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Criminals in Manila charged $4000 on my American Express!

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Criminals in Manila charged $4000 on my American Express!

Postby Winston » Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:38 am

Hi all,
I just found out today that I've been the victim of identity theft. Somehow, a few days after I left the Philippines, someone used my American Express card to go on a shopping spree all over Manila for food and clothes, charging around 4000 dollars. Holy shit. Take a look below at what was charged. I have no idea how this happened. Before I left the PI, all I used my AE card for was at SM Dept Store in the Mall, which is usually very safe. Could someone at SM Dept Store have taken my credit card receipt and somehow created a fake card? How is this possible without my 4 digit number on the front? Does anyone know how this works? Do they also create a fake ID with my name on it and their picture, to use when merchants ask for an ID? Or did someone see my card and memorize all the digits in a few seconds?

Fortunately I won't be responsible for these charges. The AE security dept already took care of them. But I wonder, who will take the hit for these charges? Either the funds get withdrawn back from the merchants, which would piss them off big time of course since Filipino businesses absolutely refuse to take losses of any kind, even small ones, or AE eats up the charges, or some third party insurance company pays for these charges. Does anyone know how it works? The Security Dept said it was classified info about how they handle such cases. I can't imagine any party willing to take 4000 dollars in losses.

But I hope they catch those bastards and make them pay. What are the odds that they will be able to catch them in the Philippines? The cops there probably don't even care, so who can they get in the PI to cooperate on tracking down the criminals?

Here are what those criminals charged on my card after I left the PI. I wonder how they can be spending 100 or 200 dollars at Starbucks or Pizza Hut! What, are they buying like 10 pizzas and 50 lattes a day or something for their whole criminal gang?


