Is it appropriate to post how a thief used my stolen credit card?

Discussion in 'privacy problems' started by HandsOff, Sep 20, 2012.

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  1. HandsOff

    HandsOff Registered Member

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    What my plan would be would be to describe the sort of things that were done, and how my bank card company has responded, and how local law enforcement responds when I file a report. I am guessing that the specifics should be withheld.

    It's not that I want to be a news reporter, or anything, but I am surprised by what was done, and am thinking, either someone here can fill in the blanks, or maybe this is something that you should know to watch out for.

    So here is a service that I have been paying for (unknowingly). Credit checks. They appeared on my bill as recurring monthly charges paid to a company that is one of the major credit score providers.

    Does this mean that they are using me to check on the credit of other stolen identities? Maybe even look for "Disputes" so that they can figure out when the authorities are on to them?

    The other recurring charge is more mundane on the surface, but still interesting, I think. It is a charge for cosmetics. I believe the person orders the items on the phone, or online, and then sells the cosmetics and pockets the money. But where do they have the items delivered? I am afraid that they may have opened a post office box in my name! I will try to find out from the post office tomorrow.

    So I reported it to my bank when I found these charges to my bank card which had gone unnoticed by myself for a while. I felt a little silly and embarrassed, but other than that, I still did not feel very good about how it went. First they asked if I had reported my findings to the police. I said, no, because it seemed more important to let the bank know first. Then I tried to suggest that the bank must have information about the transactions that I did not, such as how they were ordered and where the purchased items were sent. He said he could not provide me with names. I'm just trying to figure out how could I not be entitled to know where items that were purchased using my bankcard were sent.

    I guess that what he is really telling me is that I have to find out for myself.

    The banks investigator said I would be credited back the amount of the charges that were made without my authorization, but that the process would take ten days.

    I do plan to make a report to the police as well, though I am not certain if there is much point.

    I guess what I want to know the most is who stole the credit card. I really don't think the bank cares. I am not expecting much more concern from the police. I am not sure what information I can get about or from the venders. Do I have a right to know to whom they were provided, and where the merchandise my card bought was sent? Do they have to tell me? - I live in California by the way.

    First and lastly, is it okay to post this here? I think people should know what to expect, and I want to know what to expect, myself. I also, would never put it past someone here having a really good idea that I had not considered.


    Thanks for considering this, from a really embarrassed victim who did not keep on top of his charges - HandsOff
     
  2. CloneRanger

    CloneRanger Registered Member

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    Hi, sorry to hear about your loss etc, but at least you will be reembursed.

    I don't expect the bank will give you the info you're asking for, for various reasons, including reprisals & data protection etc. As it's not a large amount of $, to them, i "suppose" they consider it a minor event, in the grand scheme of things !

    I guess they wanted to see if you'ld called the police etc, to establish if you were genuine or not. I don't think the police etc, would bother to fully investigate it, due to the $ amount. The exception being, if the perps were/are into it big time !

    I would get the card company to cancel that one & issue you with another one ASAP.

    All the best
     
  3. ComputerSaysNo

    ComputerSaysNo Registered Member

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    Yes please do this right now.

    What the criminals are doing is a common tactic in using stolen credit cards. They are first checking if your CC is valid by making small buys, if you buy a laptop first up the card will get flagged and a call from the bank usually follows so instead they make small buys that go under the radar. Then once it's confirmed you have a valid stolen CC they will milk it for a few months, until it's discovered.
     
  4. 0strodamus

    0strodamus Registered Member

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    I like how your bank quickly decided to protect the criminal's information. Those charges were made on your account so you should be entitled to see ALL of the details. I would be looking for a new bank ASAP. If your bank didn't immediately cancel your card and issue you a new one, this is another big reason to drop them.

    I had this happen many years ago and my credit union was very helpful to the point that they credited charges I wasn't even contesting (they were fraudulent, but I didn't notice them). I'm ever vigilant now and I'm sure you'll do likewise.

    I would suggest placing a credit freeze with all 3 credit reporting agencies. It makes opening new accounts a pain, but that's better than a stolen identity. It is also better than buying one of the monitoring services; by the time they alert you the damage is done. Plus it is much cheaper.
     
  5. HandsOff

    HandsOff Registered Member

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    Thanks for the responses! I left out a lot of the details in order to keep the original post as short as possible. Also, I was sort of sorting out my thoughts and feelings as I went along.

    Yes they did cancel the card on the spot. But they did not issue me a new one immediately, telling me that I should be getting a new one in about three days (with a different account number). That seems reasonable, though issuing a temporary card would have been a little more helpful.

