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View Full Version : Credit card theft...never thought it would happen to us


shelly3girls
11-27-2006, 04:36 PM
I went shopping on BF at several different stores. By late afternoon I was exhausted and just wanted to get home. I left Justice after the cashier handed me my receipt along with some discount cards for future use. She wrapped the receipt around the cards as they always do so I tucked them in my wallet (again, as I always do) thinking that my credit card was in the pile. I did not go out the rest of the day. Yesterday I was checking my balance online and saw a HUGE balance with many unauthorized charges. All the charges were from stores within 1-2 miles of Justice. Although I cannot be sure exactly who took it I know that I never received it back so it somehow disappeared from the register area.

Chase put a hold on the account after the total charges for the day were over $3k (including mine) but never contacted me. Apparently they tried to charge even more but Chase had frozen the account. I am not liable for any of it but I take this as a lesson learned to be much more careful. I just thought this would be a good reminder to everyone to never let your guard down.

luvtogo12
11-27-2006, 04:38 PM
Sorry to hear that. That is one of my biggest fears. I just don't ever want to be in that position. Hopefully, it will be all cleared up for you soon.

Julieh22
11-27-2006, 04:40 PM
I know how heartbreaking that is. My wallet was stolen at the hospital that I work at by a co-worker while I way paying for a food delivery... In less then 1 hour she racked up around 500 worth of stuff. I was not held liable, but it really left me feeling like a victim and extremely angry! Good luck...

irishbosoxfan
11-27-2006, 04:41 PM
The person who took it is the cashier at the last store you went to.

And since you have the receipt you have her cashier number--All you have to do is go to the store,speak to upper management and tell them what happened and they can see what the cashiers name and address is and assist in getting a police report filed.

imsayin
11-27-2006, 04:42 PM
Same thing happened to a friend of mine. The cashier just kept the card and went shopping with it. I can easily see myself falling victim to this. I try to confirm that I have my card with me when I leave, but you never know....

daisy_77
11-27-2006, 04:45 PM
OMG, I am so sorry that this happened to you! Thank you for the heads up!

eliza61
11-27-2006, 04:46 PM
So sorry to hear that. Coincidentally, yesterday I recieved an email from paypal saying that "my' purchase for a "big screen flat panel tv" was being processed and expected to ship within 24 hrs, also at the bottom of the page was a line saying that if this was not my order please click on the link to cancel. The email looked exactly like the paypal site. I became suspious when I clicked on the link because it started to ask for personal info, like my ss#, birth date, etc, etc. I immediately called paypal told them what I recieved, followed their instructions on what to do and forwarded the bogus email to their investigation dept. Paypal confirmed that they never send out links asking for personal info. Luckily, I did not give out any information but I shudder to think of what could have happen if I had.
Please be very careful out there folks, holiday time is also the busy time of year for thieves.

shelly3girls
11-27-2006, 04:47 PM
The person who took it is the cashier at the last store you went to.

And since you have the receipt you have her cashier number--All you have to do is go to the store,speak to upper management and tell them what happened and they can see what the cashiers name and address is and assist in getting a police report filed.

I did contact the store manager to explain the situation. She is reporting it to their loss prevention department. Chase told me that they closed the account, contacted the credit reporting agencies of the fraud, and will proceed with a criminal investigation. They told me not to attempt a criminal investigation through the police that they take care of it on their end. I told them I was pretty sure it was the cashier and the agent said he made a record of it on the file.

Edited to add...when I contacted the manager she was able to pull up the exact transaction including the cashier identification.

debster812
11-27-2006, 04:59 PM
The person who took it is the cashier at the last store you went to.


Likely, but not 100% for sure. It could have been left on the register while waiting for the charge to go through, and never given back, and someone else grabbed it.

It could have dropped on the floor, because as the OP stated, there was a stack of cards with the receipt around them.

It's entirely possible that it was stolen by an associate of the store. It's also entirely possible that it wasn't.

--Sorry, I work retail, and while I know there are some real jerks out there in the retail world, not all of us are--

czycropper
11-27-2006, 05:06 PM
Which Justice store in New Jersey did you go???

shelly3girls
11-27-2006, 05:10 PM
Which Justice store in New Jersey did you go???

The store in Deptford.

