Skimming

It seems that there are people in this world who set up all kinds of things.

When I returned to my office after lunch, I found a message memo on my desk.

“Please contact the security center of your credit card (JCB) at 0120-xxx-xxxx.”

Huh…. I wonder what it is.
Did I exceed the limit of my credit card?
I wonder if I spent that much this month.
I’m not sure what’s going on, but I’ll call them anyway.

tomotaro

I’m sorry, you’ve been calling…

operator

Tomotaro-san, is that you?
We’d like to confirm some information
about your credit card usage.
We’ve been calling you.

tomotaro

Yes, yes, what is it

At this point,
“I’m calling to check on your credit card usage. You’re sure you’ll be able to make this month’s withdrawal, right?
The total amount of the payment can be moved to the next month if you make it today. Do you want to move it? Please plan your use carefully.“

I thought I’d get a comment like that.

But

operator

Did you make a purchase of 250,000 yen at Yamada Denki Store today morning after 11:00?

tomotaro

Huh?

I don’t understand. I don’t know what she said.
Today? In the morning?
I’ve been working in my office since 9 a.m.

operator

Excuse me, but do you have your card with you right now?

tomotaro

I do, what do you mean?.

operator

I see…

tomotaro

Um… Does that mean someone used my credit card or skimmed it?

operator

I’m afraid so. Do you have any idea what happened?

Any idea?
I thought there was no such thing, but when I thought about it, there could be many things.
There are so many that I have no idea what they are.

Golf course? A gym? A bar? Trains? Shopping?
Anywhere you use your credit card.

operator

It looks like you have already made a payment, so your signature is already written on the card.
This time, you purchased a high-priced item,
but the purchase method was different from the previous one,
so we were alarmed and had to check.

Hmmm… I don’t care if the alarm goes off after the payment has been made.
I wonder what the unusual purchase method is.
I’m curious.

For the time being, the JCB card has been suspended until the cause is found out.

I had a meeting with the operator to discuss how to handle the situation.
She told me that JCB will take care of the damage because Tomotaro was not the one who made the purchase, but she was involved in a criminal act.

Thanks for the call, operator.

Lastly, the operator lady gave me one more warning.

operator

The recent trend of this kind of crime is to remove the card
from the customer’s wallet, skim it, and then put it back again.
In this way, the cash is completely untouched,
so it is discovered late and the case is not known.

I see.
The criminals are also thinking hard.
If the contents of the wallet have not been changed, as in this case, nothing will be discovered.
It’s amazing, they only steal the magnetic information and put it back again….

operator

So, just to be safe,
you should also check your credit cards of other companies
that are currently in your wallet, tomotaro.

Yes, yes, yes.
Oh, no. Really?

The way of the snake is the snake.
Since I was given professional advice, I tried calling other credit card companies.

I called VISA card.

tomotaro

Excuse me, we received a call from another credit card company
saying that I was a victim of skimming today morning.
I’d like to check the status of my usage. ・・・・

operator

Thank you for contacting us,
but we have a record of a payment of 180,000 yen
at Ito-Yokado store just after 11:00 a.m. today.
Are you sure that this was used?

Oooops.
That’s not me….

I realized the seriousness of the situation.

If the skimming occurred on one credit card, I can guess that it was done at some restaurant. I can guess.
However, there was a record of a completely different card being used on the same day at approximately the same time.

It is normal to think that the whole wallet might have been skimmed.

tomotaro

Please stop the function my Visa card right now.

There were only two credit cards left in my wallet.
Master Card and Saison Card.

I checked the Saison card and confirmed that there was no damage at this stage.
However, I stopped using it just in case. I finished the reissue procedure.

MasterCard.
There were also no problems with MasterCard at this point, so I thought of suspending its use just in case.
But if I stopped using it, I would be credit card-less.

At that time, there was no electronic money, and credit cards were one of our lifelines.
Not being able to use them would be a matter of life and death.

I told them that I would continue to use my credit card if nothing happened.

In the end, it took me more than two hours to finish coordinating with each company.

I was exhausted.

My wallet was skimmed.
I wonder when I was attacked.

I look back over the past two weeks.

There are surprisingly few places where I left my wallet.

  1. golf course
  2. gym
  3. in my regular bag (I left it in my bag, not in my suit, etc.)

There is no limit to the number of places you can be suspicious of both golf courses and gyms.
I don’t like to carry my wallet around with me, and it’s not uncommon for me to leave it in my bag.

It reminds me of traveling on the Shinkansen and express trains.

On the way back from a business trip, all the passengers were sleeping on the first train from Kyoto to Tokyo.

The train from Kumagaya to Tokyo, where I was going on a business trip that afternoon, was so smooth that there were many empty seats, but I still fell asleep.

The next day, the Chuo Line Express Azusa train from Tachikawa to Matsumoto was also relatively empty, so naturally I fell asleep.

One thing in common between the above three long-distance express trains.

“Tomotaro, in the train, always sleeping”.


In all three cases, I was so tired that I fell asleep immediately after departure.
In addition, I was seated by the window, and my luggage was carefully placed on the aisle seat.

Once I unzipped the luggage, my wallet popped out.

I have almost no memory of the ride.

No way, would you open a sleeping person’s bag?
Who would do that on a train?
Has Japan’s security reached that level?

Later, the credit card company’s investigation revealed that the locations where the cards were used were concentrated in Saitama Prefecture.
It is assumed that the crime was committed while returning to Tokyo from Kumagaya.

The situation where credit cards are almost unusable is a real lifeline.
It’s the end of the road for electronic payments when mobile phones are no longer available.

Is it still cash, right?



Needless to say, I started wearing my wallet all the time after my credit card was restored.


Reflections on this time
Always wear your wallet.
Don’t leave your wallet in your bag.
When you sleep in the train or aircraft, it might be a good idea to put your bag between your feet or put it by the window.

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