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Local Items: CC Fraud
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Archives - 2005-06-01 to 2005-07-14:
| By Brian O'Donnell (BonaireTalker - Post #17) on Saturday, March 5, 2005 - 8:49 am: |
I don't want to alarm anyone (yet) but I rec'd a call last night about someone attempting to use my CC card at Western Union for a money transfer. The card involved is the one I used for 4 purchases during our stay Bonaire (Feb 17-26). I havn't used it since the vacation and none of my other CCs showed unauthorized activity.
Western Union said that the call seemed like it was from overseas and the man spoke with an oriental accent.
This incident may not relate (and I hope it doesn't) to our stay in Bonaire but I'm checking all possibilities. If anyone has had a similar event, please let everyone know.
Be VERY careful! My identity was stolen and some one got 2 credit cards, one with a 15,000 limit and the other with a 5,000. Call your credit card company and let them know. Also, contact the 3 major credit reporting agency and let them know that there has been unauthorized activity on one of your cards. The will put a flag up on your accounts, this way you will be notified if anything changes or happens.
Best of luck!
| By mary pequinot (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #433) on Saturday, March 5, 2005 - 7:29 pm: |
We've had a couple of experiences with this-one very negative, the other positive. The first one had our number stolen (not the card itself) in Mexico, and later 5000 in charges were made-all things like airline tickets, etc-that you could do over the phone-at least back then. It took 6 months and lots of threats of legal action to get the credit card company to clear it.
Our other experience was amazing-my husband had his wallet stolen, probably in Miami, on the way to Bonaire. We discovered it in Curaco-the only things in his wallet were his driver's license (easily replaced, because he had his passport) and our one credit card. The people in Curaco even took us back on the plane to make sure the wallet hadn't been dropped. When we got to Bonaire, we called the credit card company-to our relief, no one had used it. They said they would have a card at our hotel desk in 3-4 days. We were pretty sure that wouldn't happen-but lo and behold, the day our rental car was supposed to be picked up, the card arrived at the hotel desk at 10 am. Bon Bini divers was most accomodating in making arrangements while we were waiting. It was such a show of good business that we've stuck with that company ever since.
| By Brian O'Donnell (BonaireTalker - Post #18) on Saturday, March 5, 2005 - 10:02 pm: |
Can you tell me the credit reporting company's name or web site address?
| By Susan Feldman (Extraordinary BonaireTalker - Post #1209) on Saturday, March 5, 2005 - 11:20 pm: |
Equifax is one. www.equifax.com. Depending on where you live (what state), you may be able to get a free copy of your credit report I think.
Thanks Susan! Actually Brian, the other ones are www.transunion.com and www.trw.com (I think, not at home right now). Anyway, if you let one of them know, just ask that they inform the others. This works, as my credit card company told me it would. The will also if you ask stop others from looking to see if you are a "candidate" for one of their offers, so you will stop getting those nusiance credit card offers in the mail (we were getting 3-5 a day!) It's good because if someone scouts your mail box, they can take them, apply and you will never know! Best of luck!
| By Sue Goodman (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #103) on Sunday, March 6, 2005 - 12:11 pm: |
You never know where CC numbers are hijacked. We had an infrequently used card number stolen last year. THe only place we can trace it to was a bike tour that we faxed the registration form to. The charges were all mail order & started out small with under $100 to Lands' End & other generic catalogs and rose quickly to $2000+ computer & electronic orders.
My father-in-law had his card nubmer stolen by a gas station clerk several years ago. This guy was busted for stealing dozens of numbers.
I guess what I'm saying it didn't necessarily happen in Bonaire, but in any event, you aren't liable.
Not to advertise, but Citibank has an amazing fraud prevention unit. I took a day off in December for Chirstmas shopping and they called that night about the "unusual" activity. Another day I filled up both cars with gas at stations 100 miles apart and they called. The only problem with that is you need to call them back or they freeze your account. Whenever we travel away from home we typically give them a heads-up so they don't lock down the card, especially on international travel when we aren't checking phone messages.
| By Cynde (BonaireTalk Deity - Post #13239) on Sunday, March 6, 2005 - 1:34 pm: |
Brian, (and everyone else who doesn't know this)...when you get your receipt from your credit card on Bonaire, they don't blank out your card numbers (at least most of the places don't). So if you throw the receipt away, your name and card number are on them. I keep them all, and carry them with me and then shred them back home (or shred them into tiny pieces at the hotel). Also, don't leave them in your luggage on your way home, someone reported a few years ago that she had her souveniers (sp) with the receipts in the bags in her luggage. When she got home, and got her bill, there was a bunch of lingere (sp) charged over the internet from Jamaica...apperantly someone in Jamaica got a receipt from her luggage...
