WTF is happening with my credit card?
December 6, 2011 1:52 PM   Subscribe

My credit card statement shows two charges made online to Microsoft Store. The charges were reversed (credited back) two days later. The net effect on the credit card balance is zero, but I'm freaking out about it anyway. The Microsoft Store people were able to tell me that it was for a download version of Office and the email address used was wmp@commerce5.com. I don't recognize this email address. Can anyone venture a guess what's going on? There have been no other fraudulent charges on the credit card in years. And I find the fact that the charges were reversed, apparently by the person who made the charges initially, creepy beyond belief. The credit card was Discover and the charges were made on Thanksgiving Day, if it matters.
posted by DrGail to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
This is a common tactic to test the validity of a card - make an innocuous purchase that wouldn't raise red flags.

Insist that the card be canceled and a new number issued.
posted by odinsdream at 1:54 PM on December 6, 2011 [7 favorites]


Yeah, you have almost nothing to lose by requesting a new card
posted by Patbon at 1:58 PM on December 6, 2011


Yep. New card. Let Discover know immediately.
posted by Hylas at 1:59 PM on December 6, 2011


I had a similar unexplained charge from the Microsoft Store on my card once, although in that case it was only a temporary authorization that was never actually charged at all. Shortly after that there was another unexplained $800 charge for a camera lens from a random website, so presumably the Microsoft Store charge was a test like odinsdream said. I posted about it in a previous AskMe if you want more details, otherwise I agree that you should report the transaction to your credit card company and get a new card number.
posted by burnmp3s at 2:00 PM on December 6, 2011


Call Discover immediately, cancel the card and replace it.
posted by Faint of Butt at 2:02 PM on December 6, 2011


The last time my credit card number got stolen my cc issuer notified me. After going through recent charges they cancelled it and replaced it for free. Discover should be completely cool with it, just make sure to let them know you want a new card due to the circumstances. Likely you will need to run through some of the recent purchases. Overall 15 minutes, and time well spent now rather than later.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 2:05 PM on December 6, 2011


Nthing canceling the card and having a new one issued. You may want to pull your credit reports as well, just to be on the safe side. I had a similar thing happen to me last month; when I reported it to the police they told me that the best thing you can do is cancel the card and get your credit report.
posted by Janta at 2:32 PM on December 6, 2011


Thanks everyone. I just cancelled the card, and I'm about due to check the credit reports anyway.
posted by DrGail at 2:38 PM on December 6, 2011


Tip--if you file a fraud alert with the 3 credit bureaus, you'll get to check your credit report for free.
posted by liketitanic at 3:06 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


(liketitanic and anyone who is unaware- You don't need to file a fraud alert to get a free credit report. Each of the three major companies (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian) will give you one free report a year. Sites like freecreditreport.com are basically scams which require you to enroll in a pay service and conveniently never mention that there are actual free credit reports available.)
posted by catatethebird at 4:35 PM on December 6, 2011


AnnualCreditReport.com is the "official" site, run by the three major credit bureaus, for obtaining your free reports. As catatethebird said, FreeCreditReport.com and other places which advertise are basically scams.

I'm not necessarily sure that having your credit card number stolen necessarily indicates that any of your other information has been compromised, but I suppose pulling your credit report and checking won't hurt.

I'd be more interested in looking at the recent transactions on the credit card in question to make sure that nothing else has been charged that's fishy. If you can live without the card for a few days while the new one is being sent out, I'd ask Discover to put the current credit card on "hot card" status, and cut it up. That will guarantee that nothing else will get charged to your account. It would suck to get hit with charges that you have to mess with between now and when you get the new card in your hands. (Note that they may do this automatically as part of issuing the new card. Not sure what Discover's policy is.)
posted by Kadin2048 at 4:54 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]




(liketitanic and anyone who is unaware- You don't need to file a fraud alert to get a free credit report. Each of the three major companies (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian) will give you one free report a year. Sites like freecreditreport.com are basically scams which require you to enroll in a pay service and conveniently never mention that there are actual free credit reports available.)


Yes, but if you've already gotten your free ones that year, you can get another with a fraud alert.
posted by liketitanic at 11:15 AM on December 8, 2011


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