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Old June 27th, 2012, 11:50 AM
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Default For Your Safety

This is something I saw on the news recently. As we all know identity theft is a huge problem for people. Thieves have devised many ways to steal your important information. They have a device they can carry in their pockets and it takes the info off of your credit cards simply as they pass you by. You would never know that this is happening. This device cannot get through aluminum. There are envelopes for your cards and metal boxes that you can purchase. One thing they suggested was wrapping your cards in aluminum foil. I have a pocket in my purse where I keep all of my cards. I simply folded some foil which I doubled for strength and lined the pocket. I just slide my cards inside the foil pocket. A simple solution that could save you from being ruined by identity theives.


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Old June 27th, 2012, 12:49 PM
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This only applies to RFID cards. The "tap and go" kind. If you don't know whether your card is RFID enabled then take Laura's advice. Better safe than sorry!
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Old June 27th, 2012, 01:12 PM
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My credit card sent me the RFID card so I called and they sent me a new card without the chip. Thieves are slick it's what they do so they find all kind of new ways to scam you!
I’m still surprised at how many people fall for scams.
They also make special card holders so it can't be read.
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Old June 27th, 2012, 01:45 PM
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Thanks for the interesting information.

I checked several sources, and while it does not apply to every card and does not apply over distances more than a couple of feet, nevertheless it is a real possibility with current technology.

Best idea is just not to use that kind of card.
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Old June 27th, 2012, 02:20 PM
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My wife has been carrying her cards in aluminum foil for months .
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Old June 27th, 2012, 04:52 PM
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I am given to understand the RFID card is very common in Europe, especially vending machines like for Metro tickets and gas pumps. You have to visit the staff without one.
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Old June 27th, 2012, 05:31 PM
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This is not something new...this has been around for awhile...if your credit card does not have a chip then no problem.

Its not just someone walking by...your info on your card can be taken while you drive by someones window....if they have the device pointed at your direction it can be taken while you are sitting in your car driving by.

Alot of crooks have them in briefcases...remember no chip no problem.
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Old July 2nd, 2012, 09:53 PM
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Curious. But caution might be a smart thing to practice.

I'll find a piece of foil and try it.
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Old July 3rd, 2012, 02:02 AM
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See wearing a tin foil hat isn't as crazy as it sounds! If they can read your credit card info who knows what else they can get lol
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Old July 3rd, 2012, 01:31 PM
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Had I gotten this info on Face Book I would not have bothered to post it since most of the things I see there are not true. I did however get this info from ABC Evening News, a source I do trust. So I decided to post and I lined the pocket of my purse where I keep my cards with foil. For me "better safe than sorry"

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Old July 3rd, 2012, 01:39 PM
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Europe and Canada are huge on the CHIP. We don't have a choice, all my cards have been forced to move to CHIP technology.
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Old July 3rd, 2012, 03:17 PM
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thanks for he info. I did not know about rfid cards. Now I do.
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Old July 3rd, 2012, 05:47 PM
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While it is true that chip cards can be read by scammers, they have advantages over stripe cards that most of the rest of the world has understood for years. Without going in to all that, and while there's certainly no harm in the tinfoil routine, there's something else worth considering.

While it's inconvenient and a hassle to have your cards hacked, you won't suffer a financial loss. The best way to nip the crooks in the bud is to look at your transaction postings every single day. This is very easy to do with Quicken and probably other financial software as well. Our cards and our bank accounts download their transactions automatically every morning. It takes me two seconds to scan them for anything fishy. On the few occasions we've been hacked the card compaines have been very grateful for the rapid heads up and there has never been a question about reversing out the charges. Of course, depending on what's going on they may have to send you a new card, which can be a pain if you have a lot of automatic transactions tied to it.

In this day and age, waiting for up to 30 days to find out what's going on with your card is, to me, unacceptable.

And in the pantheon of messing with your credit cards, I'm not sure the chip-read scam is any worse (probably much less of a problem, actually), than the good ol' American way of handing your card to a waiter who disappears with it. No opportunity there to capture all the data, is there? Most of the rest of the world has gone over to the hand-held wireless charge machines that the waiters carry around. Most of them can read both strips and chips. Main thing is, the card never leaves your sight. Very important!

So the fact is that if somebody wants to get your credit card info, they're gonna get it. But we certainly have recourse and there's no reason to fear that you'll lose money as a result. Sometimes it's just a hassle, but no more than that.
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Old July 3rd, 2012, 07:09 PM
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Here is a funny but true story that happened to me one day. I was up bright and early and decided to get to WalMart very early before the heat and get my shopping done. I got my things and was checking out in no time. I swiped my card and waited for it complete the transaction. The clerk looked at me and said it was declined. I was mortified and worried. I went to the ATM there in WalMat and checked my balance. It was where I thought it would be. There was a note there saying the balance was on hold. I paid the cash I had on me and took my groceries home. The I waited for the bank to open. I got there and went in to find out why my account was on hold. They checked and said there had been "suspicious" activity on the account so they froze it. They said the activity had been at an online gaming site. I burst out laughing. I had played online bingo earlier and had to fund my account. They were protecting my funds from ME!

