I missed a Freeplay Friday post.  I apologize.  I’ve had a heckuva few days though…

So on Friday I was paying for our take-out when I was told my bank card had been denied.  “Not again…” I thought as I handed the cashier a second one.

No, this one doesn’t work either.
“Hmm.  Are you sure it’s me and not your machine?”
Well it’s been working for everyone else…
“Okay.  Try this one.”  And I hand him the last of my 3 credit cards.

It goes through fine, and I get a little panicky.  I head out to the car and check on my bank activity.  Yep, there are about $800 worth of charges that I did not make that are pending in my account.  And this time the person was here in Katy, so the bank didn’t catch it right away.  Which means that someone got my number and printed a fake card within 40 days of the last one being issued.  That’s impressive.

My biggest concern is that the thief went to the local Academy and spent about $200 there…  I’m terrified that I’ve allowed this scumbag to purchase a gun.

So I make a call on the next card, and it seems they mailed out a new card to me that I never received, and therefore never called to authorize.  Thus they shut off my old one.

“Well okay,” I think, “At least that one wasn’t stolen.  But I’m down to just one card until the replacements get in.  Meh, that’ll be fine.”

And then Saturday morning happened.

I head out to pick up some coffee and that last card in my wallet is still working just fine.

10 minutes later, I receive auto-generated texts to my phone that tell me the card I’d just used has been shut off due to unrecognized activity.  It lists our dinner the night before, the coffee I’d just bought, and then some charges from Walgreens and “Golden Arrow” in New York.  Obviously I couldn’t make it from Houston to Lake Placid in 10 minutes, and so they’ve now shut off that card too.

Which means I’m all out of cards to pay.  I had to sprint out the door and to the bank before they closed for the weekend to grab some cash so I wouldn’t be completely without purchasing power.

And now the big question…  How the hell are they getting my information?

I don’t think it’s my home computers, because I have strong anti-virus and I never really check my bank information on them.

I do occasionally check my account on the wi-fi at Whole Foods on my iPhone, but I don’t purchase anything while connected to it.  So my card info isn’t ever entered and therefore shouldn’t be at risk.

I suppose I could have been RFID scanned somewhere, but they didn’t get my work card and that would seem like the first priority to forge.

I looked over the logs of things I’d purchased with both cards and only two matched.

Salata and Magic Online.

The Salata thing seems unlikely, since my brother also buys his lunch there often and he’s not having card theft issues.  But MTGO?  That one seems a more likely culprit.  Because when purchasing tickets from their “secure” client I have to enter my name, card number, expiration date and the security key.

So here we are.

nocardwalletPurchasing Power[less]

I guess I’ll start utilizing PayPal for my MTGO purchases and see if that makes a difference.  Because I can’t honestly think of another way my information is getting harvested…



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