    When I woke up this morning the priorities were starting to fall into place. Perhaps it is not critical that I know who got the card, but I do think I should know more details that I am sure are being held back.

    One thing I did not mention was that almost immediately before the bad transactions in question started taking place I was at the pet store purchasing dog food when my card was denied. When I called the bank they told me that there had been some recent "suspicious activity" so my card had been cancelled and a new one had been issued and that I should have received it by then. In fact, I had received it, but had not opened it yet. When I went home and got it, and activated it, I had no further problems.

    But now I see a big problem. Since they did not give me a specific reason for sending me a new card, I did not think that any actual fraud had taken place. Now, I am thinking that there was. I am also thinking I should have been told exactly what had occurred. There may have be information that could have allowed me to better protect myself! I will look a little further into this.


    Thanks again for your thoughts and interest. I have a feeling still, that there may be something to learn from this by the time it is done!

    HandsOff!
     
  6. Taliscicero

    Taliscicero Registered Member

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    Call the cosmetics company, don't tell them you got robbed. Say you need to check if you gave the correct delivery address and have them read it to you. If its a home address you have your perp, if its a POBOX then call the company that it belongs to and say you lost your key, you can prove you are who you are by credit/id. Go there and formally request CCTV, if they don't comply get the police involved, the local police. Then you can pretty much do what you want from there.
     
  7. dantz

    dantz Registered Member

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    Are you certain that these charges are the result of a stolen credit card? You may have accidentally triggered them yourself.

    There are a number of monthly "beauty box" subscriptions available, and sometimes they fall into the scam category. They're not true scams because the victim typically approves the order, albeit unknowingly. Perhaps you approved of a free sample without realizing that you were signing up for a monthly service. Or perhaps the subscription was piggy-backed onto an online order for a magazine subscription or something like that. There may have been an "I accept" checkbox that you didn't know to uncheck, that sort of thing.

    The regularly scheduled credit check may have occurred in a similar fashion. Perhaps you signed up for a free credit report without realizing that you were also signing up for a monthly service. Some companies operate like that. They hide it in the fine print and then hope you won't notice their monthly charges on your credit card statement. It's their business model.

    In other words, it's quite possible that both of these periodic charges were initially approved by you, even though you may not have realized it at the time.
     
  8. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    I was going to suggest something like that. Sounds like fun. Just be careful. Don't go alone. Bring someone with a VCR, and a couple trained friends for security.
     
  9. HandsOff

    HandsOff Registered Member

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    I like Cubone's suggestion! Incidentally, my check of the local Post Office for a post office box in my name did not pan out. I knew it was a long shot, but just the same, I will check the next nearest one later today. Like they say, you can't win if you don't play! As far as what I am thinking would be things I would do differently. I am not saying that these are the best practices. Just what I feel would have worked better for me:


    1) Call the Card company that your card was stolen, and that you are in the process of reviewing your transactions to see if there are any unauthorized transactions.

    2) Do not tell anyone in your circle of acquaintances that you were the victim of credit card fraud. This is in case word might get back to the person who stole the card / card number. I am afraid that there is less possibility of getting information from the venders. Though by no means am I saying that it is not still worth trying.

    3) Try to get name and address information from the vendors. BTW some services, for example, Experian, and at least one other major credit checking institution don't even require that the name on the card matches the person ordering the credit check. Still, sometimes you can get some information from them.

    4) Give the credit card company a list of unauthorized transactions and wait for your account to be credited.

    5) I'm just throwing this last one in as a reminder. When your account is credited back, it is probably only a temporary credit that becomes permanent when you sign the form that they will probably provide you. If you do not sign and return the form to them, after some period of time, six months in some cases, they will debit your account the amount that they gave back. At this point you will have no recourse. They will tell you that by failing to sign the form, you made it impossible to investigate the charges, and now so much time has elapsed that they would be unable to conduct a proper investigation, therefore, you cannot be refunded the disputed charges. This could almost be considered a fraud in itself. Anyway, just don't let the bank add injury to insult!

    -HandsOff
     
  10. HandsOff

    HandsOff Registered Member

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    Oh, by the way Dantz, I loved Retrospect! I take it your name applies to the backup software maker. I used it with XP, and Vista and considered it just about perfect in every way. Very, very few software products get that level of praise from me. I was crushed when it turned out not to be compatible with my current O/S, Windows 7 (64 bit). I will probably look into whether they have an updated version for individual consumers that like products that actually work!

    -HandsOff!
     
