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The Chase email mystery

by TERRI DICKERSON/ CDA Press Consumer Gal
| March 25, 2021 1:00 AM

When reviewing my Chase statement, I noticed a questionable charge on my account for $236. The charge was from a clothing store out of New York.

I didn’t recognize the company name and when I checked out the online store, nothing on the site looked like anything I would order. So I called Chase to report the suspicious charge, stating I didn’t believe I authorized the charge.

The Chase rep immediately closed my existing account and issued me a new card. I received a provisional credit on my account pending the outcome of the investigation.

Five days after the account was closed, I received an authentic looking email from what appeared to be Chase, stating they had posted a new notice or letter to my Chase account. The email stated the letter contained information about my recent fraud claim. Then it offered me two ways to view my letter, either from the Chase Mobile app or at chase.com/statements. Each option contained a link to click on.

Following my own advice to never click on any links, I logged into my account directly to find the letter. The letter wasn't there.

I called the phone number on the back of my card to inquire about the notification. The rep pulled up my account and verified that no such letter had been sent to my email account from Chase. I looked at the email closer and it came from no-reply@alertsp.chase.com. I asked the rep if that was an email address that the company used, and he stated no.

I forwarded the email to the fraud department at phishing@chase.com, asking if this was a fraudulent email because it included authentic information that was rather convincing. Of course, I received the standard thank you reply for reporting the suspicious activity, then the email stated that I would receive no other response besides the automated email.

So now I’m left with the lingering question: Why did I receive a fraudulent email about my fraud claim when I really did just file a claim with Chase? To give you context, I have only filed about three such claims in 25 years. This suggests that the email was specifically targeted to me based on accurate information the scammer was somehow privy to.

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Bogus Amazon notice

A Coeur d’Alene reader forwarded an email that appeared to be from Amazon, stating that his order was on the way.

To create a sense of urgency, the notice indicated the package would be arriving the day the email notice was sent out and it would be going to (in this case) someone our reader didn’t know, located in Wellington, Fla. The item was a MacBook for $994.12 and the payment information on the account would be charged for the transaction. There were several links to click on to check the status of the order, along with a customer service number of 888-703-5176.

Our reader figured this was a bogus notice and checked his PayPal account directly just to make sure he wasn't charged. Not surprisingly, there was no charge and there was probably no package that was ever sent, either.

This was a clever phishing email to get our reader to click on links or call the customer service number to dispute the order. That way the scammer would be able to gather personal information.

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Need to miss a credit card payment?

If you're in danger of not being able to pay your credit card bill, you might want to mitigate the situation before your payment is due.

More people this year have tried to get credit card late fees waived and many have been successful. Generally speaking, it's better for you to contact the credit card company to work out any payment issues.

By calling your credit card company first, the card issuer will know you're acknowledging a problem and trying to get it resolved. Also, recognize that they have an incentive to work with you since credit card debt is unsecured.

There are some financial consequences for missing payments such as losing your grace period between months or accruing interest immediately on both new purchases and the unpaid balance. You could also incur late fees, high penalties and a lower credit score. The last one could impact your ability to secure financing for big purchases like a house or car.

Provided you have a strong payment history, here are a few options to ask your credit card company about:

• Ask if you can push back your due date in order to make a payment at a more favorable time each month.

• Ask if the company will lower your interest rate on your unpaid balance.

• Ask if they'll provide some flexibility on making payments if you have suffered a layoff and need some additional time to work on your financial situation.

Working with your credit card company will allow you to minimize several issues which may impact your credit score and save you some money.

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Remember: I’m on your side.

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If you have encountered a consumer issue that you have questions about or think our readers should know about, please send me an email at terridickersonadvocate@gmail.com or call me at 208-274-4458. As The CDA Press Consumer Gal, I’m here to help. I’m a copywriter working with businesses on marketing strategy, a columnist, a veterans advocate and a consumer advocate living in Coeur d’Alene.