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A Great Reminder to Watch Your Credit Card Statements

by J. Money on Monday, May 17, 2010

See you in hell, scammersWhen was the last time you checked your credit card statement? If you haven’t done it lately let this be the nudge you needed to get on it.

My boy James from Dinks Finance emailed this over to me last night, and it serves as a GREAT reminder that we really need to be staying on top of this stuff – even if only a cple times a month (although spending 30 seconds every morning wouldn’t be bad for you either – I know I’m not the only one who checks my accounts every day to make sure all is good in the world!). Whether this IS a credit card scam or not, it’s always good to be on the lookout.  Here’s the posting from Craigslist:

Credit Card Scam at Alero Restaurant on U Street (DC)

Buyer beware, there is a credit card scam ring being run out of Alero Restaurant on U street. Just this past week, a group of us dined there, all of us payed with credit cards. And days later, charges from various stores in different states started showing up on each of our credit cards, the same ones we used at the restaurant. Our waiter’s name is GERMAN O. Of course, we called the restaurant to report and they said we can’t prove that the fraud was committed out of their restaurant but I didn’t expect them to admit it anyway. What are the odds of such a thing happening though?

If you’ve had something like this happened to you from Alero or if you’ve dined there in the last few weeks, you need to be on alert. I’m reporting this to the cops and news stations. F***ERS!

I think I’d be pretty pissed too ;) People can be real a$$holes out there (like the f’er who hacked my blog the other week!) so you gotta make sure you’re always on top of your game – no matter how annoying it is sometimes.  You don’t want to be finding random charges on your cards months later after the money’s gone and the scam has hit dozens of others!

Be like this dude (chick?) and catch it ASAP.  And then use the web to pass the word along ;)  Whether there’s scamming going on or not, it’s much better to be safe than sorry. And unfortunately it looks like this guy wasn’t the only one experiencing this…


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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Impulse Magazine May 17, 2010 at 9:14 am

It get a lot of miscellaneous charges that show up on my credit card statements, that is why i check them weekly

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2 Everyday Tips May 17, 2010 at 9:29 am

I couldn’t agree more on the importance of checking your credit card regularly.

Someone got a hold of my credit card number a couple years ago and went on a wild spending spree, to the tune of $21,000. They even bought a pool! Fortunately, American Express did not charge us a dime for any of it, but it made me double check much more frequently. (American Express locked our account as they caught on before we did.)

Also, I have caught items being double charged that would have cost us quite a bit over the years had I not noticed it. The most expensive was a kayak trip we took last summer. I looked at our recent spending online after we got home and noticed we were double charged for our $140.00 kayak trip. I called the kayak company and they backed it out, but I am sure they would not have reimbursed us had the double charge gone through.

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3 Young Mogul May 17, 2010 at 9:52 am

I’m always a little weary of these types of things everytime I hand someone my credit card. However, scams aren’t the only reason to check your credit card statement. I have been charged TWICE for an item by a cashier who said, “I need to run your card again because the first transaction didn’t go through”. Therefore, everyone should go over their statements with a fine tooth comb, to check for any errors–intentional or not.

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4 James May 17, 2010 at 11:03 am

Yo, one way around that is to pay cash.

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5 Favor May 17, 2010 at 2:00 pm

I use cash mostly…unless I’m paying for vacation stuff: airlines, B&B…

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6 JoeTaxpayer May 17, 2010 at 3:51 pm

Since the card never left his possession, he’d not have any liability so long as he reported the fraud shortly after getting the statement.
Not all cards show activity on line in real time. One card we used showed seconds after the transaction, it was funny, I’d sign in, and see a Starbuck charge. I’d text the mrs “Good Coffee?” and she’d say the barista hadn’t served it yet. Now I have a card that doesn’t show the charge I made four days ago. I don’t worry about fraud, just about knowing I’ve not left the card behind.

