Odd Credit Card Fraud

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Tomasz, Feb 22, 2009.

  1. Tomasz macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2001
    Location:
    Berkeley, California
    #1
    So, I found fraudulent credit card transactions on one of my credit cards. So I called the company and they canceled my card and are sending a new one.

    But, I just don't understand one thing. One of the purchases was to a porn site, another was to napster. Why would a person steal my credit card information... to PAY for porn and music?

    Strange world...

    Have any of you had any interesting credit card fraud stories?

    ~Tomasz
     
  2. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2001
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #2
    A common way of committing credit card fraud is to set up a website offering people "deep discounts" for other services (often website memberships, but even things like airline tickets), which are actually full-price services bought with your credit card in somebody else's name.

    The suckers don't suspect anything because they get what they paid for (discount porn), but the thief gets a paper trail that points to the sucker, a little bit of money off what the sucker thinks is a legitimate transaction and the sucker's credit card information.

    In this way he diversifies his "business" and makes it harder for fraud investigators to trace what he's doing back to him.
     
  3. Tomasz thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2001
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    Berkeley, California
    #3
    Thanks Gelfin. I never knew some scams work like this. It does makes sense though.
     
  4. nhcowboy1 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #4
    Don't know if it's that interesting, but I once bought something from a credit card scam artist on eBay . . . a condensed Oxford English Dictionary worth around $150, as I recall. Got it one eBay for half that.

    Well, it just seemed like a good buy . . . until it arrived. Brand new & shipped directly from Barnes & Noble. It was even gift-wrapped! Well, that seemed a bit odd to me, so I checked the receipt. It had been paid for by a woman in Texas. But my seller was supposedly in the Pacific Northwest . . . .

    Did some checking and discovered that the seller was actually in Malaysia and was using stolen credit cards to order $100 to $300 books from Amazon and Barnes & Noble - which she then sold on eBay and drop-shipped directly to the high bidder. What struck me as strange was that the people who bought these books couldn't have been stupid - they were buying dictionaries and medical texts and law books. But of some 30 high bidders on various auctions, I was the ONLY one who questioned the legitimacy of the transaction!

    By the way, I called the credit card holder - she hadn't noticed the transaction and was happy to be alerted. And I called Barnes & Noble - they didn't care. I guess it was covered by their insurance.
     
  5. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #5
    Many years ago in the days of carbon (late 70's), I was double charged for an expensive meal.

    My charge was one weekend (about $100). The fraud charge the next (about $200).

    Took Visa about 6 months to resolve. Meanwhile I had to pay for it.
     
  6. GSMiller macrumors 68000

    GSMiller

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    Dec 2, 2006
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #6
    We humans are odd creatures. It's amazing what we won't steal.
     
  7. Lumber Joe, Apr 6, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2012

    Lumber Joe macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2009
    #7
    That's how it usually happens. Credit cards thieves can not order any goods online, since they can not clarify their address. Buying services (such as access to a porn site) is much more convenient.

    Credit cards fraud does not happen due to the absence of money. It happens due to the presence of a lot free time. People find such stupid stealing exciting and enjoying.
    Offshore Jurisdictions
     
  8. Eanair macrumors 6502

    Eanair

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    Feb 27, 2009
    #8
    My oddest, and hopefully, only, credit card fraud was someone buying almost $3000.00 of gas/petrol.
     
  9. Old Muley macrumors 6502a

    Old Muley

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    Jan 6, 2009
    Location:
    Titletown USA
    #9
    A few years ago we had some credit card fraud occur too. The first two charges were for online porn, and were for a relatively small amount of money. The names of the companies were vague enough that the charges slipped through without us noticing (my wife thought they were my charges and I though they were hers). The next month we received a phone call from our credit card company informing us someone had tried to buy a dozen DVD players online and wanted them shipped to Taiwan. We had our cards frozen and didn't have to pay for any of the charges.

    The CC company told us that a common tactic with credit card fraud is to make a couple of small, online purchases just to see if the number works; if it does, and the account holder doesn't question the charge, then they move up to bigger stuff.

    In my case, I was actually able to track down the vendor at which the fraud had occurred but they denied any culpability.
     
  10. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #10
    Exactly, this is how it's done. They try small charges just to see if you check your bill and dispute the charges. If you don't they move onto the big stuff, or sell the numbers to others who do. I've had this happen to me three times in the past year alone.
     
  11. LizKat macrumors 68040

    LizKat

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2004
    Location:
    Catskill Mountains
    #11
    My strangest credit card experience was getting a phone call from an apparel vendor wishing to double-check that I actually wanted my new ski gloves sent to my country house over in [Eastern European country]

    I responded as he had suspected I would do:

    1) what ski gloves? and 2) no, not really, since my "country house" was the one he had just phoned me at.

    He cancelled the transaction but I reported it to my bank anyway and got them them to cancel the card and issue me another one.
     
