Friday, February 17, 2006

Check your credit card statements

I have a Bank of America credit card that I use for my cable bill, long distance phone bill, and AOL.  I never carry a big balance on it, and it's paid off monthly.  The same charges are always there.

Today I got my bill.  There were two extra charges, both of them to MSN Hotmail Plus, both in the amount of $21.55.  I did not make these charges.

I called the number for MSN Hotmail; of course I sat here for an hour or more on hold.  The lady who finally answered calmly told me to call my credit card company and have my account closed, and a new one made.  She gave me a transaction number which, she said, Bank of America would want.  And no, she informed me, she could not take the charges off my bill.  That would be up to the credit card company.  Oh, and she closed my MSN Hotmail Plus accounts, the ones I didn't know existed.  I was boiling mad, but I was also terrified.  I've read lots of horror stories about identity theft.

There was another hour waiting on hold before I got someone to help me at Bank of America.  The lady who answered there assured me that they'd take those two charges off my bill, close my account, and open a new one.  I asked her if she wanted my confirmation number, the one given me by the MSN lady.

"No," she answered, "I'm going to transfer this call to our fraud department, and you'll give it to him."

Another half-hour on hold, although a recorded message had said it would be a five-minute wait.  Thank goodness my granddaughters behaved themselves during all my waiting.

The gentleman who finally came on the line asked for my credit card number, pulled it up, and said, "All right, which of these charges.... oh, never mind.  I know.  It's MSN."

"Have you had a lot of this sort of problem with MSN?"  I asked.

"Oh yes, and we're trying to get to the bottom of it."   

I hung up once I was done with him, took a deep breath, and then remembered that the lady at MSN had directed me to a website, which I had written down on the back of an envelope.  Safety.msn.com.  I  went there, clicked to get to this page, and realized there is a BIG problem with this.  The website says it's a debit card problem, but mine is a credit card.  Bank of America had better get to the bottom of this.

So, be sure to go over all charges on your debit and credit cards with a fine-tooth comb.  I always have, and always will.

 

18 comments:

robinngabster said...

Wow, glad you caught this!!!

deslily said...

oh wow.. thanks for the heads up... i do check my charge account each billing.. and like you I only have the same charges on it each month and pay it off... so i too will notice anything like that... geez... makes you wonder how they do it.. and then wonder.. why?

plieck30 said...

Thanks for enlightening us on this matter. Paula

chat2missie said...

Thanks for passing on that info!
Missie

madcobug said...

Glad you put a stop to the piece of fraud. I check our statements every month.  Helen

msecz said...

Thanks for the information... Sandra

am4039 said...

thank you so much for sharing this infor, I'll have to check mine better. Sorry for the hassle.  What a mess.

ora4uk said...

Thanks for this update Mosie...and yes we always check our cards for anything that isn't ours...and it has happened a time or two.....and we did just as you did...it's just a nuisance..but grateful you were aware of your cards purchases...God Bless...know its been a wearisome time for you...Hugs...Ora

lv2trnscrb said...

thanks for the tip; I don't use my Bank of America credit card that much, but good to know to watch out on my Citibank one. Hope they get to the bottom of this scam

betty

mutualaide said...

Thanks for the warning Mosie!  We have had problems in the past with a similar occurance.  So glad you were able to clear it up!

csandhollow said...

Wonder how they got the number? Bof A has given me trouble in the past with charges on my bill. Funny how a charge can come up and the card is just activated and never used by me!

toonguykc said...

Stories like this make me long for the days when we paid for stuff with beads and shells and stuff.

Russ

jlester961 said...

We have a headset for our phone - you can buy them at electronic stores fairly cheap. The reason I'm mentioning this is because aside from long phone calls, I've also used it when I know I'm going to be sitting on hold for awhile. Instead of sitting with the phone pressed again my ear, I just put on the headset, throw the phone in my pocket and knit,clean, etc until someone comes on the line.

sunnyside46 said...

once again, I am reminded of the joys of having no money!
Marti

siennastarr said...

Hmm... I have a Bank America Visa/Debit card... guess I better go check it out!

Thanks Mosie!

jackie

boodotte said...

Lord Mo, this is scarey stuff.  Thanks for the heads-up.  You hit nail on head with the reason for your peace after such an ordeal.   Man, who says oldsters have a boring life?  Certainly not those of us who get around the web on our puters.  So sorry this happened, but now I must go check my last credit card statement...  Joyce

naturegirlfromny said...

Oh my that is scary!  I hope it gets straightened out.  Linda

shayshaydc said...

Glad you got to the bottom of it and it's a good thing you go over yours with a fine tooth comb!!! I do mine too!!! http://journals.aol.com/shayshaydc/Golfaholic
Sharon:)