There are new ways of STEALING from you, using your own credit
and debit cards. Read – and be aware.
A friend went to the gym and put his belongings in a locker.
After the workout and a shower, he came out, saw the locker open,
and thought, “I thought I locked the locker...”
He dressed and flipped through his wallet to make sure everything
was in order. It looked okay; all cards were in place.
A few weeks later his credit card bill came; the bill was $14,000!
He called the credit card company and yelled at them, saying he did
not make the charges.
Customer Care verified there was no mistake in the system and asked if
his card had been stolen. “No,” he said, but then opened his wallet, took
out the credit card, and saw a switch had been made. An expired credit
card from the same bank was in his wallet; the thief had broken into his
locker and switched cards.
Lesson: The credit card issuer said because he did not report the card
missing, he would have to pay the amount owed to them. How much did
he have to pay for items he did not buy? $9,000!
So, why were no calls made by the card issuer to verify the amounts
charged? Well, small amounts rarely trigger a “warning bell” with certain
credit card companies. It just so happens that all the small amounts
added up to big one!
A man at a local restaurant paid for his meal with his credit card.
The bill came, he signed it, and the waitress returned to the table,
folded the receipt and passed the credit card back to the man.
Usually, he would take it and place it in his wallet. This time, he took
a look at the card and saw it was the expired card of another person.
He called the waitress, who looked perplexed. She took the card,
apologized, and hurried back to the counter under the watchful eye of
As the waitress was walking to the counter, she waved the wrong card
to the cashier, and the cashier immediately looked down and took out the
real card. No exchange of words, nothing. The waitress took the real card
and came back to the man with an apology.
Lesson: Make sure the cards in your wallet are yours. Check the name on
the card every time you sign for something and/or the card is taken away
for even a short period of time.
Many people just take back the card without even looking at it, assuming
that it has to be theirs. Develop the habit of checking your credit card each
time it is returned to you after a transaction.
Yesterday, I went into a pizza restaurant to pick up an order that
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 dialing.
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 sounds when I take a picture.
The young man 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 on the counter was my debit 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
later, I heard the chime that tells you that the picture has been saved.
Now I'm standing there realizing that this young man just
took a picture
of my debit card. Yes, he played it well, because had we not had the
same kind of phone, I probably would never have known what happened.
Needless to say, as I was walking out of the pizza parlor, I immediately
canceled that card.
Lesson: Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Notice who's standing
near you and what they're doing when you use your card. Be aware of
phones, because most have a camera phones.
Forward this information to as many people as you can. And then be
aware. Never let your card out of your sight. Check and check again –
to protect yourself from these new ways of STEALING from you, using
your own credit and debit cards.