A month after I started working at LifeLock, I went out with coworkers. When it was time to leave, we handed the waiter our credit cards, and it took forever to get them back. He gave us a hard time because someone in our group had left early and paid separately, and apparently this was the end of the world! So we waited. And waited.
Eventually it all got sorted out, our cards were returned to us, and we went home.
Fast forward a week. I’m checking my bank statement and notice a pending payment I don’t recognize. After a little digging, I discover I’ve apparently attempted to purchase $150 worth of poker chips from an online store. I’m the sort of the guy who buys the 2-pack of playing cards for a dollar, so this didn’t seem quite right.
Thankfully I’d just finished writing a training manual for our resolution team, and I knew what I had to do. I called my bank immediately.
Things worked out, but through the experience I learned a few things that might help you the next time you and your credit card are out with friends:
- Don’t let your waiter hold on to your card for too long. If he or she gives you a hard time, or it looks like there will be any sort of delay, demand to see a manager. Even better, pay at the register or use cash.
- If you do find a fraudulent charge on your bank statement, insist on getting a new card. The agent I spoke with at the bank cancelled the charge, but told me to wait and see what happened. And sure enough, three hours later, there was another pending charge for more poker chips! Followed by another call to the bank.
- Once you get your new credit card, pull out your last two bank statements and circle every automatic deduction. Then make sure you update your card number with all of those companies. I missed one and got hit with a $20 charge at the gym.
- If you have LifeLock or another identity theft protection service, let them know. This incident may be resolved, but if there’s a bigger issue brewing, knowing about the situation may help you get to the bottom of it.
And if you happen to overhear your waiter talking about his $150 poker chips, run!
Posted by Jaramy Conners, LifeLock Communications Manager