Sunday, July 19, 2009

Be Careful When Using Your Credit Cards

Be sure to read all three scenes as they are illuminating.

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People sure stay busy trying to cheat us, don't they?

A man went to the local gym and placed his belongings in the locker. After the workout and a shower, he came out, saw the locker open, and thought to himself, "Funny, I thought that I locked the locker.”
Hmm! He dressed and just flipped the wallet to make sure that all was in order. Everything looked okay - all cards were in place.

A few weeks later his credit card bill came - a whooping bill of $14,000!

He called the credit card company and started yelling at them, saying that he did not make the transactions, but the customer care personnel verified that there was no mistake in the system and asked if his card had been stolen.

"No," he said, but then took out his wallet, pulled out the credit card, and yep - you guessed it - a switch had been made.

A similar expired credit card from the same bank was in the wallet. The thief broke into his locker at the gym and switched cards.
Verdict: The credit card issuer said that since he did not report the card missing earlier, he would have to pay the amount owed to them.

How much did he have to pay for items he did not buy?
$9,000! Why were there no calls made to verify the amount swiped? The answer is that small amounts rarely trigger a "warning bell" with some credit card companies. In his case, all the small amounts added up to big one!

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This scenario you may have already read.

Another man at a local restaurant paid for his meal with his credit card. The bill for the meal came, he signed it, and the waitress folded the receipt and passed the credit card along.

Usually, he would just take it and place it in his wallet or pocket. Funny enough, though, he actually took a look at the card and, lo and behold, it was the expired card of another person. He called the waitress and she looked perplexed. She took it back, apologized, and hurried back to the counter under the watchful eye of the man.

All the waitress did while walking to the counter was wave the wrong expired card to the counter cashier, and the counter cashier immediately looked down and took out the real card. No exchange of words --- nothing! She took it and came back to the man with an apology.


Make sure that the credit cards in your wallet are yours.

Check the name on the card every time that you sign for something and/or the card is taken away for even a short period of time because many people just take back the credit card without even looking at it, "assuming" that it has to be theirs and that attitude of trust is what the perpetrator wants.
For your own sake, develop the habit of checking your credit card each time that it is returned to you after a transaction!

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The other day, a person went into a pizza restaurant to pick up an order that he had called in. He paid by using his Visa Check Card which, of course, is linked directly to his checking account.

The young man behind the counter took his card, swiped it, and then laid it on the counter as he waited for the approval, which is a pretty standard procedure. While he waited, he picked up his cell phone and started dialing.

The man noticed the phone because it was the same model that he had, but nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Then he heard a click that sounded like his own phone sounds when he takes a picture.

The young man then gave back the card but kept the phone in his hand as if he was still pressing buttons.

Meanwhile, the customer was thinking: “I wonder what he is taking a picture of?” In fact, he was oblivious to what was really going on. It then dawned on him that the only thing there was on the counter was his credit card, so then he started to pay close attention to what the pizza guy was doing.

He set his phone on the counter, leaving it open.

About five seconds later, the customer heard the chime that tells the cell phone operator that the picture had been saved.

Now the customer was standing there, struggling with the fact that this boy just took a picture of his credit card.

Yes, he played it off well, because had the customer not had the same kind of phone, he probably would never have known what happened. Needless to say, he immediately canceled that card as he was walking out of the pizza parlor. In addition, he called the police to report what had happened so that the pizza guy would not do the same thing to another unsuspecting customer.
All I am saying is for you to be aware of your surroundings at all times. Whenever you are using your credit card, take caution and do not be careless.

Notice who is standing near you and what he or she is doing when you use your card.

Be aware of cell phones because many have a camera phone these days.

When you are in a restaurant and the waiter or waitress brings your card and receipt for you to sign, make sure that you scratch the number off.

Some restaurants are using only the last four digits, but many of them are still putting the whole thing on there.

Question: How can you safeguard yourself if you are phoning an order for a take-out. You can still pick up your order and pay on the spot, but can you trust the restaurant or pick-up place if you give out your credit card number?

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