New Number, Same Credit Card Fraud

Funny thing happened this past week. Not funny ha-ha, funny odd. Earlier this year I received a call from Citibank’s “Early Warning Fraud Detection” department letting me know that someone attempted to use my credit card for online purchases from Malmö in Sweden. They shut down the account number and issued me a new card with a new number. You can read more about that in this post.

Since then I’ve used the card very little. I’ve generated VANs (Virtual Account Numbers) with it for purchasing cellphone reloads for my mother-in-law. I used it once at a local auto-repair shop and I used it for travel expenses during a long road trip.

A couple of days ago I again got a call from the same Fraud Detection department at Citibank. It seems my new card number on the same account was being used for attempted purchases in Denmark… and Sweden. In fact, the same online merchant in Sweden as the last time.

This is too coincidental to me.

The first time it happened my prime suspect was the pay-as-you-go cell service provider. But, I never gave them my new card number. Gas stations seem like one of the most likely places for a card number to escape into the wild what with the proliferation of skimmers. I’m fairly diligent about examining card readers and even pulling on them before entering my card. But, I’ve seen some good ones and can’t say with certainty that I wouldn’t fall for it. What are the odds, though, that I would have used the cards at the same random gas station hundreds of miles from home twice over the course of nearly a year and then had the numbers stolen and used in the same way?

The final suspect is the local auto-repair shop. I had used the card there once prior to the initial incident when I had some work done last year.

At this point, I’m not sure what to think. I’ve got a new card with a new number in the mail.