Author Topic: How to prevent CC fraud?  (Read 4390 times)

nedwin

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How to prevent CC fraud?
« on: December 01, 2016, 05:58:07 PM »
Twice within the last year my credit and debit card have been hit with fraudulent charges.  The first time was last year before Christmas.  The charges were about $600 at bed, bath and beyond, sunglass hut and something else.  The stores were somewhat local (within 50 miles) to where I live and the purchases were in-person, not online.  The bank (Chase) later caught another fraudulent charge when someone tried by buy $300 of body building supplements at 1:00 a.m. online.  Chase notified me, and I subsequently found the other fraudulent charges.  At the time I thought one of the kids at an Apple authorized retailer lifted the card info, as that was the last place I thought I had used it before the charges occurred.  The second time was last week.  I traveled to San Fransisco with my family on Tuesday for the holiday.  There was a charge on my debit card for $200 at a used clothing store in SF on Wednesday, but the last time I had used the card was in the airport in Denver the day before.  Again, the charge was in person, not online.  I find it odd that both times the charges were in person and within some general physical proximity to me at the time they occurred.  Both of these are chip cards.  Also, neither card was lost at the time, so the thieves must have cloned the card somehow (right?).  Both times it was relatively painless to protest the charges and have them credited back to my accounts.  My question is, however, how can I protect myself from this in the future?  Neither bank was able to give me any worthwhile advice on this.

ender

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Re: How to prevent CC fraud?
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2016, 07:14:24 PM »
Twice within the last year my credit and debit card have been hit with fraudulent charges.  The first time was last year before Christmas.  The charges were about $600 at bed, bath and beyond, sunglass hut and something else.  The stores were somewhat local (within 50 miles) to where I live and the purchases were in-person, not online.  The bank (Chase) later caught another fraudulent charge when someone tried by buy $300 of body building supplements at 1:00 a.m. online.  Chase notified me, and I subsequently found the other fraudulent charges.  At the time I thought one of the kids at an Apple authorized retailer lifted the card info, as that was the last place I thought I had used it before the charges occurred.  The second time was last week.  I traveled to San Fransisco with my family on Tuesday for the holiday.  There was a charge on my debit card for $200 at a used clothing store in SF on Wednesday, but the last time I had used the card was in the airport in Denver the day before.  Again, the charge was in person, not online.  I find it odd that both times the charges were in person and within some general physical proximity to me at the time they occurred.  Both of these are chip cards.  Also, neither card was lost at the time, so the thieves must have cloned the card somehow (right?).  Both times it was relatively painless to protest the charges and have them credited back to my accounts.  My question is, however, how can I protect myself from this in the future?  Neither bank was able to give me any worthwhile advice on this.

Monitor your accounts closely. Mint.com is good for this, in one place, easy to see.

Setup your accounts to give you email notifications when transactions post. My amex immediately emails me whenever a "cardless" transaction hits. Chase has similar options (which I just enabled).

Be mindful of using your card at "sketchy" online institutions. Don't give out your card number to sketchyherbalsupplements.com or something.

Only so much you can do.

letired

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Re: How to prevent CC fraud?
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2016, 07:19:24 PM »
My friends have had issues that were attributed to two things:
 - Paying by card when taking taxis in tourist-heavy towns (ie the city we live)
 - Their card coming up in a random-card-number-generation scheme

It's a PITA, but as long as it's a credit card, it's relatively easy to fix?

On cards I don't use often, I set up a 'text me every time the card is used' thing.

katscratch

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Re: How to prevent CC fraud?
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2016, 08:18:45 PM »
When my not-yet-chipped credit card number was stolen and cloned, I learned the number was skimmed at a gas station pump.  The charges were initially local to me with a physical card but were flagged because of the type and volume of transactions.  I watched a few videos about identifying skimmers and now I probably look insane tugging on the pay-at-the-pump slot every time I fill up ;)  I also search Google every six months or so for local credit card scams or fraud methods.   


BNGarden that sounds like such a bothersome mess!! 

