"ha ha, well that DEFINITELY wasn't me!"
Yeah, yeah, that's what they all say.
I think the only time I got a Fraud Alert was after charging $68 for lunch at a restaurant I hadn't used the credit card at before. I had just treated an out-of-work pal to lunch there and we got a bit carried away with appetizers and N.Y. Strip Steak Sandwiches.
They actually put a stop on my card, and I was kind of mortified at Panera the next week when they said the card wouldn't go through. I could understand an alert for the $68, but actually rendering the card unusable without checking with me first seemed a bit much.
I had a female friend who left her card at a beauty salon down in Florida a few years back. By the time she realized the card was lost, the culprit had used it for all sorts of strangely minor things -- probably to avoid having to sign for the card -- like gassing up a car, fast food restaurants, small amounts of stuff at grocery and department stores. This made it kinda tough for her (initially anyway) to prove those weren't her own purchases. I think she had to prove she was no longer in Florida at the time they occurred.
So I think it's good they do alerts on things that seem out of the ordinary (massive expenditures, strange businesses/stores etc.), but it does pay to scan one's monthly statement even for minor things to make sure someone isn't being sneaky.
In my newspaper days we once covered a local scandal where an assistant town manager was using his corporate AmEx card to buy thousands of dollars of personal items, including lingerie for his wife. Now he was, technically, gradually paying back the personal dollars spent but the whole idea of the corporate card was to separate business and personal expenses. I found it strange AmEx never put out some sort of alert that "Hey, is Victoria's Secret part of 'town business'"?