A Cautionary Tale

By - June 3, 2019

Last weekend I was traveling with my daughter’s softball team, as I do most weekends. This particular weekend we found ourselves in Hagerstown, Maryland. With a full schedule, we rarely have time to go out for a nice meal, often settling for pizza or fast food. But since we arrived the night before, we sought out a place for a nice meal. After a quick search of nearby options, we settled on a small seafood restaurant with outdoor seating. We enjoyed our meal and dessert and paid with a credit card. We then checked into our hotel and enjoyed the rest of our weekend without ever using the credit card again.

Upon our return, I received an alert from my credit card company of a potential fraudulent charge. A phone call to the company confirmed a 61 cent charge was made without my knowledge through a spa booking website. I thought it was odd only 61 cents was charged, but apparently criminals will make a small charge that can easily go unnoticed before making more expensive charges. I was told my credit card account must be closed immediately, and a new card would be issued in seven to ten days.

ID 12300353 © Yukchong Kwan | Dreamstime.com

When I travel, I usually bring a small amount of cash and only one credit card. If we had stayed just one more night, I would not have had a credit card to pay the hotel bill, and I don’t normally carry that much cash on me. I would have been in quite a predicament.

So my advice is to be careful while traveling, check your credit card bill regularly for unusual charges, and have a back-up!

— Tracey Cullen, art director

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