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Old 06-02-2012, 10:02 AM   #21
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I use a virtual CC number from Discover or ATT Universal card. By using a virtual number only the payer that first uses it, can use it for recurring charges. Works great for everyone for online purchases, except Amazon, as each vendor bills separately. So even if my CC card number changes, the virtual number that Netflix or the electric company stays the same.
I like this idea.
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Old 06-02-2012, 11:42 AM   #22
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A tip for you all: if you put recurring charges on a credit card, get a CC for that purpose only and never use it anywhere else. We did that after having to go through the song and dance of moving all our accounts over after a fraud. The second time our card was compromised, we didn't have to do anything but wait for a replacement.
I also did this after our CC info was stolen last time and definitely recommend it.

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Originally Posted by grasshopper View Post
I use a virtual CC number from Discover or ATT Universal card. By using a virtual number only the payer that first uses it, can use it for recurring charges. Works great for everyone for online purchases, except Amazon, as each vendor bills separately. So even if my CC card number changes, the virtual number that Netflix or the electric company stays the same.
I like that idea.
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Old 06-02-2012, 12:19 PM   #23
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Very aggravating. We've just come through a very annoying spell where someone signed us up for Experian credit protection services at $14.95/month. We had the charges reversed by our CC (credit union) provider but declined to have our account closed as we have a LOT of automatic payments so that would be a big PITA**. Then the charge showed up again. I called the number in the CC transaction log and after a few minutes of discussion, they agreed to reverse the charges and block the account. So far, so good. But annoying.
The same thing happened to me about three years ago. A $14.95 charge showed up on the credit card with a description something like credit monitoring (something innocuous so it wouldn't hit a fraud flag). The first charge posted - I guess they wanted to make sure it could go through. Then 12 more $14.95 charges hit - and went into pending. The USAA fraud department took care of reissuing the card, sending me the fraud affidavit, and doing whatever they do with the charges.

I keep a password protected spreadsheet so I know where the card(s) are used for recurring payments. It made it easy to transition from the hijacked card to the new card number.
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Old 06-02-2012, 01:00 PM   #24
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Amazon accounts are set up to store your credit card on file when you create it (for purchasing), but it's not required to maintain the account. I input it for purchasing and remove it after the item(s) have shipped.
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Old 06-02-2012, 01:09 PM   #25
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Maybe one way to protect against this is to not give the card to someone who disappears from site like a restaurant employee. So we use cash for these "credit card would go out of sight" transactions.

I went to this method after a fraud some years ago which may have been linked to a restaurant VISA usage.
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Old 06-02-2012, 03:19 PM   #26
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We had this happen when we were on a trip (click here for blog entry), and it was a big bother:
I've found that without a credit card, one feels a bit like a second-class citizen. You can't reserve a hotel room or campsite, gasoline purchases aren't as quick and easy, and you have to track your purchases manually. Also, the mishap is putting a crimp in the free-wheeling nature of our trip.

So, I wanted to get the new cards ASAP. The problem was discovered on the Friday before Memorial day weekend, adding to the complication. But with some time spent on the cell phone at a rest area, I set up a motel stay at an Econolodge, and arranged for overnight Fedexing (with Saturday delivery) of the new cards. That's why, as I write this, I'm sitting in the lobby of the Econolodge.


Here's what I've learned:

1. Use a virtual credit card, as grasshopper recommended. With "ShopSafe" it's a bit of a bother, because the virtual cards only last a year, and you can't increase the expiration date during the last month. However, even if you have to cancel your card, these numbers will still work (they will rollover to your new number). I use virtual numbers for all online transactions, and I create a bunch ahead of time for convenience. I figure that you are much more likely to have your number stolen with an online transaction than at a cafe, where the thief may be more vulnerable.

2. Redoing all the numbers for recurring transactions isn't quite as bad as you might think. For many vendors, it only take a minute online. Others, for example, Blue Cross employ idiots, and you need to write or fax something in to change the number.

3. For several recurring payments, I now use automatic checking account bill payments or have a check sent automatically each month for the average value of a bill. If you think this is more dangerous, because you are making your checking account number available, realize that that is true even if you send a paper check.

4. As mentioned, the virtual CC number doesn't work with Amazon, because some transactions go through a different merchant. I've talked about this with an Amazon person, and they are aware of the problem. However, the solution I use is to buy myself a gift card (with a virtual number), making for trouble-free purchases.

But in summary, finding out, while on a trip, that your card number has been stolen is such a bother, that it's worth some preventative measures.
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Old 06-02-2012, 04:55 PM   #27
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We only have a few recurring transactions on CC. Most have been on checking for years without any issue.