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Old July 3rd, 2012, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AR View Post
While it is true that chip cards can be read by scammers, they have advantages over stripe cards that most of the rest of the world has understood for years. Without going in to all that, and while there's certainly no harm in the tinfoil routine, there's something else worth considering.

While it's inconvenient and a hassle to have your cards hacked, you won't suffer a financial loss. The best way to nip the crooks in the bud is to look at your transaction postings every single day. This is very easy to do with Quicken and probably other financial software as well. Our cards and our bank accounts download their transactions automatically every morning. It takes me two seconds to scan them for anything fishy. On the few occasions we've been hacked the card compaines have been very grateful for the rapid heads up and there has never been a question about reversing out the charges. Of course, depending on what's going on they may have to send you a new card, which can be a pain if you have a lot of automatic transactions tied to it.

In this day and age, waiting for up to 30 days to find out what's going on with your card is, to me, unacceptable.

And in the pantheon of messing with your credit cards, I'm not sure the chip-read scam is any worse (probably much less of a problem, actually), than the good ol' American way of handing your card to a waiter who disappears with it. No opportunity there to capture all the data, is there? Most of the rest of the world has gone over to the hand-held wireless charge machines that the waiters carry around. Most of them can read both strips and chips. Main thing is, the card never leaves your sight. Very important!

So the fact is that if somebody wants to get your credit card info, they're gonna get it. But we certainly have recourse and there's no reason to fear that you'll lose money as a result. Sometimes it's just a hassle, but no more than that.
My Credit card has called me in the past when a questionable charge was requesting payment.

Example...
My credit card company called me at home to notify me of a possible fraudulant charge.. the company gave an address in Toronto and they tried to charge my credit card with a $2.00 transaction...I told my card company that I never dealt with a company in Toronto nor did I ever authorize a $2.00 charge. They right there and then cancelled my card and issued me a new number. They then mailed me a new card and a few days later my new pin number. Have'nt had a problem since.

They told me that alot of fraudulant charges are for very low amounts to see if the card is still active...I have a feeling that the crooks will soon learn that the card companies are catching on and will try to max out your card on the first try.
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Old July 4th, 2012, 09:51 AM
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Unhappy Handing card to a waiter

Quote:
Originally Posted by AR View Post
And in the pantheon of messing with your credit cards, I'm not sure the chip-read scam is any worse (probably much less of a problem, actually), than the good ol' American way of handing your card to a waiter who disappears with it. No opportunity there to capture all the data, is there? Most of the rest of the world has gone over to the hand-held wireless charge machines that the waiters carry around. Most of them can read both strips and chips. Main thing is, the card never leaves your sight. Very important!
Exactly.

How many people wrap their cards in tinfoil against that distant threat, and then carefully unwrap them and hand them to some teenage waitress who disappears for several minutes into an environment where there are cooks, busboys, waitresses, accountants and many others who could easily get the information, or even swipe the card a number of times. We have done that for years and years and never had a problem from that particular aspect of it. I love the hand held wireless machines that European waiters have hanging from their belts. Not only are they a much quicker and easier way of dealing with cards, but as AR says the card never leaves your sight! I wish they would be adopted here.
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Old July 4th, 2012, 10:58 AM
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My Credit card has called me in the past when a questionable charge was requesting payment.
Absolutely. I should have mentioned this as well. They're not foolproof, but the algorithms that the card companies use to spot suspicious charges are pretty darn impressive.

It's interesting, because a couple years ago when I was heading out of the country and making my usual calls to tell the credit card companies where I was going, the Amex lady chuckled and said, "Oh, AR, it isn't necessary for you to call us when you go away. We know very well that you travel regularly outside the country. We'll honor your card when you go, no problem."

Within a couple months of that conversation we were in New York City and I did something stupid. We were at a private party at a club where the dinner was taken care of but there was a cash bar. When I went to get us drinks, I noticed that there was a string of credit cards and tab slips in wine glasses on the back bar, so I told the bartender to start a tab for us as well. Monkey see, monkey do. Bad idea.

Two days later, back home, I got a call from Amex saying that somebody had tried to charge a hotel bill for more than $2,000 in Cape Town, South Africa the night before. They rejected the charge out of hand. I'm guessing that the computers caught the fact that I was in New York within a time window that even the Concorde (assuming there still was a Concorde) couldn't get me to Cape Town and let me run up a hotel bill.

I can't be sure that the bar tab deal was where the scam happened, since we used that card at a number of places that weekend. But it's the most likely candidate. In any event, Amex had shut down the card even before they called me, and had me a new one via FedEx the next morning. They changed the number, but in such a way that automatic transactions would still work. Very clever.

