How closely do you monitor your credit card statement? We’ve all done it, we keep track in our head of how much we’ve spent, we receive our bill, glance at the total, glance at the minimum payment and then we write a check (or pay online). Afterwards we file the bill or throw it on the pile with the rest of the mail, or shred it, or what have you. If this sounds familiar, then you might want to change the way you’re viewing your credit card statements.
For the majority of credit card holders, the easiest way to spot fraud is either a) get a call from the credit card company about ‘unusual activity’ or b) to notice a large purchase on your bill that doesn’t look familiar. ICH Services is the newest credit card scheme to come to light, and in order to catch them, you might have to take a second glance at your statement. ICH Services is an anonymous credit card fraud group that has been charging innocent customers on their credit cards.
ICH Services in Pittsburgh, PA (who are not responsible for the credit card fraud) unfortunately had their name used as a cover by this anonymous group. The amount charged by ICH Services (most often $9.85) has always been under $10.00, a charge that many credit card holders will simply overlook, and will appear on the statement as ‘ICH Services’. Upon reviewing your statement, if you find that you have a fraudulent charge from ICH Services, it is suggested that you contact your credit card company immediately so that they can take fraud prevention action.
It has been interesting to see how identity theft and credit card fraud have progressed over the years. The internet has opened up a whole new avenue for identity theft and has left a lot of people with nothing but problems. As a card carrier, I have had personal experience in credit card fraud but (thankfully) never with identity theft. The first credit card fraud experience was actually with my parent’s credit card about 5 years ago. We aren’t exactly sure when it happened, but it was most likely at a restaurant where we went out to eat. Upon Paying for the meal, one of the employees must have stolen all of the information off of the card and sold it to someone else. That someone made a duplicate copy of the card so that someone else could use it.
We didn’t find out about the fraud until the credit card company called. They started by asking if any of us had traveled to China lately. My parents were like…China? Apparently the duplicate copy was being used (very frequently) in China, the user had racked up thousands of dollars in credit card purchases. We couldn’t believe it! Fortunately we had fraud protection on the card so we didn’t lose any money, but it was unbelievable to see just how easy it is to steal credit card information.
My other personal experience with credit card fraud was much more recent. I am an avid eBayer, therefore I put my PayPal account to good use; I even have a PayPal plus credit card that allows me to get rewards towards eBay purchases. One day I was online looking at my credit card statement when I noticed a purchase equaling $150.00 that I didn’t make. It was to an art store located in San Francisco. I called PayPal and reported the charge, they instantly gave me my money back (which made me very happy) but I honestly don’t know what ever happened to the person who charged the card. I went through an intricate process of changing my information and my passwords on PayPal so that the individual couldn’t get into my account again, but nothing ever happened beyond that.
The only lesson that can be learned here is to be more careful with your personal information; its hard to believe that a secure site like PayPal was breeched, but at least in that instance I was able to get my money back. Purchasing on the Internet is so much easier than visiting stores, but before you type in that credit card information, be sure that the site is secure and that you have protection against credit card fraud. In the mean time, check those statements more carefully; keep an eye out for ICH Services as well as any other fraudulent charges. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.