Gold Declined for Fraud Protection Alert

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NYC_Dweller
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Gold Declined for Fraud Protection Alert

Postby NYC_Dweller » Mon Jun 06, 2011 12:19 am

Hello all,

Today my gold card was declined for the first time. This was not due to out of the ordinary spending habits but due to fraud protection.

I was at a gas station when this happened so it wasn't too embarrassing but overall a slight inconvenience. Within minutes Amex sent me an email notifying me that my card was declined due to fraud protection. This was great service but declining my card when no irregular activities or high dollar transaction occurred was a bit annoying.

I called Amex and the rep indicated that this does not happen often but transactions are randomly selected for fraud protection. According to the rep my card was also frozen awaiting my call. I would fully understand declining my card for high dollar transactions but for a $100 Exxon Mobile pre-authorization is a bit overkill in my book.

Like I mentioned this was not too embarrassing since I was just trying to get gas but if it got declined one transaction earlier I would have been extremely frustrated since I was conducting a business dinner.

Has anyone experienced a decline due to "fraud protection"? How often does this happen?


jeffysdad
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Postby jeffysdad » Mon Jun 06, 2011 7:37 am

It's infrequent but it does happen, sometimes for good reason. I've had unauthorized charges happen on a card that I had never even used before. The banks are really quick to shut down a card that's suspected of fraud. A lot of times, gas stations are the first venue where crooks attempt fraud because they don't have to interact with a clerk to use the card.

Always carry two cards, one as a backup, and you'll be fine. Also, make sure the bank has all of your phone numbers, especially cell.
American Express: Blue Cash Preferred (groceries, 6%; gas, department store, 3%); Gold Delta SkyMiles (Delta Air Lines, 2 miles/dollar, free checked bag).
US Bank: Cash+ (utilities, phone, internet, restaurant, 5%; drugstores, 2%).
FIA Card Services: Fidelity Amex (everything, 2%); Fidelity Visa (everything, 1.5%).
Chase: Freedom (rotating, 5%); Amazon (Amazon.com, 3%); PriorityClub (IHG hotels, 5 points/dollar); Sapphire (not in use).

*All cards are registered with PriorityClub IDine program for 8 points/dollar at participating restaurants.

DoingHomework
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Postby DoingHomework » Mon Jun 06, 2011 11:14 am

Also, gas stations have become a target of thieves who install actual hardware on the pump to get your card information. Usually the devices are discovered by the station within a few hours but by then the customers are gone and they cannot easily be contacted.

There was a news story on locally where I live recently that showed the devices. They just look like an extension of the card reader. It's not something you would necessarily notice. A station owner would but the average clerk that never looks at the pumps would be oblivious.

So, I suspect there will be more scrutiny on gas station charges in the future..

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danpass
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Postby danpass » Mon Jun 06, 2011 1:43 pm

I process cc's (primarily over the phone, get sigs later) for our particular business model. It seems to me that Amex cards get fraud protected twice as often as MC/V. I haven't actually done the numbers lol.

Since I know that this is the most likely reason for the decline my CS friendly approach is to tell my client it "has been declined and that this is normally a fraud protection situation. Just go ahead and call them and I'll reprocess"

NYC_Dweller
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Postby NYC_Dweller » Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:05 am

Update -

I must say that Amex's fraud protection team is great but may be a little excessive. When my card was declined at the gas station I called them back that night to sort everything out.

The very next morning I missed a call from Amex at 8:20am. I got a voice mail from them indicating my card has been flagged for fraud. Being that I missed their call Amex called my wife (cell) requesting if I was available and that my card has been flagged. I told my wife that fraud protection story and that I'll contact them once I'm done with my meetings at work. An hour later I get a call from my father saying that Amex is trying to reach me.

I may understand how Amex was able to get my wife's cell number but obtaining my parents number is questionable. I moved out of my parents more than 10 years ago. In my opinion this is a bit overkill and excessive for a $100 pre-authorization for $30.00 worth of gas.

Keep in mind that I did not provide any contact information to Amex other than my own.

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danpass
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Postby danpass » Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:51 am

When setting up an account I was pretty surprised when going thru the security checks for things like CreditKarma that they ask me some things (multiple choice) of stuff I have. I understand the old addresses but they asked what car I've had/have even.

Made me wonder about privacy lol.

jeffysdad
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Postby jeffysdad » Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:51 am

That is excessive and out of order. I would complain.
American Express: Blue Cash Preferred (groceries, 6%; gas, department store, 3%); Gold Delta SkyMiles (Delta Air Lines, 2 miles/dollar, free checked bag).
US Bank: Cash+ (utilities, phone, internet, restaurant, 5%; drugstores, 2%).
FIA Card Services: Fidelity Amex (everything, 2%); Fidelity Visa (everything, 1.5%).
Chase: Freedom (rotating, 5%); Amazon (Amazon.com, 3%); PriorityClub (IHG hotels, 5 points/dollar); Sapphire (not in use).

*All cards are registered with PriorityClub IDine program for 8 points/dollar at participating restaurants.

NYC_Dweller
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Postby NYC_Dweller » Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:30 pm

I called Amex to see how they got a hold of my wife's and parents information. This is what I was told:

"We take fraud and customer protection very serious. We were able to gather your information through public records since contacting you was a priority."

I told them that contacting my wife is understandable but contacting my parents is excessive especially since they are seniors and I don't want them to be bothered with unnecessary phone calls.

The representative said he will make a note so my parents number will not be contacted.

Talk about invasion of privacy!

n777ua
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Postby n777ua » Tue Jun 07, 2011 6:49 pm

Every single time I travel to NYC, my Amex Gold gets shut off for fraud protection. It always happens at the same place too...when I swipe it in a taxi. Doesn't matter if I call before the trip, I can almost count on it. (Usually the 3rd taxi ride will do it)

I use our gold card for everything, from small purchases to purchases in the hundreds of dollars...idk how a $20 cab ride does it...but it does.

And yes, on one occasion they called my mothers house...I haven't lived there in 11 years and her number is unlisted.

NYC_Dweller
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Postby NYC_Dweller » Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:31 pm

n777ua wrote:Every single time I travel to NYC, my Amex Gold gets shut off for fraud protection. It always happens at the same place too...when I swipe it in a taxi. Doesn't matter if I call before the trip, I can almost count on it. (Usually the 3rd taxi ride will do it)

I use our gold card for everything, from small purchases to purchases in the hundreds of dollars...idk how a $20 cab ride does it...but it does.

And yes, on one occasion they called my mothers house...I haven't lived there in 11 years and her number is unlisted.


According to the rep that I spoke to Amex pulls public records if they can't get a hold of you.



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