Riding Life!

Riding Life!
Life is like a wild horse--Unless you ride it, it will ride you! (from the movie: "Princess of Thieves.")

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

C: PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT – Debit Card Woes

I love on-line banking.  It helps give me a secure feeling that I know eonlinebankingxactly how much I have to work with without worrying too much about my math in the check register.  Most days I look at my on-line statements for my checking accounts and it is a good thing I do.

Recently I noticed some weird charges on my account.  For example: $148 worth of Pizza Hut pizza at one order (I kid you not).  There were charges to wireless service companies, and just odd pizzascharges in a town I had not even been to recently.  This happened on a Saturday when the bank was closed.  There was about $600 out of my account, and the notation indicated it was debit card use.

I rushed to my purse, thinking my card had been left somewhere and was being used.  No, it was there.  How, then????

I called the 24 hour banking number without success.  It eventually (after all the button pushing) directed me to call the bank at weekday business hours.  Big help.  I e mailed them right away so I would have a record of my report.

On Monday I went to the bank at the earliest opportunity.  The bank put the money right back into my account and took the debit card, ordering creditcards me another.  Their investigation revealed that the debit purchases were not in person: they were either on-line purchases or telephoned orders (as in the pizza orders).  These did not require a PIN, only the debit card number, the expiration date and the security code.

Here’s the only the explanation the bank can give: They theorize that when I made a purchase (such as giving my debit card to a waiter at a restaurant), that person jotted down the information from the card.  This enabled him or her to go online or call and purchase using that information.moneyoutwindow

So, word to the wise: keep careful tabs on your accounts if you use debit cards.  My bank was greatly cooperative, but just think what a mess if those purchases had overdrawn my account!  And my money was just flying out the window!!

This could also happen with credit cards, so it is a good idea to establish on-line capability for those accounts so they can be checked regularly.  Never again will I go a month without looking at all my accounts.  C

11 comments:

KathyB. said...

Good reminder, and I can imagine the heart-pounding anxiety this incident caused. Glad it is already worked out and I hope they trace this back to the dastardly criminal guilty~

Kitty said...

All I kept thinking was, "$148 worth of PIZZA???" I hope it bunged them right up, what with all that cheese.

This is one reason I NEVER give anyone my card, ever. I will walk up to the cash desk myself, thank you. The same thing happened to my poor Mother, and the bank were not at all helpful, and it caused her much grief, and all right before she went downhill...

Here in France we have a 'chip and PIN' system, which means you have to enter a personal Identity Number in order to approve even so much as a debit at the supermarket, they don't *swipe* cards here. Nor is the carbon copy imprint machine used. It cuts back on a whole load of fraud, however, no PIN need for online use; as they did with yours, if they have the number, expiration date and security code from the back of the card, I suppose the world is their Royale Pizza.

Barbara said...

A reminder to continue to check my account daily online. Thank you!

Debbie said...

Thanks for the advice, and I'm glad you caught it early and got it staightened out. We always hear these things and hope it won't happen to us. WOW!
Debbie

Vee said...

Yikes! Scary! My hubby always embarrasses me by following his card. He never hands it to the wait staff. Now I'll get off his case.

Monalisa said...

Yes I've checked my account. Phew... it's fine. I have often thought how easy it is for the card details to be used, especially on holiday when cards are used instead of carrying cash. Thanks for the reminder.

Jody Blue said...

It is a bummer that honesty is not the rule of the land. So happy you were on top of this.

Vickie said...

Thanks for the warning and reminder, C. So important! I warn my kids all the time with their cards & just keep my fingers crossed that they use theirs wisely and cautiously!

joolzmac said...

Thanks for the great advice and timlely reminder to check all of our accounts. We have always let the waiter take our card and process the payment at the counter but now (after warnings of card skimming) we pay in person as we leave. It is too easy for them to jot that number down.
You are very lucky to have got a refund from the bank.

Cheers - Joolz

Linda Lou Rogers Averitt said...

wow.......I am glad you had a great bank, being an attorney I am sure was in your favor!!

addhumorandfaith said...

I'm not nearly as vigilant about checking my accounts as I should be. Thanks so much for this reminder!

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