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Credit card fraud
Old 12-06-2013, 12:15 PM   #1
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Credit card fraud

We're on a road trip and we just got a message from our primary credit card to call the fraud number. Somebody charged $0.01 to a clothing company and then $498 to an electronics retailer yesterday and so, natch, we are now down one credit card. This seems to happen every time we travel. I guess that we are going to switch to old-fashioned cash for restaurants from now on. Any other thoughts? We are carrying a second card and we are smart enough not to use the debit card in anything other than automated card readers personally or while we watch. I wish restaurants in the US would get hand held card readers like the Europeans use.
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:22 PM   #2
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Everytime our credit card number gets stolen we can trace it back to a restaurant (often a high end one). Now we only use cash in restaurants.

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Old 12-06-2013, 12:24 PM   #3
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This is one reason I have carry credit cards than I would normally carry while traveling.

AND

I have yet more that stay in the firesafe at home and are only used for certain regular recurring charges or on-line transactions with key vendor.

It's a pain.

I have had new cards sent to me via Fedex while traveling. This involved:

1. Going through a bunch of security questions over the phone with the bank to verify identity.
2. Arranging to have the cards Fedexed overnight to a bank branch on our route and picking up new the cards there.

Overall that was not too bad considering we were on the road.
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:46 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by golftrek View Post
Everytime our credit card number gets stolen we can trace it back to a restaurant (often a high end one). Now we only use cash in restaurants.
+1
Since I started doing this a couple of years ago, no further problems (knock on wood). I make it a point to always have a couple of $50 bills in the back compartment of my wallet just for restaurants, and I never let a credit card be handled out of my sight at any time.

Strangely, it has always been at a restaurant far from our home, never one nearby. They can pick out the travelers, I guess.
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:52 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by golftrek View Post
Everytime our credit card number gets stolen we can trace it back to a restaurant (often a high end one). Now we only use cash in restaurants.

Jo Ann
How did you trace it back? When ours was compromised I could not get any info from the company, other than they would issue us a new card, and we needed to document that we didn't make the charge (just sign the papers they sent us).

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Old 12-06-2013, 01:27 PM   #6
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Everytime our credit card number gets stolen we can trace it back to a restaurant (often a high end one). Now we only use cash in restaurants.

Jo Ann
Our two most recent credit card fraud events were of the nature of a "global compromise" where we were but one of a group of credit cards compromised. Obviously a list somewhere was made vulnerable.

In this case you don't get a call. They send you new cards via snail mail and still let you use the old ones for a couple of weeks to give you time to get your new cards. You won't know it happened otherwise unless you try to make an unusual purchase during that two week window.
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Old 12-06-2013, 01:33 PM   #7
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On the question of how we knew our CC number was stolen at a restaurant, one time the credit card company told us because they were investigating a restaurant in town. Another time it was obvious because we had not used the cared for a while, then we used it in a restaurant and that night our card was hit with a bunch of overseas charges and our credit card company called us.

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Old 12-06-2013, 01:34 PM   #8
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We travel constantly and I only ever use a debit card. Only problem we have is when the bank blocks the card because it's being used outside of our area - even though we called them up and told them we'd be traveling. Last week we drove to Columbus from Cincinnati area, about an hour and a half, used our card at a store and it was blocked 30 minutes later when we tried to check into our hotel. I'm considering looking for a new bank.
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Old 12-06-2013, 02:19 PM   #9
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We travel constantly and I only ever use a debit card. Only problem we have is when the bank blocks the card because it's being used outside of our area - even though we called them up and told them we'd be traveling. Last week we drove to Columbus from Cincinnati area, about an hour and a half, used our card at a store and it was blocked 30 minutes later when we tried to check into our hotel. I'm considering looking for a new bank.
I am curious as to why you only use debit card, Seraphim. Do you not own a credit card? I am the opposite. I will only use debit card at the bank ATM. Everything else goes on a CC. Maybe I am just paranoid, but I do not want anything connecting to my personal accounts.
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Old 12-06-2013, 02:40 PM   #10
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I am curious as to why you only use debit card, Seraphim. Do you not own a credit card? I am the opposite. I will only use debit card at the bank ATM. Everything else goes on a CC. Maybe I am just paranoid, but I do not want anything connecting to my personal accounts.

I am curious also. I treat my debit card as if it were my social security number. I only use it at Bank ATMs and NEVER at an outside ATM.

I like the idea of a dedicated travel credit card. I'm going to do that from now on. I've thought about getting a prepaid card but from what I've seen (cursory looks) they all have a fee for loading them and I don't want to pay to get my own money !
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Old 12-06-2013, 02:45 PM   #11
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I have had 3 instances in the last year on 1 card. My suspicions are the frauds are coming from hackers involved with service station card readers at the pump.
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Old 12-06-2013, 03:43 PM   #12
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I have had 3 instances in the last year on 1 card. My suspicions are the frauds are coming from hackers involved with service station card readers at the pump.
You really can't be too careful these days. I routinely examine credit card readers (such as at gas stations) as closely as I can, but I might only be fooling myself.

