You just never consider that it could happen to you…and then it does. Then you want to smack yourself in the head.
PSA for today: check your credit card transaction history every month. The sad tale:
I have a credit card through PayPal (a division of evilBay). The Thriller, who pays the bills online every month, noticed that the balance on this account — which he always paid in full — never stayed at zero. Each month, there was a thirty-some dollar charge. He kept paying it, assuming I was just making purchases with it. He even made mention of it once, several months ago: “Your PayPal MasterCard balance…I keep paying it off and it keeps coming back with money on it.” At the time, I think I had charged something online, and I told him so. The matter was dropped.
Then yesterday happened. Long story longer: I spent the entire afternoon on the phone with PP’s fraud department. Seems a lovely bunch of chaps in Great Britain have been charging $40 to my credit card every month since January, just for kicks and giggles — right under my nose.
There’s probably no way I’m going to get my $400 back — I mean, it’s been months and this is eBay, fuh cryin’ out loud, who don’t give a dinkly doo about their customers — but I am sixpence the wiser. Never again will I just assume all is well. Chicanery to the left of me; jugglery to the right. You just can’t trust anything these days. I feel violated and stupid.
So, fiends, a lesson for those who have credit accounts, and for those who might in the future: be suspicious all the time. Never assume your credit card company (or bank) is watching out for you. Don’t believe their hype about “red flagging fraud.” A bogus company that changes its name every month and has a US toll-free number (that doesn’t work, of course — I tried them all) but originates in the UK is not cause for a red flag in their software? I’m not shifting blame, mind. But geez. What a way to run a railroad…
Anyway, I’ve done the research, made records of all the fraudulent charges, compiled them into a report, filled out all the paperwork and faxed it in. And that is how I spent my Monday afternoon.