I’d almost memorized the new number

By Mir
January 21, 2015

Hello, I’m irresistible. I’m AWESOME. You want to BE ME. Specifically: You want to be my Discover Card, perhaps the most sought-after avenue of fraud in the world. Because it was just a few short months ago that I lamented once AGAIN having my card compromised and needing a new one, and GUESS WHAT! After dinner yesterday, I learned that I’d been on QUITE the spending spree at Best Buy! Also, I placed rather a large order with a purveyor of e-cigs, because you KNOW how much I love smoking. I also apparently tried to book a stay at a swanky lodge.

I’m glad that Discover catches this stuff and I am never liable for the rogue purchases. On the other hand, this happens ALL THE TIME. When I pointed this out to the Fraud Prevention Specialist on the phone, she offered me the number of their Investigative Division to see if they could maybe explain to me how this keeps happening. Once connected with them, a kind but somewhat flummoxed woman said, “Ma’am, we’re not the police. We do the best we can but it’s not like we’re catching criminals over here.” (I think someone had had a long day.) So. I am without my card for 7-10 business days (again) and I have to switch over all automatic billing (AGAIN) and I am GRUMPY.

So it seemed like a perfectly logical time to head over to Alpha Mom and wonder about my kids’ normalcy (or lack thereof). Maybe I shouldn’t be buying them all those e-cigs….


  1. Diane

    Every six months, on the dot. Finally went almost two years without my number wandering into unscrupulous hands, and BAM! Happened again last fall. My bank is also a whiz at catching them and not letting them put anything actually on the card. But that also means that when I travel, I have to remember to call them beforehand and tell them every possible city I could be using my card in, including airport layovers (heaven forbid they deny my card at a Starbucks in the St. Louis airport).

    What astounds me is that credit card fraud is so much harder (not to mention riskier) a line of employment than you know, getting a real job. Cannot fathom why these people do it. And what do you say when someone asks you at a cocktail party what you do for a living? “I work in numbers”?

  2. Karen R

    Ugh. My sympathies. We have an account that gives us a different number for each card on the account (DH, DD, and me). So when one is hijacked, the others are still usable. After the last bout of fraud, I switched most of the auto-bills to my husband’s card. He rarely uses his, and it has only been hijacked once.

  3. Katherine

    i have had my account hacked or “possibly compromised” all too often. I haven’t done it yet, but I’m very tempted to get another account that I use only for the automatic charges. It seems less likely to be stolen, but maybe not…

  4. Kristina

    We frequently have fraudulent charges on our card – though they are usually small amounts at grocery stores and Walgreens. It has happened twice in the past 3 months. When our card provider says they are sending a new card and it will arrive in 3-5 days, I politely ask them to overnight the card, and they agree every time. Perhaps Discover will do that as well. Then I spend the next month updating all of our monthly charges….. You have my empathy.

  5. Jamie

    I’ve had this problem as well and just wait for the next call from the Fraud Early Warning department. I even work for the issuer of my card, so I know they’re doing all they can to identify atypical spending. What stinks is I use my card everywhere, online and in person, and it’s the merchants who have trouble keeping our information safe. Whether they are hacked or someone working there skims the mag stripe info, the criminals get our stuff. It’s too bad as I also hate changing all of the auto-pays over, but I want my rewards by using the card for everything!!

    I agree with what Diane said about these criminals. Get a real job and leave us alone!!

  6. Dustin

    First, it seems like whoever is doing this is someone that is able to access the card where you keep using it. Restaurant, gas station, grocery store, or even one of those aforementioned automatic billing places. Could even be that your computer itself is compromised and there’s a tiny program duly logging the new number when you type it in. The delay between getting a new card and not isn’t necessarily surprising, the people stealing the card numbers aren’t typically the same ones that use them, they sell the #’s in bulk lots. Second, not sure how stuck on Discover you are, or if this is something Discover offers, but other card providers can give you one-time use numbers that you can use only for a specific vendor or specific time period. I’m not sure how that would work with a cancelled account, though (they probably would get cancelled if the master card (haha) got cancelled). Good luck!

  7. elizabeth

    I, too, heard from Discover yesterday. $300 of Starbucks card reloading I could totally get behind if it were MY card but $1 at Overstock.com makes no sense. Funny thing is I’ve put the card up to pay off a big purchase, haven’t used it in months. So how did the number get out? Glad they alert me as quickly as they do and make it easy to cancel and replace the card. But still…

  8. suburbancorrespondent

    My husband’s VISA was compromised and he received his new card within 2 days! I wonder why DISCOVER takes so long.

  9. Amy

    Hi there, long time lurker, first time commenter (creepy much?) Anyhow. Beginning in March of last year, I had a string of fraudulent activity on my most used CC, an American Express (I use it for groceries and stuff for the FF miles and pay it off each month). Between March and May I went on FIVE, yes FIVE spending sprees in Canada, primarily going to Tim Horton’s and gas stations (but sometimes Walmart). All these things are right up my alley. Oh, also, I managed to clone myself because I was in several different Canadian provinces at the same time. Every ten days or so on the dot I would get a phone call from Amex asking if I was in Canada (or my bf would call me at work and tell me I was in Canada again). I would generally get a new card in two or three days UNTIL the next to last time it happened, and they were all, GIRRLLLL, we can fix this FOREVA by canceling your account totally (vs just changing the last 4#’s of your card) and giving you a WHOLE NEW ACCT but it’ll take you 10 days to get the card. In the meantime, I used a Visa card. Hey guess what, I went on a crazy spending spree at several gas stations in India…did you know you can spend $168 on a tank of gas there? Also, when I got the all new Amex account #, guess what, two weeks later it was stolen and this time instead of a $150 Canadian spending spree, my neighbors to the north went on a $5000 spending spree. Long story short (I’m getting there), I realized that the time I used the Visa when the Amex was gone, I used it at only two places, and they were two places that I frequently went to with the Amex. So..common denominator. I went to the cops because I knew I was ONTO something. I told them my story while they looked at me all bored til I named the establishments I went to and they said STOP GOING TO XXX LIQUOR STORE WITH YOUR CREDIT CARD. PAY CASH. THEY’RE UNDER INVESTIGATION FOR HAVING A CARD READER ON THEIR CC MACHINE BUT YOU DIDN’T HEAR THAT FROM US AND DON’T TELL ANYONE. So of course I promptly told all my cc/debit card drinking friends who go there (and hey a few of them had also had THEIR #’s compromised) to stop it right now or use cash. The moral to this very long tome is, are you possibly using your card in a consistent place that may have a reader implanted in the machine? Maybe you already thought of this but from someone who understands the frustration…just thought I’d throw it out there.

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