So I get a call this morning that some person with undoubtedly high moral standards attempted to use my debt card numbers to make a $300.00 purchase from a Walmart about an hour from me yesterday. Fortunately my bank caught it and declined the purchase. I called the Walmart in question and asked if I could see the video surveillance to see if I could get a nice candid shot of the person at the check out and was told that would not be allowed. Well, So much for technology helping me. I was told by my local PD that a detective would soon be contacting me for all the good that will do. Id like to know just how they did it, I'm crazy careful with my card numbers and pay cash for most everything I buy. At no time did my debit card ever leave my wallet.
My wife and I have both been the victim of this kind of thing. I believe that somewhere the card was used it was "harvested" for illicit use. Simple as that. Banks are pretty good about it, but is sure would be better to prevent than fix after the fact. You won't get much of a response from law enforcement because there's really not much they can do.
I've had my cc number stolen twice (different cards) in the last four years. Most likely an employee of a company where I made a purchase stole the number and sold it. Luckily in both events I was not found responsible and paid no fines or charges.
We could go to cash purchases but we use the cc card exclusively for convenience and getting the reward points.
They caught a guy here a couple years ago installing a card reader at a bank machine. Looked completely normal, most people wouldn't see it. Stick the card in, it reads it, then collects your PIN when you type it in. They found a couple more readers installed at other locations.......wonder how many numbers he got before he got caught.
The crooks have a hand held device that they can read the card even if it's in your wallet or purse. They brush past you and pick up the magnetic bar code.
Dennis, it is hard to get the magnetic stripe data remotely, they use the newer RFID enabled cards.
Usually, the stripe data is gotten via a skimmer, a reader that has been placed over an existing reader on the ATM.
Philip - We've had the exact same experience you have had ref our credit card number stolen and an attempt to misuse our card number was made the same day. Also the same day, when my wife went to use the card about noon, the card would not work. She called the CC company and was told that they had cancelled the card due to their detection of what they felt was a suspicious misuse of the card. (Boy! Were they right!) We were very favorably impressed by the CC company!
As you do Philip, wife and I use our credit card exclusively for convenience and for "air miles". Also, we didn't lose a penny over this, and I've been led to believe that this is one feature of a CREDIT CARD that is more secure that a DEBIT CARD, and I've heard that no matter what, you won't ever loose more than $50 due to theft or misuse of your CREDIT CARD by thieves, but that you can stand to loose much more loss due to theft or misuse of you DEBIT CARD. I don't understand why this is, or even if it's true, but if anyone can advise if this is true, and if so, why this is, I'd sure appreciate it.
And thanks for starting this thread Philip as I believe we can all learn from it,.......thanks again,........harold
I used mine at Barnes & Noble once, and some schmuck tried to buy airline tickets in the UK with it.
Harold, although I'm not 100% certain, a Debit Card has direct access to either a checking account, or savings account you maintain, or it has it's own pre-paid amount.
The Debit Card acts as a key to your vault; once someone opens the door, everything can spill out. That's why you can lose everything from whatever account(s) a Debit Card is tied to; there's no recourse, either, from what I understand.
A Credit Card, I believe, is a borrowing tool. You use it to buy something and the bank that issued the Credit Card pays the merchant. The same bank then adds this amount to the amount you owe on your Credit Card.
The way credit cards are structured, the cardholder is not responsible for paying anything until HE/SHE uses it; the maximum loss the cardholder will suffer is $50.00 for fraudulent use.
Using a Credit Card to buy something that gets shipped to you is the safest way for you to make purchases. In any dispute you have with the merchant, including damaged due to freight, the credit card company sides with you, not the merchant.
The only time this is not necessarily true is when you buy something in person at a store; you then have the responsibility to be sure the merchandise isn't visibily defective.
Interesting, So I gather if I do use plastic for buying it would be better for me to use my credit card? I never really thought of it that way.
In my opinion, yes, a credit card is the best way to buy anything. However, this is true if, and ONLY IF, you pay off your balance, 100%, every month, as soon as your statement arrives in the mail.
The trap the credit card issuers (banks) want you to fall into is not paying 100% of your bill every month. That's when you will begin to see interest charges approaching 29.99% being added to your monthly statement.
Just pay it off, 100%, every month.
As I understand it, Bill E. is correct. However, also as I understand it, most debit cards can also be used as a credit card (in spite of the fact that no actual "credit" is extended). When it is used as a credit card, the same protections as a regular credit card apply. Furthermore, in my experience (it's happened to me a couple of times) the bank stands good for the fraudulent charges in either event, credit or debit.
I now check my accounts regularly online. As good as the bank has proven to be in detecting fraudulent charges, I keep a close watch myself also.
