Bank card number stolen

Dear Editor:
On Friday, July 3, I received a phone call from a Fraud Detection Department on behalf of my financial institution. I was given a case number and told that my account had been compromised. I had received the message at approximately 1:41 p.m. I rushed to my financial institution and arrived there shortly after 2 p.m. It was there that I confirmed that fraudulent activity had occurred. Although the financial institution had not received an email from the Fraud Detection Department the bank card was shut down immediately.
I learned that fraudulent transactions had started at approximately 11:54 a.m. By 1:26 p.m., five fraudulent transactions had been made. The transactions took place at the Golden Corral in Richmond, Virginia and at The Home Depot in the areas of Richmond and Midlothian, Virginia.
I was made aware that these individuals that steal bank card numbers will often make small purchases at first to make sure the card number will work. Then, such individuals will become braver and make even larger purchases. That is what exactly took place in my situation. The first transaction made was in the amount of $30.69 and the last transaction was in the amount of $105.95. By 1:26 p.m., I had been robbed of approximately $400.
I was told that the Fraud Detection Department recognized fraud by the end of the 5th transaction because all transactions occurred out of the area in another state. Since I normally do not make transactions out of state the system recognized a red flag and the fraud unit took immediate action. It is based on historical data as to where transactions are normally made on the bank card.
I also was told that it turned out to be in my best interest that I reported it to the financial intuition immediately and did not wait. It is a good thing that I rushed there because my bank had not yet been contacted. I learned that more than likely they would not have received a notice until late in the day on Friday. Since Friday fell on a holiday weekend I was very lucky that the fraud unit caught it when they did or these individuals would have depleted my account.
I have always done everything I could to protect my information. I have always kept such information in a safe place. I have never let anyone have access to the card nor has my card ever left my sight. I have never made purchases over the internet. Such precautions are no longer good enough. A tough lesson learned but it was enough to make me go back to the old method – “Cash only!” The convenience of having a complementary plastic bank card has its price. I always thought my chances of being a victim were slim. What are your chances?
Eugenia Snedegar

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