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.