Social Media has come a long way since the Internet was created.
So has credit card fraud.
And whenever I read about credit card fraud I immediately get bored.
It’s a topic I don’t enjoy reading because it has never happened to me in the first place.
Well that changed yesterday…
It All Started With An Unknown Payment On My Bank Statement
A few days ago, I checked my bank statement online and I couldn’t recognize a payment.
If it had been $1, or $2 or even $20 USD, I wouldn’t had been worried about it but it was more than that.
I buy a lot of stuff online and I normally keep good track of what I’m buying but I was 100% sure that payment was NOT mine.
However I let it slip because the legend said “SPORT SEASONS” and I’m all up for sports.
I watch them, I used to bet on them and I practice a few of them (I’m a long distance runner).
So I thought… well maybe I did buy something after all and just can’t remember.
All of this happened as soon as I woke up so I went downstairs to prepare breakfast, took a shower afterwards and all that time I couldn’t stop thinking about that payment and I decided to do something about it.
After all, you can never be too secure right?
My Plan Of Action
I deactivated my credit card from my PayPal account and then changed my PayPal password. (I still left my debit card untouched inside PayPal)
Went to my bank and after waiting for 30 minutes for client assistance it was finally my turn.
I explained everything to the lady, she doodled a few lines on the statement and told me “well it has something to do with sports… it says so right here, -sport seasons-“.
I gave her a “no shit Sherlock” look.
I believe she felt uncomfortable and quickly said “So you can’t remember what this is?”
I smiled and said “No… look, if I knew what this was, I wouldn’t be here in the first place” (I HATE banks but I didn’t tell her that as I was trying to fix this politely).
So after realizing we were not going to get anywhere with this, she said “Okay, you’re going to call this phone number here, dial 2, then *0*0*0 and ask for a payment clarification.
“Oh and it has a $20 USD fee.”
I wanted to get mad for that but the prior guy left swearing and everyone was laughing at him.
I didn’t want to become that guy so I just took a really deep breath and said “thank you” got up and left the bank.
Googling Sport Seasons
I’m back at my computer, thinking all the time about how shitty every mexican service is and hesitating about calling or not another bank executive.
So I called the number the really “helpful” lady at the bank gave me and then frustration came…
Somebody answered quite fast to my disbelief and after asking what was the problem, I talked for about one minute and a half, explaining all that it happened and then he said:
“Okay, this is the number for urgent calls and this is not your case, you’re going to dial our number again and then wait for an operator“.
I replied “oh… ok, thank you” (for wasting my time).
Then it hit me… Before calling them again I decided to Google for “Sport Seasons” and see if I could find something about them.
And I certainly did.
After a first glance I could see they were legit.
They were active on twitter, facebook, they had a LOT of real cool products, the site looked very professional and they even had phone numbers, physical address, return policies, I didn’t needed anything else really.
To my eyes, it was a real company.
Holy Sh*t I AM Being Robbed!
After some more browsing on their site, I see something that dragged my attention on the header.
My heart started pumping faster and I thought “oooooh no, you didn’t!”
So I immediately checked the fee on my statement and it reads: “1,010.09” (that’s mexican pesos)
I think I typed www.xe.com under less than one second to do a quick currency conversion…
Wait a minute… I started connecting the dots…
“The least amount to get free shipping is $75 USD… holy crap I AM being robbed!”
So I got my bank statement, wrote down the reference number and sent the store an e-mail telling them I had an unknown payment made to their company.
Then I took off to twitter and also told them I previously sent an e-mail for an unknown payment.
I waited for a few minutes and nothing happened…
Talking To My Bank Representative And Sport Seasons
By this point, I was already decided I was going to push all the way forward until this got fixed.
I dialed my bank again and started counting the minutes spent on the line LIVE on twitter because I honestly couldn’t believe it was taking THAT long to get somebody to answer my call.
At this point, I got a response from Sport Seasons on twitter saying somebody was actually looking at my e-mail.
I couldn’t believe it and I was so happy about it because I felt backed up!
Still a lot of minutes waiting for someone on the line and getting lots of tweets with similar stories.
At this point, I receive an e-mail from the store asking for my last four digits on my card and I immediately sent them those details.
After 13:49 minutes on the line, finally a human being introduced himself.
This time I didn’t want to waste any time so I kept myself very brief.
The bank rep asked what was the problem and I just said “I have an unkwnown payment on my latest statement“.
He replied “sure, can you give me your card details please?” I gave him what he asked for and then he asked if I had already identified the payment details.
I said “yes, I have my statement printed right here, it was a payment on April 10 for $76.74 USD“.
He told me there were TWO transactions on that day…
I almost blacked out.
I replied saying I actually bought something that day for about $5 USD (a Liz Tomey training I’m taking) but he said it was two transactions to the sports store.
I just remained silent…
So he said “look, I’m going to transfer your call to another representative, he’ll take care of you.”
I thought “great… another freaking bank rep…”
I said “thanks” and while I waited I received a second response from the store saying they did have a transaction with my card on their store, handed me the transaction details and asked if I could recognize anything there.
I replied I did not know the guy, the name or the address, I didn’t even know about that Sport Seasons store!
Bank Representative Goes Hero
By this time, we are all going back and forth on twitter and I’m so happy that this is definitely being taken care of by the two involved parties, my bank and the store. (well three actually, if I count myself as well)
The third bank representative finally answers and asks what’s the problem.
Only this time I didn’t want to wait nor keep myself brief so I told him to please let me speak first which he agreed with an “OK”.
“Okay listen up, I’m a Systems Engineer, I make a lot of purchases online and I am actually PARANOID about security, this is what actually happened…”
“I have an unauthorized payment for about $76.74 USD for the store Sport Seasons in the USA.”
“They have confirmed the transaction and are aware of this situation since they have been supporting me since I first contacted them.”
“Someone is definitely using my debit card and I would like to sort this as fast as possible”.
The bank representative asked a few details to confirm and said “not a problem sir, we’re going to fix this right away”.
They cancelled the plastic for no further payments, explained I’m receiving a new one in the next 7 days with a form I should fill and send back to them so they can file an investigation report and I can have the stolen money back in my bank account.
They also gave me a follow up # number case.
Social Media Can Help You Stop Credit Card Fraud
Many companies monitor what is being talked about them on social media channels because bad reputation means no sales and with no sales, you are out of business.
Just remember that Social Media has its strong place on our times and if used wisely, it can help you prevent or even stop credit card fraud.
A Big Thank You All!
I am very glad and grateful to everyone at Sport Seasons, Banamex and the people who supported me on twitter, phone and e-mail, because I actually thought of not doing anything else at many points of this little inferno I went through yesterday.
I am obviously not mentioning any names as these things are delicate matters but you know who you are, THANK YOU! ;-)
Sport Seasons: If I ever decide to buy Vibram’s running footwear, I’ll get them from your store as a thank you act, you guys really rocked!
A complete class-act.
Have you ever dealt with credit card fraud or identity theft before and how did you fix it or how do you prevent this?
Let me know in the comments area and thanks for reading!