Bill - Thanks so much for the detailed explanation. And your advice about paying off the the credit card bill, 100% every month, is exactly how we've been operating for many years. And the banks just hate us and consider us "deadbeats" for that reason, but that's okay. I don't particularly like banks anyway! Actually, I fully expect that they (banks) are doing more and more to charge us "deadbeats" every chance they get (or can create). What the banks don't consider is that I spent a lot of years, paying that horrible credit card interest when my four sons were just little boys that needed new shoes faster than I could pay for them. Thanks again,.......harold
Harold - I believe you're totally correct about the banks' assessment of cardholders who pay 100% of their balance off each month. "Deadbeat" and "Freeloader" are commonly used terms for us.
It is getting bad.People would rather steal than work and are getting good at it.
My neighbor has not had a job in 2 years.She got a dwi and lost her driveing license.Well,she got 8 or so credit cards in the mail last week from Walmart, toys are us and victoria secret and others.
Some woman in charlotte stole her info and made a booboo and marked Joint account on all the applications so 2 cards were cut for each 1.Or my neighbor wouldnt have ever known about it till it was 2 late.
Yea,police is involved.But I doubt it will do any good.Woman has allready been in prison for doing it twice or 3 times before and aint learned her lesson yet.
A couple of years ago I went to the bank and asked for a loan, It seems they do frown on paying the credit card before its due. She said it did not help my credit score at all, in fact it hurts it some. But then the only time I use my credit card is for a large purchase or airfare and car rental. I think maybe I will start using it more. I guess if I leave a small balance like $20.00 or so they cant charge me that much interest and it would show steady use.
It galls me to know that paying off a credit card in full monthly does not result in the best credit rating. Given that information, I think Will C. is probably on the right track. It's kinda like the thread about the parts stores. Stand in front of them and call them on your cell phone for service. If that's what it takes....
Using a redit card from a Credit Union is a much better deal then being a chump using one of the big bank cards. Our Credit Union gives 2% cash back at the end of the year for the amount you spent using the card and the interest rates are lower along with no bogus gotcha fees.
You guys are gonna' get me started! I did mention earlier that I don't particularly like banks. I won't go into detail about things like the 18% interest on an ARM that was all I could ("qualify for") in the early '80's when I was forced to relocate from Montana to Washington and had to finance a house. In every bank we went to, the first question they asked my wife and I was,..."what are your combined annual incomes?" (My wife didn't work; she was home raising my four kids!)
I might mention that I was raised by "depression era" parents that taught me to save, save, save! My Mom took me to a bank when I was a little kid, to open up a passbook savings account. Can't remember my age, but I think I was old enough to understand how passbook savings interest worked when Mom explained it to me, and I always thought it was "a joke" for banks to pay one point something or other percent interest on passbook savings. Well, what interest do you suppose banks pay on passbook savings today? Yep! If anything, a little bit less than that. Yeah, I'm really not too fond of banks!
And another thing nowadays,......folks old enough will remember the old adage,...."cash talks and BS walks!" Well, try using "cash" as leverage in dealing for a new car! The LAST thing they want is CASH! You'll be steered right for "Ford Credit" or "GMAC" or whatever other "lending institution" they're holding hands with!
There! See? Ya' did get me started! End of rant,.....harold
Right on Jay! I belong to two Credit Unions but I don't have one nickel in any bank! Only problem nowadays is that very gradually, Credit Unions are being forced to become more and more like banks, just to stay in business!
It has been written:
" I think maybe I will start using it more. I guess if I leave a small balance like $20.00 or so they cant charge me that much interest and it would show steady use."
BEFORE you do that, please do read and try to understand all that little fine print in your cc agreement.
No, there won't be much interest on a $20.00 balance, BUT I do believe that when there is a balance, the "Free ride" on new purchases is not to be had....
i.e. carry a $20.00 balance, then charge a thousand or two on plane tickets and car rental, and I do believe that you will find that interest begins to accrue from the moment of purchase....do read the fine print on your card - cards vary. To be hit with an unexpected $50.00 or $60.00 interest fee will take away a lot of ice cream money.
Use a credit card for the "points" and rewards if you want, but be sure to pay off the balance each month....or don't use the card for the purchase.
At the end of the year, you'll be much happier!
My opinion, of course....
Don't know if Wells Fargo still does this, but they used to until I altered my account. I had a checking account with a debit card. They WOULD LET you go over your available balance and use the card as a CREDIT card, and you would pay the bank back in fees and such.
I put a stop to that right quick....
Guys, Dave is 100% correct about reading the fine print-ALL of it. If you're not COMPLETELY certain of how much money you'll pay in interest and fees for carrying a balance, even a small one, don't use the car until you write a confirming letter of what you understand AND receive a response.