I also wanted to add that I spoke to a close friend who was just at the store last week. A cashier (who sounds like it may be the same one) "forgot" to give her cc back. She realized it before leaving the store and went back to get it. She said that at the time she thought that the girl b/c too engaged in coversation so she was distracted. She wonders now if she tried to take it. It may be a total coincidence b/c it does happen quite often but somehow I doubt it.

BethR
11-27-2006, 05:15 PM
I am so sorry to read this. :( I hope that everything gets straightened out for you. :hug:

I am surprised that fraud department Chase did not contact you before you realized what happened. Chase shut down our account three times while DH was shopping on Black Friday. It was ridiculous! Each time I had to call and tell them that yes, it really was us making all of those purchases. :rolleyes:

imsayin
11-27-2006, 05:27 PM
Chase shut down our account three times while DH was shopping on Black Friday. It was ridiculous! Each time I had to call and tell them that yes, it really was us making all of those purchases

Discover has done this to me twice recently. While I love their vigilance, it is a bit embarassing to have your card rejected at the store. They told me to just call them from the store if it happens again (which I did the second time).

BethR
11-27-2006, 05:31 PM
it is a bit embarassing to have your card rejected at the store. They told me to just call them from the store if it happens again (which I did the second time).

Chase told me the same thing. But I told THEM that DH had tried that and they refused to talk to him since the account was not in his name. I told them this on the second and third time that I called, and they told me that the SHOULD have talked to DH. Well, maybe they SHOULD HAVE, but they did not. So I had to call them and DH used another card for the transactions.

NotUrsula
11-27-2006, 05:42 PM
No matter how many people are behind me or how much of a hurry I'm in, I always make it a point to take the time to put my CC back into its slot in my wallet before I leave the checkout counter. I made this rule for myself after I forgot my CC at a dept. store counter once. Luckily the clerk was honest; she gave the card to the store manager, who checked my customer info and mailed the card to my home. I hadn't noticed it missing. Nasty experience and a lesson learned.

Someone got hold of my AMEX account number a couple of months ago and used it to take a nice vacation at a resort in Guatemala. Having the card itself taken is pretty rare; it is much more common for them to steal an acct. number and then mfr. a fake card. Meth addicts are paid in drugs to go dumpster diving and into mailboxes for CC numbers. The suppliers then sell the numbers overseas to make more money. Sometimes they manage to hack into a bank computer to take several thousand numbers at once. The only thing you can really do to protect yourself is to be religious about checking your account transactions.

BTW, for accounts being shut down on shopping trips, the best defense is to let the issuer know BEFORE you start shopping. Call them from your phone number of record and let them know when you are planning to be spending serious money, and better yet, at what stores. If you are calling from your home phone, they can verify that it is you.

imsayin
11-27-2006, 05:53 PM
Chase told me the same thing. But I told THEM that DH had tried that and they refused to talk to him since the account was not in his name

Oh yeah, I totally hate this new privacy act when it comes to our accounts. Some things in DHs name, some in mine, etc. I guess the thing would be to have everything in both names, but it didn't used to be a problem.

czycropper
11-27-2006, 05:55 PM
The reason I asked which store in Jersey is because the Prosecutor in our County is doing an investigation on some similar practices at a shopping mall here.

I know this because I'm the Exec. Direc. of the Local Bar and his office called me to alert me that it's happening in case I get calls for the Lawyers Referral line regarding this issue. I live in Somerset County.

Also, Chase is really good about security - a couple of years ago my DH was in DC on business (charge hotel/food), came home on Friday, Friday night we went out to dinner in Ironbound, then Saturday we were at Woodbridge buying at Fortunoff's - that afternoon we got a call from Chase asking to verify the charges since they were substantial in a two-day period. I really like that about them :)

lost*in*cyberspace
11-27-2006, 05:55 PM
BTW, for accounts being shut down on shopping trips, the best defense is to let the issuer know BEFORE you start shopping. Call them from your phone number of record and let them know when you are planning to be spending serious money, and better yet, at what stores.

The same advice holds true for traveling outside the country. I have never had a problem with American Express, but my Mastercard company needs to be notified when I will be charging in a foreign country or they will deny the charges.