I sometimes think it would be useful to have a notation/flag in credit reports that credit is NOT to be approved unless you have somehow verified through an independent method that you were the one applying.  It's been easy for me to have my credit card companies 'freeze' my cards unless I call and tell them I'm making a purchase.  I would think it would be possible on the other end as well.

arebelspy

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Re: How to prevent CC fraud?
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2016, 02:52:20 AM »
Good computer security, which you should do anyways, then don't worry about it.

You can't protect against everything (like the server stealing the CC info when you pay at a restaurant).

There's almost no liability for you due to consumer protection laws in the case of actual fraud, so:
A) It's rare enough to not worry about,
B) If it happens, you're out a minor inconvenience dealing with it via a single phone call confirming the fraud (possibly a letter you may have to sign) and being without the card while they two-day ship you a new one.  Not a big enough consequence to worry about either.

I've had it happen in the past, and don't worry about it happening in the future in the slightest.  Way more important things to worry about, if you're into worrying, or things to think abotu and experience if you don't care for worrying.
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Metric Mouse

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Re: How to prevent CC fraud?
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2016, 03:39:10 AM »
Both times it was relatively painless to protest the charges and have them credited back to my accounts.  My question is, however, how can I protect myself from this in the future?  Neither bank was able to give me any worthwhile advice on this.

I think I would not worry about charges that even banks can't suggest ways to avoid, and are pretty painless to remedy.  I think it would be far more effort to marginally reduce the risk than it would be to accept that this will happen occasionally and it's pretty painless when it does.

Dezrah

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Re: How to prevent CC fraud?
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2016, 09:10:16 AM »

Monitor your accounts closely. Mint.com is good for this, in one place, easy to see.


I second this advice.

I once caught four fraudulent transactions the day they posted after they showed up in Mint.  One charge was at clearly a fill up at a gas station while the other three were reasonably priced breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the same McDonald's.  They were surprisingly low key amounts for someone who was using a stolen card.  Perhaps they were hoping to stay under the radar.

Mint has also helped in several cases of subscription cancellation.  DH and I decided to cancel our active MMORPG subscriptions in favor of other games.  Mine went through but his didn't.  Since we caught it the first day of our subscription period, the company was willing to refund the amount.  This doesn't always work, but catching it early and being gracious are definitely key aspects to fixing your own mistakes.

Roboturner

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Re: How to prevent CC fraud?
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2016, 10:09:17 AM »
They were surprisingly low key amounts for someone who was using a stolen card.  Perhaps they were hoping to stay under the radar.

Often they'll prime the card with small purchases to make sure it works before busting out the big guns. My WellsFargo number has been stolen 3 times in the last 2 years. Luckily it's a quick fix, still bothersome though

ketchup

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Re: How to prevent CC fraud?
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2016, 10:58:38 AM »
They were surprisingly low key amounts for someone who was using a stolen card.  Perhaps they were hoping to stay under the radar.

Often they'll prime the card with small purchases to make sure it works before busting out the big guns. My WellsFargo number has been stolen 3 times in the last 2 years. Luckily it's a quick fix, still bothersome though
This is probably what happened.  I had a $25 transaction for "Starbucks" with a fishy phone number show up on a credit card, which was a huge red flag for a Mustachian.  Called and got a new card mailed to me.  I'm sure they would have hit it with something big if given enough time.

EDIT: Also, a big red flag is a large transaction at somewhere like Walgreens that sells lots of cash-equivalent gift cards.  One of the higher-ups at my company went to Walgreens to buy around fifty $250 Mastercard gift cards (had to on short notice for something, it made sense I promise), and they practically made her submit a blood sample to prove it was legitimate.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2016, 11:15:41 AM by ketchup »

frugaliknowit

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Re: How to prevent CC fraud?
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2016, 11:10:20 AM »
I tend to think CC fraud is pretty random.  Protect yourself with alerts and monitor your accounts.

ender

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Re: How to prevent CC fraud?
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2016, 11:30:33 AM »
If you don't open credit you can also freeze your credit, this makes it pretty hard for other people to use your name for the purposes of a credit pull.

tonysemail

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Re: How to prevent CC fraud?
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2016, 11:44:21 AM »
I signed up for this service today to lock my transunion credit.
it's nice that it's free and it's completely online.
http://www.mymoneyblog.com/transunion-trueidentity-review.html

YummyRaisins

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Re: How to prevent CC fraud?
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2016, 07:20:47 PM »
http://arstechnica.com/security/2016/12/thieves-can-guess-your-secret-visa-card-details-in-just-seconds/

It seems that if a hacker is serious about getting your card number, they will get it even if it never leaves your wallet. Address and CVV code too. Like others have said, monitor your account activity closely for anomalous activity.