Once you get a balance carried over on a credit card, it never stops. You can then pay off the card, but all future purchases carry an interest charge with it, even though you have paid all your balance the month before.
Paying off your credit card each month may not give you the "best" credit rating, but it won't hurt it, either. Anyone who says it will will retract that if you write them a letter confirming that they told you it WOULD hurt you.
Paying off your credit card 100% each month keeps the money in YOUR pocket, not the bank's.
Your state rules will differ...but there is a BIG difference between a Credit Card and a Debit Card when it comes to liabilities in many states.
With a CC, there are usually statutory limits of liability and their computers also watch for 'something' outside of your buying habits and throw the brakes on. Under a Debit Card those statutory rules in many states are in a totally different chapter in the big book and at the same time their offering to 'gatepost' is a favor rather than a requirement.
It's all in the fine print, and nobody usually likes to read through pages of gobblety gook...but the point is...a whole different set of rules applies between the two forms of 'plastic'. Your DC may have a Visa or MC symbol on it...but that usually means nothing other than it is to be accepted by anyone who takes the same logo as credit.
Ahhhh, the joy of moving to a country with a cash society. When we moved we cut up all our cards and moved all our money to a local bank here. They issued us a card that is only an ATM card and that's ok. Social Security even direct deposits here. It's the 9.65% interest on a one year cd that makes me smile :-)
A local police officer explained to my neighbor how that same scenario played out with her.
Most of the cash registers talk to a master computer through a WIFI connection that is not always encrypted.
A local couple here was caught sitting outside the store with a laptop in their car and recording the credit transaction information, which was normally immediately turned around to order something on line from another source.
Don't worry about paying the full charged amount every month and not paying any interest charges.
If you buy something for $100 and charge that amount on your credit card, the bank keeps about $6 for their trouble and sends the seller $94.
The bank makes plenty of money from you if you just use that card.
Here is a clear and concise explanation regarding liability for unauthorized credit card and debit card transactions from a reliable source.
In my opinion, you are better off with a credit card because your exposure is limited to $50 for unauthorized use of a lost or stolen credit card and $0 if only the account number is stolen. Once you report the unauthorized use or the the card company discovers unauthorized use, the situation is usually remedied the same day and you can go on with your life.
With debit cards, if someone drains your account and you limit your liability by reporting the fraudulent transaction within EFTA rules, it can take months to unwind the situation and restore your account balance.
James Golden is right!
Banks charge the vender a percentage of every transaction so they make money even if you pay off the amount every month.
As for me - We have three credit cards and think our Bank is great but none of the cards is thru them
One card is used just for gasoline. It automatically rebates 5% back every month when we use it for gasoline at any gas station.
That means I'm saving over 15 cents a gallon every time we put gas in a vehicle.
(BTW we spend around $600 a month on gas so it rebates about $30 per month)
Another card is used for a few automatic withdrawals so they stay separate and "just incase" we need a backup card.
The last is used for everything else and is a points back card -1 per dollar spent.
I usually wait until the points get up there and get a gift card to a place like Wall-Mart.
By waiting I get more dollars per point.
I even use it for hotels and food while on company trips to help run up the points.
I have to request the rebate but it sends me about $250 every few months
I pay each of them off in full every month.
As for our bank - we use a branch that is in the supermarket we normally shop at and they are great.
The folks know us and help us get things done. -for example we needed to quickly transfer some money to a family member and they suggested that we use a wire transfer thru the store instead of the bank because it cost less and could be done faster.
A few days ago our primary card would not work in China so I switched to the back-up.
When I called the credit card company they said that they put a hold on it because a transaction looked suspicious.
When we looked into it my wife attempted to use her card near Boston while I was trying to use mine in Shanghai and they figure that I couldn't be in two places at the same time so they called our home.
Since no-one answered they decided that is was best to place it on temporary hold.
James & Fred - That 6% that you fellows mention that the credit card company charges the vendor for every transaction is the reason that most ARCO gasoline stations sell their gasoline a bit cheaper than everyone else; most ARCO stations do not accept credit cards for gasoline purchases. Soda pop and junk food in their convenience stores can sometimes be purchased with a credit card, but usually not gasoline.
So in my case the credit card company is keeping 1% of the sale of gasoline and giving me 5% back
Ain't life wonderful?
So in my case the credit card company (actually the Pentagon Federal Credit Union) is keeping 1% of the sale of gasoline and giving me 5% back
Woopie - they get to keep $6.00 an month and I get $30 back!
Life is wonderful!
My Chase card (back up)does something close - it changes the 5% rebate category every three months and I have to sign up for the promotion each time it changes.
Trying to remember which category to use the Chase card became a pain so I just kept it as the backup.