Yesterday, I received an email from American Express, alerting me of possible fraudulent activity on my credit card. Three charges that seemed "out of character" were listed. Normally I would dismiss such emails because I'm currently out of the country and a charge I'd make at a store here would pop up as suspicious. This time however, it was for real. The charges were made within the United States (in Arizona, of all places... I've never been to Arizona): at a department store here... a gas station there... the charges totalled over $700. It was time to call the card security department of American Express.
A young lady answered the phone, very cordial and polite. I told her about my problem, and she then told me that my card would be cancelled (very good!) to prevent any more fraudulent charges. I was then forwarded to other, connected departments, whose representatives all efficiently took care of my trouble. A new card will be forwarded to me, and I am not liable for any of the charges.
The thing is, I still have the actual piece of plastic that is my Amex card, so whoever is racking up charges must have somehow taken the data from the magnetic strip of my card. According to the young woman in the fraud department, the card could have been used anywhere months ago, then the data off it placed on another card. The fuckers. I'm only thankful that I'm protected from incidents like this. Peace of mind... I love it.
So please be careful where you use your cards... the data could be lifted off of you when you least expect it. Make sure you're protected against credit card fraud, so that what happened to me won't happen to you.