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Almost had a bad thing happen on our Vacation
Old 09-27-2013, 03:42 PM   #1
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Almost had a bad thing happen on our Vacation

Almost...

Somebody was using our credit card at a Wal*Mart in Charlotte, NC while we were on vacation in Duck and Corolla, NC. They tried to charge $407.77 worth of groceries but were denied. The credit union canceled our credit card and called and left a message on our house phone number. Of course, being on vacation an' all, we were not there to get the message. Well, since we have FiOS digital home phone it took a message and sent us emails on all of our phones, laptops, desktops, tablets, and wrist watches. I listened to the saved voice mail on my tablet and immediately called the Navy Federal Credit Union. They asked me all kinds of stuff to verify my identity. Some of it was directly from our credit report. One was a trick question: "What year did Prahata my-last-name live at your home address?" I said never and was allowed to discuss my account with the nice lady at fraud control. They are sending us a new credit card by Federal Express and it will get to our home address on Monday or Tuesday. If we were not the sophisticated travelers that we are(!) we would not have had a spare credit card with us (different account with different CU with diff number) and Visa would have gotten us a new card by tomorrow morning somehow. I almost didn't bring the spare backup card with us. As I was going upstairs to get it I thought to myself, it's just to the beach for a couple of days and we do this trip all the time... I won't think that again!

I got the idea of having a spare credit card while on vacation fron one of the many threads here on stolen credit card numbers. I am really glad I paid attention now.

It wasn't Penfed this time, it was a Navy FCU card. I think the snotty clerk at the liquor store with the attitude was the one who helped us out.

Mike D.
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Old 09-27-2013, 03:50 PM   #2
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I also was denied using a credit card while at the beach in the Outer Banks. Like you I got calls and they flagged the purchase attempt because it was not a usual location. But a call from me explained and no further problems. They were very nice and I understand and appreciate what they were trying to do .
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Old 09-27-2013, 04:52 PM   #3
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I've had similar cc experiences. Cards stolen, credit purchases denied, etc. My DW and I carry different cards with an additional card hidden elsewhere.
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Old 09-27-2013, 05:15 PM   #4
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I must have 6 cards with me at any given time. You really only travel with one?
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Old 09-27-2013, 05:29 PM   #5
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I must have 6 cards with me at any given time. You really only travel with one?
Me? If so, no I have two. It used to be three, but one was a work AmEx. They took the other one at the beach, the employee guessed I was an out-of-towner and assured me it happens all the time. Good man!
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Old 09-27-2013, 05:29 PM   #6
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Mexico is a hot bed of credit card fraud so we have accounts at six different banks. Getting replacement cards is not quick and easy so we want fallback options.
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Old 09-27-2013, 06:50 PM   #7
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This is timely, due to what I have read here and elsewhere, I called American Express from the road that we were heading into Canada and to put a flag in there so our card wouldn't be declined. I was assured by the representative that Amex was the world wide cc and they were the only company that doesn't require clients to call ahead to let them know they'd be out of the country, etc. Then got the 'you don't have to worry because we're not responsible for fraud on our card if it were compromised' (we'll I don't want to deal with the cleanup either!).
Surprise, surprise when on the third day were heading back to the boarder and the card doesn't work at the self pay gas pump. I get on the cell phone and there is an automated, verify this purchase deal and it states, thanks for verifying there shouldn't be any issues going forward. And the card magically worked.
Fast forward five minutes and at the Tim Hortons it declined again!
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Old 09-27-2013, 08:07 PM   #8
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MikeD thanks for the post. It reminded me to update the call forwarding and email options on my FIOS voice. It's a good feature, especially for times like this when your bank or FCU has to reach you. I've had my credit card compromised twice in the last 25 years and every time the card company took care of everything including next day delivery of new cards at no cost to me. After the second incident, I have made it a point to carry at least 3 credit cards - a VISA, a MC and an AMEX. I also don't sign the back of the card anymore, instead I print "ASK FOR ID". Not full proof since not all establishments ask to see the card anymore, you just swipe it. But should still be helpful just in case they do.
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Old 09-27-2013, 08:21 PM   #9
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We have three. Each of us has one that the other doesn't have. That way if a wallet is lost or stolen, we don't shut ourselves down entirely.
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Old 09-27-2013, 10:55 PM   #10
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When we travel, we each have a different set of cards, no overlap.

Penfed Visa doesn't allow any charges in Mexico. When I called them, they said that they had so much fraud frm Mexico that they now just automaticly decline all.

Most interesting experience we had was in Juno Alaska. We just walked down the street visiting stores and buying something in a bunch of them. That worked for 12 stores, but the 13th store we got declined. We called them in the next town - from a payphone on the pier, and they said, yeah, 12 charges within 30 minutes lit up their fraud algorithm bigtime.

One time Discover blocked our card, and when we called they asked "Did you try to make a $1.47 purchase at Dairy Queeen in {some place 5 states away} last night?" Never could figure out how they detected a fraud attempt with just 1 attempted use.
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Old 09-28-2013, 01:49 AM   #11
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Surprise, surprise when on the third day were heading back to the boarder and the card doesn't work at the self pay gas pump.

Fast forward five minutes and at the Tim Hortons it declined again!
This may have been a technical issue. Do your cards have Chip & Pin technology?

At the gas pumps I use, you must have a credit card with a chip and then you must enter a PIN.

