I received a letter this afternoon from my VISA card member service department, letting me know that my "address change request has been processed." Trouble is, I didn't make any such request! The letter displayed my "old" (real/current) address, and fraudulent "new" address in Burien, WA. I logged into my account before calling customer service, and saw an $1,100+ charge at some paintball shop (presumably online, but I don't know) that posted last Friday, another $800+ charge at some sporting goods store today.
Couldn't get through to a real person right away when I called customer service, as the automated system didn't recognize my real zip code (for obvious reasons). Once I was transferred to the fraud department, the woman I spoke with was quick and to the point; cancelled my card and told me the charges would be reversed within the next 5-10 days. Done and done. Whole call took about three minutes.
What bothers me the most is that the fraud department can't say what information the thief provided to verify my identity in order to change the address on the card. Zip code? Phone number? Social security number? Obviously it makes a big difference to me whether the thief knows my social security number, but for whatever reason VISA doesn't track this in their system (I suggested they start).
So, just to be on the safe side, I've spent the last two hours changing and strengthening all of my online account passwords. I also set up my credit cards to send me an email when a new charge posts to my account. Lastly, I set up my main email account with "second sign-in verification," which requires anyone attempting to sign in to my email account on an unrecognized device to enter a numeric password that is sent to my phone via text message. I guess the only other thing I might do is sign up for some sort of identity theft protection service, but do I really want/need to spend $150-$200 a year for this? I don't think so...at least not yet.
Word of warning to the rest of you: keep an eye on your credit card statements and make sure you have strong passwords on all of your accounts!
P.S. - How was this thief planning on getting away with this? Hoping I wouldn't notice? Is the fake address he provided to VISA a neighbor? Was he just going to wait for his big box of paintball supplies to be delivered, and then attempt to steal it off of the porch? Pretty risky business, no?