21 April 2016

How Would You Like to be Credit Card Scammed?

I received an incoming call a few days ago. It wasn't a number I recognised. As I was busy in a meeting, my usual bad habit was to simply ignore the call. It was pretty persistent however, and called again a few times. But I was really, really too busy at work (in meetings) to take the calls.

Soon after, I received a SMS. The message said that there was a suspected credit card fraud on my credit card and asked that I call back to follow-up. Shitz!

My first reaction was, is this itself a scam? How to be sure it wasn't? I did a check of the phone number and found that it seems similar to other numbers related to the bank concerned. But that wasn't conclusive.

I was feeling desperate. I called the number. When it got through to an operator, I was asked to provide a few particulars for verification. Seems pretty usual. But I was really uncomfortable. Was he scamming my personal details? He subsequently asked if I had made a number of transactions overseas since that morning? Hell no! Where would I have found the time to do so as it was a working day?

Somebody had gone on a shopping spree with my credit card number at some US factory outlet, rapidly buying from numerous stores within an hour.

[And I certainly have enough faith in my wife that she wasn't do so behind my back!]

He made references to a few other overseas transactions aside from those. These, I recognised as payments I had made in a recent trip overseas. These were valid ones. Starting to regain some confidence this was a legitimate call centre of the credit card company. The card was terminated on the spot and he promised to send me a replacement card.

Later that night, still feeling ill at ease, I called the credit card company on their hotline to verify. When I asked if the phone number I called that morning belonged to them, the operator told me it wasn't! Man, did I sweat. On further clarification, turns out, the number was indeed one of theirs. He had not heard me right the first time. *wtf* False alarm. Frightened me. He better not ask for a post-service customer feedback.

I asked to confirm that the card had been suspended. He told there wasn't any hold on the card! Shitz! Big time. On further elaboration (meaning, I had to tell the whole long story from that morning), he checked and clarified that there was no suspension on the card because he was referring to the "new" card. The old card had been suspended. *wtf*

Thinking back, it probably wasn't the smartest thing to call back on the number in the SMS. I should have called the credit card hotline instead.

The old card was terminated on the spot and I have since received my replacement credit card. Bloody waste of time. Need to reinstate various GIRO arrangements. I'm so angry that my credit card was scammed. And I think it's going to affect my cashback from the credit card. *pui* Financial loss to boot.

Many thanks to the credit card company though for having a fraud detection system that made it so much more seamless for their customers. Data analytics making a positive difference! I hope there are no further repercussions from here.

I'm still wondering where exactly my card was scammed from. Where did I go? Japan. Hotels, restaurants or malls? One of them has a dishonest employee. Sucks. Ill will and curses to the idiot. I hope he gets arrested somewhere or suffer from death-by-300-cuts (like the story from the Hong Kong serial I'm watching ...).

[feeling evil]


Cory said...

Yeah. Hate the trouble. I got hit once too. Luckily i did not tie the scammed card to any payments. The process cost to change card is the hidden cost not accounted for.

Lizardo said...


It is a most irritating buggeration. Hopefully no financial loss.

Joyce Leong said...

It happened to me once before so what I do now is to activate my credit cards for overseas usage only during the travel period. It's troublesome but it works for me since I don't travel frequently for work etc.

GP Blogger said...

Was it Amex, I have received a few calls from them for similar issues, all of the time they were being a bit kiasu & were blocking transactions which were not usual for me.
Do inform us if you how the details got leaked.

Lizardo said...


That's a good precaution. But even then, if it gets scammed, you would still need to terminate and get a replacement card.

But it does reduce risk of expenses being costed to you. Troublesome as that may be, looks like I should do that.

Lizardo said...

GP Blogger,

Nope. Not AMEX. No clues so far. Could have been an overseas payment I made via mail to a UK locale, or else it's one of the hotels/shops in Tokyo when I was on holiday.