Sunday, March 22, 2009

Credit Card Fraud

For more than six months, my primary credit card company and I have been dealing with unauthorized charges to the credit card which I most use. Time and again, a particular merchant violated and continues to violate the contract, which clearly states a one-time charge. This merchant, after being challenged at least four times and agreeing to cease posting the charges, resumes charging nearly $200 to my account every few months.

Friday evening, my credit card company and I consulted once again. Clearly, I have been the victim of a credit card scam, amounting to over $1,000. Therefore, having exhausted all other means, my credit card company and I took the only possible remaining step and closed my account, an account which I've had and relied upon for over thirteen years. In a few days, I will receive a new card with a new account number.

Problem solved — except that this particular card is the one to which monthly charges are posted for cable television, Netflix, and my internet server. Fortunately, those standing charges are not again scheduled to take place until next month, and I should have plenty of time to make the conversion to the new credit card account. Still, getting all the transferring done will be a hassle.

How did this fraud begin? I did a stupid thing: I gave my credit card number over the telephone. Yes, I should have known better. In my own defense, however, I've used several similar merchants in the "Who's Who" network and have never had a problem with adherence to the contract. Obviously, this last time was different.

All throughout this hassle with unauthorized charges, my credit card company has been completely responsive and proactive. Apparently, credit card companies deal with similar scams because all my calls to the company have been handled in an expeditious and effective manner. In my case, all but the one legitimate contractual charge has been nulled via credits to my account — after I paid the charges, of course.

We consumers must exercise more caution than ever before. So many scam artists are operating out there and looking for victims!

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posted by Always On Watch @ 3/22/2009 06:00:00 PM