Friday, July 17, 2009

Amateur Detective Work

I've been having a lot of bad luck with my banking institutions lately. The free checking account which I've had since 1983 is no longer free. It's now being assessed a $8.95 monthly fee! My ATM card was "compromised" and a replacement sent. And on Monday I got a call from my credit card company, asking me if I had charged an airline ticket for $220. The order was placed in Barcelona, Spain. Unless I magically teleported to Spain, then, that would be a "no"!!

So, being the whiner that I am, I posted about the fraudulent charges on my Facebook status. Tissie and another friend replied that they too had had airline tickets charged on their accounts. Then, yesterday, yet another friend told me that she found a fake airline ticket charge on her account.

What do the four of us have in common? We all used our credit cards to guarantee hotel reservations with Travel Planners for ComicCon. Tissie and another friend used their credit cards last year, and the fake charges to their accounts occurred within the last 2 weeks. The charges on my card and my other friend's card happened this week. And guess what? Next week is ComicCon! I'm betting more people will find charges on their cards while they're away.

My friend alerted Heidi MacDonald, and she's posted the info on her blog: The Beat.
So far, 4 other people have had problems with their credit cards.
Update: Travel Planners has responded to Heidi's blog, saying that there was no breach in their security.

Coincidence? Or fraud? The scary thing is, the credit card companies can't trace the fraud because Travel Planners doesn't always place the charges. They send the information directly to the hotels. And, if someone cancels a reservation, Travel Planners still has their credit card information. I'd totally forgotten that I had used my credit card to guarantee my hotel reservation since I made the reservations back in February.


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