When I am in the US I am unable to pay at the pump because I don't gave a Zip Code to enter. I have to go to the cashier, agree to pay up to a specified amount, fill up, then return to the cashier to finalize the transaction.

All the Tim Hortons I have been to in the past couple of years use point of sale devices that similarly use chip and pin technology.
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Old 09-28-2013, 02:20 AM   #12
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When we travel, we each have a different set of cards, no overlap.

Penfed Visa doesn't allow any charges in Mexico. When I called them, they said that they had so much fraud frm Mexico that they now just automaticly decline all.

Most interesting experience we had was in Juno Alaska. We just walked down the street visiting stores and buying something in a bunch of them. That worked for 12 stores, but the 13th store we got declined. We called them in the next town - from a payphone on the pier, and they said, yeah, 12 charges within 30 minutes lit up their fraud algorithm bigtime.

One time Discover blocked our card, and when we called they asked "Did you try to make a $1.47 purchase at Dairy Queeen in {some place 5 states away} last night?" Never could figure out how they detected a fraud attempt with just 1 attempted use.
We used our Penfed Visa in Cozumel and Costa Maya last week but we had called Penfed to let them know we would be in Mexico. No problems.
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Old 09-28-2013, 04:45 AM   #13
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We took at least 6 cards with us on our road trip this summer from England to Vladivostok, Russia. They were from Chase, Penfed, Amex, Citi, Schwab, and BofA (last two were debit/ATM). I had a list of all of them hidden in my email, just in case we needed to call and cancel.

All were notified with a list of countries, and I monitored the charges on Mint whenever we had wifi. Though figuring out fuel final charges was tough with exchange rates for 16 countries.

The only fraud that occurred was on a card we didn't take, a United Explorer Visa from Chase, that was set up for autopay with a SIM card company. Chase caught it because the card was used in Florida with Tiger Direct.

Go figure. And we were notified of the questionable charge by email and voice call, which was convenient since we didn't have phone service I could just email them to say the charge was fraudulent. Great that they figured it out with only one charge made.
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Old 09-28-2013, 06:11 AM   #14
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It's interesting. My parents always carried cash, used credit cards hardly at all, and were never robbed or burgled in their lives.

We've had several credit card fraud incidents, and have learned that they are a common fact of life these days.

You think you're safer carrying plastic than cash, but apparently it's not so.

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Old 09-28-2013, 08:00 AM   #15
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Well, *you* are safer. Any fraudulent charges come out of the bank's wallet, not yours.

We met some people (neophyte travelers) who had brought Travelers Checks thinking that would be safer and easier than plastic. They told us that they had a devil of a time. No stores wanted to take them; they had to find a bank -- which charged them a fee and then another currency exchange fee for the local money.
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Old 09-28-2013, 08:12 AM   #16
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Well, *you* are safer. Any fraudulent charges come out of the bank's wallet, not yours.

We met some people (neophyte travelers) who had brought Travelers Checks thinking that would be safer and easier than plastic. They told us that they had a devil of a time. No stores wanted to take them; they had to find a bank -- which charged them a fee and then another currency exchange fee for the local money.
Oh wow, I think the last time I carried those was in 1995 or so. And even then, they were inconvenient!
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Old 09-28-2013, 08:44 AM   #17
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'One time Discover blocked our card, and when we called they asked "Did you try to make a $1.47 purchase at Dairy Queeen in {some place 5 states away} last night?" Never could figure out how they detected a fraud attempt with just 1 attempted use. '

someone with a stolen card number tests it with a small charge to see if it's good - happened when a card I used for a trip was apparently skimmed, had a mystery $1 charge before they tried to buy about $200 of items online. Card company flagged the purchase and contacted me.
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Old 09-28-2013, 10:55 AM   #18
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We took at least 6 cards with us on our road trip this summer from England to Vladivostok, Russia. They were from Chase, Penfed, Amex, Citi, Schwab, and BofA (last two were debit/ATM). I had a list of all of them hidden in my email, just in case we needed to call and cancel.

All were notified with a list of countries, and I monitored the charges on Mint whenever we had wifi.
...
Hi Sarah, I'm guessing that Mint consolidates card company data for you so you do not have to directly log into your card company account. So the indirection avoids a security problem while on vacation? Is there any security issue in logging on to Mint while using a possibly insecure wifi? If not, this sounds like a nice trick.
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Old 09-28-2013, 11:41 AM   #19
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If you have multiple cards it can be helpful to use them for specific purposes. It helps fraud control to detect unusual activity for that card. When registering for a hotel it can let them know you are in that local. One of my sons had his card stolen while in college. They had gone out of town and he left his card behind. They got broken in and the card stolen. The funny part is that it was flagged the first time it was used to buy jewelry and CDs that my 21 year old never purchased and that was the give away.
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Old 09-28-2013, 12:38 PM   #20
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I carry two cards (because most pumps won't let us fill up the motorhome tank on one card) and DH carries one, all different.

We have OOMA for our home phone service, which alerts us by text message when we have a call. This saved us major hassle when we were on a trip this summer and the electric company called to say our service was being disconnected for nonpayment (they had the check but missed our account number). We were able to call them and get it straightened out before the disconnect happened. I shudder to think how nasty it would have been to come home to a 95 degree house, defrosted freezer, and warm refrigerator.
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