Yesterday my Chase Visa account was hacked (waaaaah!) but fortunately for me, I had done something to nip it in the bud and prevent it from becoming a real pain in the you-know-what. But first, here is what happened…
I received email from the folks at Chase Credit at 1:43am (EST) that an international charge had been added to my account for $1.00….and I read this while fixing my Sunday morning breakfast at, oh, 7:45am. Interesting, I’m thinking…what the heck…I’ll check this out later.
At 10:52am, I receive a text message to my cell phone asking if I had made a purchase for a bus ticket for $44.00?
OMG…I’m firing up the computer and accessing my credit account to see my activity and lo and behold, there were about a dozen charges for $1.00 each from a music sharing site (in the U.K, not iTunes), the bus ticket and also a pending sale from a U.K. clothing store for $485!!!
So I’m immediately on the phone with the rep from Chase (who was a very nice guy) who verified who I was and I told him that I had totally paid off my balance last week (as it showed on my acct.) and also showed the last legit gas purchase I had made the week before at a gas station near my home.
“Close the account…close it now! I’m being hacked!!” Account closed, new number issued and all will be okay the rep tells me. And would you believe that while I was on the phone with the Chase rep, their automated system was trying to call me (call waiting beeped in my ear) to let me know about the questionable clothing purchase!??
The amazing thing is how much had been charged to my account in a matter of hours, and thankfully I had pre-set up several alerts on my credit card including an alert for international charges or for any purchases over $300. So within 12 hours, the folks at Chase had emailed, texted and called me to question these funky charges….whew!
So the moral of the story is this: if you have a credit card, go online and set up those helpful credit alerts to warn you when unusual things happen (like international charges or anything over a certain $$ amount) AND make sure they have all your current contact info.
ALSO…I tell my friends this too; contact your credit card co. before you travel to let them know when/where you will be so there will be no problems while on the road/cruise/air. Avoid problems while on business/vacation!
Scary to think what might have happened by the time my usual monthly account statement would have arrived…eek.
I think this is brilliant! And a perfect way to use technology for good :) I’m personally gonna see if USAA has this option after I post this. And if they don’t, they better make a note! Haha…
The calling up before going overseas is VERY smart too. I’ve been doing this for over 8 years now ever since my card once got canceled when it *seemed* like it had been hacked, even though it HADN’T!! (I went to Greece for 10 days and forgot mention it to them.) Nice of them to watch my back, but man was that annoying waiting for my new card in the mail… it took TWO weeks to get to me, and I really needed it at the time! I mean dang, they coulda at least called me, ya know? (oh wait, they couldn’t – I WAS IN GREECE!!)
(Photo by CarbonNYC)