Strange call from American Express


February 21, 2013, 09:12 PM
I got a call from American Express a couple of days ago about a purchase I had made from They had called my office and left a message for me to call them back regarding my card. They would not leave my office staff any additional information.

So I called them back, and they said they wanted to verify a purchase I had made from Budsgunshop. They asked if I had made the purchase, and I said yes. Then they asked if I would verify the item I purchased and the type of business Budsgunshop was. Well, I told them "sporting goods", and nothing else. I figure with the name "Budsgun shop" they ought to be able to figure out what kind of business it was, but I did not see a need to divulge purchase information to them. The lady then asked if I was satisfied with the purchase, and if I recieved the item as advertised. I said yes. She said thank you very much, and that pretty much ended the call.

I have never had a call like this, and am a little paranoid I guess since it was regarding a firearm purchase. Has anyone else had this happen?

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February 21, 2013, 09:15 PM
have you ever purchased from bud's with amex before?

February 21, 2013, 09:16 PM
Nope, but I have with Visa, and never got a call.
I have made a lot of first time purchases on American Express. I never got a call for any of them. Why was this singled out?

Loc n Load
February 21, 2013, 09:20 PM
I had a similar experience today after having purchased some items from Midway USA...on a MasterCard.....same drill on the phone call.....never had that happen b-4....curiouser and curiouser.

February 21, 2013, 09:26 PM
I've gotten that call from my CC company too. When ordering computer parts.

Just their anti-fraud kicking in.

February 21, 2013, 09:27 PM
Probably because of the recent rise in volume these merchants are doing. Credit card companies use MBE principles - Management By Exception. Things that don't fit normal patterns get attention. Both these companies are running far above normal levels.

February 21, 2013, 09:37 PM
Gun from Buds Gun Shop:

Don't Leave Home Without It

February 21, 2013, 09:49 PM
I have had several of my credit cards placed on hold when I made Ebay purchases from Japan and other overseas locations. On vacation in Washington State, after making a large number of purchases in a short period of time. The vacation purchases resulted in a hold on the card since they could not reach me at home. I had to call them to clear things up. This is why the wife and I carry different credit cards when traveling.

February 21, 2013, 09:55 PM
Bud's Gun Shop or their payment processor lost customers' credit card info in the past.

AmEx's FEW (fraud early warning) system notices that there were many fraudulent purchases right after a transaction with Bud's, and flags your card. Then they call you to ensure you authorized most recent purchases.

February 21, 2013, 11:00 PM
^^^^^^^ this.

AMEX has one of the best fraud systems going, and they'll make a call in the middle of the night if they get the hankerin.

Fear not : AMEX is not trying to strip you of any rights they already haven't under the cardholder agreement.


February 22, 2013, 12:15 AM
I bought an item from Dell a week or so ago using a gift card and Amex for the balance. Dell (who knows why) billed the amount - $1 and then billed $1 separately. A few minutes after I closed the transaction the phone rang. It was Amex fraud department checking up on it. Fine with me! It was an automated call, though, and sounded really hinky. So I just called Amex myself and got things squared away.

I think this happens frequently and for sure not just on firearms transactions. No paranoia needed (yet as Blarby says).

February 22, 2013, 12:20 AM
I have had this happen with 1 of my cards as well. Fraud department checking that I had in fact made the purchase. It wasn't for firearms.

Black Butte
February 22, 2013, 01:20 AM
I have had this happen with 1 of my cards as well. Fraud department checking that I had in fact made the purchase. It wasn't for firearms.

Same for me when I ordered parts to build a computer.

February 22, 2013, 01:34 AM
I've had the AMEX call twice. Once for a legit purchase and once for a fraud purchase. As it was explained to me, their systems are programed to flag certain purchase patterns that match fraud patterns. Sometimes thieves will make test purchases, low odd amounts with specific types of retailers, before they go on a spree. When activity of that type shows up, they check back with the cardholder to see if the purchase is legit.

