We've all had those phone calls from telemarketers and others, where the person calling barely has a grasp of the English language and you hang up in disgust. Well, I hung up twice early Saturday morning. First, I was angry that they were calling at 7:15 in the morning, and secondly because I couldn't understand anything they said other than "Capital One." Which is my credit card company. I assumed they were trying to get me to use the checks they'd sent for my holiday shopping pleasure, or cash in my bonus points or something, and I wasn't in the mood to chit-chat, even when the 2nd caller managed to get in the word "fraud" before I hung up on her. Well, you know what happens when you ASSUME something.
Since I'd gotten two calls within 15 minutes of each other, I thought maybe I'd go online and log on to my Capital One account and see if they had any urgent messages for me. There it was, in big red letters: Account Restricted. Zero credit available. Code such and such. For more information, call 1-800--------
Which I did immediately. Didn't I receive any phone calls, asked the woman whose English skills were even worse than the two I talked to previously. I told her yes, and that I had hung up on them because I thought they were trying to sell me something, etc. That was soooooo not so.
There had been fraudulent activity on my account the day before. Purchases from Lord and Taylor.....and Napster.....both places I had never been. I tried to get her to explain to me how they had known it wasn't me and what had happened, but basically all I got from her (or understood, anyway) was that information had been entered that did not match my account. She went over all my recent activity, letting me tell her which were legitimate and which ones were not (only the two). She said my account was now closed, I would not be held responsible for the fraudulent charges, and a new card would be in my hands within the following week.
I was stunned. I never visited so-called "disreputable" websites (and hadn't used my card in person in over a year). All the websites were secure, well-known, and so forth. BUT....two weeks ago I opened a Pay-Pal account....thinking it would be easier, and safer....because their purpose is to pay for your purchases out of their site, without each and every store seeing your credit card information. I know it's very popular, and used all over the world. But you can't convince me right now that it didn't have something to do with it. And when I closed my account with them (the credit card on file with them is now no longer good anyway), I told them of my thoughts on the subject.
This morning I thought I would go into annualcreditreport.com and do a quick check there to see if they had any postings that shouldn't be there, and my account there was locked up due to possible fraud activity. They will be happy to send me a report if I send them several pieces of identification, and request one in writing. So at least I know they are aware of the situation, and things are being handled. That was my main concern.
I give huge kudos to Capital One for being so on-the-ball, but gee....it has caused me to totally rethink my online shopping practices. I shop online A LOT. Hubby says that he will take my credit card when it comes and lock it up, so that I can't take the new, unknown number, and start using it. That's probably a good idea.