Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Credit Card fraud

Thank goodness for credit card fraud prevention!!!
A few years ago we were on vacation in Florida and our Discover card was rejected at a restaurant. We pay our cards off every month so we knew it should have worked.
We called Discover and they had placed a temporary hold on the card because of unusual activity. I guess Disneyworld charges can look pretty suspicious when you normally use your card at only a few stores each month, all in Utah.
It was a minor inconvenience, but not a big deal. They had our card back up and working again in no time, and we didn't have any problems with it the rest of our trip.

Last night we got a call from Discover card. Apparently someone got ahold of our credit card number (we have no idea how) and they were trying to purchase airline tickets for $1300. There were a few other small charges on the card that we hadn't authorized, but the big one was these airline tickets. We actually bought airline tickets last week so we may not have even thought twice about the charge if it wasn't so much more than what we had paid for our tickets.
Thankfully Discover took care of it, and we won't be charged for these fraudulent charges, but it was really scary thinking how easily someone was able to charge all of these things on our card!

I found some prevention tips online:

21 Credit Card Fraud Prevention Tips:
1. Keep an eye on your credit card every time you use it, and make sure you get it back as quickly as possible. Try not to let your credit card out of your sight whenever possible.
2. Be very careful to whom you give your credit card. Don't give out your account number over the phone unless you initiate the call and you know the company is reputable. Never give your credit card info out when you receive a phone call. (For example, if you're told there has been a 'computer problem' and the caller needs you to verify information.) Legitimate companies don't call you to ask for a credit card number over the phone.
3. Never respond to emails that request you provide your credit card info via email -- and don't ever respond to emails that ask you to go to a website to verify personal (and credit card) information. These are called 'phishing' scams.
4. Never provide your credit card information on a website that is not a secure site.
5. Sign your credit cards as soon as you receive them.
6. Shred all credit card applications you receive.
7. Don't write your PIN number on your credit card -- or have it anywhere near your credit card (in the event that your wallet gets stolen).
8. Never leave your credit cards or receipts lying around.
9. Shield your credit card number so that others around you can't copy it or capture it on a cell phone or other camera.
10. Keep a list in a secure place with all of your account numbers and expiration dates, as well as the phone number and address of each bank that has issued you a credit card. Keep this list updated each time you get a new credit card.
11. Only carry around credit cards that you absolutely need. Don't carry around extra credit cards that you rarely use.
12. Open credit card bills promptly and make sure there are no bogus charges. Treat your credit card bill like your checking account -- reconcile it monthly. Save your receipts so you can compare them with your monthly bills.
13. If you find any charges that you don't have a receipt for -- or that you don't recognize -- report these charges promptly (and in writing) to the credit card issuer.
14. Always void and destroy incorrect receipts.
15. Shred anything with your credit card number written on it.
16. Never sign a blank credit card receipt. Carefully draw a line through blank portions of the receipt where additional charges could be fraudulently added.
17. Carbon paper is rarely used these days, but if there is a carbon that is used in a credit card transaction, destroy it immediately.
18. Never write your credit card account number in a public place (such as on a postcard or so that it shows through the envelope payment window).
19. Ideally, it's a good idea to carry your credit cards separately from your wallet -- perhaps in a zippered compartment or a small pouch.
20. Never lend a credit card to anyone else.
21. If you move, notify your credit card issuers in advance of your change of address.

We already do most of these though. Anyone have more tips on protecting yourself from these kinds of crimes? Post them here!


kristen said...

That's so scary! I'm glad that the credit card company caught it and took care of it for you!

The Wilsons said...

Glad they caught it!

So, if you bought airline tickets, does that mean you are coming this way sometime?

Rosie and Derek said...
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Malinovka said...

Scary! I'm so glad we haven't had any problems like that. We also try to be VERY careful. I'm so glad they caught it and you weren't stuck with it. I bet it makes you wonder how in the world they got your card number!! Hope it's smooth sailing after this.

Jenny said...

WOW! It is amazing how fast thingslike that can happen. We are going to be in Utah this summer. We should get together! Also let us know if you guys are coming to Ohio any time soon.

J+S said...

Credit card fraud is so scary. But what can you do? Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em. :)

Heather said...

I am so glad that Discover caught it and took care of it! It is a horrible experience because as you know it happened to me. I am so, so glad that they caught it.