American Express Financial Dilemma

American Express Financial Fraud

What was my American Express financial problem? I was a credit card fraud victim, prompting my association with the financial professionals from Amex, who fortunately solved my problem.

Credit Card Protection Tools

What took place is why I like their credit protection tools and, if you feel you should use a credit card safely, follow this simple credit protecting recommendation:

Get one of the many cards in the American Express Financial Family offered. At least that use to be my recommendation before taking Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University course.

Credit Card Fraud Victim

I noticed my monthly American Express financial statement had some entries I did not recognize. Most were purchases at a specific gas station at first, but then other gas stations began to show up as well.

I decided to check some previous statements to see if there were any other purchases that were not mine. Sure enough, the previous month's statement showed the same pattern of unauthorized credit card purchases -- all were in even dollar amounts that were more than a tank of gas would cost.

Credit Card Fraud Troubleshooting

Now the financial fraud strategy that unfolded made me an extremely satisfied American Express customer. In fact, my association with financial professionals was very delightful and profitable.

I called the number listed on my bill and talked to one of the consumer representatives whose goal was to solve problem.

In fact, their approach was to prompt me to diligently search for other charges I may have missed that were not originated by me or my wife.

Effective Financial Reporting Consultant

Good customer service wins customer confidence every time! They actually treated me as if "the customer is always right!".

The courtesy of this financial reporting consultant caused me to be a very satisfied customer.

Dynamic Financial Content

On the American Express financial website I found some dynamic financial content providing information for fraud protection.

An article entitled "Fraud Protection tools and services from American Express" is an example of some of the free financial advice available.

I was relieved to learn that obviously credit card fraud is a financial concern that American Express takes seriously.

Whenever someone obtains your credit card account number, and then uses it to make fraudulent purchases, you end up owing the bill if you are not alert to what is happening.

Consumer Fraud Possibilities

I had not lost my card, nor had it been stolen. Here is how we think my American Express financial dilemma took place.

Gasoline purchases on my American Express bill were always entered by me at the pump, with no individual actually handling the card.

Here are how the fraudulent activity possibilities that could have taken place:

  • Perhaps a dishonest store clerk made an extra imprint of my card
  • Maybe a thief obtained my account number and expiration date from a discarded receipt
  • Another common trick is that someone pretending to be a telemarketer might ask for my card number with the stated intention of entering me in a contest
  • One growing problem is that a restaurant cashier could have swiped my card in a small handheld device known as a skimmer, which copies the information, which includes my PIN, in order to make a counterfeit copy.
  • A card reading device was placed on the gas pump or even on an ATM that copies the user information and passes it on to the fraud perpetrators, all without the card owners knowledge.

Identity Theft Precautions

American Express Fraud Division's challenge is that we learn more regarding how credit card fraud operators work.

Following are some of the tactics credit card fraud thieves use.

Identity theft is a type of fraud in which someone uses your name and personal information to open new accounts, and then makes fraudulent purchases. There are a number of ways your identity can be stolen:

  • Discarded bills, bank statements, insurance notices, and other documents that have your address, account numbers, Social Security number, and other personal information can be used to hijack your identity and open accounts in your name.
  • Pre-approved credit card offers that you have discarded (or that a thief intercepts in your mail) can be used by those who steal your identity.

    American Express Financial Resolution

    Yes, there was resolution to the credit card fraud perpetrated on me.  In fact a "sting" was setup to catch the thieves over the next few months.  I was not the only victim and eventually there were several arrests.  Unfortunately there will be other schemes to defraud credit card victims.  At least, in my financial fraud situation, the credit card company made right all that had been stolen from my account.