Wait a minute, I didn’t buy that

English: First 4 digits of a credit card

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

I have just become a victim to credit card fraud.  I suppose it had to happen sooner or later, but it is damn annoying anyway. I received my credit card statement on Saturday (still can’t get used to getting post on a Saturday) and when I read through it I found some things on there that I definitely did not buy like 4 tickets to a sustainability conference in Zurich and an airline ticket from some previously unheard of town in the Netherlands to some previously unheard of town in Italy.  All up about €1,300 worth of things I did not buy.  I was less than impressed.  I was able to get my credit card cancelled straight away so those bastards can’t buy anything else, but I’m scared to think what may have been purchased between when my credit card statement ended & when the card was cancelled.  However, I had to wait until the working week started to go to the bank to fill out a reclamation form to request the money back and also request a new credit card.

After going through this ordeal, I’m more in love with my bank Haspa then ever before (and before I thought they were pretty damn good).  Thanks to the Joker card (yes that is what is called, no idea why) coming with credit card insurance I should be able to get all the money back that those bastards took.  Plus I also received really good customer service, which is a rarity in Germany, but which I’ve always gotten at Haspa (I swear this isn’t an ad, I just love my bank, okay). An added plus was that I managed to do it all in German, and bless that poor man at Haspa putting up with my German as well as sharing his own father’s run-in with credit card fraud that cost him €7,000.  I felt much better after hearing that story.

I have my suspicions about how it happened.  Let’s just say I knew it was a bad idea to book a hotel room over email and it was.  Next time I will do it on the phone.

As annoying and time-consuming as it has been to deal with this whole credit card fraud, it was nice finding out that my German has reached a level where I can deal with not-everyday things in the language.  Did I understand every single thing that was said to me? No, but I understood the most important points and was able to clarify those important things which I didn’t understand straight away or to make sure I understood them correctly. A nice little take that to the self-doubting voices in my head that tell me that I’m too dumb to learn a foreign language. Yes, they are still around.

Has anyone else had a run-in with credit card fraud?  If so, what did the thieves buy on your credit card? Was it something stranger than tickets to a sustainability conference in Switzerland, cause I’m still scratching my head over that one.

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4 thoughts on “Wait a minute, I didn’t buy that

  1. We don’t have German credit cards, so we just use our American cards as needed (not very frequently). I have my account set to send me an e-mail alert whenever there is a foreign transaction or an online sale…that’s how I found out sooner, rather than later, that someone else had used my card. Not even sure what it was, since it seemed to be a company name that doesn’t exist on the internet. At least credit card companies are good about canceling those charges, and it’s nice that you were able to handle it in German !

  2. I tend to use sites that are well established like http://hotels.de/ for booking hotel rooms. Any of the networked sites like that, expedia, travelocity, and so forth are generally pretty good. Sucks that this happened, but at least you were able to get it sorted.

    • Normally I do too, but I decided to book for my Paris trip into a small hotel that my parents used and highly recommend back when they were in Paris quite often & this place doesn’t go through any of the major booking sites. I will know next time just to call them and book if they are as good as my parents say they are.

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