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Credit card fraud, confused.

DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
edited May 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
Recently my credit card information (including my name, address, and phone number) were somehow stolen, and a whole bunch of charges were placed on it. I've had the card canceled but the charges keep trickling in, and I'm working with my bank to have the charges reversed. I know what to do here, that's not what I'm asking about.

What I can't figure out is motive. You see, whoever stole the card number is having a bunch of stuff from semi-legit online businesses shipped to my house. $70 in Shamwow, for instance, or $120 in body care products, or whatever. What the fuck is going on? At first I was considering the idea that my housemate stole my card and did this, but that's not possible: one of the companies gave me the IP address used to place the order when I called them, and it was some (undoubtedly virus-infected) computer in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (I'm nowhere near there), so that can't be it. So why? This makes no sense.

Daedalus on
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Posts

  • underdonkunderdonk __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2009
    Going with the housemate theory, I wonder if that IP address could be associated with a tor exit node or an open proxy? Try searching Google for the specific IP address (if you haven't already) and see if it comes up associated with any kind of system designed to provide anonymity. It's a long shot, and there's nothing you can do about it from there if that's the case, but at least you'll know. Also, other theories:

    1. Evil practical joke. I mean, $70 in Shamwow products?
    2. Idiot kid(s) just goofing off attempting to cause problems.
    3. Stuff I do between getting infractions on the Penny Arcade Forums.

    Back in the day, bucko, we just had an A and a B button... and we liked it.
  • ScooterScooter Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    It could be someone is using your address to match the CC's billing address, and hoping to get the boxes off your doorstep before you notice them.

  • RikushixRikushix Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Scooter wrote: »
    It could be someone is using your address to match the CC's billing address, and hoping to get the boxes off your doorstep before you notice them.

    This is totally likely. Either that or the proxy is my best guess, and it's just someone playing a practical joke on you.

    StKbT.jpg
  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    underdonk wrote: »
    Going with the housemate theory, I wonder if that IP address could be associated with a tor exit node or an open proxy? Try searching Google for the specific IP address (if you haven't already) and see if it comes up associated with any kind of system designed to provide anonymity. It's a long shot, and there's nothing you can do about it from there if that's the case, but at least you'll know. Also, other theories:

    1. Evil practical joke. I mean, $70 in Shamwow products?
    2. Idiot kid(s) just goofing off attempting to cause problems.
    3. Stuff I do between getting infractions on the Penny Arcade Forums.

    The housemate in question could not possibly be more computer-illiterate if I beat her over the head with a meat mallet, so I think that's not too likely.

    Now that I'm taking a closer look at the charges, most seem to be from those "services" that give you a "free" trial for a couple dollars and then move it to an expensive monthly service when you fail to cancel. Also, for all of them they spelled my last name slightly wrong.

    There were a couple of reasonably large charges crammed in the middle ($49.95 and $67.00) from "SIXFGRE" and "SECRPAY" that seemed really suspicious, partly because I can't find those actual businesses online and partly because when I called up one of them they knew about the charge for the other one, as if they were really the same business (and they promised to refund both, natch, but I'm not sure if they actually will.) Perhaps that's where the money actually went to the scammer and the rest of it was just to piss me off, waiting on hold for an hour to get a dollar refunded.

    That's the best theory I currently have, anyway.

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  • ceresceres Just your problem OooModerator mod
    edited April 2009
    I think some places automatically send to your billing address no matter what.. at least, they used to. So some of the things you're receiving could have been mix-ups that way.

    Or I could be entirely wrong. I trust someone here will be able to tell me if that's the case.

    I've got my own life and I've got my own plans
    I hope you understand, and like the way that I am
    Dear Satan...
  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    apparently "SIXFGRE" is SixFigureYearly, an online e-book that costs $67 and gives useless tips on how to make pennies from Google ads.

    So, still no clue. It's as if someone took my card and info and just signed me up for the most useless shit for no reason.

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  • PeregrineFalconPeregrineFalcon Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Remember that guy you caught fishing through your mail a while back?

    Yeah.

    Looking for a DX:HR OnLive code for my kid brother.
    Can trade TF2 items or whatever else you're interested in. PM me.
  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    He wouldn't be spelling my last name wrong, though. My last name starts with "D'A" and here the D and the apostrophe have been missing, for every fraudulent charge, as if the apostrophe screwed up someone's database (it's happened before).

