First Sign Of A Compromised Credit Card?


How many times have you had one of your credit or debit cards compromised? Recently, I had two skimmed at an ATM in Rio de Janeiro (read more here).


I received the above message from HSBC yesterday and thought “here we go again”. The airlines usually first ping the card with a small amount to see if it is good before putting the actual charge through.

The problem is that I have never used this card with Delta and rarely make any online travel purchases using it. I do swipe it quite often and I would assume that some hotel employee on my recent travels in South Africa or Mauritius decided to make extra money on the side by selling the card number.

Many of my other cards use Verified by Visa, Mastercard SecureCode or American Express SafeKey. This HSBC Premier Mastercard, however, only sends you a text after every “card not present” authorization.


No fraudulent charge has come through yet. However I need to monitor the card activity for the next few days to see if there is indeed an airline ticket purchase coming through from Delta.

These fraudulent card charges are really an inconvenience for someone who travels a lot. The replacement cards for the Rio breach have arrived but I won’t get them before early June. If this HSBC card is indeed compromised, the earliest I’ll see a replacement in my hands is sometime in July.

Some of my memorable experiences… I was once in Miami with a credit card in my pocket and someone was making stone purchases with it in Beirut.  Then there was the time I was somewhere in Latin America when one of my cards was being used to repeatedly pump gas at a station in Atlanta.