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Old 10-09-2010, 07:50 AM   #41
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Looks like they need to improve their internal communication....
Probably. I had a thread on this sometime ago, but a couple of years ago I decided to apply for a PF cc due to all the positive post about the company on here. When I applied, they decided they needed 3 years of tax returns and other info before they could come to a decision. I told them to forget it. Two weeks later when I logged on to take a look at the rest of my account, there was a message that I was automatically approved for various loans and a credit card. And the cc line was for 3 times for the amount I had originally applied for.

Oh well, I doubt if they are the only one's to have problems like these.
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Old 10-09-2010, 10:19 AM   #42
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I have had about one fraud issue every two years no matter what credit card I am using and they are caught by the fraud departments and "handled" without issue -- I figure it as part of the price of doing business using a CC . I t has never negatively effected me long term or caused much frustration.
Weird... I have never ever had fraud issues on any of my credit cards... I don't use many but normally have had 2-3-4 at any one time activated.

I am sure some of it is just luck, but maybe it's also because of some usage patterns? (E.g. I never use them on websites I have not researched or on flea markets, etc... not saying that you do, just my guesses as to the example usages that might compromise the cards)
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Old 10-21-2010, 08:45 AM   #43
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Well there you go, REWahoo--I got my call this morning from PenFed. A 9 cent charge for a charitable contribution logged at 7:30am that flagged the fraud department.

New cards on the way and I'll be calling them to talk about my prior statements. I guess I'm glad they caught the transaction. But of course, all cards in our possession, etc.
Makes me wonder how the card number was obtained?
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Old 10-21-2010, 09:10 AM   #44
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Makes me wonder how the card number was obtained?
Here's my best guess:

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... I did see information on the PenFed website recently (gone now) about a 'security breach' by a third party processor.
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Old 10-21-2010, 09:41 AM   #45
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Nice. Well, you figure no one is immune. I am glad that they tripped the fraud alarm. PITA to wait for new cards and deal with the prior statement business.
Fortunately, I seem to only buy things for the boat and concert tickets with my credit card, so not much to track.
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Old 10-21-2010, 11:35 AM   #46
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Makes me wonder how the card number was obtained?
Every time you use a card (edit to add: and it generally does not matter who the merchant is) the information travels through several networks and into and out of several computers and is stored in several different places. The network traffic is supposed to be encrypted (google "PCI"), as is most data at rest. While the information is being processed in computers it may be "in the clear", or unencrypted. Trusted individuals have access to the card information in these computers, and can collect it sell it later. Despite audits and stringent change management in data centers, theft is still possible.

Just because you can't actually see the bits and bytes in a computer, that doesn't mean that a skilled person cannot capture that information. A formal application of this is called digital forensics, although df is used in more of an investigative role.

A lot of this theft occurs in data centers where the thief has access to a lot of data.

Systems programmers are required to be able to look at only the contents of a failed computer system (more likely only a subsystem) and determine why the system failed. These are called storage dumps, and in the olden days were literally reams of paper with seemingly endless strings of hexadecimal digits representing four times as many binary digits (zeros and ones). All the zeros and ones represent computer instructions, control blocks, and data. Believe it or not it is usually possible to reach a valid conclusion with enough work -- at least very few of them beat me. I have solved probably hundreds of CICS dumps (google if you wish) , many in credit card authorization systems. All the data is in there, names, addresses, ssn's, card numbers, expiration dates, everything they have on you. But nobody is gleaning card information from storage dumps. This was an illustration that just because your data is in a computer it doesn't mean that a human can't capture and interpret it.
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Old 10-21-2010, 11:43 AM   #47
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Well, you figure no one is immune.
This could not be more true.
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Old 10-21-2010, 11:50 AM   #48
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Thank you for the explanation, Rustward. I guess it is human nature to worry that I did something to expose my, er, data, to the criminals.
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Old 10-21-2010, 12:51 PM   #49
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Thank you for the explanation, Rustward. I guess it is human nature to worry that I did something to expose my, er, data, to the criminals.
Most of us expose our data when we hand over our card in restaurants for payment although that has stopped now in the UK for the past few years, and when in Canada recently we found 2 or 3 restaurants who were doing something similar - bringing a handheld device to the table so you swipe the card and authorize the payment without the card leaving your possession.
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Old 10-21-2010, 04:01 PM   #50
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Odds are that the small charge was a thief testing the validity of the card, s/he didn't want a rejection when it was presented for a significant charge as it would call attention to the transaction.