Syonyk

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Re: How to prevent CC fraud?
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2016, 07:47:43 PM »
^^ Was going to link that article.

The short answer is, "You can't."  Even big vendors have lost their records ('member Target?) - there is literally nothing you can do.

This is one area where I very, very strongly disagree with Dave Ramsey - I do NOT use my debit card anywhere, unless I absolutely have to (and I'm as likely to carry cash for that as I am to use my debit card).  Debit card gets used at Costco and Winco, and that's about it.

A few grand of fraud on my CC?  *shrug*  Annoying, at worst.  CC company calls me, I say "Nope," and they've got a new card to me in a day or two.

A few grand missing out of my bank account?  That's a whole lot more annoying to me, personally, than the "not my problem" that bad CC charges are.  Even if I get it back, that's still annoying.

Discover is damned good at detecting fraud.  I've had my Discover stolen a few times over the last decade, and they've been right on it, so I use that at sketchy places.  Amex at gas stations, because there's a higher % cash back.

But it's not worth the mental effort to worry about it.  Just carry a few cards, accept that you'll be replacing a few cards a decade from fraud, and move on.

ketchup

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Re: How to prevent CC fraud?
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2016, 01:42:31 PM »
Discover is damned good at detecting fraud.  I've had my Discover stolen a few times over the last decade, and they've been right on it, so I use that at sketchy places.  Amex at gas stations, because there's a higher % cash back.
Discover also jumps the gun a bit with fraud detection.  They've freaked out and frozen my card for suspected fraud at least three times in the past four years.  One time was a (legitimate) repeated charge for the same exact amount with the exact same merchant minutes after the first.  Another was "suspicious out of state activity" which was a string of gas station transactions in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas all in a 24-hour period.  Then I got declined trying to check into my hotel in Texas.  Now on nutty road trips like that, I alternate which credit card I use, just in case.

katscratch

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Re: How to prevent CC fraud?
« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2016, 06:41:06 PM »
I call and tell the company when I know I'll be using my card out of state or for large purchases.  I was stuck in a tiny mountain town with no cash once and my card was declined.  It simply took a phone call and lovely chat with the locals (it was actually quite fun) to remedy, but I haven't made that mistake again. 

The McDonald's charges made me laugh- my CC company said they often see test purchases at McDonald's or WalMart because many people stop at both enough to not notice an errant charge right away.  I live in the city and don't shop at either, so fast food and indoor gas station purchases were an instant flag on my account ;)

Metric Mouse

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Re: How to prevent CC fraud?
« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2016, 04:39:17 AM »
I call and tell the company when I know I'll be using my card out of state or for large purchases.  I was stuck in a tiny mountain town with no cash once and my card was declined.  It simply took a phone call and lovely chat with the locals (it was actually quite fun) to remedy, but I haven't made that mistake again. 

The McDonald's charges made me laugh- my CC company said they often see test purchases at McDonald's or WalMart because many people stop at both enough to not notice an errant charge right away.  I live in the city and don't shop at either, so fast food and indoor gas station purchases were an instant flag on my account ;)

I've had this happen a few times. Some of the smaller merchants' systems upload all the weekend transactions first thing Monday morning, so the cc company thought my card had been used at 6 different places hundreds of miles apart in a half an hour.

progman2000

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Re: How to prevent CC fraud?
« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2016, 05:33:43 AM »
I have had a few friends get their credit lifted lately and have heard that it was number lifting at gas stations. I have used cash ever since (the cheaper option anyway, so theres that...)

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arebelspy

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Re: How to prevent CC fraud?
« Reply #18 on: December 08, 2016, 05:50:25 AM »
I have had a few friends get their credit lifted lately and have heard that it was number lifting at gas stations. I have used cash ever since (the cheaper option anyway, so theres that...)

