Credit Card Fraud


bill itunes

Yesterday a friend shared a story with me how her credit card was fraudulently used for online purchases. She always tracks her credit card transactions, so when some unknown charges came up, she could act fast and block the card before further damages were done.

When she called the bank to ask about the charges, she was told that they were apps purchases at iTunes store. She started to get suspicious because the only time she used it was buying an app for her niece a few months ago. Her niece might have purchased apps without knowing that these purchases would be charged to her aunt’s credit card account. 

After checking with her niece, her suspicion was confirmed. She had bought some apps from iTunes store thinking that they were free because they were featured in Apps Gone Free. Well, they were only free for a day, not forever!

Since the amount of credit card charges were not too big, my friend paid the credit card charges in full and asked the bank to replace her card, instead of disputing the charge. Sometimes disputing the charge can cost more than simply paying the balance. (You can read my story here)   

What can we learn from this incident?

  • Track your credit card expenses 
  • Get your bank to notify you for any credit card expenses above a certain amount (you can set the amount yourself). The notification is usually sent by SMS just a few seconds after the transaction occurs.
  • Do not leave your credit card detail saved on website or online store. It may be inconvenient to enter your credit card detail for every transaction, but it is definitely safer, especially if you have youngsters using your gadgets. 

Do you have any similar experience or want to give more tips? Please share in the comments.

Learn and Grow!

Inge Santoso, B Com, CFP®

Credit Card Fraud Incident

Last month when I checked my credit card statement, I was quite surprised to see an unrecognized transaction. It was a purchase in Jakarta by the amount of Rp. 500,000. I was sure that it was a fraudulent purchase because of several reasons:

  • I was in Jogja on that particular day. I was having coffee in Starbucks Jogja and the credit card statement clearly stated that I had two transactions in Jogja that day.
  • I always keep track of all my expenses, no matter how small or trivial it is.
  • I rarely used that particular card because it was an additional card issued by the bank. I only used the card once when I bought something from the bank catalogue the month before. At first I suspected that they double billed me on that transaction because the amount was the same, but the bank said that it wasn’t.
  • The card was brand new because my sister just brought it home from Jakarta that weekend.

I called the bank’s customer service and I was advised to block the card and got it replaced, costing me Rp. 50,000. Then they also said that I could get the detail of the transaction so that I could be sure that it was not my transaction, costing me another Rp. 30,000. Since I was convinced that it was not my transaction I followed their advice. I thought if it was really a fraudulent transaction then I could save Rp.420,000 (Rp.500,000 minus Rp 80,000).

I also decided to pay the credit card bill in full because I did not want them charging me interest if it turned out to be a valid transaction. I’d rather have the bank credited the amount back to me if it turned out to be legitimate.

Last week, I received a copy of the transaction slip. When I saw the signature, it surely was not mine but it looked familiar. Finally I recognized the signature, it was my sister’s!

Before lodging the complain to the bank, I’ve already asked my sister whether she ever used my credit card and she said she would never have used mine. I also asked her whether she recognized the name of the store and she said that she didn’t recognized the name. When I showed her the transaction slip, she also recognized her signature. Finally after asking her secretary to search through all her credit card receipts, she found the original slip. It turned out she mistakenly used my credit card because she put my new credit card in her wallet because she was afraid of losing it if she put it in her bag. She took out the wrong credit card when she paid a deposit for her gown.

Yesterday I called the bank to inform them that I wanted to withdraw the complain about that transaction because I already knew what happened. They said that they’d charge me Rp. 80,000 for the cost of card replacement and detail enquiry.

How did I feel about this? First, I was slightly embarrassed because I was so convinced that it was the bank’s fault, yet at the end it turned out to me our own mistake. Second, I was quite annoyed with my sister because she didn’t keep a good record her transactions, otherwise she would’ve known when I asked her the first time. Third, I was upset because I had to pay Rp.80,000 to find out.


  1. Keep a complete record of all your transactions, especially credit card transactions because it will be very helpful in case your credit card is used by other people.
  2. Make sure that you check the name on the card before using it to avoid mistakenly using your sibling’s card.

Learn and Grow!

Inge Santoso