Monday, February 6, 2017

Check Your Balances

A few weeks ago, I logged into one of my credit card accounts and came across a fraud alert that a couple of transactions had been flagged. I called, they weren't mine, I was not charged for any charges that weren't mine (and confirmed those that were), they issued me a new card and all was well.

Not two weeks later, I noticed another couple fraudulent charges on another card! Called, confirmed they weren't mine (and which were), and I will not be charged.

This hasn't happened to me in years, so I guess it was just a matter of time before I got hit again, but man! That's twice in like 2-3 weeks! One of them I use really infrequently and had I not just used it, I may not have logged in to check my balance for another few weeks!

The other is the one I use most often, so it's not surprising we caught it so soon.

I'm wondering if the post-holiday season has anything to do with this. I wonder if some people don't check their transactions, dreading what they'll see. It is in your best interest for a number of reasons to always know what's going on with your money.

And it's much better that it happened on my credit cards than a debit card. I probably still wouldn't have been liable, but it would take longer to replace those funds in my account.

Seemed like a good reason to post this PSA: check your balances and review your transactions on a regular basis.

I check mine (and pay my credit cards) fairly habitually.  I check my bank account every day. With my frequently used credit cards, I check them at least once a week. With my less frequent cards, I do this whenever they've been used - I am going to start checking all of them once a week now.

If you are experiencing some post-holiday financial hangover, you don't want to make it worse by finding out too late that you've also been a victim of fraud. Oh, and you might want to change a few passwords while you're at it!

We probably (sadly) will never be able to eliminate this kind of fraud from happening. But we can pay enough attention to our money that it's merely an inconvenience instead of a nightmare.