I admit, I get a little overboard on categorizing our spending sometimes. We use Mint to keep track of all the moving parts of our finances, and I like to go in every couple weeks and review how our spending has been described to make sure it lines up with what it should be.
This is usually a mundane affair. A couple minutes of deciding whether that eatery is fast food or a restaurant, or that superstore purchase was groceries or merchandise, and I’m done. But this time something jumped out at me as absolutely crazy.
There were nine transactions from Uber, all in one day, totaling $321. Except we never used Uber. We were home. In fact, my wife was having a party at our house and I was out with my daughter in my own car.
What we did about it
My wife called the credit card company to let them know we didn’t take these rides. They immediately canceled the credit card and will remove the charges.
This is a big plus of using a credit card vs. a debit card. With a debit card, you may not be able to dispute the charge or be reimbursed for your loss.
It also speaks to why you need to stay on top of the charges on your credit card. There were no other suspicious charges on the card, and we don’t know how or why these charges ended up on my wife’s account. The credit company didn’t flag the charges as suspicious, either.
Because of this, I added a budget category for rental car and taxi in Mint and set the monthly budget to zero. That way I’ll immediately get an email if we go over that budget.
My wife also changed her account password, in case that was compromised.
This is the first time I can remember strange charges showing up on our cards. You hear about this happened to people, but it had never happened to me. I’m glad I noticed it relatively quickly, and we were able to take action before things got even more out of hand.
The moral of the story: It’s always a good idea to keep track of your accounts between statements!