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I recently had a fraudulent charge on my CC for property taxes in a state I don't live in. Property taxes and the 1.5% surcharge for using a credit card. Judging by the charge, it might even be a fairly nice piece of property.

From what I understand, your typical user of a stolen credit card is looking to create cash. Buy an iPad and sell it on Craigslist an hour later. Paying your property taxes, which would then lead back to a property owner is probably the last thing I would expect to see.

So what happened here? Was the user just a moron trying to clear a bill? Some strange sort of mixup with the bank? Or is there an angle here I can't figure out?

To address a couple responses, I've already had it cleared from my account.

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Since grex's case is being solved, SIS, do you have an update on yours?

BingBlangBlaow (Mar. 12, 2013 @ 10:13p) |

10 days after posting this, some criminal was offended and broke into my place. Everything was stolen, and replaced with... (more)

sackoloot (Mar. 13, 2013 @ 3:45a) |

Yep . Paid and done.
They didn't want to appeal so the lender paid without further drama .

However ,the issue of the rec... (more)

SUCKISSTAPLES (Mar. 13, 2013 @ 3:51a) |

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Pay your taxes, deadbeat!

Oh, sorry 'bout that, wrong thread.

Probably just a mixup

It might have been caused by fat fingering the credit card numbers during the transaction.\

You could reject the charge with the cc company.

You could also call the taxing authority and inform them this is a fraudulent charge and they need to reverse it and contact the property owner.

Just don't wait 2 years to contact the bank


xit said:   It might have been caused by fat fingering the credit card numbers during the transaction.

You could reject the charge with the cc company.

You could also call the taxing authority and inform them this is a fraudulent charge and they need to reverse it and contact the property owner.


That's highly unlikely. The numbers must match a certain algorithm to be accepted in addition to the expiration date, and often in addition to the address. Either it was intentional fraud of the taxing authority screwed up the payment.

i suppose you could offer to pay someone's property taxes in exchange for cash, perhaps less than the full amount of cash, and then pay the taxes by fraudulent means. this is an absurd plan, as it involves rich people and the government, both of which will be able to find you if they choose to.

Perhaps there was a property tax foreclosure coming down the pipeline soon... and this takes the sale off-calendar for awhile and the owner can plead ignorance.

Crazytree said:   Perhaps there was a property tax foreclosure coming down the pipeline soon... and this takes the sale off-calendar for awhile and the owner can plead ignorance.

Very likely.

Move in, pay the next (4?) years taxes, adverse possession = profit! j/k

This happens more than you would think. Criminals aren't that bright and do things like pay utility bills with stolen CCs. For some crazy reason the authorities don't like to pursue these crimes. Maybe they figure it's too easy.

HA ha, had the neighbor's (idiot) bank pay my taxes by mistake. Best part was they wanted me to do the work for them, to recover the money. I helped cause my neighbor is a great guy and I didn't want him to have to deal with the BS. Gotta love it, they screw up and want you to fix it.

Red55 said:   HA ha, had the neighbor's (idiot) bank pay my taxes by mistake. Best part was they wanted me to do the work for them, to recover the money. I helped cause my neighbor is a great guy and I didn't want him to have to deal with the BS. Gotta love it, they screw up and want you to fix it.
I just sued a mortgage lender for incorrectly paying a tax bill that wasn't due , they have 30 days to appeal the judgment . We shall see

Law enforcement seems so lax for these crimes that they'll probably get away with it

schop said:   Law enforcement seems so lax for these crimes that they'll probably get away with it

I'd hope that when you try and pay the county government with a fraudulent charge that someone would do something about it. Especially since it should be so easy to trace, since in theory, there is no value in paying someone else's property taxes. It was in Texas...maybe they are tougher down there.

When someone stole my number in the college dorm, I had him arrested in front of the entire building. He never got kicked out of school though, just on campus housing, and I imagine his parents could afford a good lawyer to get the charges knocked down.

I had a credit card number stolen back in October. There were some charges for things you would expect (best buy, some chinese goods company, etc.). Then there was a $1,000 charge to Obama for America. Not sure what the angle was with that one. Trying to donate their way out of trouble?

People do enter wrong credit card information and some poor websites don't allow for easy correcting of mistakes or noticing them.

Nothing in life is perfect. Mistakes will happen, even if the plastic and magnetic swipe strip look perfect.

Not a big deal. Just dispute. A vast number of cardholders will experience problems and have to dispute after monitoring transactions. It is the way it works.

sackoloot said:   This happens more than you would think. Criminals aren't that bright and do things like pay utility bills with stolen CCs. For some crazy reason the authorities don't like to pursue these crimes. Maybe they figure it's too easy.I had a fraudulent charge on a card pay for the California bar ethics exam (or so it was suggested based on the amount and payee). How's that for irony?

