Incredible Credit Card Identity Protection Prank

credit card fraud protection prankI’m not sure whether I should be amused or horrified by this post. Either way, it goes to show that you should not place your trust in a paid for credit card identity theft monitoring system. The article is written by John Hargrave who also wrote the credit card prank where he signed his name when making purchases on his credit card in as many crazy ways as he could in an attempt to see how long it would take before somebody actually notice. This time around he did basically the same thing to see what it would take for The Citibank IdentityMonitor credit card monitoring system to notify him of fraudulent purchases.

From the very beginning, he didn’t believe that the Citibank Iden


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16 Responses to Incredible Credit Card Identity Protection Prank

  1. ben says:

    wow, that was an amazing read!

  2. dtbalm says:

    Is this really true or just a joke? This is really terrible if it is true.

  3. vsjhoc says:

    I heard (so it must be true) that one trigger for alerts by the banks is if you suddenly buy a lot of gas. If someone steals a credit card, often they fill up their tank, and the tanks of all their friends’ cars.

    I write “CHECK ID” on the signature line on the back of my credit cards. But only a small number of merchants bother to check it, so it isn’t providing me with sure-fire protection if my card is stolen.

  4. teri says:

    Reminds me of the guy who usually wrote “save a tree” across credit card offers and returned them to the sender. Mind you, did not write on the application part – just across the whole page. & well one issuer sent him a card in the name “Save A Tree.”

    So no, not surprised. But WOW!

  5. That is absolutely frightening! I cannot believe CitiBank!

    I would have hoped that their monitoring service would trigger some kind of alert given the effort that John put in trying to trigger some kind of action from Citi Bank’s monitoring service.

    Hmmm, maybe it’s time to use my credit card a lot less and revert to a cash only policy given all the problems with identity theft and the severe lack of a decent monitoring system.

  6. George says:

    I think it’s up to individuals to make sure that they aren’t doing stupid things. For example, if you lose your credit card, don’t wait a few days before reporting it, hoping you’ll find it in the car, just report it lost and in 5 – 7 days you’ll have a new one. Don’t answer suspicious emails, or click on the links in them. There are quite a few tips in an article I read recently, They seemed like better ideas than keeping your wallet in your front pocket instead of the back!

  7. Max says:

    Wow, that’s pretty amazing but not that surprising.

    Most credit monitoring services simply monitor your credit files and report when a change has occurred.

    That means you don’t find out that a thief is applying for credit in your name until after they have already done so. That could already be too late.

    There are some pretty simple steps you can take to protect your credit and identity from ever being accessed by thieves, such as fraud alerts, blocking pre-approved credit card offers, and monitoring your own reports for changes. It’s all free and simple to do.

    Here’s an article on blocking your identity from thieves, which gives you some of the information you would need.

    Great story though, I do love to hear how the system is so corrupted.

  8. Diane Brown says:

    I am sick reading this. After 4 911 calls for me or my husband and 3 major surgeries between us, I don’t need this grief. Woman Within offered this CC IDENTITY PROTECTOR for $9.99/month. I DO NOT remember ever signing up for this. Well, WomanWithin credited everything to a zero balance including and I told them to CLOSE the account – but was then told I had to go to a website (that doesn’t exist) to be sure the CC Identity Protector gets cancelled. The telephone on the bill puts me through 4 layers, then on hold and of course a disconnect. During the week I work. At this point in our lives we don’t have the mental energy to be John Hargrave. Totally amazing; John – did you buy any great jewelry? I mean – can I take all these stupid cards and buy endlessly and deny I did the buying? Do you keep all the things you buy? In the end, what have you proven that we didn’t already know – our whole country is going to H*** in a Handbasket!

  9. VJR says:

    Hi I realize that these posts are from a while ago, but I’m having some credit card problems and this is the only site I found that referenced “CC IDENTITY PROTECTOR” (Diane Brown’s comment). I have a CLUB EXPRESS Credit Card with $12.99 monthly charges for “CC Identity Protector” and “Mobi-Life CC2NA.” When I activated my card, I regrettably agreed to a trial of these services, mostly because I was in a rush and just wanted to get the phone call over with. Anyway, now I have these recurring charges and can’t find any information on these services so I don’t know how to cancel them. I’d really appreciate any input on how to make these charges go away. I thought about just canceling my card, but worry that my problems wouldn’t end there or that I’d screw up my credit. Thank you in advance for any incite.

  10. pfadvice says:

    If you can’t find a way to cancel it, contact your credit card company and see if they can help. You should be able to get it cancelled through them.

  11. dg says:

    i was able to cancel the cc identity protector by calling this number 866-802-7621, i was on hold for a while but i did receive a confirmation number re the cancelled membership. i too was frustrated after seeing the charge to my account even after i had called and cancelled it before. however, they did credit my account.

  12. Peyman says:

    Thanks so much guys. I had the same problem with both the CC IDENTITY PROTECTOR and the DIRECT ALERT CSS on my express account. I called the number and it’s all taken care of now :)

  13. Amy says:

    It’s amazing how they won’t ever pick up on real theft but they sure as heck pick up on something you do that they don’t like. I have a credit card and I pay the whole amount that is on my card every two weeks and they put a hold on my payment because they thought that it might have been theft???? I asked the lady why this payment? It’s from the same place i have paid all the other ones from and she said well it could have been theft.
    My sister’s has a credit card and they put a hold on her card from expected theft because she went to the gas station and first charged her card for 38 cents and then the pump went out of gas and the next one was for 42 cents and then she went to the next one and put in like 30 dollars and they put a hold on her account for that but when the same 2 charges (from the same place same amount same day same time) kept getting applied to her card until her card was maxed out they never did anything about that she had to call them and tell them it was fraud.

  14. junelle says:

    Thank you so much, dg (post 11). I do not remember singing up through DressBarn, and I was able to cancel using the 866-802-7621. They did give me a confirmation, also offered 5 months free – but I declined.

  15. avda says:

    thanks so much for the number to cancel

  16. jacob says:

    I called the 866-number-number number once, talked to a very “racist comment” sounding man. He did not cancel my account, and instead sent me some bogus email with a link in it after telling me I needed to print out my full purchase history after compleating a number of questionares, inspect my history item-per-item, and then call back.

    I hung up, waited five minutes so they could think I actually did that–not because I had to desperatly use the restroom, no. I was hoping to re-speak with him over and over. Sadly, I got a very Middle United States sounding man the second time.

    After going through the “let’s make sure you are who we want you to be,” garbage all I had to do was say, “I’d like to cancel my account.”
    My account is now cancled, the second call took less than three minutes, over two hundred percent less than the first.

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