At about 2:06 PM eastern US time today, while I was driving to a Dentist appointment, I got a text message from my bank asking if I was making a purchase for $2,761.03 at a place called FUTURELAND in Paris, France?
I responded "No." The charge was declined. The Bank then opened a criminal FRAUD case and called me to help them with it.
I did what I could. I have no idea how someone in France would have gotten their hands on the Debit Mastercard linked to my checking account, but apparently they did.
THANK GOD the radio stations and the web site hosting payments had already been paid, otherwise, who knows, I might have been hit very hard -- at least until the bank investigated and refunded money.
With my available balance having been below the attempted Fraud amount, they contacted me before approving payment from my line of credit. Their vigilance saved both me and the bank a lot of aggravation.
The fraudsters are getting VERY aggressive and VERY clever. But thankfully, so are the banks.
Think about this: Within seconds of the attempted charge 3600 miles from me, their system held the transaction, generated a text to my cellphone and stopped the transaction seconds after I responded. Pretty high tech!
Obviously, this Debit card has now been cancelled and no charges of ANY type can ever go through it again. I'll be getting a new card from the bank soon.
We hear stories like this a lot these days, but having it happen to ME was really a wake up call about how widespread and pernicious the scammers have gotten.
I bank with the online service ALLY.com (Formerly GE Credit) I recommend them highly. Fast, Efficient, Convenient and on the ball. In the interest of full disclosure, NO, I will not earn any commission or fee whatsoever if you choose to open an account with them or do business with them. They're good and I'm just passing along info to help folks if they have a need.