Friday, January 09, 2009

Credit Where Credit is Due

So I get back from Britain last week (yes, I'll post about the trip soon) and log on to my credit cards' Web sites to figure out what all those pounds I spent have ended up converting to, and I discover that a month or so ago, someone nicked my Master Card number and charged $264 of what turned out to be beauty supplies and cosmetics from a San Francisco company called Sephora. There was also a second fraudulent charge to a company that sells arcade supplies. (An interesting combination. Getting all dolled up to play Grand Theft Auto? What a terrifying thought.) Fortunately, my credit card company has credited me without hassle. (I've had the card since 1988 so it's nice to perhaps get some benefit of the doubt. And let's face it: cosmetics and arcade games are probably the two things I am least likely to ever buy.) And, yeah, I should have changed my card number right on the spot, but for some reason neglected to.

So I check again today and I notice another $264 charge to Sephora (made two days ago) --whoever whole my identity is certainly tarting it up. I called Sephora directly this time and I can't say that I have any particular interest in buying what they sell, but their customer service is excellent. (If you're in the market for beauty supplies, check them out.) They were tremendously pleasant and helpful, and were able to retrieve the shipment from UPS, get their stuff back, and credit me. (I hate companies to be on the line for these things--it's not their fault. And businesses have enough troubles these days.) Interestingly, the shipping address was also in Saratoga Springs and was not one of mine. Hmm....

And say what you will about the perils of e-commerce, I should point out that I never use this card to buy things online, just gas, clothing, house stuff, and other basic staples (but not actual staples; they go on another card), almost all from local stores. So looking at the charges preceding the erroneous ones, it seems the culprit is based in either Cumberland Farms/Gulf Oil, CVS, or Barnes & Noble. And I'd hate to think that Barnes & Noble is in the habit of hiring riff raff...

At any rate the card number has been changed. So there!

Let this be a lesson: always check your credit card statements carefully.

No comments: