This is the first time it's ever happened to me. On May 9th, I had received a call that had something to do with a card, but I ignored it because I thought it was the occasional solicitation from my old credit card. Less learned: always listen to messages in their entirety, even if they are automated!
Over the next two days, my debit card was denied at two stores and then at the ATM when I tried to get cash. That's weird... I immediately called the customer service line for my debit card. I went through a whole bunch of automated checks and through a list of recent transactions which I verified. They were all ones I had made, nothing out of the ordinary, so then my card worked again.
There had been zero fradulent transactions on my card. I would have caught it immediately because I check my bank account every single day! My card was working again and I still diligently checked my account daily. Then this Monday, there was definitely a fradulent charge when I checked my account in the morning...
Not only do I not eat at McDonald's, but I would never go to one in some suburb of Istanbul, Turkey and spend $30 there! Everything clicked right away and I called my bank. They had been correct from the beginning - someone had somehow got ahold of my debit card number and pin. In talking to the customer service agent, they told me that the person had tried to buy $400 (!) worth of groceries in Istanbul. That was the day they closed my card. They also tried to go to two gas stations but all of those charges were caught and denied before they could hit my account. The McDonald's one happened to slip through after I unknowingly thought everything was okay. (Granted, up until this point I had never actually spoken with a real human about what was happening. That clarification would have helped immensely.) The CSA immediately closed my debit card and had a new one issued. I then talked to someone in the Customer Claims Department and have since filled out a form in order to get the $28.36 refunded.
The scariest part of all this? I have absolutely no idea how someone got my information! Was it skimmed from my bank-specific ATM inside the pharmacy near my apartment? Or was it from the RFID/wireless identity theft that I've been hearing about? I have never used my debit card for online purchases, so I could immediately rule that out. I still have my card, it wasn't lost or stolen, and I've never shared my PIN with anyone. I also never use the "PayPass" function on my debit card, where I can wave my card over a scanner for a small purchase and pay that way, because someone once told me that's an easy way for identity theft to happen. From now on I'll only draw cash at the bank or maybe even go inside to the teller. It's baffling, actually. I know this happens and it sucks. Technology is advancing all the time. And this is what we get!
(Yes, I now have two of those RFID sleeves as seen above. They seem to be widely available online. My Mom sent me her extras! Not sure if they work, but hey, peace of mind. Also? My bank rocks. They immediately knew what was going on!)