Nicolepa
11-27-2006, 06:03 PM
Oh yeah, I totally hate this new privacy act when it comes to our accounts. Some things in DHs name, some in mine, etc. I guess the thing would be to have everything in both names, but it didn't used to be a problem.

Unfortunatly that won't necessarily fix the problem. They usually talk to the person who is the primary acct holder. I got an application for and Amex and dh filled it out for us. We are both on the account but because I am the primary they will only talk to me. When we had cell phones thru Verizion it was the same problem. For some reason I was the primary and they would only talk to me. For both of these accounts I have asked multiple times to allow dh to make decisions, and it never makes it into the database.

BethR
11-27-2006, 06:08 PM
One of the three times that I spoke with Chase on Friday, I asked about calling in advance. They told me that it MIGHT work, and then again it might not. They said that when you make a lot of purchases in a short amount of time it alerts the Security Department and they might shut you down anyway. Especially if you are making numerous purchases at Electronic stores...

NotUrsula
11-27-2006, 06:19 PM
Insisting on speaking to the primary cardholder is a GOOD thing, IMO. Running up a credit card account is a very common revenge tactic when couples get into fights or break up. DH is a cheapskate, but not everyone's spouse or SO is so careful with money as he is -- I think I'd be pretty steamed if I opened a statement to find that my spouse had gone out and spent several thousand dollars on a joint account without discussing it with me first. The primary cardholder is the one whose credit rating will be affected if the account ends up delinquent, after all.

Seriously, if you are going to spend so much money in one fell swoop that it will trigger a fraud alert, then calling from home to alert the CC issuer in advance is the smartest thing to do. Everyone is best protected that way.
(And yes, I do alert them when I travel overseas, and give them my itinerary.
After the Guatemala incident I've gone one step further: I put a block on ALL foreign currency transactions except those authorized by me in advance. This is because while AMEX immediately reversed the fraudulent transactions, I had to call back twice to get rid of the finance charges and currency conversion charges that went along with them.)

scoutsmom99
11-27-2006, 06:41 PM
Likely, but not 100% for sure. It could have been left on the register while waiting for the charge to go through, and never given back, and someone else grabbed it.

It could have dropped on the floor, because as the OP stated, there was a stack of cards with the receipt around them.

It's entirely possible that it was stolen by an associate of the store. It's also entirely possible that it wasn't.

--Sorry, I work retail, and while I know there are some real jerks out there in the retail world, not all of us are--


I was going to say the same thing. I work in retail and it could have been the associate at the store or another customer. Busy days are great days for thieves to be out and about because they can easily get lost in the crowds (snatching purses/wallets taking packages someone has just set down, etc).

At one of our stores we had a customer with a camera phone who was taking pictures of of peoples credit cards as they were holding them while waiting in line on Friday. So be sure not to take out your card until you are actuallly ready to pay.

mommic32
11-27-2006, 06:58 PM
At one of our stores we had a customer with a camera phone who was taking pictures of of peoples credit cards as they were holding them while waiting in line on Friday. So be sure not to take out your card until you are actuallly ready to pay.

Jeeze.,.... What can I say,,, That is horrible that people can think of ways to steal numbers!

Jane E.
11-27-2006, 07:10 PM
I'm sorry that you had to go thru this. We were victims of credit card fraud earlier this year. The person who stole dh's card did not rack up tons of expenses. It was mainly for meals at restaurants,4 tickets to the zoo!, (that made me wonder if they had children), and many charges to stores in a nearby town. They had the card about a month before we received our bill and saw the unexpected charges. :furious: I believe over the period of a month they charged about $1500.

Since this happened to us someone told us that instead of signing the back of the cc - write "ask for photo i.d" on the space instead. I haven't done it but it seems like a good idea.

We are now very conscious about checking the receipt to make sure that our card # isn't listed on it. Recently, we went to the F&W festival. I made sure to bring along plenty of cash so I wouldn't have to charge anything. We have gotten very uncomfortable with using a cc for meals - especially when they take the cc away from our table. Sometimes it can't be helped but we try to use a cc as little as possible.

I still have nightmares that my cc, driver's license or purse is missing!

shelly3girls
11-27-2006, 07:33 PM
Since this happened to us someone told us that instead of signing the back of the cc - write "ask for photo i.d" on the space instead. I haven't done it but it seems like a good idea.


My friend did this and she said she is almost never asked for ID. She could only think of twice in a year.

