity-theft problem, but over the past 10 years or so, I’ve had four or five incidents of unauthorized use of a credit card. Most of them were handled quickly and the resolution was initiated by the credit card issuer—except for my most recent. More on that later.

My experience has been that American Express has a superior fraud-detection program. And I’ve come to appreciate their approach. I’ve had immediate communication from American Express on two separate occasions saying the company believed my card had been compromised. My card was canceled and a replacement delivered to my home by the end of the next day. That’s amazing service.

Have you ever had your transaction declined by a merchant while trying to make a purchase, only to find a text on your phone asking if you tried to make that purchase? While these protections might frustrate you, we all must understand this is the world we live in today. These procedures are in place for our protection. When a card issuer contacts me to ask if I made a purchase, I thank them for their diligence in helping protect my account. While you shouldn’t have to pay for fraudulent charges on your account, in the end, all of us pay dearly for these crimes.

Now, not every fraud situation goes as smoothly as I just described.

In January, I got the statement for my Best Buy credit card, issued by Citibank, expecting to see a zero balance. Instead, there were three charges for $5.34 and then a charge for $1,776.42. After being a little stunned, it quickly dawned on me that I…

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