It's happened a number of times before, dating back years and years. But there's never been any financial loss to us.
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Old July 4th, 2012, 09:30 PM
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I actually teach identity theft protection at different senior centers. In a recent class one lady made the statement "it sounds like these theives are actually really smart, could you imagine if they put their minds to good use? We'd have a cure for cancer"!
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Old July 5th, 2012, 11:02 AM
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I actually teach identity theft protection at different senior centers. In a recent class one lady made the statement "it sounds like these theives are actually really smart, could you imagine if they put their minds to good use? We'd have a cure for cancer"!
In sports there is a saying that you have to take what the game gives you. I appreciate the lady's point, but as I'm sure you know, most of these scammers are simply walking through open doors. By refusing to adopt state-of-the-art procedures and techniques--such as the hand-held charge devices--the credit industry sends engraved invitations to crooks--even those who ain't too bright. The industry must have data that tells them that their losses are less than what it would cost to implement more robust security. Otherwise I imagine they'd do it. They're bankers, after all, so they act almost exclusively on bean-counter analysis.
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Old July 5th, 2012, 11:43 AM
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In sports there is a saying that you have to take what the game gives you. I appreciate the lady's point, but as I'm sure you know, most of these scammers are simply walking through open doors. By refusing to adopt state-of-the-art procedures and techniques--such as the hand-held charge devices--the credit industry sends engraved invitations to crooks--even those who ain't too bright. The industry must have data that tells them that their losses are less than what it would cost to implement more robust security. Otherwise I imagine they'd do it. They're bankers, after all, so they act almost exclusively on bean-counter analysis.
Well when you are charging merchants 3% to 5% per transaction and then 10% to 24% interest, you can afford some losses. One of the major factors playing here, however, is the resistance of merchants to stricter security and technology. It is a huge hassle to a merchant to have to go through layers of protection, and they don't WANT to have cards turned down. After all the merchant does not take the loss on a bad card. (When our credit cards were stolen, a local gas station processed repeated cash charges of $125.00 to the card. Obviously the merchant was cooperating with the thieves.)

We were credit card merchants back in the days of running the card through an imprinter and calling an authorization in. As the companies switched over to swipe card machines with automatic verification, they wanted us to pay over $1000 for the equipment. We opted to stay with the paper imprinter, but if we were still in business I am sure we would eventually have been forced to opt in.

The hand held devices are a great idea. But let us guess they would cost $500 each and the wireless setup would cost $3000. That is a lot of money for a small mom and pop restaurant, and it would mount up quite a bit even for a big chain restaurant. Resistance of the merchants to change and extra cost is a large part of the problem.
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Old July 5th, 2012, 12:20 PM
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Well when you are charging merchants 3% to 5% per transaction and then 10% to 24% interest, you can afford some losses. One of the major factors playing here, however, is the resistance of merchants to stricter security and technology. It is a huge hassle to a merchant to have to go through layers of protection, and they don't WANT to have cards turned down. After all the merchant does not take the loss on a bad card. (When our credit cards were stolen, a local gas station processed repeated cash charges of $125.00 to the card. Obviously the merchant was cooperating with the thieves.)

We were credit card merchants back in the days of running the card through an imprinter and calling an authorization in. As the companies switched over to swipe card machines with automatic verification, they wanted us to pay over $1000 for the equipment. We opted to stay with the paper imprinter, but if we were still in business I am sure we would eventually have been forced to opt in.

The hand held devices are a great idea. But let us guess they would cost $500 each and the wireless setup would cost $3000. That is a lot of money for a small mom and pop restaurant, and it would mount up quite a bit even for a big chain restaurant. Resistance of the merchants to change and extra cost is a large part of the problem.
I certainly accept everything you say. One point and one question:

Point: By resisting enhanced security, merchants are by definition risking increased transaction costs to cover the scams. Of course, customers are risking increased interest costs as well, but they have no say in the matter (beyond, of course, the obvious defense of paying off the cards every month and never paying interest). Merchants evidently think that keeping the security loopholes open is a net advantage to them, but that may be questionable.

Question: Accepting as true that the capital and startup costs to the merchant for things like hand-held devices are onerous, what makes them a value proposition for the rest of the world?
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Old July 7th, 2012, 05:19 PM
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I like the idea of tin foil to foil the thieves. I bet it will go well with my tin foil hat to foil the aliens!

All Kidding aside...if it isn't one thing, it is another!
Thanks for passing this info on.
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Old July 9th, 2012, 12:51 PM
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Hmmm, I can live in fear every day. Or I can just go about my day as I do now. Of course my bank is configured to send me alerts if something out of the ordinary happens. Check my accounts usually in the morning and again before bed. Life goes on. I'm just not going to worry about the boogy man around every corner. Life's too short for that.
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