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This story has a little bit of history, so excuse me while I start.
On the 27th of December 2002, I came back to my flat after having visited my parents over the Christmas to find a voice mail from my bank regarding my credit card. Thinking this was going to be about the fact I hadn't received a new card despite the old one running out in 4 days time, I called them up, quoting the reference code in the message. "There's been a block put on your card after some suspcious activity," I was told. Uh, oh...
Well, to cut a long story short, I'm another number in the statistic of credit card fraud, as some git managed to create a fake card and was using it on a spending spree round Aberdeen. I'm not sure how they managed to fake it, as I can't remember it being out of my sight for long enough for them to copy the details.
In any event, they'd run up roughly £4,500 of charges in the space of a month, mainly at Argos and Mothercare. There had also been a couple of splurges at Game and a few Safeways bills, including petrol, so the git must have had a car.
Well, I went through the process of identifying which were my transactions (not a lot) and which were the fake ones (quite a few) over the phone after blocking the card completely and getting a new card arranged. Luckily, the bank take this as a loss so I don't have to pay up the money.
Anyways, fast forward a week or so and I get a letter from the bank. Ah, this will be about the card fraud. Nope.
"GOOD NEWS! YOUR CREDIT LIMIT HAS BEEN INCREASED."
"I am pleased to inform you that the credit limit on your Halifax Credit Card account has been increased to £6,500. This increase is in recognition of the way you manage your account..."
Obviously, "managing" your account means spending more in the space of a month than you have over the previous year...
The coup de resistance was the closing sentence:
I do hope you will find this extra spending power usefulI'm sure someone did...
Final note: despite the irony of this letter, Halifax were pretty good about the whole thing and managed to process everything with the minimum fuss to myself and I can't fault them. Pity they hadn't flagged it up a little earlier, though...
Update 4/4/03: Someone has pointed out that someone may have intercepted my card on delivery and started using it. Certainly, I never received the replacement card which should have been due in December but never arrived; as the spending started at the beginning of December, it seems possible that's what they did rather than create a fake card.
File last modified: Saturday, 06-Mar-2004 14:12:10 GMT