Amex’s fraud detection algorithm needs a little work…

So I went to check my statement for my Amex card today to see if I was credited for something and to my surprise my outstanding balance was a whopping $29,102.55. Hmm… well I knew I went a little crazy with my motorcycle racing hobby in the past month or so, but not that crazy. 🙂

So I scroll down and look at the activity and for 6/30 I see the following 17 charges totalling ~$27k:

06/30/2005  AMERICAN LIST COUNSE609-580-2800 NJ
U0940754 FEES/SERVICES 
499.80
06/30/2005  AMERICAN LIST COUNSE609-580-2800 NJ
U0940758 FEES/SERVICES  469.40
06/30/2005  AMERICAN LIST COUNSE609-580-2800 NJ
U0940761 FEES/SERVICES  261.00
06/30/2005  AMERICAN LIST COUNSE609-580-2800 NJ
U0940762 FEES/SERVICES  707.50
06/30/2005  AMERICAN LIST COUNSE609-580-2800 NJ
U0940764 FEES/SERVICES  1,117.92
06/30/2005
  AMERICAN LIST COUNSE609-580-2800 NJ
U0940766 FEES/SERVICES  1,120.00
06/30/2005  AMERICAN LIST COUNSE609-580-2800 NJ
U0940767 FEES/SERVICES  1,163.92
06/30/2005
  AMERICAN LIST COUNSE609-580-2800 NJ
U0940769 FEES/SERVICES  1,497.10
06/30/2005  AMERICAN LIST COUNSE609-580-2800 NJ
U0940770 FEES/SERVICES  1,575.40
06/30/2005  AMERICAN LIST COUNSE609-580-2800 NJ
U0940773 FEES/SERVICES  2,137.40
06/30/2005
  AMERICAN LIST COUNSE609-580-2800 NJ
U0940774 FEES/SERVICES  1,575.40
06/30/2005  AMERICAN LIST COUNSE609-580-2800 NJ
U0940775 FEES/SERVICES  1,389.40
06/30/2005  AMERICAN LIST COUNSE609-580-2800 NJ
U0940777 FEES/SERVICES  1,584.60
06/30/2005
  AMERICAN LIST COUNSE609-580-2800 NJ
U0940780 FEES/SERVICES  2,609.50
06/30/2005
  AMERICAN LIST COUNSE609-580-2800 NJ
U0940783 FEES/SERVICES  1,302.10
06/30/2005
  AMERICAN LIST COUNSE609-580-2800 NJ
U0940784 FEES/SERVICES  2,911.40
06/30/2005  AMERICAN LIST COUNSE609-580-2800 NJ
U0940786 FEES/SERVICES  5,579.00

Wow! Now, without any other data at all… wouldn’t you think even five charges in a row to the same company, on the same day, who I’ve never done business with before in my entire credit history, for such high prices should raise a red flag? Also I think my highest outstanding balance ever was maybe like ~$5k up to that point. Then I look into this American List Counsel company and it turns out one of the things they do is resell telemarketing information… THROUGH THE INTERNET. So now we’re talking strange internet purchases. HELLO RED FLAG ANYONE?!?

Well, luckily I’m not at all liable for the charges and this should technically not affect my personal credit history in any way. The thing is my credit is impeccable, but I’m sure somewhere, deep down under the covers, credit companies will look at me with some kind of prejudice now. 😛

To top it all off, apparently $27k buys you ~18mil telephone numbers from this dirtbag ALC company (I hate any kind of intrusive marketing), so now I feel somewhat responsible for any telemarketing spam those total strangers are now going to receive. Sorry! 🙁

2 thoughts on “Amex’s fraud detection algorithm needs a little work…

  1. I think the scarier question is how did they get your AmEx info? I say, go over the questionable places you used the card over the last couple weeks, hunt them down and let them know how we handle such things in NJ.

  2. I’ve had the same credit card number for like three years now so it wouldn’t surprise me that someone finally got around to hacking into a site that exposed it. : I’ve used it on a couple things recently, but I’m like super safe about doing business with sketchy companies. That said, there is one that I went to for a laptop power supply in a hurry when mine decided to up and die. Then they ended up taking my order, but not having the part in stock (despite the site saying otherwise). So I gave them a “tough” talking too for costing me another day without my laptop and then told them to cancel my order. Really wouldn’t surprise me if that little bastard (from Brooklyn) up and turned it around for some cash. In fact, I think I’ll report this to the fraud unit just so they can check into any possible links.

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