My girl was scammed and entered my home address and my credit card number on a fake website (through a Facebook ad). What risks am I additionally incurring, apart from having lost €40 (the money that was on the card, and luckily that is one of the cards that you have to charge in advance to make a purchase)? Is there something especially urgent I have to do?

My card description:

  • Can only pay what I first charge in
  • Do not allow to transfer money to my bank account
  • I choosen that card to lose at most the money is in it (Even if my bank insisted I choose instead another type of card).
  • 1
    What does "you have to charge in advance to make some buy" mean in the context of a credit card?
    – Michael
    Nov 28, 2016 at 23:15
  • 18
    @Michael I believe he is referring to a prepaid credit card
    – Cort Ammon
    Nov 28, 2016 at 23:29
  • 11
    You should also take this chance to help educate her on internet security, and probably install an ad blocker so that things like this won't happen in the future :)
    – Keith M
    Nov 29, 2016 at 3:56
  • 8
    It's more about identity theft than just money. Imagine if this card (which you associated with yourself when making purchases and/or reloading it) was used for criminal activities like money laundering or buying phones for terrorists. You don't want to be involved in such an investigation even if you are innocent. Nov 29, 2016 at 10:53
  • 1
    I'm not sure about Europe, but in America, prepaid cards are not typically referred to as "credit cards." At least not when the difference actually matters in context (which it does here). They're just called "prepaid cards" or "gift cards." "Credit card" usually implies an actual line of credit behind it. Even a card that's attached to a bank account instead of a credit line is differentiated as a "debit card" or "bank card."
    – jpmc26
    Nov 29, 2016 at 20:35

5 Answers 5


Call the credit card company! They have procedures for this including blocking your credit card and replacing it. You might even be able to get the 40€ back. There is a lot of articles about this online.

If you knowingly ignore the issue you might be liable for any future damages by fraudulent credit card charges.

  • 5
    What kind of legal implications do you mean? i only read now that it is a card that requires charging in advance. If you charge it again they might just use it again. No point in keeping it :) i don't know what you mean about legal implications but if so than you should ask your question on law.stackexchange.com After the edit on your comment. if you just call and report it you're not responsible and they will help you fix the problem.
    – Jester
    Nov 28, 2016 at 14:20
  • 1
    maybe the OP is worried that the scammer can use the money for some illegal purchases which might later be tracable back to the OP
    – user13267
    Nov 29, 2016 at 4:32
  • 4
    @user13267 I understood that after he edited his question. It doesn't change the solution though. Call the credit card company :) If he knows about it but willingly ignores the issue then yes he might get into trouble at some point. (I'm now law expert but i can imagine.) There is no reason to just not call the credit card company and be done with it and have ease of mind.
    – Jester
    Nov 29, 2016 at 7:48
  • 2
    @DarioOO Reporting the thing to the credit card company is the first remedy for that too. If something does get traced back to you through the credit card, it's good if you can back up the "card details were stolen" claim with the fact you reported it to the credit card company. There might be more you can do (I don't know) but that's the first thing you should do.
    – Jasper
    Nov 29, 2016 at 17:00
  • 1
    @Jasper Exactly, always good to have some kind of evidence speaking for you instead of just talk. PS: Your comment confused me for well over a minute because of the similar nickname and the fact that Jasper is my first name. ;') First I thought I accidentally posted another comment just quick scanning the pop-up.
    – Jester
    Nov 29, 2016 at 17:16

What additional risks are there?

  1. The hacker could attempt to use the credit card number for other purchases

  2. The hacker could attempt to use your address and credit card information to impersonate you. For example, if you bank web site has a "forgot my password" feature that asks you to enter your credit card number.

  3. The hacker, if local (not likely), could visit your home address, and can try to get into your mailbox or trash to steal any other credit cards, PIN mailers, or other personal information.

What should I do?

  1. Contact your bank to report the incident. They may recommend issuing a different card, or placing limits on the current card (e.g. bar it from use in certain countries). They can also set up alerts on the card so they can notify law enforcement when and where it is used next.

  2. Monitor your statements for other improper charges and report them in a timely fashion.

  3. Ask the bank for a chargeback, which will allow you to fully recover your 40€ immediately. This is usually a pretty painless process.

  4. Always, always use a locked mailbox, and always shred any sensitive documents before putting them in the trash or recycling.

  • 4
    Much of this answer wouldn't apply to the prepaid "credit" card that the original poster has. There's no more money left on the card thief to steal. The card wouldn't be connected to any bank account, nor would there be any statements mailed. Disputing charges made with prepaid cards is more difficult than with ordinary credit cards.
    – Ross Ridge
    Nov 29, 2016 at 19:44
  • 2
    Think it depends on the card. The most popular cards in the US, and all cards with the "Visa Clear Prepaid" logo, are in fact FDIC insured and regulated, provide monthly statements and online access, etc. But you're right, there are less reputable and feature-rich cards out there as well.
    – John Wu
    Nov 29, 2016 at 20:24
  • Hackers have called up Amazon and added a new credit card. Then, they called up Amazon again and used their knowledge of that credit card on the account to get access to the account. Even if the card doesn't have money on it, this could be an attack vector. Though, now that I think about it, almost any card would do, so not sure it's specific to this situation.
    – ErikE
    Nov 29, 2016 at 23:22

It heavily depends on what exists in the contract you signed with the bank and in which country you live - some banks protect the customer more than others...

In any case, as you know the card number has been compromised you should immediately call the bank. Failure to do so could be classed as serious negligence and subsequent actions by the attacker could be argued as your responsibility.

If you do report it, depending on your country and your contract, part or all of the expenses could also be recovered.


Money laundering

Recently in my country there were several campaigns to prevent people from giving out information on their debit card. The main reason was not the loss of money, but the responsibility in money laundering schemes.

Here is what would typically happen:

  1. Someone steals, or even borrows your debit card and pin
  2. They transfer illegally obtained funds to your account
  3. They withdraw the money from your account

And of course, later the following happens:

  1. The authorities track down the illegal transaction
  2. The person whose debit card is used is held accountable for at least 100% of the withdrawn sum (even if they are not the ones who have withdrawn the money). And sometimes even penalties were dealt out.

Rules and regulations may be different where you live, but be aware that this could become a very unpleasant experience if you don't take immediate action.


I'd like to throw in one additional angle here, if somebody manages to steal enough information to fraudulently charge something on a credit card, you have no real control over what they use the money for. You're letting somebody not only use your money but leave a very clean paper trail that makes it look like you, personally, authorized the purchase.

Imagine trying to explain to the police at some point in the future why your credit card and your address was mixed in with a child porn ring or the purchase of explosive chemicals for a terrorist attack.

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