Why Online Shopping with a Debit Card is a Bad Idea – Part II
December 19, 2012
By Roger Thompson

A few weeks ago, I had my debit card stolen online, and this was the subject of a previous blog post. The card was canceled and a new one issued, and all seemed well.

Naturally, I’m watching my account closely, and you can imagine my surprise when two more odd-looking transactions appeared last night. One was for $2.50, and the second was for $39.50.  Previously, the merchant was Facebook, but this time the merchant details were cryptic, and certainly rang no bells for me, except alarm bells.

I immediately phone the bank to try to get clarification. The bank employees couldn’t identify the business either, but what they did say was an even bigger surprise… “Sir, these transactions are not on your card. They’re on your co-signer’s card.”

Me: “Wait… what... my wife’s card?”

My wife couldn’t place the transactions either, but thought it was possible they were from a talent agency that she’d been working through (she’s a professional singer and actress), but from which she’d recently withdrawn.

The bank shared a 1-800 number for us to call while it kept searching for the merchant name. When my wife spoke with someone in customer service, the representative wouldn’t provide a business name either, but kept assuring my wife that the transaction was genuine.

Meanwhile, the bank discovered that the business was based in the U.K., which instantly told us that we were dealing with fraud again. She knew she hadn’t bought anything from England.

The bank canceled her card and sent her a new temporary card, but the question remains… What website fell that allowed both our cards to be compromised? Or was it two websites in the space of a month?

We’re now compiling a list of websites from which we might both have bought something, in the hope of figuring out who fell, and watching our account closely.

Interesting days, folks, so be sure to protect yourself online to avoid similar situations.
 

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