Is there a mystery charge on your credit card bill?

As the old saying goes, it's easier to steal $1 from a million people than to steal $1 million from one person. That may be the idea behind this current credit card mystery.

According to the Boston Globe, credit card customers across the country are complaining on internet boards about a mysterious 25-cent charge on their bills. The charge comes from a place called "Adele Services," based in Melville, New York. But according to the article, there is no such business listed under that name in Melville, or anywhere else in New York, for that matter.

Authorities think one of two things is happening: Identity thieves are checking to make sure the credit card is good to go for larger charges (although this hasn't happened yet) or, more likely, they're looking to make money by stealing a small amount from a big group of people.

Diabolical. Because I know I might never notice a 25-cent charge on my bill, and if I did, would I make the effort to call around and do something about it? Probably not. It's just a quarter, I'd tell myself. And that attitude is just what the thieves are banking on.

Check your bill and see if you've been hit. If so, don't let it slide. File a dispute with your credit card company and lodge a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and the Internet Crime Complaint Center, which is run by the FBI in conjunction with other watchdog groups.

Considering your account number, along with your name and expiration date, have also likely been compromised, you might want to close your account and start a new one, just to be on the safe side.
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