I sure am having a rough month when it comes to credit card fraud!
My credit card fraud earlier in the month
At the beginning of the month I wrote about how I was dealing with fraud on my Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card. I found this out because I received an email from Chase asking me to verify the number from which I supposedly called Chase. That wasn’t my number, and then I looked at my statement I noticed a couple of unauthorized charges.
Both of those purchases had been made in-person, meaning that a copy of my credit card had been made, since I had the card in my possession.
My latest case of credit card fraud
Yesterday I received an email from Amex confirming that I had used an Amex Offer. At first I was excited. I love the Amex Offers program and go out of my way to use it, so thought “yay, I used an Amex Offer without even realizing it.”
Then I looked at my statement for The Platinum Card® from American Express. While no unfamiliar posted transactions were on my account, there were six pending charges, none of which looked familiar.
Around the same time I was getting voicemails from My Mamma’s Bar-B-Q saying that the order I placed through Grubhub was ready for pick up.
After doing some Googling it appeared that this restaurant is in Riverview, FL, the same place that the other purchases had been made.
So it’s clear my credit card had been fraudulently used for that, but they left my phone number as well? Huh?!?
I called up Amex, they confirmed that none of these transactions were “in-person,” meaning that clearly someone just had my card number without actually having created a replica of my credit card.
Of course I’m not responsible for the fraudulent charges, and they’re sending me a new card.
What makes this situation very strange
Credit card fraud happens, and it’s something I expect to deal with when using credit cards as much as I do. I’m still better protected than if I were using a debit card. However:
- This is the second time this month that it has happened
- I get how fraud happens on my Sapphire Reserve since I use it all the time for in-store transactions, though the Amex Platinum I use almost exclusively for airfare purchases, which makes me think this was more likely to be part of a data breach than anything
- Maybe it’s a coincidence, but all of this fraud has happened in Central/West Florida, in Brandon, Clermont, and Riverview, all of which are close to where I grew up, in Tampa; I imagine the fact that these places are close to where I grew up is a coincidence, but is the fact that fraud occurred across two cards in the same area also a coincidence, or no?
While I’m not on the hook for any of this fraud, I feel like if it happens on one more card in this area, I’m going to take this into my own hands, Chris Hansen style. I’ll set up shop at the Hampton Inn Clermont, sit at My Mamma’s Bar-B-Q in disguise, and will then go to Panera for dessert for some of those delicious cinnamon roll things.
Credit card fraud happens, and generally it’s not something that concerns me much. Usually I experience it every 1-2 years, and that’s roughly what I expect, given how many credit cards I have.
However, there’s something I find a bit strange here, given that it has happened twice in less than a month, and these both happened just shortly after the Marriott data breach was revealed.
I’m not sure if both of these cards were part of the same data breach or what, but beyond that I find it strange how my phone number has been part of this, and how it has all happened in the same general area. I’m keeping a close eye on my identity otherwise, and as of now it seems it’s only these two cards that have been compromised.
Oh, and lastly, I find it funny that Amex Offers helped me figure out this fraud before anything else.
What do you make of this situation? Do you think this is all just a coincidence, or is this slightly creepier than typical credit card fraud?