My Debit Card Number was Stolen

Last week, I checked our bank account as I balanced the budget like I do each week. There were two pending charges from Apple iTunes, each was $149.

When I saw those charges, I knew something was up. Nate & I are very good about communicating with each other when it comes to finances. We have a strict budget that we both follow, but if we need to vary something, we discuss it. I called Nate and he confirmed he had not purchased anything from iTunes lately. Neither had I. And certainly not to the tune of $300!

My debit card was stolen and used fraudulently!


Nate called our bank immediately. We have USAA and they are great about taking care of things promptly with excellent service. They told Nate the charges came from my debit card, as a “pending debit purchase.” They agreed it was fraud and reversed one of the charges and refunded us for the other. They cancelled my card and quickly issued me a new one.


Obviously someone, somewhere ripped off my number. How? Where? When? I have no idea. I’m very careful with my card, both online and offline. I always know where it is and we pay cash most of the time anyway. But that’s not always enough. My guess is that someone got lucky and guessed my card number or some other sophisticated method that criminals use. The purchase was a “debit” purchase but because whoever used my number didn’t have the security code, the transaction was pending instead of going straight through.

For me, it was a reminder, that even if you are very careful, things can still happen. Always beware.


  • Always beware of your accounts. Keep track of them and watch out for strange transactions.
  • If you do see something odd, report it immediately. The sooner the better. In our case, I caught the charges so quickly that it was still pending and that made it much easier to reverse/refund it. Most banks give you up to 2 months to report fraud.
  • For online purchases, use Paypal if you’re not familiar with the online store. This gives you an extra level of protection.

Have you been a victim of identity theft or had your debit or credit card number stolen?
Do you have any tips for protection?

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About the Author

Erika is a happily married mom with four energetic children. With a love for Jesus, photography, organizing, and encouraging other moms, she stays busy and definitely does not have it all together.


  1. This happened to me quite sometime ago. That is when i found the PayPal credit card authenticator. what you do is put your actual card number to your PayPal account (not sure if this only works when you have a credit card through them or not cause at the time i did) and then they randomly generate a new number for any only purchase that you wish to make. All the charges are then charged to your account. It’s great. and makes me feel that much safer. i still use PayPal to make online purchases. But i’m glad that your bank is working with you and was quick at it. some banks make the processes much more difficult.

  2. A couple weeks ago I go ta call from Chase that one of our cards was used on Orbitz fraudulently. I’m not sure how they caught it, but it reminded me to make sure all my credit cards have my real cell phone number. I had actually received the fraud notice via voicemail through Google Voice since I don’t answer that phone number – its for free sample signups. I do eventually get the message if they leave one, but most sales calls don’t. So, my tip is to use a good phone number so you can get quick notification.

    • There’s a great tip – thanks! My bank has called on one or more occasions because our activity was a little odd. At those times it was indeed us, but it’s nice to know they are watching.
      I’m glad to hear you were told quickly about the fraud charges on your card.

  3. I am so sorry you had to deal with this, but I’m glad your bank was helpful and acted quickly. It’s funny you mention PayPal. The one time I’ve had a problem is with them. I still use them, don’t get me wrong. Somehow, though, someone was able to use my account to charge $80 worth of sports equipment. It took three weeks to get my money back, and it was a HUGE hassle!

    • That’s weird that you had fraud charges through Paypal! I guess it goes to show that nothing is fool proof and we should always be aware.

      • I was surprised, too. I didn’t think PayPal was able to be hacked in that way, but I learned. I now check that regularly, too.

    • I also had unusual charges on my debit card. This raised a red flag with my bank and they declined the transactions and notified me immediately. Last purchase made by me was at a Chevron gas station. I too tried PayPay n they charged an extra $20 on my account, my bank had to fight it for me and reversed the charges.

  4. I had a similar situation a few years ago. I checked my online account one Monday and found that almost $300 in charges for delivery pizza and Chinese takeout was charged to my card. The bank was great about reversing the charges. They said that my number was probably ripped off at a restaurant or somewhere else I had recently used it. After that incident, I am sure to check my account daily.

  5. That’s one of my fears! I know someone who had it stolen from using it at a gas station. Apparently the person who worked there was going into the system and stealing all of the credit and debit card numbers. Scary!

  6. I’m literally going thru this right now. Someone stole my husbands credit card number and charged $530! I have to wait till the morning to file paperwork with our bank. I hope its resolved quickly. in the meantime I’ve blocked the account and cards.

  7. Well I just had my debit card numbers stolen within a month after it happend the last time. Both times my bank has been great about getting me the money refunded. The first time was in April 2012 and the second time in early May 2012.
    SO Now Im at the bank talking with the manager about twice in a month. The only thing my bank does is when it gives me a new card it only changes the last 4 digits and security code. So Im still vanuerable to being hacked.
    Also this time I filled a police report. Each time it has happened after I was at my local Wal Mart Store.
    I used my card in Florida for the week and had no trouble I come home and wham. Im hacked.

    SO now I have had to open a credit card account which I did not want to do but the crooks are makeing me do it.
    On abright note to all of this . I have had my creidit locked during all of this. Execpt for when I applied for a credit card. Then I re locked it.

    So from now on I will only use CASH at my Wal Mart. Plus eleswhere. By the way this is the 5th time and the last.

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