Over the holiday weekend, I received a call from somebody claiming to be a fraud investigator with one of my credit cards. I was suspicious of the call because the call didn’t come through with Caller ID. (Yes, I know it’s easy to forge, but I figured a scammer would be sure to block it.) She asked if I’d made a purchase from “J.W. Holdings,” but the line went dead shortly after she asked the question. I thought the call was a scam and made a mental note to report it after return from some errands in the morning.
During my shopping trip, the card was declined, so I figured that the call had been legitimate. When I called up and spoke with the fraud investigators, they asked me if I had made an Internet purchase from C.J.W. Holdings for $84.97. Since I was on my computer at the time, I ran a Google search on the company. Interestingly, Google turned up this complaint page, which sounded suspiciously like my situation, except that my credit card company’s fraud systems had flagged the transaction. The amount was even the same!
I have to say, I’m impressed with the fraud detection system. I took the piece of plastic to Montreal two weeks ago and charged a single meal with no difficulty. Even though I charged the ticket on another card entirely, the system somehow recognized the charge in Montreal was legitimate. (I assume it’s because the card was present for the transaction.) The previous time I had a credit card blocked, it was also the result of fraud. Somebody tried to charge almost $900 worth of merchandise at the New York Heroes gift shop. Oddly, it also occurred while I was on a foreign trip. Fraud detection systems have correctly caught the two bogus transactions out of thousands in the past decade while letting all of the legitimate charges go through. As I said, I’m impressed.