Saturday, May 24, 2008

ID Theft, Debit Cards and Credit Cards

Twice recently we have been the victim of ID theft through our debit and credit cards. Be Aware that there are Crooks and Thieves out there! (If you've arrived here using a search engine and this is the only post you see, you can read the rest of my blog posts by clicking on the blog title Wanna Walk Along. But first read this post.)

We first noticed an unauthorized electronic withdrawal from our checking account.
The second was an unauthorized charge to our credit card.
Both times the amounts were a mere $9.87
I suppose they thought we wouldn't notice!
And I'm betting that once they verified our account as being "good", the next amount would have been in the hundreds or thousands!

Fortunately we check our statements online and found the thefts almost immediately and so we were able to call the bank and the credit card company and ask for new accounts (new account numbers).

My advice for today? Check your statements often. In particular look for small dollar amounts to StockPhotoPortal, ThePhotosCentral, Photos Paradise, P&P Services, Images Paradise, ProPhotoLand, PolishPhotosOnline, PhotosGeyser, PhotosMix, PicturesJungle, and countless others. Google these names and you will find many online complaints.

If you see ANY of these companies charging small amounts $3 to $15 to your credit card or to your bank account, DO NOT CALL the Crook Himself! He will only squeeze more information out of you.

Instead Call your Bank/Credit Card Company and CLOSE THE ACCOUNT and GET A NEW ONE. The Crooks have your number and they will KEEP STEALING from you as long as they can. If your bank is not helpful ask to speak to someone in their Consumer Fraud department.

Banks will normally refund any theft you report within 60 days but sometimes you have to be persistent. Credit cards are a little more ready to remove unauthorized charges.

Be a Wise Consumer! And one word of if this entire post isn't one long "advice" ... Never use a debit card any place your card is taken out of sight, like a restaurant. It's an easy matter for an employee to quickly swipe the info from your card with a small portable skimming device. Watch your card like a hawk and never let it out of your sight. Better yet, learn to live without your debit card.



Paula said...

I.D. Theft is a common concern to those considering online banking. But in our case, online banking was what allowed us to catch the unauthorized use of our credit cards and debit cards. It feels really good to "catch a crook" doesn't it?? LOL

Elle Bee said...

Thank you so much for this. I think I have been a little too relaxed with the information I put out there...