My Debit Card Number Was Stolen

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I love my bank. I logged on yesterday to take care of a money transfer and I noticed a pending transaction that I didn’t recognize. I did a quick Google search for the name on the charge – SOFTCOM Technologies – and it came up with a web host located in Canada. I immediately knew…

I love my bank. I logged on yesterday to take care of a money transfer and I noticed a pending transaction that I didn’t recognize.

I did a quick Google search for the name on the charge – SOFTCOM Technologies – and it came up with a web host located in Canada.

I immediately knew something was wrong, and I took action to get the situation resolved.

 

What to Do When Your Debit Card is Lost or Stolen

Red Flags. I obviously use a web host for my sites, but I use WPEngine, which is located in Texas. I had also never heard of SoftCom and had no recollection of using them in the past. The other red flag for me is that I use my Discover Business Credit Card for all my business needs, not my personal debit card.

Report a lost ATM/Debit card immediately! I called my bank, USAA, and inquired about the pending transaction. They were great. In the matter of a few minutes, the representative was able to determine there had been two charges – one in June and one last night. Somehow I missed the June charge. After the customer service rep and I discussed the issue for a few minutes, we determined it was most likely fraud. I was transferred to USAA’s fraud department and they handled the situation in a few minutes. Once you suspect fraud, immediately contact your bank!

Problem resolved on my end. My card was canceled, a new one was sent to me, and I was informed I would receive a credit for both charges. I asked how the situation would be handled and they informed me they do a chargeback with the bank involved to collect the money.

Now to find out what my card has been used for. My curiosity got the best of me and I went back to the SoftCom site and I noticed a phone number, which I decided to call. At this point my debit card was already canceled, so what did I have to lose?

Their customer service rep asked me a few questions, and after I explained the situation, he asked for the first 2 digits of my card number and my last 2 digits to find the account being funded by the card. That didn’t narrow it down enough so I gave him the last 4 digits and he said, “OK, I’ve got your account right here. Roger Williams, right?” Wrong!

He read off the domain name and I typed it into Google. It was filled out in some Eastern European language that I am not familiar with. It obviously wasn’t mine.

The rep was really cool about the situation and said he would flag the site as fraudulent. Within minutes, the site was completely gone.

I was lucky! The entire process took about 20 minutes due to great customer service on both ends. I admit that I was lucky though. I won’t be out any money, and the thieves only made two small transactions (both in the low $20’s). Had they withdrawn more money, they probably could have made me overdraft my account. Of course, I probably would have noticed it more quickly then!

If your wallet is lost or stolen, you should immediately report it. You will lessen your losses and help prevent identity theft. Here is a story about how a stolen debit card ruined a vacation. Thankfully, Glblguy was able to make it home safely. This event prompted him to write about what to do when your debit card gets stolen.

How did they get my number? I honestly have no clue. For a couple of years, I used my ATM/Debit card as my primary means of payment, but I rarely use it anymore. I now prefer to use cash back credit cards because of the protections they offer and the cash rewards. Just be sure to pay them off every month!

How to Avoid Debit Card and ATM Scams

Unfortunately, it’s very difficult, if not impossible to avoid losing your debit card or credit card information if a vendor is hacked.

But there are actions you can take to reduce your risk, including never letting a bartender, waiter/waitress, or other individual have access to your card.

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About Ryan Guina

Ryan Guina is the founder and editor of Cash Money Life. He is a writer, small business owner, and entrepreneur. He served over 6 years on active duty in the USAF and is a current member of the IL Air National Guard.

Ryan started Cash Money Life in 2007 after separating from active duty military service and has been writing about financial, small business, and military benefits topics since then. He also writes about military money topics and military and veterans benefits at The Military Wallet.

Ryan uses Personal Capital to track and manage his finances. Personal Capital is a free software program that allows him to track his net worth, balance his investment portfolio, track his income and expenses, and much more. You can open a free account here.

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  1. Pat Stevens says

    I need to use debit cards because I don’t qualify for credit cards. besides, I’m unemployed and I don’t feel like paying high interest charges.

    I have a Mastercard and Visa debit card that my banks issue.

    ok, bye

  2. Kirk E Pendergras says

    I have had my debit card number stolen 3 times in the last 4 months, the last time was within 3o days of each other. This last time I didn’t use my card at all but kept it in my wallet. I never use it online either. All three times they have bought items online. I feel like they are targeting me, I just don’t know how they are getting the atm/visa number.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Kirk, it’s possible your information was stolen from a data breach at a store where you used your card. There have been several high profile data breaches within the last year or so, with millions of stolen debit and credit card numbers (along with other information). The best I can tell you is to closely monitor your account and contact your bank as soon as you notice a transaction you didn’t make. It may also be a good idea to open a credit card account or another bank account so you have a backup. I recommend using a credit card because thieves can’t drain your bank account if your number is stolen, and you have better overall protections. That said, I don’t recommend using a credit card if you have trouble with spending or paying your bill in full.

  3. Gregory C says

    A few days ago I received a phone call from my bank’s fraud department (Ally Bank). They detected a fraudulent charged on my debit card for about $500.00 at a shoe store in France. I live in the USA. They deactivate the card and the charge did not make it through. I thought everything would be fine. Then, three hours later my bank called me again and my other debit card with them was being fraudulently charged at the same place in France for a total of about $285.00. I don’t know how the crooks got the debit card numbers for two different accounts at the same time. It has me worried.

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