Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Wrong number yields big charge

DEAR HARRY: When I got my most recent credit card statement, I noticed that the first charge was for $311 at a restaurant in Ocean City. I have never even heard of this place, so I could not have been there. I figured that someone stole my credit card info or my identity. I immediately called the credit card bank and told them what happened. They responded (after about three minutes) that this was an error on their part. Apparently, the charge belonged to a number similar to mine that got garbled in the recording of the information. They sent me an email immediately confirming this. Do I take their word for this, or should I take further action?


WHAT HARRY SAYS: This situation is very rare, but it does happen. Keep your eyes wide open for any other items you did not charge. If it does happen again, treat it like stolen identity. Ask your card issuer to change your card numbers and accept no more charges on that card without notifying you first (this allows legitimate recent charges to be processed). Have your new card monitored for any large purchases.

Check your credit reports regularly through the year by going to annualcreditreport.com (not freecreditreport.com). Be very wary of anyone who tries to get your Social Security number or other personal information by impersonating a legitimate organization like your bank.


Email Harry Gross at harrygrossDN@gmail.com, or write to him at Daily News, 801 Market St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19107. Harry urges all his readers to give blood. Contact the American Red Cross at 800-Red-Cross.

Harry Gross Daily News Personal Finance Columnist
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