Wondering if your credit card number could be in the hands of a crook? Look for a charge for $9.84.
The Better Business Bureau issued a fraud alert last week
about a raft of consumer complaints all reporting the same niggling
charge. The business levying this fee
may purport to provide “customer support,” or it may simply identify itself as
any one of a number of different websites.
Krebs writes in his blog that the charges, most of which were reported over the holiday season, may have been spotted because consumers are being more vigilant in the wake of the Target breach. His investigation into the fees led him through a labyrinth of 230 websites that were all connected to one of a handful of individuals located in London, India and Cyprus.
The bottom line for credit card customers is a simple one: If you spot a charge for $9.84 on your credit card statement, call the card issuer. It’s likely that your card or card number is in the hands of a crook. You need a new card and to place a fraud alert on your credit file.
Placing a fraud alert on your credit file is simple (and explained here by the Federal Trade Commission). It should only require reporting the fraud to one of the three credit bureaus. The credit bureau that you report to should spread the news to the other two major bureaus on your behalf.
And in case you’re not already doing this, keep a close eye on your accounts. As the Target and Neiman Marcus breaches make clear, credit card security is far from foolproof. Your best defense is vigilance.