09/24/2009 Thu
*
CHEF S QUARTER BRASSMANILA 0 68.58
Content here
09/24/2009 Thu
*
DON HENRICO S (MALATMANILA 0 73.15
Content here
09/24/2009 Thu
*
ITALIANNI S (MIDTOWNMANILA 0 21.77
Content here
09/24/2009 Thu
*
PASEO DE BAHAMAS CAFMANILA 0 60.43
Content here
09/24/2009 Thu
*
STARBUCKS (SM SAN LAMANILA 0 65.32
Content here
09/22/2009 Tue ARTSCO INC 0050 MONUMENT VALL 0 7.35
Content here
09/21/2009 Mon
*
CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITMAKATI CITY 0 63.52
Content here
09/20/2009 Sun
*
BAKER S PASSION BREAMANILA 0 15.99
Content here
09/20/2009 Sun
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BAKERY & CAFE ITALIAMAKATI CITY 0 64.73
Content here
09/20/2009 Sun
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CAFE BRETON (R. ERMIMANILA 0 50.49
Content here
09/20/2009 Sun
*
CHEF S QUARTER BRASSMANILA 0 73.36
Content here
09/20/2009 Sun
*
DON HENRICO S (MALATMANILA 0 63.43
Content here
09/20/2009 Sun
*
FLAPJACKS (MIDTOWN) MANILA 0 62.28
Content here
09/20/2009 Sun
*
ITALIANNI S (MIDTOWNMANILA 0 43.15
Content here
09/20/2009 Sun
*
KENNY ROGERS (R. ERMMANILA 0 49.79
Content here
09/20/2009 Sun
*
MOMO FOOD & DRINK (RMANILA 0 60.41
Content here
09/20/2009 Sun
*
PASEO DE BAHAMAS CAFMANILA 0 64.77
Content here
09/20/2009 Sun
*
PIZZA HUT (GLORIETTAMAKATI CITY 0 66.71
Content here
09/20/2009 Sun
*
RED RIBBON (GLORIETTMAKATI CITY 0 50.66
Content here
09/20/2009 Sun
*
SHAKEYS (ROBINSON S MANILA 0 52.67
Content here
09/20/2009 Sun
*
STARBUCKS (GPRS 1) MAKATI CITY 0 43.15
Content here
09/20/2009 Sun
*
STARBUCKS (MAKEROOM)MAKATI CITY 0 64.73
Content here
09/20/2009 Sun
*
TGI FRIDAY S (QUAD IMAKATI CITY 0 64.73
Content here
09/20/2009 Sun
*
TGI FRIDAYS (PEDRO GMANILA 0 48.55
Content here
09/20/2009 Sun
*
THE COFFEE BEAN&TEA QUEZON CITY 0 68.88
Content here
09/20/2009 Sun
*
TONY ROMA S (A PLACEMAKATI CITY 0 65.81
Content here
09/20/2009 Sun
*
UCC COFFEE CAFE TERRMANILA 0 41.00
Content here
09/20/2009 Sun WALKER DRUG MO899647MOAB 0 19.31
Content here
09/17/2009 Thu
*
PIZZA HUT (SM-1) QUEZON CITY 0 50.57
Content here
09/17/2009 Thu
*
RED RIBBON (MEGAMALLMANDALUYONG 0 54.10
Content here
09/17/2009 Thu
*
RED RIBBON (SM CITY)QUEZON CITY 0 47.63
Content here
09/17/2009 Thu
*
THE COFFEE BEAN&TEA QUEZON CITY 0 80.69
Content here
09/17/2009 Thu
*
WATERING HOLE BREW PMANDALUYONG 0 69.75
Content here
09/16/2009 Wed
*
GERRYS GRILL QUEZON CITY 0 43.32
Content here
09/16/2009 Wed
*
MARINA QUEZON CITY 0 98.07
Content here
09/16/2009 Wed
*
PIZZA HUT (MEGAMALL)MANDALUYONG 0 79.60
Content here
09/16/2009 Wed
*
STARBUCKS (MEGAMALL MANDALUYONG 0 53.89
Content here
09/16/2009 Wed
*
STARBUCKS (SM-MOA) PASAY CITY 0 107.76
Content here
09/16/2009 Wed
*
STARBUCKS (TRINOMA) QUEZON CITY 0 107.76
Content here
09/16/2009 Wed
*
THE COFFEE BEAN & TEMANDALUYONG 0 94.66
Content here
09/15/2009 Tue
*
GOLDILOCKS BAKESHOP QUEZON CITY 0 51.58
Content here
09/15/2009 Tue
*
STARBUCKS (SM NORTH)QUEZON CITY 0 106.98
Content here
09/15/2009 Tue
*
STARBUCKS BR2 (SM-MOPASAY CITY 0 106.98
Content here
09/14/2009 Mon
*
JOEY PEPPERONI PIZZEPASAY CITY 0 33.15
Content here
09/14/2009 Mon
*
KENNY ROGERS (SM-MOAPASAY CITY 0 59.50
Content here
09/14/2009 Mon
*
PIZZA HUT (TUTUBAN) MANILA 0 97.98
Content here
09/14/2009 Mon
*
RED RIBBON (SM SAN LMANILA 0 48.15
Content here
09/14/2009 Mon
*
RED RIBBON (TUTUBAN)MANILA 0 53.17
Content here
09/13/2009 Sun
*
GERRYS GRILL QUEZON CITY 0 61.60
Content here
09/13/2009 Sun
*
PIZZA HUT (ARANETA SCALOOCAN CITY 0 67.27
Content here
09/13/2009 Sun
*
ROBINSONS DS(ERMITA)MANILA 0 284.12
Content here
09/13/2009 Sun
*
ROBINSONS SUPT(ERMITMANILA 0 208.40
Content here
09/13/2009 Sun
*
ROBINSONS SUPT(ERMITMANILA 0 211.09
Content here
09/13/2009 Sun
*
SHAKEYS (ROBINSON S MANILA 0 107.46
Content here
09/13/2009 Sun
*
TANG CITY REST. (R.EMANILA 0 69.07
Content here
09/13/2009 Sun
*
THE COFFEE BEAN&TEA QUEZON CITY 0 49.47
Content here
09/10/2009 Thu
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KENNY ROGERS SMNE ANQUEZON CITY 0 85.80
Content here
09/10/2009 Thu
*
PIZZA HUT (SM-2) QUEZON CITY 0 57.91
Content here
09/10/2009 Thu
*
PIZZA HUT (SM-2) QUEZON CITY 0 112.35
Content here
09/10/2009 Thu
*
THE LANDMARK SUPT. (QUEZON CITY 0 213.17
Content here
09/10/2009 Thu
*
THE LANDMARK SUPT. (QUEZON CITY 0 214.64
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Postby momopi » Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:59 am

I can't speak for PH, but in the US, typically when CC fraud occurs in retail transaction, the card-issuer is liable and not the merchant. So American Express will probably have to foot the bill first, then you (the customer) end up paying for it later with higher interest rates.