I also scratch the number off of the original that they keep. Last time, I only had one merchant come running after me down the main shopping are on bonaire that they had to have the card number...maybe a merchant can clear that one up!
| By Brian O'Donnell (BonaireTalker - Post #19) on Sunday, March 6, 2005 - 1:35 pm: |
My card has always called me when I've traveled out of the country so this time I had notified them ahead of time.
I put a freeze on all my CCs as soon as I was notified. In the morning (when I was more awake) I called and checked on activity and there was none so I unfroze them (except for the one used in the attempt) but now I'm having difficulty getting one of them unfrozen. Oh well.
BTW, it wasn't the CC company that originally notified me, it was Western Union. When I called *69 to confirm that call I was given a # with a 999 area code. I called the operator and she said that there was no such area code (I knew that) so I called Western Union directly and got confirmation from them that the event actually happened and they were investigating it. What really set me back was when Western Union told me that the caller ID that they showed on the fraud attempt phone call was my phone number! Boy these scam artists are really living up to the title "artists"!
| By Brian O'Donnell (BonaireTalker - Post #20) on Sunday, March 6, 2005 - 1:42 pm: |
I keep all my receipts and my shredder gets full about once a month from them and the unsolicited CC offers with my name on it.
We live in a rural area with a mailbox out on the main road. I've taken that down (actually someone with a baseball bat did that for me) and I pick up my mail at the PO so I don't worry about mail theft from the box anymore.
I've begun the process of notifying the Credit agencies but it is Sunday so I don't expect any response from them until the work week.
I gotta say that this web site is terrific!
| By Cynde (BonaireTalk Deity - Post #13245) on Sunday, March 6, 2005 - 4:27 pm: |
Brian, we shred all of ours too...that is really strange about your situation...it is scary that's for sure. I got a call a while back from one of my credit card companies, and someone had tried to make an internet charge to one of my cards, that I hadn't used in like 5 years, so they called me to confirm...that it wasn't me!
| By Rocket Scientist (New BonaireTalk Poster - Post #4) on Monday, March 7, 2005 - 1:51 pm: |
For what it is worth, I have had something like this happen several times in the States as well as the last time I was in Bonaire. The Bonaire incident was triggered by (1) purchasing gas in my local area; (2) checking into a hotel a few hours later about 50 miles away from home to make it easier to make our early morning flight to Bonaire the next day; and (3) our accommodations in Bonaire billing for our room charges the week before we arrived. According to the credit card company, this pattern is a classic trigger of fraud or a stolen card for them to freeze accounts. Our first indication of any problem was AB Car Rentalís rejection of that card, followed by Richardsí rejection at dinner. We quickly resolved it the next morning with a 10 minute call to our card company from our hotel in Bonaire. A few additional suggestions for credit cards and ATM cards:
(1) If you ever get a call from your credit card company inquiring about activity, rather than answering any questions, tell them you will call them back and request their number. Then call the number on the back of your credit card or on your statement (not the number you were given), inform them of the prior call and the phone number you were given, and inquire whether there are any security issues that are being investigated.
(2) Advise your credit card company in advance of the planned travel to Bonaire and the names of any known providers where you will be charging services, plus the approximate amounts that will be charged.
(3) Write down the account numbers and phone numbers (not just the toll free  numbers) or photocopy the front and back of each card you are bringing so you can reach your creditors if needed. Keep these numbers in a safe place, not your checked luggage or wallet, while traveling as well as at your destination.
(4) Bring several different credit cards in case one or more are lost or frozen. If traveling with another person, each should carry cards for different accounts but do not carry a duplicate of a card carried by someone else.
(5) Bring along a prepaid calling card or phone credit card and access phone numbers/instructions for calling back to your home country in case you need to do so. While it might be expensive to call home to resolve any issues, it is cheap compared with having your vacation ruined because you canít use your credit cards.
Finally, don't worry. The likelihood of anything bad happening is probably quite small, but a small amount of preparation is worth it in case there are any problems.
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