SUCKISSTAPLES said:   Red55 said:   HA ha, had the neighbor's (idiot) bank pay my taxes by mistake. Best part was they wanted me to do the work for them, to recover the money. I helped cause my neighbor is a great guy and I didn't want him to have to deal with the BS. Gotta love it, they screw up and want you to fix it.
I just sued a mortgage lender for incorrectly paying a tax bill that wasn't due , they have 30 days to appeal the judgment . We shall see



Which court can you sue for this?
RBS Citizen's bank paid my tax bill twice in 2011 and after repeated phone calls over 6 months, were they able to revert it.

Any court that will hear it .

I filed in small claims so the bank couldn't send their attorney , They sent a clueless bank employee . Theyll have to appeal to be able to use an attorney in ca . In other states companies are allowed to send attorneys to small claims .

SUCKISSTAPLES said:   Any court that will hear it .

I filed in small claims so the bank couldn't send their attorney , They sent a clueless bank employee . Theyll have to appeal to be able to use an attorney in ca . In other states companies are allowed to send attorneys to small claims .
what were you suing for, and -since you mention them appealing I assume you won - what were you awarded? I can't think of what the damages would be, unless they were increasing an escrow payment because of the early payment?

They did indeed increase escrow . And there are some other unusual facts that gave rise to demonstrable damages, but Ill share more details after its finalized

I dont think this is a mistake (like mis-typing the CC number).
Unless they also mistyped the corresponding billing zipcode and got it right.
What are the chances of that happening?

KYBOSH said:   I dont think this is a mistake (like mis-typing the CC number).
Unless they also mistyped the corresponding billing zipcode and got it right.
Your zip code is not needed to process a credit card charge.

dcwilbur said:   KYBOSH said:   I dont think this is a mistake (like mis-typing the CC number).
Unless they also mistyped the corresponding billing zipcode and got it right.
Your zip code is not needed to process a credit card charge.

That's true for in-person purchases. In fact, it's against the law in California for a merchant to request the purchaser's zip code. See http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Stores-can-t-ask-for-ZIP-.... An exception is gas stations when pumping gas.

For online purchases though, I think billing zip code is used for verification. California allows billing address information to be used for online purchase verification:

http://bankcreditnews.com/news/california-supreme-court-rules-on...

glxpass said:   dcwilbur said:   KYBOSH said:   I dont think this is a mistake (like mis-typing the CC number).
Unless they also mistyped the corresponding billing zipcode and got it right.
Your zip code is not needed to process a credit card charge.

That's true for in-person purchases. In fact, it's against the law in California for a merchant to request the purchaser's zip code. See http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Stores-can-t-ask-for-ZIP-...

For online purchases though, I think billing zip code is used for verification.


Yup. I've had cards that verified with phone # too.

glxpass said:   dcwilbur said:   KYBOSH said:   I dont think this is a mistake (like mis-typing the CC number).
Unless they also mistyped the corresponding billing zipcode and got it right.
Your zip code is not needed to process a credit card charge.

That's true for in-person purchases. In fact, it's against the law in California for a merchant to request the purchaser's zip code. See http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Stores-can-t-ask-for-ZIP-...

For online purchases though, I think billing zip code is used for verification.

Depends on the merchant, and the level of verification they pay for. Alot of times, just the card number and expiration date is all that is needed, sometimes the CID number on the back, and sometimes address.

ksuwldkat said:   I had a credit card number stolen back in October. There were some charges for things you would expect (best buy, some chinese goods company, etc.). Then there was a $1,000 charge to Obama for America. Not sure what the angle was with that one. Trying to donate their way out of trouble?

Unfortunately, I think the going rate to buy a presidential pardon is a little more than $1,000.

glxpass said:   
That's true for in-person purchases. In fact, it's against the law in California for a merchant to request the purchaser's zip code. See http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Stores-can-t-ask-for-ZIP-.... An exception is gas stations when pumping gas.

For online purchases though, I think billing zip code is used for verification. California allows billing address information to be used for online purchase verification:

http://bankcreditnews.com/news/california-supreme-court-rules-on...

I was wondering about why we have to type in our zip code at the gas pump (in CA) when paying with credit. Interesting articles you linked to, thanks

grex23 said:   People do enter wrong credit card information and some poor websites don't allow for easy correcting of mistakes or noticing them.

Nothing in life is perfect. Mistakes will happen, even if the plastic and magnetic swipe strip look perfect.

