So like most of you, I used my credit card pretty exclusively for my Christmas gift purchases this year. I have a Mastercard branded debit card that works just like a credit card except that my transactions come right of my checking account. I like that.
Or at least I used to.
My wife decided to check our accounts on Xmas eve and discovered that someone had stolen our credit card number and drained our checking account at fulltiltpoker.com. If this was a regular credit card, you would just dispute the claim and not pay your bill, but because it’s also out debit card – it all came out of our checking account right away. They even charged $500 over our limit so that our overdraft protection kicked in. Now, not only are we out our checking money but an additional $500. Not to mention overdraft fees, late fees, and possible bounced bill payment.
I’m not 100% sure that my card number was compromised through an online transaction, although I do a lot online shopping. The fact that the first withdrawl came on the same day that most of my Xmas shopping was done makes me think it was stolen by a store employee.
The good news is that our bank has a “zero liability” clause and that we will most likely get all of our money back including fees. We’ve had to file a fraud charge, and dispute the charges, all of which will take probably 7-10 days. Until then, our accounts are frozen and look pretty ugly.
My advise, and what I am going to do is get a credit card that I primarily use for online transactions. In fact, January is the time when most people roll their cards to another 0% balance transfers card. I’ll probably do the same.
Here is a great site to compare credit cards.