Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Yesterday, I Cut Up My MasterCard

According to Wikipedia, "Credit card fraud is a wide-ranging term for theft and fraud committed using a credit card or any similar payment mechanism as a fraudulent source of funds in a transaction. The purpose may be to obtain goods without paying, or to obtain unauthorized funds from an account. Credit card fraud is also an adjunct to identity theft."

Time and time again, we read in the media how billions of dollars are lost each year to credit card and debit card scams. Experts lecture us on why it is so important to protect not only your identity but also your credit security... and do we listen? Well many do but not all.

It is almost like the times we read in our newspapers how a house burnt down without smoke detectors and then, the home owner places detectors in the house after it is fixed up. It is also like a smoker who quits smoking after they are diagnosed with lung cancer. I recall my father often saying that "there is no point in closing the barn doors after the horses have all escaped."

...Anyways, back to the topic at hand.

Well, I am that type of person who does not listen to the experts. I have never been really careful in protecting my financial security. I haven't been keeping a close eye on my credit card and bank statements nor have I been that careful in making sure my smoke detectors' batteries are replaced twice a year. I do not smoke, however so I guess that one out of three isn't bad though it certainly isn't good!

Now, fortunately, my house hasn't burnt to the ground yet and so I can get a jump on replacing my batteries but I came pretty close to major financial problems since I used my MasterCard at a local restaurant where their credit and debit keypads were rigged to skim customer information. Now according to the news reports, some customers have lost hundreds and thousands of dollars because of this. Fortunately their financial institutions will replace their loss. Now, I was fortunate that the local news reported this issue because had they not, I would never have realized that there had been a breach and if I was ripped off, I might not have noticed since I didn't used to properly protect myself... Now I do! I contacted my credit card company and they immediately cancelled my current card and asked me to immediately cut it up. I did.

So... If you do not take the necessary precautions, take them now. If you do not regularly check your smoke detector batteries, do so now. If you smoke... I trust that you will do what it takes to live a long and happy life!


A Happy Downtowner said...

Good post Dave, and very timely. I keep a close eye on my cc balance and banking accounts online so I know how much I have to *play* with (pay my balance every month). I've never been victim of fraud myself, the closest I came to it was when I received a new card from CIBC who had been a major player in the Winners problems a few years ago.

I also remember watching a program about cc fraud, there are online sites that sell cc numbers and they are extremely active. Sad reality of technology. Once they bust a ring, another few pop up.

I can imagine how frightening it must be to open that cc statement only to find thousands of $$$ on it!

Janice Thomson said...

That happened here with bank cards at a well-known drugstore. Staff were secretly recording pin numbers. Bank statements would arrive and all kinds of withdrawals would be on it. One really has to be careful these days about any card one uses. Great post with a judicious reminder to be more careful in regards to security.

David Kim said...

It's a dangerous world out there. Trust no one.

Akelamalu said...

Yep you have to take care with cards, thankfully I've never had a problem with mine.

Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...

Good post Dave. Nice look to the page as well. I rahter hate credit cards. Once I had 8, now, I have none. What is the point. I do use my debit a lot and never carry cash... maybe I should rethink that... what do you say?

Nice to see you again.


Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...

Good post Dave. Nice look to the page as well. I rahter hate credit cards. Once I had 8, now, I have none. What is the point. I do use my debit a lot and never carry cash... maybe I should rethink that... what do you say?

Nice to see you again.


Greeneyes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Greeneyes said...

Great post (As always ).
I have heard of this , it is awful and makes one paranoid just to survive in this plastic money world!
I also know that the amount of identity theft is on the uprise , it has been on our local news that is is happening here and if it can happen here it can happen anywhere ;-( . They say to be safe watch people you pass your card over to very carefully, keep any receipts even ones that were duds and they have to redo , and buy a shredder ,as your mail that you throw out can do you in as people sift the trash looking for info to use , sad, sad world!
Oh, and the post of the penpals , Tee hee! Thanks for the giiiigggles :-)


Anonymous said...

I just put up three new smoke detectors, so I'm god there. And don't smoke.

But I use my credit cards frequently. Since I pay in full every month, it's like an interest free loan to me, plus I get 1% back. Much better deal for me than cash or checks.

Sandy said...

Well all of that is good advice. I can follow two of those, but hmmm..the third one would be hard.


happyone said...

We have one credit card that we use all the time and pay it in full every month. Our bank gives us a 1% rebate so we actually make a few dollars every month.
I ALWAYS keep track of the statements and I check on line A LOT to make sure all is as it should be. It is scary though when you think of all the fraud that goes on.

Wanda said...

Good post, Dave and certainly a timely reminder for all of us.

heiresschild said...

i agree with the other bloggers Dave, it's an excellent and timely post. i monitor my bank account on an almost daily basis. even if my balance were to be a penny, i'd monitor my one cent. as long as there are people on earth, there'll be scammers, etc., so we have to stay on top of our business affairs.

we have electronic smoke detectors here, so as long as we have power, we're good. i wonder whose brainchild this was?! and i don't smoke, so no worries there.

by the way, love your new profile photo.

monsoon-dreams said...

very useful post,dave.i am glad that i dont use a credit card.
Happy Easter,dave & family!

Gypsy said...

I must admit I'm a bit slack about checking my cc statements but I NEVER use it online as I think it's dangerous.

I actually just came by to wish you and your family a very Happy and Safe Easter Dave.