Credit Card Advice

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SCENE 1. This is a new one. People sure stay busy trying to cheat us,
don't they??

A friend 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 I locked the locker. Hmmmmm." He
dressed and just flipped the wallet to make sure 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
he did not make the transactions. Customer care personnel verified that
there was no mistake in the system and asked if his card had been

"No," he said, but then took out his wallet, pulled out the credit card,
and yep - you guessed it - a switch had been made. An expired similar
credit card from the same bank was in the wallet. The thief broke into
locker at the gym and switched cards.

Verdict: The credit card issuer said since he did not report the card
missing earlier, he would have to pay the amount owed to them. How much
he have to pay for items he did not buy? $9,000! Why were there no calls
made to verify the amount swiped? Small amounts rarely trigger a "warning
bell" with some credit card companies. It just so happens that all the
small amounts added up to big one!

SCENE 2. A 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
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,
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.

Verdict: Make sure the credit cards in your wallet at yours. Check the
on the card every time you sign for something and/or the card is taken
for even a short period of time. Many people just take back the credit
card without even looking at it, "assuming" that it has to be theirs. FOR

SCENE 3: Yesterday I went into a pizza restaurant to pick up an order
I had called in. I paid by using my Visa Check Card which, of course, is
linked directly to my checking account.

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

I noticed the phone because it is the same model I have, but nothing seemed
out of the ordinary. Then I heard a click that sounded like my phone
when I take a picture. He then gave me back my card but kept the phone in
his hand as if he was still pressing buttons. Meanwhile, I'm thinking: I
wonder what he is taking a picture of, oblivious to what was really going
on. It then dawned on me: the only thing there was my credit card, so now
I'm paying close attention to what he is doing.

He set his phone on the counter, leaving it open. About five seconds
I heard the chime that tells you that the picture has been saved.

Now I'm standing there struggling with the fact that this boy just took a
picture of my credit card. Yes, he played it off well, because had we not
had the same kind of phone, I probably would never have known what
happened. Needless to say, I immediately canceled that card as I was
walking out of the pizza parlor.

All I am saying is, be aware of your surroundings at all times. Whenever
are using your credit cards, take caution and don't be careless. Notice
is standing near you and what they are doing when you use your card. Be
aware of phones because many have a camera phone these days.

When you are in a restaurant and the waiter/waitress brings your card and
receipt for you to sign, make sure you scratch the number off. Some
restaurants are using only the last four digits, but a lot of them are
still putting the whole thing on there. I have already been a victim of
credit card fraud and, believe me, it is not fun. The truth is that they
can get you even when you are careful, but don't make it easy for them.

A community service brought to you by OMG


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