Saturday, January 06, 2007

My bank is on the ball

I got a call from the fraud department of my bank this morning, asking me whether I had used my debit card this morning at The Sports Basement in San Francisco for a $71.00 charge. I said that I hadn't, and they said there was a debit prenotification, which they've seen as a prelude to withdrawals from around the globe using cloned cards or electronic access to accounts. They had already blocked further use of my card information, and under my banking agreement I would not be liable for any loss in any case.

When I asked how my information got out, they indicated that they believe the miscreants are just using brute force--changing numbers based on a known card to find new valid card numbers. The only alternative I could see based on my card habits would be if I inadvertently used an ATM with a skimmer attached to the front of it somewhere or fell victim to an ATM with a tapped phone line connection. I rarely use ATMs these days; this may provide me with some incentive to do so even less frequently.

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