Monday, August 16, 2010

How Do They Do It?

I just received a phone call from mastercard asking for verification of a couple of charges made today on one of my credit cards.  They were not charges that I made.  I am in California and the charges were in Florida.  There were two charges, about $5 at a McDonalds, and about $100 at a clothing store.  The account has been closed and I will not have to pay the charges.

But I wonder, how did they get the number?

I don't not use this card much.  It is used every month, but it is not my primary card.  There are a couple of automatic charges on it each month.  The other charges are from places that I go to regularly that do not take American Express.  So, I wonder!?

This brings up another question in my mind.  What if banks/credit card companies were able to do whatever they wanted?  What if there were no regulations limiting my liability in such cases?  Would they check so quickly and efficiently if I had to pay the bill no matter what?  Since they get stuck with "bad charges", they move quickly to limit their losses.

And what could I have done differently to prevent this in the first place?  I do not use this card on line.  I could stop charging things and only pay cash.  But paying cash for everything is a lot more trouble.  It is very convenient to pay everything one a month. 

I guess this is the price we pay for a "modern society".

And, thank goodness that we at least have some regulation.  If republicans had their way, this would be all my fault, my responsibility, and I would be stuck with the bill. 

I guess I am just a selfish SOB.


1 comment:

  1. Part of my job at work is to manage our company blog which deals mostly with identity theft. You may feel better knowing you are in the majority of ID theft victims who DO NOT know how their information was compromised. Also, interestingly, the majority of ID theft happens the old fashioned way, via stolen wallets, stolen trash and stolen mail. Our company sells high security locking mailboxes ( so obviously I always focus on the - is your mailbox secure? - angle. However ID thieves are sneaky and they can collect your information or even buy it in bits and pieces online. 1 in 4 Americans are victims of ID theft in their lifetime... do you feel like another statistic yet? :-)
    Just to be safe I'd put a credit alert on your other accounts.. it's free to do (same service Lifelock offers, but LifeLock is BS cause they charge you for it) and I think after 3-6 months of the credit alert you could feel safe knowing they didn't have any other of your personal financial information.

    Thankfully it seems like most credit card companies make it fairly easy for the consumer... in this case it's the stores that end up being liable. Some billions of dollars are lost in CC fraud and ID theft every year, it's nuts! Anyway... Hope this info helps, and sorry you had to deal with it.