Yesterday I discover that my main credit card had been compromised. That completely sucks! What makes it even worse is that just last week my wife’s main credit card was also compromised. UGH!

My question is, how? How did this happen? Both of us still have our cards with us, which means something nefarious happened that leaked our numbers out into the world. How? Why? What the hell?

I feel completely vulnerable now. Both The Wife and I thought we were very conservative users of our credit cards. We don’t go to seedy places, we don’t allow them out of our sight, yet, still, someone got ’em.

Fortunately the charges were minor and the issuing companies have been spectacular to work with. The false charge on The Wife’s card was easy to spot – it occurred in California. An outlier charge among The Wife’s usual North Texas haunts. 

The fraudulent charge on my card was a bit harder to spot as it happened right here in good old Dallas. A local 7-Eleven was the “scene of the crime.” Of course, it’s also a 7-Eleven I don’t think I’ve ever been to. How did the issuer know that it was a fraudulent charge? It was well within a reasonable range. One could assume I had traveled down to Dallas for an event and, on either leg of the journey stopped to purchase gas. The amount was under $30, well within a reasonable amount for my typical purchase habits at a gas station.

Kudos to American Express and Visa for their fine detective work on both The Wife and I’s behalf. Even more so for the stellar customer service they provided. Both companies were on top of the bad charges right away, notifying us almost immediately after they occurred. Both companies reiterated numerous times that we wouldn’t be held liable for those charges and would work with us to get them removed.

My wife got her replacement card yesterday, mine should arrive tomorrow. There are two major down sides now:

  1. I have to go through all of the recurring charges that were tied to my old card. That will take some time and patience.
  2. Just recently I had finally memorized my credit card number & now I have a whole new number to save in my over-cluttered brain. Lovely!

What else do we need to do? I’m actively monitoring our credit scores and will double my diligence in light of this recent breech. Has this happened to you? What did you do? What was your experience like? Let me know if I’m fooling myself into thinking that AMEX and VISA are going to follow through and help like they said they would?