My credit card company called me yesterday to verify that I was repeatedly charging $200 at a time in a Walmart in Georgia.
No. I wasn't charging $200 repeatedly. Not at Walmart. Not in Georgia. No.
Checking my wallet, I found my credit card securely wedged in with its friends. It wasn't stolen...it was right there. Right?
Here's what my credit card company thinks happened. When I used my card recently at one of my favorite local establishments, anywhere from the drug store to the grocery store, the store clerk stealthily swiped the card through a "scheming device". This device took all of the information from the card and sent it to someone somewhere who used this information to make a fake version of my credit card.
I'm imagining someone with cauldrons of melted plastic bubbling over in their kitchen pouring it into tiny credit card molds. I mean, where, how do these people make fake credit cards? Is it a big elaborate operation, with fake employees who clock in every day to make silly fake versions of my credit card?
In the end, everything is okay. The credit card company guy cancelled my card on the spot. I'm hoping they sent some sort of message to Walmart so that the next time this buzzard tries to use the fake version of my credit card they nab him or her and put them in the Walmart slammer (well, that's only if it is a Super Walmart)
I don't have to pay any of those $200 a pop Walmart charges. That's good news for me. But doesn't someone have to pay it? And whether it is the credit card company that's paying it or Walmart, believe me, we will all end up paying it. Now I am sure that the kind of people who make fake versions of credit cards, however crafty the art, do not read my blog. If they did I would tell them to stop.
But since I'm fairly sure they do not read my blog, I will address this, dear and gentle reader, to you. When your credit card company calls to verify real charges, try not to be annoyed. You'll be forever grateful when they call some lazy Sunday afternoon to report repeated charges at some random Walmart states away from you.
Secondly, check your credit card statement often. The best way to do this is online since the charges show up there so quickly. Make it a part of your day. It'll be good for your budget too. It's kind of like how writing down everything you eat will help you on your diet.
And lastly, be alert. If someone tries to perform some sort of magic, slight-of-hand trick with your credit card, let's see through the smoke in mirrors. I wouldn't suggest confronting them. I don't think shouting "Swiper, no swiping!" like Dora does will be helpful in this case. I would just whip out my little pink cellphone on my way out of the store, call the number on the back of my credit card, and let them take care of it.