curses.pngSome low-life SOBs hijacked one of the credit cards probably sometime on our return trip from K-stan. I got a call from the credit union “robot” on Sunday advising me that it was concerned about unusual charges to the card.

Sure enough, there was a fraudulent charge of about $85 on a fuel purchase from a Shell station in Las Vegas, which in one city that we give a wide berth to when passing through Nevada, due to the congestion, high crime rate and traffic. We haven’t been through there in several years.

I got in touch with the 24/7 credit card hot line and had them suspend the card. A new one is probably on the way, reaching the PO Box sometime next week. This has happened before and may happen again. It seems in the past when we’re on the road that’s the time the cards get compromised.

I filed the necessary paperwork to dispute the fraudulent charge with the credit union. It usually takes a week to get the charge removed and they will credit my account with the disputed charge sometime soon. Meanwhile, no credit card available which is no big deal since we have other ways to pay for things.

I did a little research on the topic of how to avoid being victimized in the future and found out several ways that the cards can be compromised.

  • lost cards
  • stolen cards
  • skimmed cards
  • unscrupulous employees at the point-of-sale

Using care, we can discount the first two bullets. Shame on us if we lose or allow a card to be stolen.

However, the third bullet is something for which we can watch. “Skimmers” are appliances that can be overlaid on top of card readers. There are several types out there and we’re going to be on the lookout for them henceforth. Do a web search on “credit card skimmers” to see the variety of illicit devices out there.

As for the last bullet, there isn’t much that can be done about a jerk who is willing to sell your info to fellow jerks. We will just have to use our intestinal sensitization to make judgement as to whom we entrust our private information as best as we can.