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Old 09-01-2012, 02:19 PM   #15
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We use the Costco American Express Card, which earns annual, cash-back rewards from both Costco and American Express on nearly all purchases. And, that includes stuff you buy from non-Costco merchants.

We have had fraudulent charges on our account only twice in about 15 years; and with both of these, we were notified within minutes of when the fraudulent transaction took place. Our account was immediately shut down, and new Cards were issued overnight. Their closed network tracks transactions; and when unusual things happen (e.g., simultaneous charges in different locations, duplicate transactions for the same amount, etc.), they immediately call you to ask if the charges are valid. I'm not sure the fraudulent transaction is even actually approved and processed before your account is shut down.

In both cases, American Express charged no fees; and we had new cards in our hands the following day, before noon.

The American Express Card -- We don't leave home without it! (However, we do carry other credit cards for the few merchants who still don't accept it.)

Note: Even the Fog City Diner now accepts American Express!

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Visa commercial - Fog City Diner (San Francisco) - 1990 - YouTube
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Old 09-01-2012, 03:15 PM   #16
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We've not had this happen, thankfully, but you've made me think we should be more careful. I like to have advance reservations at national and state park campgrounds that are likely to fill up. Many of the revs services now do the whole thing electronically; but of course, this wouldn't stop hackers or nosy employees.

My daughter's credit card info was stolen, probably by a staff member at a local restaurant, so it doesn't need to be over-the-phone stuff for this to happen.

Maybe one way to try to catch any hot-card charges early would be to monitor your recent purchases daily via on-line or telephone banking.
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Old 09-01-2012, 03:44 PM   #17
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Hi, we keep it simple. We only have three credit cards [no debit] and each card is used for different things. I had the limits lowered. We let our bank know if we are traveling.
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Old 09-01-2012, 06:13 PM   #18
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We use one card primarily and use it for almost everything...we like the points to rack up for cash rewards.

I also have a business CC at the same bank. Occasionally I will get a call from the bank about charges, especially on the business card because I pay all the business bills at the same time, usually by phone (with known individuals) ... so there may be large amounts charged within the same hour in widely different locations.

I like that they call to confirm charges. Makes me feel like they are, in fact, keeping our best interests at heart. When we were having repairs made to our home for flood damage, we got insurance payments, then paid some rather large bills with our CC so we could at least get the points for it (one little glimmer of a silver lining to that whole event). Every time we made one of those construction payments, we got a call. And they did not release funds until they confirmed the charge. Good stuff!

We monitor all our bank accounts, utility accounts and charge accounts online almost daily t make sure things are on the up and up. And then we carefully check our monthly statements. You really do need to pay attention and not leave yourself open to fraud. Not everyone is a nice guy.
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Old 09-01-2012, 06:13 PM   #19
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You all have given me a great deal to think about including some extremely good information.

One thing RangerJay mentioned, which I have no idea what they are "chip" cards.......? Chip cards? I don't know if they have those around here. What do they look like? Wow, I'm feeling really behind the times now.

Thanks again.

Deb
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Old 09-01-2012, 06:32 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Air Cruiser View Post

One thing RangerJay mentioned, which I have no idea what they are "chip" cards.......? Chip cards? I don't know if they have those around here. What do they look like?
Here is a blurp from our Credit Card company regarding Chip technology that may help out:

"Credit chip Cards provide an added level of security through the use of a Personal Identification Number (PIN). The embedded computer chip stores information in a secure, encrypted format, making it more difficult for unauthorized users to copy or access the information on the Card. Cardholders will be required to enter their PIN when they make a transaction at a chip terminal (and no signature will be required), helping protect the Card from unauthorized use. Chip/PIN is part of a worldwide transition in most countries from magnetic stripe payment cards."

Hope this helps.


Jay
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Old 09-01-2012, 06:38 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Air Cruiser View Post
You all have given me a great deal to think about including some extremely good information.

One thing RangerJay mentioned, which I have no idea what they are "chip" cards.......? Chip cards? I don't know if they have those around here. What do they look like? Wow, I'm feeling really behind the times now.

Thanks again.

Deb
The US banking industry is lagging behind the international industry...probably in the name of profits. I have a couple of cards that have the chips embedded in them. Chips are harder to fake than a regular magnetic stripe. They have been the standard in Europe for several years. I travel internationally and fewer and fewer places are taking the US style stripe only cards because they have had so much trouble with them being fraudulent.

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Old 09-01-2012, 07:23 PM   #22
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A good example of a chip card is the American Express Blue Card, which is clear/transparent with the blue American Express logo in the center. As stated above, the embedded chip contains data similar to that on the magnetic strip that everyone is used to seeing on the back of regular credit cards. However, this smart card actually communicates with the chip card reader and the card processor or issuer each time it's used, and the chip provides many new fraud features that are not possible with the old cards.

Europe has adopted chip cards based on the international EMV standard (EMV is the acronym for Europay/Mastercard/Visa, the originators of this financial card standard, with American Express and JCB/Japan Credit Bureau as participants.) Anyone who traveled to see the Olympics or has visited Europe recently knows that the magnetic stripe cards used in the U.S. are no longer widely accepted there. In fact, chip card usage is starting to spread in the U.S. The main reason we haven't seen wide use here in the U.S. is the cost of manufacturing the chip card, itself; and the cost to merchants to convert to new chip card readers.
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Old 09-01-2012, 08:18 PM   #23
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That is very interesting, thank you all for sharing the information on chip cards. I can see that they are the upcoming type of card, at the same time I understand why the US is lagging behind the drive to change over to it.

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Old 09-01-2012, 08:27 PM   #24
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I have had many credit cards replaced when fraud was detected. The banks are pretty good about catching it before I do.

I do have a couple of rules, NO kiosks (like the ones installed in movie theatres to pick up tickets).... And always have one card in reserve that is never used except in an emergency. I remember being in a grocery store and my Amex card and Visa we're both declined due to fraud on the same day (different fraud sources too!). Thank goodness I had a backup because it was almost a week before the cards were replaced.

And it's not a good idea for your kids to have a CC that's linked to yours. Because of the places they frequent, like movie theatres and college campus's they are always having them cancelled due to fraud. My daughter replaced hers three times in one year!

A sad fact of life now... I guess we just become a little more vigilant and less trusting.

There are apps now that allow you to use your IPhone to swipe credit cards, the swipe terminal is so small it's barely noticeable. If you leave a purse unsecured someone could "borrow" your credit card and you'd be none the wiser.

And think twice about letting a credit card company know of your travel plans, they place a note on your account, and virtually any employee would know you are away from home setting your home up to be robbed. Ditto with stopping mail and newspapers...better to have a trusted neighbor pick them up.

Gosh I sound paranoid huh
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Old 09-01-2012, 09:03 PM   #25
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Reinergirl, thanks for the additional info.

No, I don't think you are paranoid, just informed and prepared. I hadn't thought about the employees at the bank knowing about travel plans, but that's so true. We never have our mail held and newspaper stopped -- we have housesitters come when we're not here; there's always someone here.

Deb
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