If you read my previous post, you’ll remember that I had a fishy email from PayPal. One confirming a purchase for photo prints that were going to be delivered to someone in the United Kingdom.

If you missed it, you can read it here.

I thought that was the end of my fraud drama, but such was not the case.

About a week after the PayPal email I was sitting in my living room, minding my own business, scrolling through Facebook when all of a sudden I received a notification from CardValet that there was a cancelled charge for $5.34 to a store in South Carolina. Obviously I was sitting in my recliner in my living room in Whitehall, not in South Carolina.  Slightly concerned, I logged in to my CardValet app and turned my debit card off until I could get to the bottom of the mystery.  I also logged into my TouchBanking app to make sure that there weren’t any suspicious charges in my account.

Within five minutes I had received another notification that there was a declined charge for $776 to Comcast. What?!?!? Whose cable bill is $776? Not mine. That’s more than my mortgage payment. My suspicions were confirmed; my debit card had been compromised. As I was chuckling to myself on being smart enough to turn my card off, my husband looked over at me to see what was so funny.

When I told him, he was furious. For good reason, since I hadn’t quite gotten to the part where the scammers hadn’t taken any of our money.

“You need to be more careful about where you use your card.”

“I’ve told you that you shouldn’t use your debit card all the time.”

“You shouldn’t have opened that phony PayPal email.” (Since I didn’t actually enter any personal information I don’t think that is what caused it. Then again, I can’t say that it wasn’t related either.)

After I calmed him down and reassured him that no money had been taken out of our account and that my card was turned off, I had to explain to him what the CardValet app was.

Since I’ve started working at the credit union, I’ve made it a habit to regularly check my account online. When the TouchBanking app came out, I found myself checking it on an almost daily basis.  But the CardValet app has been a game changer.

HarborLight Credit Union has recently implemented CardValet to help members fight debit card fraud from their smartphones. By downloading this free app from Google Play or the App Store, you can set preferences and alerts so you can quickly detect and help prevent fraudulent activity.

By setting alerts on CardValet, you receive an almost instantaneous alert of where your card was used and for how much. You also receive notifications for any denied transactions.

Life happens, things get busy, and debit cards get misplaced. With CardValet, you can quickly turn your card off and prevent all future transactions from being approved. Once your card is located, you can just as easily turn it back on.

By arming ourselves with the tools that are available to us, we can take control of our finances and fight back against fraud.

Had I not had the foresight to turn my debit card off for the initial $5.34, I would have had $776 taken out of my account so someone could have paid their ridiculous cable bill.

But seriously, whose cable bill is that much?

You can find out more information about the CardValet app by visiting www.cardvalet.com or talking to any one of us at either branch location.