So I Was a Victim of Fraud Last Week

A word of advice if you shop online using credit cards - make sure to check your statements closely and on a regular basis. And, after last week, I can say this from experience.

Someone apparently stole my credit card information and decided to do some last-second Christmas shopping at Bloomingdale's and Macy's. Fortunately, I never shop at those stores (online or otherwise) and caught the transactions hours after they happened, giving me time to dispute them ASAP. Ultimately, however, I had to close my account and get a new card.

Just a suggestion for stores (if anyone from a major retailer is reading), if you are going to allow people to make purchases online and pick up the items in store, please require them to show you the credit card used to make the purchase along with a picture ID.

I say this because, in this particular instance (as I learned via a letter I eventually received from Bloomingdale's regarding one of the purchases), the thief made the purchase online using my information (home address and everything) but ordered it for in-store pick up. As someone who has (legally) made transactions like that, I know the store security in those pick up areas is kind of lax and I have yet to have anyone verify I am the person I claim to be.

In fact, in an age where credit card companies are adding chips and other forms of security, maybe the solution is for the credit card company itself to require the card to be processed at the pickup area before the payment is made. If stores aren't getting their money upfront, they have more incentive to verify customer information.

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