  12. Malfoy macrumors 6502a

    Malfoy

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2005
    #12
    I once had someone try to use my credit card for online webhosting that got charged MONTHLY. :rolleyes:
     
  13. Mr.Noisy macrumors 65816

    Mr.Noisy

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    May 5, 2007
    Location:
    UK™
    #13
    I once had my card cloned, used it in a petrol station about 2 years ago (normally use cash but was in a rush), anyway a few weeks later i checked my account online and noticed 2 cash transactions for €50 each time, contacted the Bank, got a call back from the Fraud team (within the hour too :eek:), they explained as soon as i'd reported it the card was cancelled, and an investigation started, the €100 (or £70 ish) was re-imbersed once they proved it was a case of fraud & I hadn't been outside the UK at that time, took about a month all in, pretty quick i thought, the fraud team were pretty good too, they explained, it starts with a small amount a few times, and if the card still works after a few hits they try for bigger amounts of cash :mad: but a lot of people don't notice the small amount's on their statements or just ignore them and by the time the next paper statement comes through the post these thieves have at least 6 weeks to play with the cloned card, lucky i check my account every monday and friday, it happened on a wednesday & thursday morning and i checked on the friday night, always check those small amounts paid out no matter how small it may be ;)
     
  14. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #14
    This is actually quite typical. Many of these online companies demand nothing more than an e-mail address from their customers, and the monthly charges are small -- which makes them ideal methods of probing. The first fraudulent charge I found when one of my credit card numbers was stolen was from an online dating site. According to the bank the second month had already been charged.
     
  15. question fear macrumors 68020

    question fear

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    The "Garden" state
    #15
    This is actually a very common fraud that bookstores encounter. When I was a sales manager for Borders we would get fraud alerts around once a month on these types of transactions. Sometimes they were for much larger amounts, ie "I need to order 150 copies of this law book and have it shipped to Nigeria". They would pay by stolen credit card and resell the books.

    Surprisingly, bibles were a big target. High-end leather bound bibles can go for a fair bit of cash, and the scammers tried to take advantage of that by buying them on stolen cards and reselling them.

    I remember one of my co-workers taking a call like that, though it wasn't cut and dried. It was a phone order for 300 expensive legal dictionaries, and being the suspicious type my co-worker asked what company issued the credit card. He then called them (I think it was Capital One) and asked them if the card was stolen. They didn't have any record of the card, which was enough for us flag it and hand the case over to loss prevention.

    It's always the innocent and innocuous things they get you on (bibles! seriously...people will defraud you with BIBLES!)
     
  16. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    Sep 18, 2001
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #16
    Ever see the movie Paper Moon?
     
  17. Raid macrumors 68020

    Raid

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2003
    Location:
    Toronto
    #17
    At least it's a short list! Provided the list wasn't stolen itself. ;)

    Last year the wife and I were in Europe and since I knew what countries I'd be in and when I called up my credit card company to let them know I'd be using the card for hotels, food, and emergency use only. I used my credit card pretty much everywhere we went but the last leg of the trip in Paris I only used the credit card once to checked out of the hotel before our flight home at 6am.

    Fast forward a few of days and I'm checking out my credit card statement online and I see 3 unusual transactions. The first was for €100 at a pay-as-you-go phone company/store, then the next day there were two more transactions at the same store for €150 each, for a grand total of €400! :eek:

    So I called the credit card company immediately to report the card stolen. They inform me that the thief also tried to purchase a €2,300 Apple computer (coincidence I swear! ;) ) but the transaction was rejected as it would have put my card over the limit.

    Luckily for me since the transactions for the pay-as-you-go phones were put through after I returned home and the credit card company had a note in my account verifying that info there was no issue with reversing the €400 charges. So I felt pretty good about that.

    What I'd really like to know is who lifted my credit card number? I have a sneaking suspicion it was the clerk at the hotel when I checked out. It was early in the morning and I'm not sure if he double scanned it and it was the only transaction on that card, in that city in a couple of weeks....Yes it could have happened when I used my card in Paris two weeks prior, but if you're a thief aren't you going to use that info right away?

    At any rate next time I'm in Paris I'm using a different hotel.
     
  18. Malfoy macrumors 6502a

    Malfoy

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2005
    #18
    interesting and makes sense. If someone wants to get one pass me, they just have to hit up places I normally visit since the time between purchase and processing is hardly ever the same, I'd just assume its me.

    exploits ftl :eek:
     
  19. MiroMac macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    #19
    Just recently a friend of mine had his credit card information stolen. Someone in Canada withdrew the amount of one of his bank accounts 3 times. Luckily it wasn't his main savings or checking, though. They had it resolved with a week and he got his money back. I'm extremely paranoid myself to use credit cards online.
     
  20. Malfoy macrumors 6502a

    Malfoy

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    Nov 1, 2005
  21. mscriv macrumors 601

    mscriv

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #21
    My wife and I got a letter a few years ago from some bureau of fraud notifying us that we were potential victims of identify theft. I don't remember if it was a state or federal case. Anyhow, some fraud ring had been arrested and they collected literally thousands of people's personal information in the evidence found at the bust. Apparently our information was one of the one's found. We were invited to check our credit and put fraud alerts on everything. Court dates were set and we received notices regarding the progress of the case. Turns out the group was breaking into apartment complex mailboxes and stealing literally everyone's mail. We had moved into our first house a while back so the information must have been in the thieves hands for quite some time. Fortunately nothing was ever charged and no mysterious credit accounts showed up in our names. I guess we were lucky and they didn't get enough information to do any real damage. :)
     
  22. secureatm macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2009
    #22
    Some thieves hide inside contests, because everyone wants to win things for free! You’ll receive a mailing that says you’ve won a free vacation or item that requires you join a travel club or pay for shipping on the item you’ve won. When you provide your credit card information to join the club or pay for the shipping costs, you may not ever receive the free trip or free item, and you could begin seeing charges you didn’t make appear on your credit card statement.
     

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