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  • Writer's picturevitormaleite

Unauthorized Credit Card Charges

Updated: May 5

Have you ever come across charges on your credit card statement that you didn't recognize?

I had never experienced this before, but today, on 02/26/2023, it happened to me. I was at a birthday party, and when I took a moment to check my phone, I was greeted with several SMS messages about unauthorized transactions on my card:

Arriving home, taking a moment to avoid any financial loss, checking my credit card statement, and especially in the "Dispute Purchases" section of the bank's app, I came across a history of several blocked attempts, and to my surprise, some were approved:

I don't know how they obtained my card data, whether my card was cloned, if it was due to some leak, or who knows what... I tried to remember physical places where I used the card and online purchases I made, but in the end, I quickly called the bank to dispute all the unauthorized purchases and transactions made in my name and to block the card as well.

Despite all the precautions I take, unfortunately, it happened. Fraudsters and scammers are always one step ahead. But even so, I don't give up on the precautions I take, and with this situation, I would like to share with you. Because if it happens to you, financial loss can be minimized:

  1. Attention during in-person payment: Never let the person at the counter take your card to another place, using the excuse that the current machine is not working, and they need to fetch another. Ask them to leave the card if this happens. There is no justification for taking your card away.

  2. Do not share your data: Never provide your personal information, let alone card details, if you receive emails, WhatsApp messages, SMS, or calls from people claiming to be from the bank. The chances of it being a scam are very high. They use social engineering to try to obtain our data.

  3. Use virtual cards: To avoid entering your physical card details, banks already offer virtual card services. With it, you can generate a temporary credit card for a specific online purchase, for example.

  4. Monitor notifications: Just as I was able to identify unauthorized transactions through messages, you should do the same. If you haven't enabled notifications to receive alerts whenever a purchase or attempted purchase is made on your card, go ahead and enable it.

How about you? Have you had problems with fraud or unauthorized purchases using your card? Do you take any other precautions that I might not have mentioned here?

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