Weekend Rewind: The latest credit card scam...the one that never ends

The latest credit card scam...the one that never ends

Bottom Line: Having one of your credit cards compromised and dealing with bogus charges stinks. Having it never end is much worse. Yesterday, I stumbled into new information about how scammers can continue to make fraudulent transactions long after you’ve had a compromised card replaced.  

In early December I received a notice from American Express saying that my credit card number may have been compromised through a hack of a third-party vendor. Sure enough that night several fraudulent transactions were made on that card. Thanks to Apple Wallet alerting me of all transactions made on the card as they occur, I was able to immediately call AMEX and have all of the fraudulent pending transactions cancelled before they went through...or so I thought.  

A few days after that incident, and after I’d had another card issued, another fraudulent transaction was made for a purchase on Amazon. I had that cancelled too and thought it just took longer to post to the account than the others. As it turned out that wasn’t case. Yesterday another fraudulent Amazon transaction was being charged to my account but here’s the wrinkle. It was the old credit card number from the cancelled card. How’d it get through?  

Customer service at AMEX told me that anything setup as a subscription service with recurring charges remains active and will post from old cards. They said they do this as a convenience so subscriptions you’ve setup aren’t disrupted anytime you have a new card issued. So, here’s what happened and what you need to watch out for...  

The scammer used my name and credit card number to create a fraudulent Amazon Prime account with future planned/recurring purchases. With the charges going through the “Amazon Prime” subscription model they weren’t detected by AMEX even after the card was cancelled for fraud and would be posting to my account in perpetuity if I didn’t spot them. I’m sure I’m not the first this has happened to and I’m sure I’m far from the last.  

If you have a credit or debit card that’s cancelled, you still need to keep a close eye on all transactions even after the issue is seemingly resolved. That’s especially true if fraudulent transactions took place with companies that offer subscription models. This appears to be a new loop hole that’s being exploited by the evil doers.

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