Credit Card Skimming | Credit Card Skimmers - Consumer Reports News
All About Skimmers — Krebs on Security
Daily Kos: Beware "New" Credit Card Skimmers
Credit card fraud - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 12-06-2013, 04:23 PM   #13
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I have had 3 instances in the last year on 1 card. My suspicions are the frauds are coming from hackers involved with service station card readers at the pump.
My debit card was skimmed this year when I used an ATM. In my bank's own lobby, maybe ten feet from and in full view of the receptionist. Thieves put a gizmo in the card reader and everyone who used it had their card info used shortly thereafter to withdraw money at an ATM some 20 miles away. Pretty brazen of the thieves, pretty embarrassing for the bank (which caught and reversed the fraudulent withdrawals and then contacted me).
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Old 12-06-2013, 05:08 PM   #14
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I wish restaurants in the US would get hand held card readers like the Europeans use.
This would require US cards to have a chip in them. Card fraud is way down in Europe since the introduction of chips, although there's always the possibility to steal the number, expiration date, and CVC code from the back, then use it online. (I scratch off the CVC code from my card and keep it noted separately in code form; you never need it when shopping in the real world.) We use our PIN code instead of a signature, which means that poorly-paid clerks don't also find themselves having to determine, with no training, if your signature is correct or not.

We also still have ATM fraud, with skimmer devices, but that's because our ATMs have to be able to accept magnetic stripe-only cards, which only non-Europeans have. Come on US banks, this is the 21st century! (European retailers either have a swipe attachment on the hand-held reader, or a separate machine, sometimes even an old manual clack-clack carbon paper thing, to handle prehistoric cards from technological backwaters such as, um, the USA.)
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Old 12-06-2013, 05:13 PM   #15
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Damn, there's the answer. Remove the security code from the card and fraud becomes much less likely.

My mom was visiting me a few years ago. She used a card at a nice little restaurant in the resort town where I was living. A few hours later she got a call from the CC company saying that her brother was claiming that he had authorized him to use the card somewhere in Colorado. "A miracle," she replied "he's been dead for 50 years!"
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Scratch Off the CVC Code from Credit Cards
Old 12-07-2013, 11:08 AM   #16
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Scratch Off the CVC Code from Credit Cards

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...I scratch off the CVC code from my card and keep it noted separately in code form; you never need it when shopping in the real world.....
This is brilliant; frankly, I feel pretty dumb for not thinking of this myself. Very simple and easy for a high level of protection. Thank you.

I travel extensively, both USA domestic and globally, using credit cards almost exclusively when it make sense. (Plenty of small, Central American towns where that is not really an option but not much cash is needed to get by as well as a few places, such as New Zealand, where American style credit cards, rather than chip/pin/EBT cards, can incur significant service fees.)

If I have a large stash of cash and that disappears, it is just gone. I don't want to think about someone getting my ATM information. But, I have never had an issue with the credit card companies cancelling fraudulent charges on my account and reissuing cards, generally offering to overnight them.

As a few others have mentioned, I do carry a significant number of cards in addition to several more which are kept at home but which I have information for online transactions.
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Old 12-07-2013, 11:19 AM   #17
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After 2 CC frauds in the last 10 years, I have enabled all kinds of e-mail alerts for my CCs. I get alerted for on-line automatic charges, foreign charges, if amount goes certain threshold, etc..

I visited a Mexican restaurant while I was traveling from Bay Area to Los Angeles. They used an old fashion way to take my CC - made carbon copies. A month later, someone charged my card somewhere in Mexico.

But CC fraud correction is much easier than fixing check fraud. This happened twice and I had to cancel checking accounts, reorder checks, etc..
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Old 12-07-2013, 12:35 PM   #18
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This is brilliant; frankly, I feel pretty dumb for not thinking of this myself. Very simple and easy for a high level of protection. Thank you.

...
Yes, why don't the credit card companies tell us about this, or make it EZ to eliminate the code? I'm guessing they feel the lost income from people forgetting the code and no using the card for that transaction is greater than the fraud?

But the inconvenience would be worse for the user, IMO. OTOH, is there any downside to this (other than the obvious misplacing of the code)


BTW, a simple way to keep numeric codes handy - create a phony directory entry in your phone or hard-copy list of phone numbers. If your Visa CCV is 989 and your AMEX CCV is 5343, use something like:

Uncle Vic 999-555-0989

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Aunt Mary 999-555-5343

Assuming you don't have an Uncle Vic or Aunt Mary, that should trigger your memory.

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Old 12-07-2013, 03:47 PM   #19
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[QUOTE=BigNick;1387977]This would require US cards to have a chip in them.

We just got back from europe and used our credit cards with no problem and we do not have the cards with the chip. They all used the hand held device at your table. cards never left our sight. I wish they would do that in the usa.
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Old 12-07-2013, 10:10 PM   #20
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[QUOTE=mn54;1388296]
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This would require US cards to have a chip in them.

We just got back from europe and used our credit cards with no problem and we do not have the cards with the chip. They all used the hand held device at your table. cards never left our sight. I wish they would do that in the usa.
The Point of Sale devices will allow cards without chips to be swiped. There is nothing different about the transaction from what you see in the US except that it takes place at your table. The same technology is in use in Canada.

We have discussed this before in the thread below, so I'm not sure there is much else to say.

Penfed fraud detection, or lack of it
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