*** Correction: I've been told that the merchant is made liable in mail order, internet, and certain retail transactions.

The criminals who did CC fraud? They'd probably get away with it and never get caught. Sorry but that's the truth. Try not to use your CC as much as possible.
Last edited by momopi on Wed Sep 30, 2009 9:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Winston » Wed Sep 30, 2009 7:40 am

momopi wrote:I can't speak for PH, but in the US, typically when CC fraud occurs in retail transaction, the card-issuer is liable and not the merchant. So American Express will probably have to foot the bill first, then you (the customer) end up paying for it later with higher interest rates.

The criminals who did CC fraud? They'd probably get away with it and never get caught. Sorry but that's the truth. Try not to use your CC as much as possible.


How do you know? Did this happen to you before or your friends? How do you understand the system? Doesn't AE have the power to just yank the funds back from the merchant?

How did these criminals get my card number?

Also, can't the merchants just remember and ID the folks who used the fraudulent card and report them? They saw their faces after all, right?
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Postby momopi » Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:04 am

Vinstonas wrote:
momopi wrote:I can't speak for PH, but in the US, typically when CC fraud occurs in retail transaction, the card-issuer is liable and not the merchant. So American Express will probably have to foot the bill first, then you (the customer) end up paying for it later with higher interest rates.

The criminals who did CC fraud? They'd probably get away with it and never get caught. Sorry but that's the truth. Try not to use your CC as much as possible.


How do you know? Did this happen to you before or your friends? How do you understand the system? Doesn't AE have the power to just yank the funds back from the merchant?

How did these criminals get my card number?

Also, can't the merchants just remember and ID the folks who used the fraudulent card and report them? They saw their faces after all, right?



In worse case, the merchant loses the product, the payment, and becomes liable for a charge-back.

Get a job in retail and you'll see how easy it is to steal credit card numbers.
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Postby ladislav » Wed Sep 30, 2009 4:56 pm

It just shows you what their priorities were. If they had been smarter, they would have used the card to buy gold and then sell it and get cash. But look at the feast! All they wanted was food and drink. Must have been some young punks who were not practical.

I had that happen to me in the US but never to the tune of $4K. The most I got charged was $1200. And yeah, it was taken off. I guess AE has an insurance department which they finance through our $100 a year fees.
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Postby gmm567 » Wed Sep 30, 2009 4:58 pm

It's my understanding that it is the merchant who takes the hit. But that might be only if the merchant doesn't check with AE for the card being on the list of stolen cards.


They can't steal your identity unless they get your social security number and your bank account number. Then they can empty your bank account.
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Postby Winston » Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:37 pm

Buying gold would probably be more difficult. They probably have more stringent standards on that sort of thing.

My dad was wondering the same thing, as to why they didn't buy any big ticket items instead of all that food and clothes.

The merchant can always lie and said they checked for ID. Or they can claim that the scammers had a fake ID with my name on it. I wonder how American Express can investigate this properly. Anyone can lie and deflect blame.

Why can't they just find out what the people looked like who bought all that stuff under my credit card? Isn't there a video camera? Don't the merchants have memories?

How did these punks get my card number anyway?
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Postby Hero » Thu Oct 01, 2009 12:09 am

I once threw away some of those cash advance checks that the credit card companies send out without shredding them first. A month later, I found out that somebody had used a check for a $200 purchase 1000 miles away. The moronic store clerk who accepted the check didn't even ask the crook for ID. Of course, I wasn't held liable. But now I shred everything with my name and/or address on it.
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C'MON Winston, After being Overseas You can't be SO NAIVE!!

