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.