Here is my cc story: the Friday before my daughter's wedding she charged her reception for about 100 & wedding party accommodations at the the Sainte Claire in San Jose, a couple items at Nordstrom, then had her car washed. She no sooner returned from the car wash than the fraud folks from the cc called to ask if she had charged anything at Montgomery Ward (oh did they have her shopping profile nailed!). Ah, "No", she said. They immediately turned off the account and arranged for her to pick up a new card at a bank on the following day. They needed the card for the honeymoon and daughter is a very good customer.

Everyone concluded that an employee of the car wash was the culprit.
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Old 11-28-2010, 06:08 PM   #51
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I got a call asking about a charge to my Penfed Visa this weekend -- someone in France tried to charge just under $500 to my card. I was told that the person actually had a credit card with my number that they attempted to use (in person) at a building supply store. This is my first issue with any credit card in the 30+ years that I have been using them. Guess it is not such a big deal other than the hassle of not having the card to use for a few days -- will have to dust off my old Chase Rewards card that has been inactive for a year or two.
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Old 12-23-2010, 03:45 PM   #52
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When I started this thread in early October, one of my biggest complaints was when my CC account number was changed (fraudulent charges) I lost the ability to see past statement history online. I complained to PenFed about this in a series of emails saying they encouraged folks to opt for e-statements but no way was I going to do so if I ran the chance of losing access to them. They did agree after a couple of complaints to send me paper copies of all my past statements for the year on the closed account.

Today when I logged into PenFed to check my CC activity, I noticed they'd added a new feature. I can now see my all old (closed) CC account statements online.

Thank you PenFed.


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Old 12-23-2010, 05:06 PM   #53
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When I complained about the same issue last month after my card was closed/replaced, they told me they were working on adding that feature very soon. They did send me all 2010 statements.

I also had a note on my account page today that they were issuing another Visa card in a few days and my current one (have had it for less than a month) would be closed as soon as I activated the new one. I'm wondering if they had another issue with information being lost or compromised? Anyone else have this message on your account today?
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Old 12-23-2010, 05:20 PM   #54
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I also had a note on my account page today that they were issuing another Visa card in a few days and my current one (have had it for less than a month) would be closed as soon as I activated the new one. I'm wondering if they had another issue with information being lost or compromised? Anyone else have this message on your account today?
I had the same message.

Note that it said:
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You may notice that you have been issued a new credit card account below.
I think the "may" is the operative factor in the statement. I saw no new account number, only my current and old numbers. My current card hasn't been canceled as I used it twice today after seeing the notice.

I'll bet the notice went to anyone who had a card reissued in the past and now suddenly has the ability to access their old statements online. You should get a phone call or email from the PenFed fraud folks before they change account numbers on you.
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Old 12-23-2010, 05:26 PM   #55
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We just received an e-mail stating that they will be sending a new cc and implicitly new numbers. They said to update any auto payments charged to our current card once we have the new card in hand.

This isn't cheap so I presume they have had a security breach.
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Old 12-23-2010, 05:55 PM   #56
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I had the same message.

Note that it said: I think the "may" is the operative factor in the statement. I saw no new account number, only my current and old numbers. My current card hasn't been canceled as I used it twice today after seeing the notice.

I'll bet the notice went to anyone who had a card reissued in the past and now suddenly has the ability to access their old statements online. You should get a phone call from the PenFed fraud folks before they change account numbers on you.
I had a third CC number listed, and they had already transferred all the current monthly charges to the new CC (that I have not received yet). I sent an email - the reply indicated that I could continue using my current replacement card until the new one was activated.

Not sure what is going on but at least my card worked today so guess I will get an explanation with the new CC. I received the call from the fraud folks on the previous replacement but no call this time.
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Old 12-26-2010, 02:00 PM   #57
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I got a call this morning that about some charges on my PenFed CC. There were 6 or 8 that weren't mine, from a couple of places in the US and a couple in Europe. I think all were online. So I'm getting a new CC number, but not in time for my trip in a couple of days. Luckily I've kept a second CC.

I had gone to the local Outback just before the fraud started, I wonder if the waiter grabbed the number, or if it was just hacked from some online store's vendor or something like that.
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Old 12-27-2010, 03:55 PM   #58
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I didn't get the call, but I just logged in and found, yes, I'm getting yet another new card in the mail. I guess I'm happy that at least I can access the old statements. This will be my second new card in less than six months.
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Old 12-27-2010, 04:15 PM   #59
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Getting a new one also.
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Old 12-27-2010, 04:23 PM   #60
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Not getting another new one (got one in October) but did get a call from the Penfed fraud folks earlier today. They wanted to verify a number of recent charges - all were legit.
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