Watch Your Credit Cards!

Chris and I have 3 credit cards: Discover, Master Card, and Visa. We’ve had these cards for about as long as we’ve been married and really haven’t had any trouble with them, until recently. We were looking at our credit card statement for Master Card and noticed a bunch of little charges for places like Skype, Yahoo Voice, and Yahoo Web Search. For the most part, it was only $2.00 here, $3.00 there, except for at the very end. There was a charge for almost $200 for some financial market search, which was ridiculous. Let me be clear – Chris & don’t use Skype, Yahoo voice, or Yahoo Web Search, and we certainly didn’t pay almost $200 for some financial market search.

I’m writing about this because I know that some of you just pay your credit card bill without taking the time to really look at each of the charges. By the time we realized what was happening, this guy (or girl – I don’t want to discriminate) had racked up almost $300 worth of fraudulent charges on our Master Card. Good grief. So, I had to go through the hassle of calling Master Card, only to find out that someone (most likely whoever was making the fraudulent charges) had changed my password on the account. They told me it was my mother’s maiden name, so I tried that, my mother-in-law’s maiden name, my maiden name, and all of our middle names. Nothing worked. All they could tell me was that it started with an “E”. Hmmmm.

I was able to get it straightened out and they overnighted us some new cards, but I still have to contest the charges formally by written document, which I should get within the next 6 weeks. Isn’t that frustrating? Chris and I have always been extremely careful with our credit cards and very mindful of our spending, so we caught this pretty quickly. I would hate to think about what would very likely have happened if we weren’t watching our bills. Whoever it was could have easily gotten several thousand dollars, because the charges weren’t big purchases, for the most part. It was pretty sneaky – just a little bit, added up over time. That night, I signed up for a credit monitoring service to see what was going on there, and thankfully everything looks fabulous.

Anyway, I had been wanting to get a shredder for awhile but Chris wasn’t sure we needed one. Needless to say that after this experience, I went out the next day to get a shredder from Staples (which then promptly broke after putting 1 thing through it – thank goodness for the extra coverage I purchased!). So, the moral of this story? Watch your credit cards!

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