Nicolepa
11-27-2006, 08:03 PM
My friend did this and she said she is almost never asked for ID. She could only think of twice in a year.

I agree, we did this for awhile and rarely were we asked for our information. The few times they noticed it the clerks usually laughed it off.

For that matter when my dh & I were engaged he gave me a CC of his to use. It had his name on it, last names were even different and I was never denied use of the card.

I honestly think the best defense is a picture on your CC. Our Costco American Express has our photo. Of course it won't do any good for online purchases but clerks always comment about having the photo.

GraysMom
11-27-2006, 09:15 PM
Having my picture on my Citibank Mastercard is the main reason I keep it (even if the picture is 14 years old). DH wants me to get rid of it because it has a high interest rate on the rare occasions we have to carry a balance, but I like the little bit of added security. It also has my signature as a permanent part of the card underneath my pic, so there's no need to turn the card over and check.

winjos
11-27-2006, 09:47 PM
About 4 years ago, we went shopping at Best Buy and somebody snagged our cc number. When the bill came in, I asked DH about a $300 shell gas charge and a couple other charges (Nothing too extravagent and over a 3 week period). DH said it wasn't from him.

We called US Bank and they were skeptical that the charges were not ours. We told them which charges they were and that we did not make them. Again, they were skeptical. It turns out that while we were on the phone, the person tried to make a purchase. Voila! They agreed that someone in fact had our number. :confused3 They closed the account and that was that.

We paid for what we rightfully charged. We had exceptional credit with this company. I was a bit put off by their suspicion!

Hedy
11-27-2006, 09:48 PM
I'm sorry that you had to go thru this. We were victims of credit card fraud earlier this year. The person who stole dh's card did not rack up tons of expenses. It was mainly for meals at restaurants,4 tickets to the zoo!, (that made me wonder if they had children), and many charges to stores in a nearby town. They had the card about a month before we received our bill and saw the unexpected charges. :furious: I believe over the period of a month they charged about $1500.

Since this happened to us someone told us that instead of signing the back of the cc - write "ask for photo i.d" on the space instead. I haven't done it but it seems like a good idea.

We are now very conscious about checking the receipt to make sure that our card # isn't listed on it. Recently, we went to the F&W festival. I made sure to bring along plenty of cash so I wouldn't have to charge anything. We have gotten very uncomfortable with using a cc for meals - especially when they take the cc away from our table. Sometimes it can't be helped but we try to use a cc as little as possible.

I still have nightmares that my cc, driver's license or purse is missing!

FYI-in not signing your card, you're in violation of your credit card agreement and any retailer has the right to refuse your credit card if not signed or marked please see ID-it's actually not a good idea.

GoofyGolferGirl
11-27-2006, 10:04 PM
I have please see ID on the back of my CC and I can't think of a time that they haven't asked for my ID. I don't know if there is a problem in our area but I have had to use my ID for every transaction.

PrincessMommyof2
11-27-2006, 10:22 PM
Many law enforcement agencies recommend putting "See I.D." on the signature part of the credit card. The camera phone is a interesting theft device, even while a person is swiping, if slowly, or waiting to swipe, a picture can be taken of the numbers; add a little observation power and voila, instant PIN number for the credit card. Those kind of people ship packages to the house or a neighbor's house and pick it up before the person arrives home.

Remember to be aware of your surroundings as some people have a different kind of shopping on their minds. :thumbsup2

imsayin
11-27-2006, 10:27 PM
FYI-in not signing your card, you're in violation of your credit card agreement and any retailer has the right to refuse your credit card if not signed or marked please see ID-it's actually not a good idea.

The post office will not accept an unsigned credit card (at least the one by me).

arlenesp
11-27-2006, 11:21 PM
The post office will not accept an unsigned credit card (at least the one by me).

It is part of Visas regulations that the merchant can deny the card if it isn't signed.With so many self serve card readers, it doesn't matter who is using the card. The majority of merchants don't look at the name nor the signature.

~Kathie
11-27-2006, 11:44 PM
One of the three times that I spoke with Chase on Friday, I asked about calling in advance. They told me that it MIGHT work, and then again it might not. They said that when you make a lot of purchases in a short amount of time it alerts the Security Department and they might shut you down anyway. Especially if you are making numerous purchases at Electronic stores...