Almost all web purchases are on Amazon. Now generally I use the Amazon Visa card and never had an issue with using any CC with Amazon.
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Old 06-02-2012, 05:02 PM   #28
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Now generally I use the Amazon Visa card and never had an issue with using any CC with Amazon.
The issue only occurs if you use a virtual CC number.
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Old 06-02-2012, 05:16 PM   #29
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The issue only occurs if you use a virtual CC number.
The Amazon CC card gives you 3% back, have not had any problems with it. What's not to like?
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Old 06-02-2012, 05:54 PM   #30
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Why do you need to get the money reimbursed? Why did you pay the bill in the first place?
Sorry, I should have said it's a debit card, with once-a-month billing. 25th of the month rolls around, I get a statement and the amount gets debited. (I can check online, but I didn't for a few days in this case). Claims are made after the fact.

For the second month, my bank branch advised me to wait until I had the formal printed bill from them, rather than print out a copy from their online banking. I had to make a formal declaration of a crime at the police station before the bank would reimburse me (maybe they had a lot of people making fake claims that they didn't buy that laptop on eBay), and they reckoned that it would be "easier" for the police to accept the card statement on letterhead.
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Old 06-02-2012, 07:47 PM   #31
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A friend gave his son his CC to buy games for his X-box ... the x-box then ends up at his friends house (CC info still on the account/box). Kid racked up 3k in upgrades.

CC company refused to retract the charges ... said my friend should have known/knew the CC was tied to the X-box account.

OUCH!
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Old 06-02-2012, 08:29 PM   #32
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A friend gave his son his CC to buy games for his X-box ... the x-box then ends up at his friends house (CC info still on the account/box). Kid racked up 3k in upgrades.

CC company refused to retract the charges ... said my friend should have known/knew the CC was tied to the X-box account.

OUCH!
Well that would have ended up as a $3015 loss to me if he was my son after I wore that $15 belt out on his hide!
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Old 06-02-2012, 08:58 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Lsbcal
The Amazon CC card gives you 3% back, have not had any problems with it. What's not to like?
I'm sorry for not being clear.

A problem with any credit card is that the number might be stolen. For example if someone hacks your system, or an employee gets the number, then you will have to cancel your card. That is something not to like.

One way to solve this is to have a virtual credit card number generated that can only be used with a single merchant. You can also set a credit limit of $30, for example. In that case, even if someone steals the credit card number, he/she can't use it.

A problem can occur when you set up a virtual number for two individual transactions on Amazon. You expect both to go through. However, the first is a direct Amazon purchase, and the second is an Amazon Marketplace transaction. As a result, they are seen as two separate merchants, and the second transaction fails.
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Old 06-02-2012, 09:28 PM   #34
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Hi Al, I'm learning a bit about virtual CC numbers. Thanks.

I tend to be attracted to complexity like a moth to the flame. Maybe I'll try it but right now I'm getting too much electronic transaction stimulation via several Amazon purchases, dealing with a new CC account, learning how to handle laptop security while on vacation, dealing with 2 Kindle ebooks, etc., etc. I'm too much of a perfectionist and need to step back from the complexity.

I'm going to just sit and watch a DVD tonight with DW and have a Skinny Cow ice cream.
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Old 06-02-2012, 10:19 PM   #35
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I'm going to just sit and watch a DVD tonight with DW and have a Skinny Cow ice cream.
I thought your avatar was Blue Bunny...
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Old 06-03-2012, 08:24 AM   #36
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I thought your avatar was Blue Bunny...
They have to eat too ...
Now for breakfast as it is the AM here.
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Old 06-03-2012, 04:46 PM   #37
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Well that would have ended up as a $3015 loss to me if he was my son after I wore that $15 belt out on his hide!

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Old 06-03-2012, 07:42 PM   #38
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I don't have any advice, Alan, but I'll try to cheer you up with a very funny story from a storyteller's event. ("law into his own hands" refers to detective work, not revenge)

Quote:
Tristan Jimerson has his credit card number stolen, and he takes the law into his own hands to bring the thief to justice...
PRX Piece: The Moth Radio Hour 602
Segment 2, Story starts at 2:00.
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Old 06-03-2012, 08:09 PM   #39
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Thanks Harry, that was hilarious.

I've passed the link onto my wife and daughter (who arrived to spend the weekend with us the same day I discovered it had happened).
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Old 06-04-2012, 10:43 AM   #40
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IIRC, the credit card companies don't find it worth their while to pursue the thieves.
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