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?
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.
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?