The Canadian citizen has had the misfortune of getting hacked three times this summer, CBC Prince Edward Island reports, and she said she has many friends who have needed to replace cards after fraud incidents, as well. Credit card fraud is a common occurrence, but still, having three cards canceled in a month and a half is pretty remarkable.
Twice Hitchcock received calls from her bank saying they believed her card had been compromised and it was canceling the card as a precaution. Another time, a fake card made with her account information was used to spend more than $1,000 in Houston.
“You feel a little weird especially because, in this case, the bank told me that it was being used with a physical card, not just an online purchase but someone’s actually walking around swiping a credit card with my bank number on it,” she told CBC.
Hitchock’s experience is one millions of consumers face. Take the massive Target breach that occurred late last year: The credit and debit card numbers stolen in that breach were posted for sale online, where fraudsters could buy the numbers and use them to make fake cards that could be swiped in stores like the real thing. Sometimes, as with Hitchcock’s first two cards, banks catch the suspicious activity and cancel the card before more damage can be done. However, thieves can rack up some serious credit card debt (or worse, spend the money from your checking account with a stolen debit card) before anyone notices.
It helps to check your card activity regularly — a daily glance is ideal, especially for heavy card users — and it’s also a good idea to set up transactional alerts, if your bank offers something like that. If fraudsters escape your or your bank’s notice, they could end up spending enough to damage your credit standing. Checking your credit scores regularly helps you spot fraud and identity theft, as well, because if you’ve been keeping track of it and it unexpectedly drops, you’ll know something may be wrong. Credit.com is one of the many ways you can review your credit scores for free.
More on Identity Theft:
- Identity Theft: What You Need to Know
- How Can You Tell If Your Identity Has Been Stolen?
- What Should I Do If I’m a Victim of Identity Theft?