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The easiest way to make a change is to have it foist upon you.
Well, what do you know? Those fraud protection algorithms the banks use might actually work. Normally they just want to verify that I have actually spent money on something obscure, but this time they picked up something I didn't recognise. As if I could be bothered signing up to Netflix, let alone watch something. Still, I'm not quite sure how a computer determined that it's unusual activity.

Anyway, they have now changed my address and my regular account, both of which I've been meaning to do for months. The only remaining pain is to change my credit card number with the various billlers.

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Yike. Any idea how someone'd got hold of yer details?

Nope, but it's something of a surprise it hasn't happened sooner. Aside from the possibility of someone intercepting numbers online, it strikes me as pretty easy for someone to overhear when you order something by phone, or for an employee of an otherwise honest merchant to be tempted if they have access to credit card numbers.

What fascinates me, though, is how the algorithm had flagged as suspicious something that would surely appear innocuous to a casual observer: a $10.72 Netflix transaction. Presumably they analyse patterns for both the individual account and across multiple accounts, but it's still surprising.

Of course, there's the vague thought in the back of my mind that it could be a legitimate transaction I've forgotten about, but since I can't recall anything for that amount, and have never used Netflix, it's a safe bet it's not mine. Especially since I was at home with the card in my pocket at the time of the transaction, and I'm sure Netflix would always process transactions in real-time rather than delayed. (Either that or a dodgy merchant is passing themselves off as an online video rental company.)

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