Manic: Me yesterday morning when I discovered that my checking account balance had been zeroed out. I knew something was wrong!
Managed: Immediately going online to see my account and then calling my bank right away to report the fraudulent charges! Luckily, my bank will recover the funds and reimburse me the $1,000 the thieves got away with online. I had done everything right and yet, I still was robbed! So here are the things that prevented a bad situation from becoming worse and here are some of my lessons learned from this unpleasant experience…
*I made sure that my debit/credit card had a daily spending limit. Thank goodness for that because once the bad guys hit that limit, the stealing was halted. The banker could see their additional attempts come back over the limit when she she did the claims research.
*I check my bank account every morning, no matter what! Part of my daily morning ritual is to check my bank accounts right after I finish reading my emails. Because of this, I was able to catch the crime early on and report it right away, which speeds up the entire claims and reimbursement process.
*Because I check my account daily, it didn’t take me long to know exactly which charges weren’t mine. If I was only checking weekly, I would have had several pages of banking to go through, so this was a time saver which sped up the recovery process.
*I called the bank immediately. Even though I had places to be and people to see, I delayed my morning commitments to take care of this right away. I highly recommend that if this happens to you.
*I have an overdraft protection line in place that covered the last charge that came through last night after the fraudulent ones and that one was truly my charge that I would want the bank to cover since it was legitimate. I was thankful that I didn’t have to explain the whole situation to a merchant that I paid with my now hacked debit card. If you don’t have any type of overdraft protection from your savings account or from a bank line, I highly recommend getting one, especially in this day and age with online fraud on the rise.
*Even if you haven’t lost your card or had it stolen, you can still be robbed, both online and out in the public. After doing the research and reviewing my recent online charges with my banker, it appears that my card information was apprehended while I was out and about rather than through my online usage. Although we don’t know that for sure, it pays to be more aware.
*There have been reports of debit card numbers being stolen from gas pump keyboards. The banker I spoke to explained to me that it happens, but that the banks haven’t quite figured out how the thieves do it. She told me to always press clear after I’m done pumping the gas. I will tell you this….today I paid cash for my gas! Yep, I went inside, like the old days and paid the cashier in cash and then filled my car.
*Anyone you give your card to, such as a waiter, can easily take your card to a back room and take a picture of the front and back of your card in an instant. Then they have your name, as it appears on the card, the expiration date and the security number, that is usually found on the back of the card. It appeared that the person who hacked my card had all of that information…even though I still had my card in my possession. So unsettling!
*After talking with my bank, I immediately put my card in the shredder and ordered a replacement. So without an ATM debit/credit card, I was forced to pay in cash all day long and you know what…I’m considering going back to the good ol’ cash system after this experience!
*Paying for your products with cash saves you cash because you don’t have the bank/card fees and believe me, doing it this way makes you way more aware of just how much you really have in the account. A card feels like magic at times.
*Sadly, this was another reminder to always be on the alert and extra cautious, both online and out and about.
*I also contacted my computer expert to schedule a checkup to make sure that my computer isn’t infected with any virus that is tracking my every keystroke. Another unsettling thought, for sure! My computer expert is also managedmoms.com writer, Roman Acevedo and he has been our computer guy for the last five years. He is very good, so if you ever need a solid computer pro to fix or check your computer, you can contact Roman at 602-908-1676.
*Lastly, if this happens to you, don’t forget to check and notify accounts that your stolen card may automatically pay each month. An example might be your gym’s monthly fee. If the card that was hacked is the auto-pay card, make sure you notify that business and change to an updated card. I truly try to avoid auto-pay situations for this reason, among others, but like most of us, I have set auto-pay up at times.
So that was my morning yesterday. Not fun at all! Very upsetting. Has this happened to you? What is your best advice? Share here in the comments section and remember to be careful out there….and at home when you are on your computer in the online world, especially during the holiday season!