I have never had a problem with this, and both times the AMEX rep was curteous.

February 22, 2013, 02:05 AM
I've had a similar call before through visa, someone had frauded my card to buy some hobby stuff across the country. Its pretty standard procedure, when I worked at a paintball store that sold online we would have fraud attempts 1-3 times a month.

February 22, 2013, 02:32 AM
Yup, anti-fraud. Happened to me on a cross-country trip a few years ago.

(Though you'd think gas stations, hotels and restaurants on interstate routes being the only charges would be a clue that it's probably you going somewhere.)

February 22, 2013, 07:04 AM
I use two different cards for my small business (fishing guide, lure maker, fly tyer...) and frequently make one time (or at least only once to the same supplier every two or three years..) purchases and get those fraud queries regularly. I'd say that most card companies are working harder to beat the bad guys....

The only time I get cranky about it is when gas stations flag my fuel purchases on a given card because of high volume (fuel for boat and truck... $100 + day after day... I've learned to alternate cards and gas stations to keep from having problems. When you're on the road and actually working 14 hour days, getting asked to come inside the store for a fuel purchase gets aggravating (even when the clerk does speak English...).

February 22, 2013, 07:24 AM
I got a call from Capital One shortly after we had gone to a local restaurant. They inquired about some transactions on that afternoon, and sure enough, we hadn't made any of them. An employee of the restaurant had copied our number and made a number of purchases.

February 22, 2013, 07:27 AM
It's a good idea if you are traveling overseas or some other unusual trip, to call your credit card fraud department and tell them in advance where you are going. That prevents your card from being shut down for unusual activity.

February 22, 2013, 07:34 AM
I've had this happen with all kinds of merchants with Amex. If you've never used the card there before or sometimes use it online, their fraud dept calls to confirm. It's SOP for Amex these days, especially for gold or platinum accounts.

February 22, 2013, 07:50 AM
I get these calls from time to time. It is normal and the CC company is doing you a service. This is all about protecting your identity. I guess we can surmise that BG's are now stealing CC info and identities to attempt to purchase firearms "legally". Geez, it never ends.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

February 22, 2013, 08:09 AM
I buy from Bud's all the time but being local for me I pay cash usually. Now as for credit card problems with Bud's it turned out it wasn't Bud's but the clearing house for the credit cards that also got a few other companies blamed for their problem. I take credit cards in my business and we don't take AMEX or Discover due to how hard they hit us in fees compared to Master or Visa. I might add AMEX will stop a payment on a whim even with a signed receipt by the buyer though you don't get back the amount they took for the transaction. No thanks on them.

As for the main point it has happened to me both on internet sales and traveling. A few years ago I traveled from Miami FL to Texas driving straight through. I hadn't told them in advance and the stopped all charges on my debit card due to 5 tanks of gas in one day. They did however not cut off my ability to go to and ATM and withdraw cash using my pin #. Since I've contacted them in advance if I'm traveling but also have them call occasionally with large seemingly purchases that don't fit what I normally buy. I like it since I've had no unusual charges show up in 15 years..

February 22, 2013, 08:16 AM
It is important to have more than one credit card. Several years ago I worked diligently to get all of my credit card balances paid off, and then carried only one card. While just starting a vacation I received a call on my cell phone about several suspicious purchases, which in fact were not made by me. I appreciated the call from the Capital One folks and they immediately canceled my card and started the process for a new numbered card to be sent to me. The problem was that I was away from home and needed to arrange a rental car. That is when I found that the rental car company would not accept a debit card, which left me in the lurch. Fortunately a relative who was also on the same vacation used his card for my car rental and all ended well. As soon as I returned home I applied for a new card and now try to buy something every month or so on the second card just to keep it active as a "just in case" credit card. I pay my balances in full now every month which also lets me sleep better at night. I know this has nothing to do with firearms but felt it was important to get folks to think about this.

February 22, 2013, 08:23 AM
Asked and answered.

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