Monday, March 15, 2010


The other day I got an email I hoped I would never get:


It's important that we speak with you.
Please call us at 1-800-427-9428.

With your assistance, we would like to verify some potentially suspicious activity that we have detected on your MASTERCARD PLATINUM account ending in XXXX. We want to ensure that all charges have been authorized by you. In order to avoid any inconvenience it is very important that we speak with you. Please call us at 1-800-427-9428 as soon as possible.

Yup, my credit card was hacked. There were a half dozen random charges on my card that had clearly not been made by me. Besides the random charges I'm sure the activity was suspicious since I've only used my card about a half dozen times in the last two years, let alone two day.

I'd like to send a big Ahoy Hanoi thank you to Capital One for canceling my card. I'd like to send a big Ahoy Hanoi F-U to whoever hacked my card. Not cool!

The irony in this is that last week I had two visitors in town (a friend of a friend and my friend's brother). My friend's brother asked me if anyone takes credit cards in Hanoi. While explaining that a few places will take credit cards, I took mine out to look at the expiration date. I was happy to see that the date was a year away. This was comforting to me because my driver's license and ATM card are about to expire. Well, now that Capital One canceled my card I'm sort of plastic free for a few weeks. If I was in America this would be a big deal. However, in a cash country this doesn't make me stress at all.


your mother said...

Just your mother stresses :(

Anonymous said...

My instinct says that sounds like a phishing scam, like those "compromised Paypal account" e-mail. You live overseas though where your bank can't call you, so I'm guessing you know what's real and what's fake.

My credit card info was stolen a year or so ago and my bank called me, "Er...did you make some charges in Tulsa, Oklahoma?". That was an unfortunate morning.

Nigerian Prince said...

Sorry Ben, it was me that stole your credit card number. I have a large inheritance stuck in a bank here in Nigeria. I only needed $2000 for fees and surcharges to access the 2 billion dollars that my family left to me. I already charged that money to your card so I will split my inheritance with you.

Please send me your social security number so I can send you a 1099/w2.

mom again said...

I really laughed at the Nigerian Prince and wonder which one of your buddies gets the credit. I actually stopped a scam like that at a patient's home when the scammer called while I was there and she was about to give the info. Her son is a police chief and even she didn't recognize the thievery.

Benjamin said...

Good comments! At first I thought the email might have been a scam but I went online and indeed there was a freeze on my account. I'm pretty sure that having my credit card stolen was just pure randomness. I figure there is a computer somewhere running through digits until they come up with one that works...or something like that. Regardless, it should hopefully be all over now.

Anonymous said...

Net Nanny says: Don't click any strange links in e-mails, kids! They have cooties.

(Really though, I like your blog, I check it every day =).)