I wasn't sure where to put this so I figured I'd ask here. I am an AU on my wife's BCE card and have been for six months or so. The account shows on my credit report as an authorized account.
Last week I received a suspicious email from what I have no doubts was a phishing scammer posing as Amex asking me to click a link to confirm some information on my account. I contacted CS and they confirmed nothing was sent to me so I got rid of it without clicking on anything of course.
Today, a letter came addressed to my wife suppossedly as Amex letting her know that they have an invalid SSN listed for an additional card member, and listed the last digits of the card I hold. I immediately contacted CS via chat while logged into my account and the rep had no record of a letter sent out, and could not confirm the address this letter was sent from as being valid. And get this, he asked for my SSN via a secure form to check to see if any additional information was required.......I didn't give it to him. This card showed up on my credit report the month after I was added as an AU so I know they have the correct info. His inability to provide any guidance, and then asking for my SSN really made me suspicious. I told him that if he cannot explicity see something confirming they need information from me that I will not give it to him.
I am stumped. I have ID monitoring and have checked, and double checked to ensure I have no alerts. Someone has our info to a degree (names, address, last digits of my card) and I am trying to figure out what we do next. It seems like they are trying to fill in the missing pieces to perform fraud and that is terrifying. I am trying to figure out if the last digits of a card and names and address is something easy to come by or if some business along the lines was hacked, etc.
Any advice on what to do next? Should we have Amex issue new cards and request a fraud alert on our reports or is that overkill? So thankful for any help.
Okay, the simpliest solution would be to call Amex and see if they have any issues popping up on their end. Chat is a great tool but sometimes things can get lost in translation and typing. There could be a number of reasons why they could have a SSN flag for you, and the chat agent was likely wanting to confirm that they have the correct SSN for you. Using a seperate secure form for personal information is common for chat agents, and the agent was not trying to scam you.
As to your concern about the letter and email being fake.... maybe, but someone would be going through an awful lot of trouble to get your information. There is much easier prey for them, so in my opinion you should take a chill pill (in the nicest possible way) and call Amex. They have no reason to defraud you.
Thanks for the advice. I took the chill pill while calling them just now. I do feel a bit better. They still couldn't confirm if they needed information from me. They said my wife would need to call in as the letter was addressed to her, but couldn't give me any info. I explained to them that this was a privacy concern for me. The rep said that sometimes we do request confirmation if you are an account manager with full access, and an authorized user. I told her that my SSN is valid as the account is reporting and has been (plus I was sitting right there when my wife added me). There must be a reason you need it now, can you let me know...no help at all.
Months ago we dealt with a not so great CS rep on the phone when my wife was trying to add me as an AU. I have a post on here about it but couldn't dig it up. *I found the old thread (AMEX Authorized User but No Additional Card Issued). Essentially the CS had added me as a account manager with full access instead of an AU. My wife went online later and added me as an AU. I am an account manager because of the CS reps actions, but never set up a manager account for this card past that first phone call. I do have a log in for the card as a user that I check in on as I use it.
So my wife will call them this evening and find out what is going on. I'll report back.
A thought. Whenever you use your credit card at a merchant, they identify and often store the last set of digits. For example, I have returned an item to Home Depot, Lowes, etc. with no receipt. They can pull up the sale given a range of dates and by the last set of digits if a cc was used. So, forward thinking, your last digits on any card are not private. They float around everywhere. I would be cautious, aware, and if need be ask AMEX for a new card. An AMEX card on the black market goes for $ 150.00 up, a Corporate/business AMEX, more. It is the season and remember, if you believe the phone and emails could be fishing, log on and send a secure message through a credit issuers portal, never email. Good Luck!
It turns out this was indeed a fake letter. We contacted Amex and they confirmed that no such information was needed. They checked our account and confirmed everything looks fine. The information they (the scammers) obtained can be accessed as you mentioned, so my guess is that a merchant maybe got hacked enough for these scammers to know some information, but not all. So we just have to be careful. They did not offer to issue new cards to us, but we might go ahead and request them. As for the letter, we are sending it to their fraud department.
Please be careful everyone. It's a shame how vulnerable technology has made all of us. Thanks for the thoughts!