Got a call from my Master Card debit card company yesterday asking about charges I might have made. Seems like my number was pilfered somehow though I still have the card in my possession. This is the second time a number has been stolen from me.
A few years back I was driving through PA and bought gas. While waiting for the attendant to process the card (before the days of DIY at the pump, he motioned for me to come inside the station. The Discover Card agent was on the line and asked about purchased I had made. Seems someone was buying lots of high priced stuff in Chicago for me! Fortunately, Discover cancelled the card immediately and nothing ever showed up on my bill.
This time MC called me and asked if I had purchased anything from a Tent and Awning company for $1.39. (interestingly, I had ordered some camping equipment from another company). However, Tent and Awning was not someone I had dealt with. It turns out that this outfit puts through small, innocuous charges to see if the account is valid and once they confirm that, they make big charges. I might have looked at that $1.39 and never paid attention to it if it showed up on my statement. So, kudos to MC for picking this up.
This must be one heck of an ongoing battle between those creative types trying to steal others money and the CC companies trying to detect new schemes. Unfortunately, its costs us all money.