Diagnosis: Credit Card hacked – or why I own 2 Credit Cards

Kreditkarte gehackt

Diagnosis: Credit Card hacked – or why I own 2 Credit Cards

It happened again! It frightens at first and then it’s just annoying. What am I talking about? My credit card got copied or hacked for the second time now. And I’m far from home and everything seems complicated when it really isn’t.

Diagnosis: Credit Card hacked or cloned

Back when I lived in Spain my credit card got copied somewhere or some website I used wasn’t safe enough. My bill back then was about 3000€ – the limit of my card. I only found out about this, when I tried paying with my card and it got rejected. I went online to check all the transactions and most of them weren’t from me. Someone in the USA used my card. It wasn’t one big transaction, but several ranging 200€ to 300€. Thankfully the bank did notice but didn’t tell me (what an irony there). Losing my nerves and a call later, everything was set. The strange transactions were cancelled and refunded.

A few days later I got a new card and another day later I got the code to activate it. So everything turned out to be fine.

Transactions worth 1679.56€

Yesterday I noticed that it had happened again. And again it was my MasterCard. I can’t say if Visa is less prone to getting hacked or if it was me just having bad luck. So I wanted to book a flight to Cartagena from Bogotá – I got the confirmation email – my excitement was huge! A few minutes afterwards another email stating my booking was cancelled. Reason: credit card got rejected. That happens, so I tried again with my other card and it worked smoothly (and no cancellations then).

A day later I log in online to check my transactions of the past month. I was shocked. Transactions worth more than 2000€. Some from the Netherlands, USA, Spain and Germany. Can you explain how I would’ve possibly purchased shoes at Adidas in Amsterdam for 224€ when I’m sitting in Bogotá?

Kreditkarte gehackt

Overview of Transactions

So what you need to do when your credit card get’s hacked!

  • stay calm 😉
  • call the issuing bank and block your card
  • go to your online profile and report the transactions
  • lean back and relax now – that’s all you can do
  • wait for the new card to be delivered (if you’re abroad, relax, they’ll send it to you – last time I had mine within a week)

After that, the bank will send you a form to sign, to confirm that those transactions weren’t yours and that you didn’t give your credit card details to anyone. The suspicious transactions will be refunded.

The day after reporting the strange transactions the bank refunded them

And that’s it! It’s simple but annoying. But it can’t really be prevented. It happens. The important thing is that you check your transactions frequently.

Why I own two credit cards (and two debit cards)

Need any more convincing or arguing? The above-mentioned reason should be enough. But also if I one card goes missing (lost or stolen) you have a backup! I never have both cards on me or in the same purse – but keep one at a safe or locker.

Has that happened to you too? Scary, right?

Keep on travelling

This post is also available in: German

13 Comments

  • Puh das ist aber schrecklich!!! Ich habe keine Kreditkarte und zum Glück ist mir sowas noch nie passiert aber ich wüsste nicht was ich machen sollte =X bei MasterCard kannst du den SecureCode verwenden, dann können andere Leute die Karte (zumindest Online) ohne diese Kode nicht benutzen.

    xoRosie // Curvy Life Stories

    • Viki says:

      Ich hab ja bei beiden Karten den Secure Code aktiviert. Und das interessante daran ist ja gerade, dass die Transaktionen ALLE ohne diese Codekombination geklappt haben…

      xx Viki

  • Verena says:

    Hi,
    in case it was cloned with an app or device by just walking next to you, then an RFID/NFC case or wallet might help. It blocks the wireless functionality so nobody can steal the info without having your card but of course you can not pay without getting your card out of the wallet anymore. Might still be the most convenient solution in some countries.

    Best regards,
    Verena

  • Tom says:

    I was in West Africa several years ago when my credit card and my bank card (ATM) both stopped working, and panicked messages to my bank weren’t working. Now I too alway travel with two credit cards and two ATM cards. Good lesson.

  • Nathan says:

    Oh wow! That sucks but at least you have a plan in place. I hope it doesn’t happen a third time!

  • Punita says:

    That seems like a simple enough way to get a refund for unauthorised transactions. But the experience of getting a card hacked is not a pleasant one.

  • Vicki Louise says:

    I’m sorry this happened to you (again!). Having your cards hacked can be so frustrating – and I often question how the banks don’t flag things. Like they know you’re in Bogata and certainly can’t be buying shoes in Amsterdam – That should ring alarm bells for anyone!
    Good job you carry two cards though – I do the same, better to be safe than sorry!

  • DANIK says:

    Some great tips here and can’t believe you had bank transactions like that when you were on the other side of the world! :O

  • Skye says:

    We’ve had our card skimmed before too. Thankfully we use 28 degrees and they contacted us immediately and put a stop to the card as they were the ones that noticed the strange transactions. We found them to be great actually. Great you were on top of all the transactions and caught it!

  • Claire says:

    Wow I’m sorry to hear about this but thanks for all the tips, its great advice for people who it happens to

  • Lynne Sarao says:

    Great advice. This actually happened to me as well and now I know better and keep a backup! Thanks for sharing your story and hopefully helping a few others as well!

  • Lara Dunning says:

    Credit cards are great, but they are also a pain. So sorry you had issues twice! What a pain! Glad you got it all sorted out.

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