Today I’d like to highlight a problem that especially frequent travelers, unfortunately, have to deal with every now and then and that’s credit card fraud.
This week I got an email from Chase that there was a suspicious transaction on my Sapphire Reserve card and when I checked out the merchant via Google search it was indeed nothing that I had personally authorized or on auto-pay.
I was especially surprised about this because I’m carrying this card for almost five years now and this was the first time I ever had some fraudulent charge on it.
Chase is usually very good at detecting out of the ordinary transactions and I often get reconfirmation emails when I’m on a cruise ship and ask the front desk to pre-authorize larger amounts of $8k-10k due to the casino transactions throughout the week. Normally these never clear on the first attempt, I have to wait for the fraud check email to arrive, confirm the transaction, and then it goes through.
Here is the fraud detection email I received from Chase yesterday morning (Bangkok time):
I tried to call Chase rather than doing this online, knowing it would trigger a new card to be sent to my UPS mailbox in the U.S. but the department was closed and only reopened at 7am Eastern Time.
Having a fraud department of a major bank not available on a 24/7 basis is a poor experience and while I’m otherwise quite happy with Chase, this is not ok.
I could have asked them not to ship the card to the mailing address on file but to ship it overseas. Instead the lock of the card automatically locked the existing one and generated a new CSR to be shipped.
Since there was nothing I could do about it I decided to at least check the transactions online if there is anything else that could be suspicious.
I only found this one transaction that was initially in the notification. Although the agent later confirmed that there was apparently a second transaction that was also from a website that sells tickets to tourist attractions.
Eventually, I called Chase in the morning and got to talk to someone in the Fraud Department. They checked a couple of transactions with me and then also arranged for a replacement card to be shipped here to Bangkok. Although I have a friend coming over in 10 days but you never know if the snail mail replacement card arrived in time for him to pick it up from the UPS store.
Chase is going to FedEx me a card and it should arrive within the week so all good. I also liked that the agent did verify the address of my residence I gave her with a live google search to make sure there is nothing dodgy going on.
Both Chase and Amex are very helpful with things like this. They also offer a worldwide express replacement free of charge. Contrary to my German Commerzbank card where I was charged 25 Euro for shipping to Asia last year. Needless to say, I wasn’t happy about this.
I had to deal with a credit card fraud case this week as my Chase Sapphire Reserve card got compromised and someone purchased admissions to tourist attractions. There have been a bunch if data hacks and leaks in the past year, I also got quite a few alerts that “personal data was available on the dark net” through my privacy watch software. I’m using the CSR card so much it’s pretty much impossible to pinpoint where it got compromised.
Chase was quick to detect the transaction, dealt with it professionally and will express me a new card to Thailand this week. I was surprised though that their Fraud Department is closed at night and therefore nobody is able to provide a 24/7 support to customers for these cases. What if this had been an emergency and I don’t have any other cards?
Have you ever required a credit card replacement while staying overseas?