I've called Chase several times before a big trip. Hasn't worked yet!! They still shut down my CC for any large purchase. :confused3

DisneyElf
11-28-2006, 12:19 AM
Sad facts -- I used to work retail.. See ID is not legal - and not signing it is worse.

Also 95% of clerks will never ask to see ID or check signature. Only place that semi - checks reg. is WDW & the Disneystores.

ExPirateShopGirl
11-28-2006, 02:08 AM
Along the same lines..

If you buy giftcards for people this year KEEP YOUR RECEIPTS! People have been copying off the numbers of giftcards that are sitting at registers waiting to be purchased and have cash added to them. The resourceful thieves wait a few days and use the card numbers to pay for purchases. When the real recipient gets the card, the cash has been depleted.

Ask the salesperson what measures they take to keep their cards secure. Don't buy a giftcard if the scratch-off secret number is revealed on the back side of the card.

momamy
11-28-2006, 05:44 AM
Im so sorry that happened to you. I had my CC swiped by a waiter. trust me now i never take my eyes of my card lol.

Amy

arlenesp
11-28-2006, 08:21 AM
The fact that the clerk wrapped the receipt up around some cards is proof she did that to hide the fact the real cc wasn't in the receipt.
Just to show how they do not check signatures, spoke to a woman and she was telling me her cc was compromised. Seems it was used at Walmart to buy gc. The store policy at the time, according to the manager was for the clerks to get an approval from the mgr for any gc over a certain amount. Her card was charged for 2 500.00 gc totalling 1000. Also the name on the card was Barbara and when they reviewed the security tapes, it showed a really large man.They even had him on camera getting into his truck and leaving the parking lot. First the clerk never called for approval, which should've shed some suspicion on her,and the store backed down on their responsibility for letting the clerk process this charge without the approval.This had to be a setup. He then went to another WM but the card was already held by the cc company.Of course the cc company had to take the hit for this. Even tho they had the make etc of the truck,they said they couldn't procecute. Her son was with the local police and kept her up to date on what was going on with the investigation. Since that episode, she won't shop at wm as she feels they were responsible and refused to even admit fault. By the way, she said the clerk was new and her son said they look for new employees as they are usually a bit flustered and this was prob why he chose her, unless they knew each other.

Yes it is a pain to be stopped during a shopping spree and calling ahead doesn't always help.But be very cautious with your cards. I was once at a self check out and requested $10.00 cash back. There was this really bossy lady creeping closer and closer to me and trying to distract me. Well she did succeed as I just wanted to get away from her, I forgot to get the $.I'm sure she grabbed it. The store was nice enought to reimburse me, but it can happen to anyone.

I never thought about the gift card scam.

Brise Nannie
11-28-2006, 08:25 AM
YIKES! :scared1: Sorry this happened to you but thanks for the reminder. Sometimes there's so much confusion going on at the register just trying to make certain I pick up my bag. I could see how easily this could happen to me.

Newfie2000
11-28-2006, 10:41 AM
I'll admit I have not read the whole thread so this may already have been mentioned... but I wanted to get this written as fast as I could. I did read up to the post where someone told the OP to contact the store get the cashier's info and go to the police. Please do not do this unless you have contacted the credit card company and asked them if you should! I had this happen to me years ago... I knew who had gotten a hold of the number and thought that I was doing the right thing by reporting it and assisting the credit card company in their investigation. I also wrote the credit company a note asking them to notify me about the progress of any pending investigation because I wanted to prevent the same thing from happening ever again - and if the person did turn out to be who I thought it was I needed to be very careful in the future as this was a family member. I received a very blunt and shocking letter from the cc company telling me in no uncertain terms to mind my own business. It was their investigation and if I did anything to intefere with it I might be held accountable for the charges. They then told me that I would never find out any results so that I should not expect any further communication regarding it. :confused3 Although I admit I am happy that I was not bothered and that they handled everything and cleared all charges, it really bothered me as I felt this was my number, my account and I should be privy to any information regarding the account. :furious: And I really did want to know how to prevent this from happening again. So i just thought I would let you know that sometimes your help is not appreciated and can actually become a bigger problem for you to deal with. Long story made short... consult with the credit card company before pursuing any kind of action!