I just received the following alert from my bank, and they want to verify that I made these transactions:

Do you recognize all of these transaction(s)?

Approved transaction at PETRO [redacted] for $1.00 on 09/21/2018
Approved transaction at CHEVRON [redacted] for $1.00 on 09/19/2018
Approved transaction at CHEVRON [redacted] for $1.00 on 09/19/2018

The dates and locations match times I've used this credit card. I'm assuming these are preauthorization charges, but I've never noticed them before and this is the first time the bank's alerted me for them.


Seems normal, if you actually bought fuel 3 times in 2 days. That's probably different from your usual habit, and you were probably travelling at the same time -- two things that often trigger bank fraud detectors.

Also, the easier it is for them to contact you (as opposed to actually declining transactions or freezing the card) the more sensitive and less specific they'll run their alert system.

  • Which also depends on the gas station. Some stations charge 75$ or something crazy like that if you charge at the pump, then credit back the remainder. That got me hard during a cross-country travel trip I had a number of years ago. – phyrfox Sep 22 '18 at 20:39
  • 2
    @phyrfox: preauthorize, not charge... but yeah, if you're operating near your limit that can be a problem. – Ben Voigt Sep 22 '18 at 20:45

Yes, gas stations frequently use a $1 pre-authorization charge, if the dates/places line up then I wouldn't worry about them, just keep an eye on what actually posts.

If a thief were clever they might try to mask their test-transactions as pre-authorizations before they make some larger purchases, but it seems unlikely that they'd use a fake card at places you actually were on those days.

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