  11. Taliscicero

    Taliscicero Registered Member

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    I don't get criminals these days, the second you get someone's bank / credit details, start anonymously buying bit coins in £50 amounts until the credit card does not work anymore. Wallet transfer them a little, and then use many of the services available to “wash“ the dirty bitcoins. Then send them to your master wallet and sell them, and take the money into your real bank account.

    I could get about £2000 from any credit card, wash them within 24 hours. And have them in my real bank anonymously in 48 hours.

    Why anyone buys stuff and re-sells them like cosmetics boggles the mind. Bitcoins are lovely because you never have to physically pick them up. You were dealing with an amateur.
     
  12. HandsOff

    HandsOff Registered Member

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    CBC-

    Thanks for the information! I am going to have to start keeping up with these new scams a little better!

    I believe I am dealing with an amateur. And, I am a little ignorant, too, I have to admit, since I am going to have to google bitcoins!

    After nonchalantly asking some of my neighbors if they knew anyone who sells cosmetics, I discovered that my next door neighbor does. I further discovered that she has recent convictions for shoplifting. These two facts are very suggestive.

    The net is closing...

    My guess as to why this route is this: Giving her tendency towards theft, she probably cannot get a bank account. People like this have a tendency to rack up overdraft charges, if not practice intentionally writing bad checks.

    I was refunded my money a few days ago, and I have to admit my interest is waning. But to my surprise I am feeling a nagging responsibility to report my findings to the police and the bank investigator. Though I was not hurt badly by this, it seems to me that I was disrespected and insulted. I am going to make the reports, and if the officials want to turn a blind eye to it, then it will be on them, not me.

    -HandsOff
     
  13. Taliscicero

    Taliscicero Registered Member

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    You got your money back at the expense of a <BANK>. I would drop the investigation and consider it as <CHARITY> to whoever took your money. Don't ask yourself if something is <RIGHT>, ask yourself if it is useful to you.
     
  14. HandsOff

    HandsOff Registered Member

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    Sorry to take so long to get back to you! Your words are very insightful and appropriate! I have sort of come around to your way of thinking. Mostly, I just want to understand the issues better. For instance, I think one of the most likely scenarios is that my debit card number was obtained by getting something from my mailbox. I would like to have the security of a PO Box, but have not gotten one yet because some many institutions will not send mail a PO Box. Not only merchants, but others as well. This is the sort of thing that makes me crazy (crazier). Situations where the innocent are punished because someone else is making an ineffective gesture or simply forcing you to provide an address because they want to use or sell what should be personal information to marketers or worse.

    So now, from the sublime to the ridiculous: In an effort to enable you to actually make use of the service you are paying for, my post office will let you use the street address of the post office as your mailing address. I have not read the application completely, so I don't know the specifics. However, I am already envisioning a list of post offices being compiled by the other side so that they can refuse sending to them! And the stupid wasteful battle will continue, and I can't imagine that any of this will stop criminals from easily getting around these token efforts to hinder them.

    Not the belabor the point, but if we want there to be less fraud of this type committed, they what would seem the logical step to me, would be for banks, and credit card companies, and police departments to actually investigate and prosecute people who commit these crimes. Not play these silly games to try to convince people that they are doing us a favor by tying our hands, and compromising our privacy!

    I am trying to motivate myself to do this post office countermeasure, but it all seems so silly!

    Thanks again, QB! It does my heart good to hear from someone who looks at things in a positive light. I will try to do the same. It just doesn't always seem as easy for me as it used to.


    -HandsOff!
     
  15. Taliscicero

    Taliscicero Registered Member

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    Problem is that banks have no overview. They are legal counter fitters and can make money out of thin air with numbers in a machine, does not even require printing. That's why they would rather just print you new money then care to look for the real deal.
     
  16. HandsOff

    HandsOff Registered Member

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    ...So the banks are not concerned because they can simply create more money? I don't disagree, but I will take it one step further. I believe what is happening is that new money is created because in an expanding economy new goods and services represent the value of the new currency. Sadly, what is happening is that we, in our desperation to keep people gainfully employed, are now treating credit card fraud perpetrators as legitimate professionals who deserve to be compensated for their efforts. We can't overlook the debt we owe them for creating jobs for the investigators, and all the others down the line from the customer service reps who direct the calls of victims, to the data entry personnel who update records, the makers of replacement cards, the letter carriers who deliver them...the list goes on!

    Those thieves are creating jobs! They are good for the economy! At least, until we can find something better for all these people to do in order to make a living!

    -HandsOff!
     
  17. 0strodamus

    0strodamus Registered Member

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    This video has some interesting information about banking and the monetary system if you're interested. I can't vouch for it's accuracy, but it seemed to make sense and was informative.
     
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