Not a big deal. Just dispute. A vast number of cardholders will experience problems and have to dispute after monitoring transactions. It is the way it works.


Its really unlikely due to how Credit Card numbers were designed

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luhn_algorithm

How likely is it that you enter someones valid CC#, the exp date, and the security code. Its more likely that either the criminal was an idiot, or he found someone dumb enough to give him cash.

Glitch99 said:   glxpass said:   dcwilbur said:   KYBOSH said:   I dont think this is a mistake (like mis-typing the CC number).
Unless they also mistyped the corresponding billing zipcode and got it right.
Your zip code is not needed to process a credit card charge.

That's true for in-person purchases. In fact, it's against the law in California for a merchant to request the purchaser's zip code. See http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Stores-can-t-ask-for-ZIP-...

For online purchases though, I think billing zip code is used for verification.

Depends on the merchant, and the level of verification they pay for. Alot of times, just the card number and expiration date is all that is needed, sometimes the CID number on the back, and sometimes address.

IME, every online purchase I've made has required at the minimum credit card number, expiration date, and some personal information, such as zip code, phone number, or full billing address. A taxi driver asked for phone number. Interestingly, that was apparently enough for Square to send a receipt to my e-mail address, which I didn't provide.

ETA, it's possible that Square already had my e-mail address linked to the payment card from prior transactions with that card and Square.

could be a squatter just trying to prevent a tax foreclosure on s property for 6more months

Crazytree said:   Perhaps there was a property tax foreclosure coming down the pipeline soon... and this takes the sale off-calendar for awhile and the owner can plead ignorance.

I wonder if this would fit in with the common scam of breaking into a vacant condo/house, change the locks, list it on craigslist for rent, sit back and collect rent until an owner/bank notices, then disappear.

If wonder if paying the tax just like this just bought a "landlord" a few more months of free rent payments??

Although Occam's razor predicts that it's mostly likely simple stupidity on someone's part.

sackoloot said:   This happens more than you would think. Criminals aren't that bright and do things like pay utility bills with stolen CCs. For some crazy reason the authorities don't like to pursue these crimes. Maybe they figure it's too easy.

I can't say that I'd try it, but generally prosecuting credit card fraud involves multi-jurisdictions. And as it's the end merchant that is "on the hook" for the fees, the CC companies generally don't seem to care - at least not in my experience. In this particular case, the debt is secured by property, so the county isn't likely to take the cc issue up either...

Basically, I'd wager 50:1 that no one comes after you in these incidents.

My only experience with fraud was some 5 years ago on a credit card that I hadn't even been using (so unlikely the info was swiped from some transaction). I had 2 charges from 'Viktoria' in Moldova (yes, the eastern European country) for about 25 bucks each (plus fees), and I didn't even know about it until I got my paper statement (since then, I'm hooked up with alerts, Quicken, et al, so I'd know about a charge in a day or so).

Called Chase, without hassle they immediately canceled the charges and sent me a new card & number. The only wrinkle is I had to call them again to reverse some currency conversion fees.

Could it have been a simple mistake? Seems odd a criminal got hold of my number and only stole that small amount once. But I guess that's part of the scam, steal a bunch of numbers, make small charges once, either the victim doesn't notice, and/or the card company won't go thru the trouble and expense of a full and expensive investigation.

Regarding the criteria for using a card, the charge in this case was handled by a third party called "Official Payments". Not sure if anyone has used them and could say what they ask for.

ksuwldkat said:   I had a credit card number stolen back in October. There were some charges for things you would expect (best buy, some chinese goods company, etc.). Then there was a $1,000 charge to Obama for America. Not sure what the angle was with that one. Trying to donate their way out of trouble?

Maybe an ex-girlfriend.

Maybe they wanted your help because they paid YOUR taxes, and a lot of people on SD esp, will take anything free they can get. So yeah, if someone accidently did me a favor, I'd be glad to help, and not even comment what a great guy I am.

Skipping 21 Messages...
BingBlangBlaow said:   Since grex's case is being solved, SIS, do you have an update on yours?
SUCKISSTAPLES said:   I just sued a mortgage lender for incorrectly paying a tax bill that wasn't due , they have 30 days to appeal the judgment . We shall seeSUCKISSTAPLES said:   They did indeed increase escrow . And there are some other unusual facts that gave rise to demonstrable damages, but Ill share more details after its finalized

Yep . Paid and done.
They didn't want to appeal so the lender paid without further drama .

However ,the issue of the recent inaccurate credit reporting hasn't been resolved and wasn't part of the litigation . We will see if they choose to fix that voluntarily or whether they'd like to show up to court again



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