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  • solidsnake69solidsnake69 Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Similar thing happened to my mom around Christmas time. She started getting magazine subscriptions, flowers, netflix dvds etc. shipped to her house. Weird thing is nothing was charged to any of her credit cards. Someone got her name and address and started sending stuff to her...we reported it to the police which hasn't really helped, and we got the IP of the pc ordering everything which was also useless.

  • The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I've had friends and co-workers who have experienced this. Specifically, having small, somewhat silly things shipped to one's home. In the majority of cases where this is the case the culprits have almost always been stupid kids who want to screw with someone else's life.

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  • AiouaAioua Novus Ordo Seclorum Lord of the ForumRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Heh this happened to me, to, except it was with diet pills and crap like that.

    I think the idea of snatching the packages off the doorstep might be right though. Who knows.

    life's a game that you're bound to lose / like using a hammer to pound in screws
    fuck up once and you break your thumb / if you're happy at all then you're god damn dumb
    that's right we're on a fucked up cruise / God is dead but at least we got booze
    bad things happen, no one knows why / the sun burns out and everyone dies
  • Gilbert0Gilbert0 North of SeattleRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Here's a good moral question, what do you do with the stuff?? Sure it dpends on what you get but free magazines or dvds could be nice.

    A) so return it to the company
    B) wooo free stuff
    C) throw it out
    D) sell it
    E) other

  • SkittlebrauSkittlebrau Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Gilbert0 wrote: »
    Here's a good moral question, what do you do with the stuff?? Sure it dpends on what you get but free magazines or dvds could be nice.

    A) so return it to the company
    B) wooo free stuff
    C) throw it out
    D) sell it
    E) other

    I assume you return it and get your money back, since it was charged to your credit card.

  • Gilbert0Gilbert0 North of SeattleRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    But if you dispute the charges and the issuer (visa, mc, whoever) gives you your $$ back, what then?

    You didn't pay for it as visa refunded you and you have goods.

  • DaenrisDaenris Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Now that I'm taking a closer look at the charges, most seem to be from those "services" that give you a "free" trial for a couple dollars and then move it to an expensive monthly service when you fail to cancel. Also, for all of them they spelled my last name slightly wrong.

    It's possible that someone has your card information and is using it to sign up for all these offer things in order to complete one of those online reward systems where you get money or gift cards or electronics if you sign up for X offers. The fact that they're weird trial things, and e-Book things, and someone else mentioned it happening to someone they know with diet pills and magazines. These are all typical things that you find in the trial offers on those reward sites.

  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Daenris wrote: »
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Now that I'm taking a closer look at the charges, most seem to be from those "services" that give you a "free" trial for a couple dollars and then move it to an expensive monthly service when you fail to cancel. Also, for all of them they spelled my last name slightly wrong.

    It's possible that someone has your card information and is using it to sign up for all these offer things in order to complete one of those online reward systems where you get money or gift cards or electronics if you sign up for X offers. The fact that they're weird trial things, and e-Book things, and someone else mentioned it happening to someone they know with diet pills and magazines. These are all typical things that you find in the trial offers on those reward sites.

    You know, that makes a lot more sense than any theory I came up with.

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  • AiouaAioua Novus Ordo Seclorum Lord of the ForumRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    That's got to be it!

    I kept wonding why it was always the semi shady companies too, that they were buying the crap from. It all makes sense now.

    life's a game that you're bound to lose / like using a hammer to pound in screws
    fuck up once and you break your thumb / if you're happy at all then you're god damn dumb
    that's right we're on a fucked up cruise / God is dead but at least we got booze
    bad things happen, no one knows why / the sun burns out and everyone dies
  • SanderJKSanderJK Crocodylus Pontifex Sinterklasicus Madrid, 3000 ADRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    An out there possibility is that it's not about the products, but about giving the store it's bought from money. There are payment systems out there that do not reliably instantly check vs. hot cards , and in that case, such a transaction will be for loss of the acquirer (If they are not compliant to security standards, which is usually the case in such a scenario) ie neither you nor the store has to pay the money back, it's for loss of the middleman.

