Do you use Amazon’s subscription services or even just shop at Amazon a lot? We do. I think the Amazon driver is at our house at least 2 to 3 times a week and sometimes more. I started using their subscription service years ago, and it has been fantastic. We have everything from dog food to people food to household products show up every month or however often I have set. I probably have around 20-25 items set up, not to mention the extra savings you get. However, it did create an interesting issue … between our subscription items and other purchases on Amazon; we have many Amazon line items on our credit card statement each month.
I was always taught to keep my credit card receipts, and when your credit card statement showed up once a month, you sit down and compare the charges with your receipts. Well, that worked fine before you purchased things online, and you got receipts everywhere you went. That is not the case anymore. Even stores often ask you if you want a receipt or will often email it to you if you request it. Obviously, when you purchase online, more than likely, you don’t print out every receipt. However, checking your credit card statement each month is still a vital step to keep your money safe.
Now, I am still very vigilant about checking my statements each month, but I did get lazy with our Amazon purchases. Because I don’t print out receipts from everything I purchase online, especially Amazon purchases, I did a quick glance, looked at the total, and called it good. That was ok early on with only a few purchases, but that continued to grow over time.
During the COVID-19 crisis, our purchases from Amazon increased yet again. The Amazon line items started to grow even more, especially when many of the subscription items were not charged in one charge (separated out). We could easily have 20 Amazon line items or more on a statement. Sometime around June or July, I laughed as I sat down and looked at our credit card statement. I joked that Amazon could really be taking advantage and just charging for things that were never sent, and I would never know. That’s when it really hit me. Now, I didn’t have any reason to believe that Amazon would do that, but it did bring up that a really interesting scenario. I really should be checking each of these Amazon purchases to make sure they are really mine. After all, mistakes can happen, not to mention fraud.
So, I sat down that day and went through that statement and even went back several months and tracked down every Amazon purchase. All was good. No mistakes. Great! So, from that point on, when I received my credit card statement, I sat down and traced every Amazon purchase on it with my online orders. No issues until November 2020.
In December 2020, I received my statement that had all of my November purchases and a few in December. At first glance, I thought it seemed a bit high, but I had already been purchasing items for Christmas, so I didn’t think much of it. I sat down and started to go through the statement. All was looking fine until I got to three days right around Thanksgiving. I had five charges in a row that I could not find anything that corresponded to my orders. I checked again. I check with my husband and nothing. So I called Amazon.
While on the phone with Amazon, I supplied the charge amounts and an ID number that appeared on each line item on the credit card statement. He was able to track them down and found that they all came from an account that was “attached” to my account. I told him that I only had one account attached, my husband’s. He verified that it was not my husband’s Amazon account. It had recently been set up. I assured him that I did not know anything about that account and to please shut it down immediately. I changed my password to my account right then. He then set up an investigation into the charges, which all five orders together totaled almost $500. They started small ($17, $35) but then increased rapidly.
I contacted my credit card company and told them of the situation. They canceled my card and sent a new one. The charges were removed immediately, and Amazon and the credit card company then partnered in their investigation of the fraud.
Needless to say, I am still very vigilant about my credit card statements, and I do take the time to check each Amazon charge. It can be a bit time-consuming, only because of how many we have, but it’s worth it. Unfortunately, many people in this world do nothing but try to take advantage of others. Amazon was quick to respond, as was my credit card company. Needless to say, I take the time to go through my Amazon purchases as you never know when they may strike.