Yeah, it's worth watching some YouTube videos on what CC skimmers look like, so you can avoid using ATMs (or gas station pumps or whatever) that have them.

There are some so tiny now that they fit into the slot of the ATM, and you literally can't see them, but there's plenty of bulky older ones that are easier to avoid.  Definitely cover your hand when putting in a PIN, even if no one is around, to stop a hidden camera placed by scammers.
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sw1tch

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Re: How to prevent CC fraud?
« Reply #19 on: December 08, 2016, 08:08:53 AM »
As others have stated, just keep an eye on your active accounts.  You'll notice any charges that don't match up with your expenses.  Mint (or personal capital) is great for this.  A lot of companies also have automatic fraud checking and will catch weird charges, also.

I used to think that it was a big deal, but after having a few of my cards compromised and how easy it was to deal with them (since I monitor my accounts daily), I don't really worry about what happens anymore.

Yes, it's an inconvenience but since I have multiple cards as well as access to ATMs, I just use something else until the card arrives.  The only loss I incur is maybe a few less rewards points.

Discover also jumps the gun a bit with fraud detection.  They've freaked out and frozen my card for suspected fraud at least three times in the past four years.  One time was a (legitimate) repeated charge for the same exact amount with the exact same merchant minutes after the first.  Another was "suspicious out of state activity" which was a string of gas station transactions in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas all in a 24-hour period.  Then I got declined trying to check into my hotel in Texas.  Now on nutty road trips like that, I alternate which credit card I use, just in case.

Some of my cards have a portal for me to put in locales/trips and dates that I'll be at to avoid these kinds of fraud alerts.

Retire-Canada

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Re: How to prevent CC fraud?
« Reply #20 on: December 08, 2016, 10:16:22 AM »
Not spending a lot of $$ makes spotting fraudulent charges a lot easier. I don't do anything particular about CC fraud. My cards get hacked every year or two. I call the company. They cancel the card I switch to my back up card while I wait the few days to get the replacement. Life goes on. It's a slight hassle, but costs me nothing.

I rarely use my debit/ATM cards so they never get hacked. I don't keep much money in my bank accounts. Just a float for my mortgage and business taxes. So it couldn't get too bad if they were hacked.

Can't Wait

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Re: How to prevent CC fraud?
« Reply #21 on: December 09, 2016, 06:02:00 AM »
This.

If you don't open credit you can also freeze your credit, this makes it pretty hard for other people to use your name for the purposes of a credit pull.


I''ve had my identity stolen 3 times, even with the fraud alerts on my credit reports. I haven't had any problems since I froze all three reports. I rarely use my credit, but the few times that I have lately, all it took was a simple unfreezing that took like 3 mins.

Heywood57

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Re: How to prevent CC fraud?
« Reply #22 on: December 09, 2016, 07:39:37 AM »
If you have a chip card, use a strong magnet to erase the magnetic strip.

I keep the magnetic strip on one debit card where the account only has ~$100
should I find a merchant that cannot accept chip cards.

BofA and Citibank have Virtual Cards, I use Citibank.

You logon to your acccount, generate a virtual card, use it, close it.
It does not matter if the number gets stolen later, it can't be used.

By default the virtual card is good for 1 month and only usable
at the one merchant you used it at.

You have the option of placing time and amount limits on each virtual card
for things like iTunes.

I use the virtual cards for nearly all online purchases.
They are especially useful for things that might turn into a recurring monthly/yearly
charge that you want to control.




Metric Mouse

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Re: How to prevent CC fraud?
« Reply #23 on: December 10, 2016, 02:24:54 PM »
This.

If you don't open credit you can also freeze your credit, this makes it pretty hard for other people to use your name for the purposes of a credit pull.


I''ve had my identity stolen 3 times, even with the fraud alerts on my credit reports. I haven't had any problems since I froze all three reports. I rarely use my credit, but the few times that I have lately, all it took was a simple unfreezing that took like 3 mins.

This is a great way to protect yourself. Simple, but highly effective.