    Of course, there would be some complications in doing this continually, at some point, the acquirer would terminate a contract with too high a percentage of charge-backs.

    (NB: This knowledge mostly applies to the northwestern european situation, I'm not sure how this works exactly in the USA)

    Steam: SanderJK Origin: SanderJK
  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    SanderJK wrote: »
    An out there possibility is that it's not about the products, but about giving the store it's bought from money. There are payment systems out there that do not reliably instantly check vs. hot cards , and in that case, such a transaction will be for loss of the acquirer (If they are not compliant to security standards, which is usually the case in such a scenario) ie neither you nor the store has to pay the money back, it's for loss of the middleman.

    Of course, there would be some complications in doing this continually, at some point, the acquirer would terminate a contract with too high a percentage of charge-backs.

    (NB: This knowledge mostly applies to the northwestern european situation, I'm not sure how this works exactly in the USA)

    In America, the retailer takes the hit from a chargeback, not the credit card company.

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  • RikushixRikushix Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    On the subject of trial purchases: The other day I was on youtube, and in some completely innocent front page video, someone had just written a comment which detailed a Visa credit card number, plus the full name and billing address of the person it was attributed to. Curious, I went on to amazon and went through billing with a random item in my cart to see if it worked, and it was totally verified. I obviously didn't go on to buy it, but I reported the person on youtube.

    I dunno what happened to that person, but I think the lesson here is, anything could have happened, really.

    StKbT.jpg
  • SanderJKSanderJK Crocodylus Pontifex Sinterklasicus Madrid, 3000 ADRegistered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Daedalus wrote: »
    SanderJK wrote: »
    An out there possibility is that it's not about the products, but about giving the store it's bought from money. There are payment systems out there that do not reliably instantly check vs. hot cards , and in that case, such a transaction will be for loss of the acquirer (If they are not compliant to security standards, which is usually the case in such a scenario) ie neither you nor the store has to pay the money back, it's for loss of the middleman.

    Of course, there would be some complications in doing this continually, at some point, the acquirer would terminate a contract with too high a percentage of charge-backs.

    (NB: This knowledge mostly applies to the northwestern european situation, I'm not sure how this works exactly in the USA)

    In America, the retailer takes the hit from a chargeback, not the credit card company.

    An Acquirer is not Mastercard or VISA, but an inbetween company, which usually offers a contract for multiple brands of creditcards. I just checked, and a similar system exists in the USA as over here. As someone who works for such an acquirer, there are definitely situations imaginable where we foot the bill for hot cards. (Not allowed to tell you how exactly).

    It also depends where the product was bought. Usually (but not always) a company in country X will also have an acquirer in X.

    Steam: SanderJK Origin: SanderJK
  • ShogunShogun Hair long; money long; me and broke wizards we don't get along Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Silver lining: those shamwows will last like 10 years right?

  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Shogun wrote: »
    Silver lining: those shamwows will last like 10 years right?

    Shamwow was the only company so far that refused to refund me until after I sent back the package.

    edit: and Puma, apparently.

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  • Monolithic_DomeMonolithic_Dome Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Shogun wrote: »
    Silver lining: those shamwows will last like 10 years right?

    Shamwow was the only company so far that refused to refund me until after I sent back the package.

    You spend 20 bucks a year on Paper Towel anyway

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Hey, I canceled the card last Sunday and the charges keep trickling in. How long can these things bounce around the system before they post, anyway?

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  • WulfWulf Disciple of Tzeentch The Void... (New Jersey)Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Hey, I canceled the card last Sunday and the charges keep trickling in. How long can these things bounce around the system before they post, anyway?

    Weeks dude! I had this same thing happen to me, and I just kept an open dialog with my bank, reporting each charge until they finally stopped. Just got to stick it out!

    Everyone needs a little Chaos!
  • RentRent I'm always right Fuckin' deal with itRegistered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Shogun wrote: »
    Silver lining: those shamwows will last like 10 years right?

    Shamwow was the only company so far that refused to refund me until after I sent back the package.

    You spend 20 bucks a year on Paper Towel anyway

    It's made in Germany, you know the Germans always make good stuff

  • ShadeShade Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    have you at least had the account frozen?

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