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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Bank Card Theft


Bank Card Theft
The newest popular crime today is identity theft.  Particularly vulnerable are bank credit and debit cards.  Debit cards should be protected because they require a pin number and or a signature that matches the signature on your card.  Credit cards also require a signature to be compared with the signature on your card.  Cards with no signature on the back are not valid.

How effective is the signature check?  I remember when these cards first came out; clerks would actually look at and compare signatures.  They had the time to do this because it took about 10 minutes waiting for a phone call to confirm the card number was valid and still had a credit line.  I never heard of a signature being challenged.  If the card wasn’t signed, they would just hand it to you and ask you to sign the back.  Then they compared signatures…duh!

I don’t sign my cards, instead I write “Ask for photo ID.”  About one in twenty merchants ask me for photo ID. 

PIN numbers should offer some protection, but not every place demands a PIN.  I have never had to supply a PIN for my debit card at a restaurant.  

Some banks are pretty good at questioning strange charges.  Someone used my card number once to buy something in Oregon about two hours after I used it to buy something in New Jersey.  I immediately got a call and verified I hadn’t been out of New Jersey.  They ate the Oregon charge and sent me a new card.

This spring we spent a week in Turks and Caicos.  My debit card kept getting declined.  I worried the whole time that someone had drained my bank account.  It turns out that my debit card does not work outside the country.  This little rule is for my own protection.  It would have been nice if they told me.  Fortunately I had another card that was not restricted.

These days thieves are getting sophisticated at stealing your card number and your pin.  They have tracking devices on ATM's and electronics that can brush up against your card and steal information. 

“Do you have a solution Cranky?”

“Why yes, of course I do!”

With technology today, I would have all card readers automatically send a text to the owners designated cell phone.  Before the charge is accepted, the card owner must respond to the text with a PIN number affirmation.

You ask, “How do we have all merchants adapt to this fancy card reader phone messenger that does not exist?”

I don’t know, I’m just a big picture guy, really smart people can figure out the details.

End of problem…your welcome!

19 comments:

  1. We live in California. Once when we were in Hawaii someone made 2 charges to an auto parts store in Detroit, one for $2,500 & the other for $5,000, allegedly presenting our card--which we had with us. I guess they were trying to take us for a ride--& building the car first. Visa ate the charge & sent us new cards.

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  2. Makes one want to use cash, but those debit/credit cards are so convenient.

    betty

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  3. Modern phones now have fingerprint ID. I keep wondering whether to go for that.

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  4. You know what Joe? That actually sounds like a brilliant idea to me! I can't get my head around this contactless thing with debit cards. I thought the whole point of a pin number was to stop people using your card if it was stolen but now you can use it without the pin up to a certain amount just to save yourself a couple of seconds pushing the buttons. I don't get why anyone would opt for that option.

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    1. Here in Australia, that option is called "paywave" and SO many people use it. The limit is $100. I'm horrified at the thought of anyone getting hold of my card and zipping around all over town buying $99 worth of stuff at every single store they see.

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  5. It could be done, the problem is people would complain about taking those extra few seconds to confirm. Of course, if the person gets a text asking for confirmation when s/he isn't using the card, it would be the best thing ever. When waiting in line themselves, they'd complain. Can't please some people.

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  6. None of this will matter when the Bad Guys cyber-attack our ability to connect card terminals with our banks. Commerce will come to a dead stop! When was the last time you wrote a check, or paid cash for anything more than a coke or pack of gum? "Live by technology, die by technology".

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  7. Before we leave the country we call the credit card company and inform them of the dates we'll be out of the country. So far we haven't had any problems using our card overseas.

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  8. I'm wondering how much the new chip cards will improve the situation. I've never used a debit card and only use credit cards in instances where it doesn't leave my hand.

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  9. When we travel I always call our two credit card companies and let them know where we are going and how long we'll be gone. Works for us.

    I think you've a great plan. Our issue is we don't have a fancy cell phone that you can text. That plan wouldn't work for us. It's brilliant though.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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  10. My SIL had someone using her name and card who was having a grand time in Florida. Luckily--it was all written off. With hacking skills today, not much is safe. The new cars aren't safe and I just learned my pacemaker is subject to hacking. Cheesh.

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  11. my credit card's been fraudulently used several times and each time b of a has been great in crediting the charges and issuing a new card. as for the phone thing, what happens if you misplace/lose/have your phone stolen?

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  12. Why can't we just carry piglets and chickens in tote sacks, and barter?

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  13. The new chip cards should improve the situation. There is very little identity theft and credit card hacking in other nations, because they've used the chip technology for a long time. We're finally getting there. My newest credit card has the chip.

    I pay cash for groceries, restaurant meals, and all other small purchases, using my credit card only for large purchases and at gas pumps. I won't eliminate the risk of getting hacked, but maybe it reduces it somewhat.

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    1. We have had chip cards here in Australia for years now and they can be hacked just as easily. All the hackers need is a "card reader" to get all the information from that chip, even by having a reader in their pocket and "accidentally" bumping up against you so the reader is close to your wallet.

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  14. Gosh, you really are cranky, aren't you?

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  15. Let's hope those 'smart people' are working on those details right now.
    I remember one early morning working the checkout when a young woman's card was declined because the signature didn't match. It was her husband's card, not her own. Luckily for her, she was my next door neighbour, so I authorised her purchase. (Disposable nappies for their baby)

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  16. It bothers me having contactless payments on cards. Anyone could go on a spree if they steal them. Crazy. Your solution sounds quite good.

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  17. I like your solution!

    I've been very surprised at how little monitoring the credit unions (hubby and I bank at different ones through work) seem to monitor things. I ended up charging some very unusual things on my card during a home repair project and no one ever did anything to confirm it was me.

    Hubby's number got hacked and used in Georgia (we live in NC), and no one ever figured out how. They went through about $700.00 in 12 hours. The credit union never confirmed any of the charges, but I do have to say they were great about crediting the money back.

    It seems like your solution would be cheaper than crediting things like that back!

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