Tuesday, April 23, 2013

My credit card has been compromised

Just this morning, I received a call from a 1-800 number (1-800-711-9946).  Typically, I would ignore these calls because they are either a scam, a promotional ad, or a product offer.  But because I am home-alone and working from home, I answered the call thinking it might be someone from the office.  It was an automated operator saying that the call is urgent and important and I need to call back the number blah blah blah...and all I heard was credit card and Royal Bank Security.  I thought, if it was urgent and important, then it would be a customer service representative who should have called me not a robotic-sounding operator.  

I googled the number (just because I love googling). Found a few hits and read through some forum discussions.  I found out the the number was legit and most people who received a call from this number, didn't call back but instead called the number found at the back of the credit card just to confirm.  How wise...I would not have thought of that and instead would have ignored everything.

And so, I called the number found at the back of the card.  I was asked tons of security questions, forwarded to different operator, then to a supervisor, then again tons of questions.  I was getting anxious and not to mention the phone line was breaking.   
Fast forward...they told me that one of my credit card was compromised.  I immediately checked my credit card balance online and found $1,000+++ purchase from online stores, future shops, urban outfitters, etc.  It was all purchases in the same day and in USD.  I was shocked but at the same time relieved that this was discovered sooner.  Obviously, the purchases are not mine.  The bank said they will cancel the purchases, cancel the card and investigate (phew!).

So what are my learnings from this experience?
1. Do not ignore this number: 1-800-711-9946 it is legit!
2. If possible, check your online banking everyday at your home computer.
3. Be careful where you put your credit card details.  It was good that this particular credit card have a very very low limit (this might be the reason why it was flagged immediately).  I refused to have the credit limit increased just because I use this particular card for low value purchases and for online purchases (if needed).  I have been very scared of online purchases but with the advent of vouchers and discounts, I needed to do so.  So just as a pre-caution, I only use 1 credit card for all online purchase.

My last purchase was a voucher from Wag Jag, 4 days ago.  Then this happened.  I couldn't help but make a connection.
I talked to an office mate to de-stressed. She told me it happened to her, her sister and her brother - with $20K fraudulent transaction.  The incident was investigated and a man was caught and put into jail.  It was a relief....not because it happens to everyone, but because some people are doing their job and evil will never prevail (sigh!).


  1. Let us know if you find out anything else? This is just terrible! I can't believe it. Is the money back on your card now? Hope your week gets better!

    1. Thanks Holly...All is fine now. The bank has cancelled the card and all the fraudulent purchases. Now, I'm just afraid of going back to online purchasing.

  2. Oh poor you! The exact same thing happened to me last year and I almost ignored the phone call as well, thinking it was a scam. Luckily, my bank dealt with the issue.

    1. Thanks Zhu! What is this? Seems like these credit card fraud has happened to most people I talked to today. :( At least, banks are very much aware of these things.