Credit Card Fraud? Issuers Don’t Really Care

If that headline doesn’t sound right or logical, you’re correct. Unfortunately, it’s true. For card issuers having to absorb fraudulent charges is just a cost of doing business and built into their 20% interest rates.

My Mastercard had fraudulent activity in October last year. The card was cancelled and re-issued and the charge was taken off my account. The same card had ANOTHER fraud charge in January of this year. Same thing: card cancelled, re-issued and charge taken off. The first time was a charge around $900 or so and the fraudsters second charge got the issuer to block the card and email me for confirmation it was my activity. It wasn’t and that triggered the cancellation.

The second time it was a $400 or so charge and, again, a second charge attempt triggered the fraud block. That got me to pull my statements from October to January. Surely, there had to be something easily traced.

My credit cards do not leave my possession. Nobody has the number, expiry and/or security number and it hasn’t been used on an email. It had been used at physical places like Walmart, Rona, etc. (card present transactions) and online at one small retailers, Air Canada and Westjet. That’s it. But there HAD to be a common denominator AFTER the card was replaced in October (new number and security code) and AGAIN replaced in January.

It took me less than five minutes to find that small retailer in Ontario who had my card information just before the first fraud and again in December with the new number and security number. As it was the ONLY common transaction and the card never left my wallet or home, that was the place (or a hack or employee) where the fraudsters got my information. All other online charges were once and not with both new numbers!

I immediately sent a letter personally addressed to the Senior Consumer Card Fraud Manager. A form letter two weeks later just stated ‘we’ve received your inquiry and will get back to you.’ Totally useless, but it meant the manager received my letter.

The investigation should have taken about five minutes: Check the computer if George is correct that it’s the only common retailer with his (two different) cards from October to January. Then punch in the retailers name and check if there have been any other frauds from their millions of other card holders where there had been a charge from that retailer.

It’s doubtful they did – and it’s doubtful I’ll ever hear from them again. That’s as sad as it is true…

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