Saturday, December 01, 2007

'Tis the Season for Credit Card Fraud

As you may know, I run my own little e-commerce business on the side. A couple days ago, I got an order for an item from our night vision vendor. The price was $1900. WOO HOO!

I processed the order, with something nagging at me at the back of my mind. This was before I went to work.

Later at work, DramaMama called and said some guy was freaking out because his credit card got charged $1900 for something he didn't order. CRAP!

This set off a chain of events, involving the victim incessantly calling my house, and freaking DramaMama out. I kept trying to call him, but could never get through because he was calling my house. (Me at work with cell phone).

DramaMama contacted the vendor and killed the order, I contacted the credit card company and voided the transaction.

Then when I finally talked to the victim, he was very nice. In fact, he now wants me to look at his website to see if I can make it better for him.

Now here is where you need to pay attention. Was the credit card stolen? No. The victim has the card in his wallet. How did this happen? The victim had been in Costco a day or two before this, and purchased a cell phone. Apparently the person that helped him stole his credit card number. The victim told me that this was the only time recently that he had used that card.

How did we find out so fast that this was a fraudulent charge? By pure luck. The victim had gone to a store to buy supplies, and his card declined. He did some checking and found the fraudulent charge, and immediately called us.

We managed to clean up the mess, and I was able to supply information to allow them to at least track down the computer that was used. I am hoping that they can nail this guy.

One thing I have noticed in common about the few cases such as this that we have experienced in the time I have been in business: The people who have stolen the cards go out and try to buy really expensive stuff.

I should have paid attention to that nagging feeling. I have at times contacted the customer when the amount was large. This time I didn't. There is also a high probability that the phone number included in the order is the perpetrators, not the victims. So if you call it and ask, you are talking to the bad guy.

In this case the phone number belonged to the victim, and had I called it, all of this would have been avoided.

So, the moral of this story is: watch your credit card like a hawk when it is in someone else's hands. I saw a show on TV awhile ago that showed the store person take the card, then use their own cell phone to take a picture of it. I am wondering if that is what happened here.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home