No @ChickfilA For You Thanks To @TD_Canada Text Alerts!

About a year and a half ago, my credit card got compromised.  I don’t think I blogged about it but I posted this on Facebook at the time in response to a post by someone else who said their card got compromised:

I just had my first encounter with credit card fraud too. 

Early the first morning after we got back from Cuba, Shea and my phones buzzed a few times. I just thought it was our phones catching up after a week without Internet or something and didn’t look at the texts until I woke up a couple hours later.

When I did look, I saw it was purchases for some online EA games (our credit card is set so we get an automated text every time a purchase is made.) Our son knows not to buy anything online without our permission and these were for games he doesn’t own or play. Plus the charges were in Norwegian Kroner which was the dead giveaway that something fishy was going on.

I called EA and they said the purchases were still “open” so they could cancel them plus suspend the account of the Norwegian who had attached my credit card number to his account (small consolation but I’ll take it!) They said they couldn’t disclose anything else about the perpetrator (I was thinking that if I was ever in Norway and could look the punk up, I might want to pop him in the nose!)

I then called Visa to explain what happened and to order a replacement card. The funniest thing was that their Loss Prevention Expert had no record of anyone contacting me and they were surprised that I’d caught the fraud before they did!

I said I’d only used my card once in Cuba at the airport on the way home but they said fraudsters usually get numbers via card readers or online hacks or other methods then hold off using them for 6-12 months. Then, like for you, they often try to sneak through some smaller purchases to see if they’re caught. (My guy made three small purchases for less than $100 CAD total.)

Makes you wonder if our cards were compromised at the same place? Very coincidental to both have had no issues ever then have our cards compromised so closely together.

Anyhow, I’m glad I have that auto-text option enabled. It turned out to handy for more than alerting my wife that I’ve stopped at the liquor store on the way home from work!

I thought this would be a rare occurrence but lo and behold, the other day my phone buzzed with a text that it had been used at a gas station in Arlington, Texas.

Ah, crap.

I immediately got on the phone to TD Bank and by the time they turned off my card, I was getting texts that my card was now being declined at a Chick-a-Fil in Arlington.

It occurred to me that modern technology is a wonderful thing and I could maybe have some fun with this.  I quickly Googled “Chick-a-Fil Arlington Texas” and saw they had a few locations.

I called the first one but the employee clearly thought I was doing the world’s worst prank phone call.  I smartened up on my second call to a different location and asked for a manager who was quickly put on the line.

“Hi.  This is going to sound really weird but I’m calling from Canada.  I just got notified that my credit card has been compromised and it was declined at your store.  Did you happen to know if someone at your front counter just had their credit card declined a few times?”

“Yes, I just did!  How did you know?”

I explained again how I knew then asked if the person was still in the store.  “No, he left,” she replied.

I said “Do you have security cameras?” and she explained that they do but only certain employees could look at footage.

I asked if she’d be willing to call the police and file a report since, even though the guy only got away with a tank of gas, once my card was cancelled, he’d probably keep doing this with fraudulent cards.

She said she’d talk to a higher level manager and promised to call me back.  I thought that was the end of it but lo and behold, I got a call back today from someone else who explained that their restaurant would file a police report if there was a crime committed but since this technically wasn’t a crime committed against them,, it would have to be me calling the Arlington Police Department to file the report.  Then, if the police requested video footage, they would cooperate.

I don’t know if I’ll go that far (though TD’s Fraud Department indicated they would start an investigation so maybe they will?) but I’m just disappointed the guy wasn’t still there by the time I had the idea to call the restaurant.

Wouldn’t it have been something to have them hand the phone to him after the third or fourth time his (er, MY!) card got declined? 😉

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