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When Your Credt Card is Hacked...
Date: May 24, 2017
What a crappy day!
I am up and doing my bills (end of month Receivables and payables - mostly payables). I am allowing myself two hours to go through the mail bin, write the checks, and get ready to drive to Postal Annex - where I have a package to mail to my son. And Wells Fargo bank is there in the mini-mall and I run in and drop that payment off (saves a stamp). And Vons is there and I need some stuff.
So I am merrily opening the credit and checking account statements (FIVE of them) and glancing over things (like---how bad was I this month - I have a budget. I just keep missing it) and I caught something...
This morning started badly
Thick overcast - we call it the marine layer. Basically you are in a cloud. Basically, my head is clogged and I would so rather stay in bed - until it lifts. Like - 2PM or so. Headache! But the 19 pound (my bad - he's on a diet) rescued male kitty cat 4 year-old long haired cuddle bug had demanded food. And petting. After having slept with me all night. He now sleeps beside me on the bed. Sir Thomas is a character. Fits right into my house. (Soft Fur!) (Everywhere!) I fed him. Petted him. Cuddled him. But - the two beagles need to get up. I need to get up. And the other cat is still kept separate from Thomas - we are working on that. I need to go downstairs.
So — I got downstairs to find that Summer (the other cat) had toppled the broken pole lamp over in the kitchen and broken a florescent light and glass everywhere. The lamp I broke off its base when I tripped over i mo nths ago. It's been held up with Gorilla tape and a bookcase for months. My son had suggested Jetweld. Nah. Gorilla Tape can fix cars. Except when the humidity skyrockets.
(I took photos — but then, being rattled after the “event" (see below), I accidently erased them) I am barefoot with dogs - glass on floor - so I grabbed a broom and a cardboard box (dust pan upstairs) and shoes and swept. I grabbed the SHARK VAC - well - at least the kitchen is almost 100% clean. I am dripping sweat. (Marine Layer and high humidity.) Need the wand vac to catch corners - the Shark is set up for carpets. I cleaned the kitchen to that point which was somewhere on the to-do list from hell and took out the trash.
PLAN TODAY: pay bills
What I am doing? Not that! Major interrupt. I reset.
Okay - paying bills finally - Open open open check check check. This is the month for the $2,500 tax prep charges. (Cringe.) Okay - Now - I open the BofA business account statement and nearly (looking at the wrong place) thought - $134 - didn’t the servers run thru??? I pay $150/month for server space. (Paid quarterly — I need to adjust that service down.) (On the list with kill DirectTV and get an arial) Okay - took another look - I SPENT $13,000???— oh hell no — WTF????
SIX CHARGES $11,617.78 to “Traco Manufacturing”
"Traco Manufacturing Inc. is a leading U.S. Manufacturing company and importer of packaging equipment and shrink film products. For the past 30 years our packaging company has provided its customers with packaging equipment and supplies of all varieties."
Well, someone had a wild time buying nearly $12,000 stuff from them on my business credit card.I slammed off the volumn on the TV. Grabbed the cell phone and statement and called BofA screaming FRAUD over the phone at their voice mail - because that’s what upset moms with only a single shot of expresso do! Screaming at a cell phone to the BofA voice answering service will get you immediatly connected to a human. Trust me. They detect the hysteria I would guess. (Uh oh - we've got a wild woman on the line!)
A $12,000 hit on my BofA business credit card - 6 transactions -- right after card was replaced ---Yes I am. Wild.
The first human put me on hold for the fraud dept - they have a "high call volume" - I bet! She checked periodically to see how I was doing. I think they were waiting for the line to catch fire. (Somewhere there IS a line.)
I started right out as soon as a human got on the line. "Well, someone has had a wild time buying nearly $12,000 stuff from them on my business credit card." I explained this to BofA Fraud.
I had to assure BofA that (1) I have never done business with this company - I am a one-person California S-Corp. I write stories. Fiction. Non-fiction. Whatever. (2) I don't shrink wrap my eBooks.
I had to look up my LONG LONG LONG password newly put on the account after the last time (this being the 3rd hit in 12 months)
Got the password and here we go again. No - I never did business with Traco, blah, blah, I do eBooks. I am an author. I don’t maufacture anything. ( Not physically.) (Not yet.)
All right - the sorting out has commenced. New card on the way (they didn’t even ask - we've done this before. Recently.)
So I dared ask —— WHY Didn’t I get a call???? (Because Wells Fargo has shut down my card when I went grocery shopping too many miles from home - they never could understand I had two houses for over twenty years. They used to catch me in the check out line. And then there was the switch that you can't buy gas on a credit card more than once a day - and my truck cannot run 500 miles on one tank. I had to have three credit cards.)
FRAUDULENT CHARGES WERE ALL MADE BEFORE I CHANGED THE PASSWORD
Well - at least there weren’t additional hits lurking for the next statement. Why I had them look.
This is THIRD hack of my BofA card.
After the second attack, I put on a new bad-boy password. Not fast enough.
I had them check - the charges had stopped when the password had been changed. Well, that's good to know.
So now - make sure you do these things (and someone make me do them, too!):
You should update passwords often (at the least once a year)
You should change passwords once an account has been breached
All new passwords need to be long and complex (upper and lower case letters, numbers and a few of any special characters allows.) We are not talking 8 characters. Try 12 or 16. Make the bastards work for it.