Postby AsiaBill » Sat Oct 03, 2009 10:28 am

C'MON Winston, After being Overseas & earning a living on-line You can't be SO NAIVE!! Think outside the box as the cliche goes. How do you think kidnappers know who to kidnap? Bank tellers of course who make less than U$200 / month in the Philippines. Where do you think identity thieves get their credit card numbers to defraud the credit card holders and the credit card companies? Salesgirls and cashiers of course and living in such a palce as Angeles City /Dau where the per capita number of petty thieves, prostitutes, scammers, criminals and ex-convicts , both local Filipinos and foreigners is higher than even Metro-Manila why would such a scam surprise you?????? Who knows it could be some foreigner who has recruited local SM cashiers and salesgirls for the cc #s?? Or maybe some "techie" like yourself who "hunts" on line for ways to make money, who knows and I doubt time will tell? But most likely AMEX will like to KNOW the fact that you have used the card ONLY at SM Clark so they may have channels to investigate such theft. The MAIN thing I'd like to know is WHAT is AMEX going to do? Make you PAY? or Work out some sort of dispute claim like a stolen card?? The thieves were wise to make smaller purchases otherwise the card's previous usage would set off an alarm / RED FLAG and require identity INFO from you on the phone which is what happened to me when making a large purchase at Abenson's . Please let us know what will happen eventually, will you SUFFER? or AMEX?? 8)
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Criminals in Manila charged $4000 on my American Express

Postby worldcitizen » Sat Oct 03, 2009 2:45 pm

Hello Winston, sorry to hear about your unhappy AMEX experience in the philippines, no they did not get your ID, the card was very likely copied in the DEPARTMENT STORE, in fact I will bet that it was, there is this thing called a Data capture device that is being used by criminals ( it is very popular/unpopular depends if you are a victim of it ) in Brazil whereby the crooks insert the card data capture systsem into bank teller machines card slot, so that all the card users coming to that ATM machine gets to unknowingly give their card data away to some guy sitting in some obscure office with a laptop computer miles away catching everything entered on that ATM machine, that includes the pin number!

Then bingo they use another machine to reproduce the card and magnetic strip and away they go! ( We all got to see how this works recently on TV when the Brazilian Federal Police showed the office of the captured crooks on TV complete with all the equipment they used and there was some mind blowing technology in there mate!) in your case they very likely had the card data capture device in the store behind the counter where you could not see it being used to get the data off your card and also capture your pin number as well ! This is the only place it happened or could have happened as you stated you only used the card in one place. Mystery solved! AND DONT DO IT AGAIN ! And by the way you dont pay a dime as the credit card companies ALL know that this is what is happening ! Very likely that the stores will lose the cash. Take care my friend! :twisted:
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Re: Criminals in Manila charged $4000 on my American Express

Postby cutehumor » Sat Oct 03, 2009 4:12 pm

Food and drink purchases were wise. Since you are from out of the country, buying food/drinks were a smart move, it doesn't look suspicious to a credit card company. If I was a thief, I would not buy a $1500 plasma tv with a stolen credit card, red flags would have went up like crazy. Someone had a party on your dime. Those businesses will have to eat those charges. With the bad economy we are having in the U.S.A, I expect American Express to investigate you as well. They are aware of folks claiming they didn't make charges to get out of paying their credit card bill. It's happening alot now.
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Thanks WorldCitizen for the Tech Theft Update

Postby AsiaBill » Sat Oct 03, 2009 11:52 pm

Thanks WorldCitizen for the Tech Theft Update! I really do appreciate you explaining in detail. Glad I have never used an ATM machine yet? But do use my Philippines Bank issued credit cards alot booking tickets, at several supermarkets and home improvement and appliance stores.
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Postby adam917 » Mon Oct 05, 2009 4:39 am

This caught my eye:
STARBUCKS (GPRS 1) MAKATI CITY 0 43.15

You sure these high fast-food charges aren't Internet usage? I heard many places outside the US charge for WiFi for instance. My data roaming bills for when I travel and use mobile phone Internet get labelled as GPRS regardless if it was via (3.5G) HSPA, (3G) UMTS, (2.75G) EDGE, or (2.5G) GPRS. I not only find the amount spent on each of these odd but the number of them. Think it was a business that could've bought this many food items for an event. I doubt any one person or family would be buying this much stuff (I think the 80$ Pizza Hut charges would each amount to what 6 to 10 pizzas apiece?).
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