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7 Stella May 17, 2010 at 4:10 pm

Discover Card, in my experience, is pretty diligent about catching odd charging patterns. There have been times when they’ve been too diligent–but after what happened to me a couple of years ago around the holidays, I’m no longer complaining. I get a very serious sounding voice mail message from their security department warning me to call them IMMEDIATELY or my card will be shut off. Aggravated, I call and talk to one of the most lacking in personality fraud department types. After putting me through the identification gauntlet, he asks me if I spent $1,200 at a Wal-mart yesterday.

Holy @#$%! No way, no how! There were a bunch of bogus charges (oddly made in the NJ area when I’m located in CA…) which were put into dispute and eventually wiped off my card. New replacement card was issued, etc. Don’t know how exactly this happened–I was told the charges indicated that an actual card had been swiped and I had my Discover Card in my possession.

Another thing to note is correspondence sent to you by your CC company. I got one alerting me that a replacement card would be issued to me. Called the company, because I hadn’t requested a replacement. They said it was due to a defective strip. OK, whatever… The card never showed up and I called again. Soon after that, weird charges ($200 at NAPA Auto Parts in Victorville?) started showing up on my online statement. Called again to report the fraud. According to my mailbox service, the local mail processing center (USPS) had been experiencing a number of “missing” credit cards.

So yeah–it pays to keep an eye on these things…

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8 ChrisFM May 18, 2010 at 9:47 am

Though I haven’t had this happen to me, there have been two instances where my credit union had to re-issue their members credit/debit cards.

First time it happened, my card was swallowed up by an ATM machine. Guess what? I missed the memo that they’d sent in the mail. It was cool that they caught the fraud and all, since I wouldve been liable for MUCH more, being a debit card holder.

Needless to say, I don’t use their debit cards anymore, and I check my EO account a couple times a week. ;)

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9 J. Money May 18, 2010 at 2:23 pm

@Impulse Magazine – You’re very smart – it’s a tiny annoyance for great peace of mind.
@Everyday Tips – WOW $21,000? cRaZy! Another reason why it’s better to get hacked via credit card than debit card that’s for sure….much more protection.
@Young Mogul – Yessir, that’s the way you hold onto your hard earned money!
@James – Yeah, makes sense for smaller purchases & meals (I always try to keep about $60-$100 on my for these little guys), but for all other stuff I’m sticking with the plastic.
@Favor – Yup, exactly.
@JoeTaxpayer – Haha….technology is awesome :) I have that fear of leaving them behind too – although I somehow don’t do it as much as I did during my party days, imagine that.
@Stella – Dang, yeah people are sneaky! It really pisses me off actually that people try finding the “easy” way to get their hands on money – they steal it. God forbid they actually use their intelligence to make money the legit way. I bet a lot of these scammers could really make some big ass money if they really brainstorm enough. Use your powers for good, ya know?
@ChrisFM – Miscommunication can def. suck, no doubt about it. Especially when it comes to money. Which reminds me – I have to alert my bank that I’ll be using my cards overseas! The worst is cutting yourself off from access to your money because you alerted fraud yourself! haha…

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10 James May 18, 2010 at 7:56 pm

about 3 months ago i was looking at my cc statement and was like WTF is that i noticed that there was over $600 of stuff i did not recognize at all.

so i called the company and with in 20 minutes they told me they would work with me to remove the charges. it was obvious that the charges were items that i did not buy and were fraudulent. it was quite a relief to have them removed.

someone got a gang of stuff for free.

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11 Ace May 19, 2010 at 4:01 am

Wow, this sure is scary. I’ve never had anything like this to happen to me, but it sure is a nice wake up call. One thing that forces me to constantly check my statements is entering my transactions into my budget. You can chalk this up as one more reason why budgeting is good for you =P

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12 J. Money May 19, 2010 at 3:47 pm

I think that’s reason # 1,202 now, yes? :)

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13 Darren May 24, 2010 at 2:26 pm

Fortunately, I haven’t seen weird charges on my card. But like ChrisFM, I’ve had an experience where the card issuer had to re-issue a card because of some issue that wasn’t my fault.

But we should be checking our statements before we pay them anyway, even if you automatically pay your balance every month. That way you can catch any false charges and get them fixed.

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