COVID-19 Travel Advisory: Stay up to date with the latest on the coronavirus pandemic.   Learn More >

Credit card fraud -- a question

Old Mar 22nd, 2004, 05:34 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 8,862
Credit card fraud -- a question

Hi, it's something that seems to happen to all of us. My question is whether some cards are more prone to theft than others. For example, Amex vs. Visa vs. MasterCard vs. ATM cards that double up as credit cards

Is there some sort of anecdotal evidence regarding whether some cards are better in this regard than others?

Thanks.
111op is offline  
Old Mar 22nd, 2004, 05:38 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 18
I don't know about card types; but don't forget to call the card company "before" your travel and/or bookings, and let them know. The card companies often "reject" charges. Tell them you want a "higher category." This means the computer will not automatically reject charges.
Love4Travel is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2004, 01:01 AM
  #3  
JonJon
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
The main reason charges are "rejected" is bacuse they suddenly come from an "unlikely" source such as Europe (after you just used it at the local Safeway the day before) and doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the amount (that "higher category"..whatever that means?????) Tell the credit card issuer WHERE you are going to be (the country or countries) and WHEN you are going to be there.
I am not sure any card is "more valuable" than any other since a card that can be used in an ATM is useless unless the person who stole it can also find out the PIN that goes with it.
 
Old Mar 23rd, 2004, 03:37 AM
  #4  
jenifer
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
The thing with ATM cards that double up as credit cards is that anyone who has stolen your card can use it like a credit card, but in reality they are taking the money directly from your bank account.

If someone racks up false charges on your credit card, it's the credit card company's money they're taking, so they want to get it back.

If they steal money from your account using your debit card, you're the one who loses. Maybe you can get it back, maybe you can't, but either way the fight is all in your hands.
 
Old Mar 23rd, 2004, 03:45 AM
  #5  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,632
>The thing with ATM cards that double up as credit cards is that anyone who has stolen your card can use it like a credit card, ...<

Are you sure of this? I have two ATM/debit cards. They work only if a PIN is entered.
ira is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2004, 03:53 AM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 8,862
I can use my ATM card as a Mastercard (no PIN required) -- just have to sign off on my purchases.

I've read somewhere that it's possible to get the bank to send a card that doesn't have the credit-card feature.

111op is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2004, 04:05 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,785
I have never told my credit card companies that I am traveling abroad, and have never had a charge rejected. I just got back from Spain with no problems.

Why tell strangers your house will be empty?

Karen
kaudrey is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2004, 04:16 AM
  #8  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,632
>I can use my ATM card as a Mastercard (no PIN required)...<

In that case, your bank account is not debited and the fraud is the CC people's problem. No?
ira is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2004, 04:26 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,050
Here's an anecdote: My husband's wallet was stolen, and later recovered in a nearby trash can. The thieves had removed all the cash and most of the credit cards -- they left behind his gym membership ID and also his Diner's Club card, apparently not realizing that it was a credit card.
Anonymous is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2004, 04:27 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,244
My ATM/Check Card also acts as a VISA with money coming directly out of my checking account even if I just use it as a VISA to pay for a meal or hotel room, or general shopping. This is a concern for me because if I lose the card, someone can charge things using the VISA without having to know the PIN, and wipe out my checking account, along with my $2,000 overdraft protection.

I checked with my bank and asked them if I could just have the ATM card without the VISA portion, and they said yes, but I couldn't have both cards.

For my upcoming trip to Europe, I am seriously considering cancelling my ATM VISA Check Card and getting just the ATM card and using my Mastercard for purchases, hotels, rental cars, and meals. (b))
Budman is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2004, 04:29 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,244
If your Mastercard is used as an ATM card (it is not a check card), when you use it to get cash, it will be considered a cash advance, and you will begin accruing interest that day.

I have found that when I do that, and pay the balance off when I receive my statement, the interest is minimal.
Budman is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2004, 04:37 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,244
kaudrey, do you cancel your newspaper?

I think I would trust my credit card people before I would trust my newspaper carrier.

I was going on a cruise and arranged for a rental car in Le Havre -- I had to put down a 10% deposit, and the rental car company was an agent out of Ireland. When the $5.00 charge popped up on my account, my credit card company called me to verify the charge.

I think it is wise to call them ahead of time to let them know 1) you are going overseas, and 2) you don't plan to make any outlandish purchases (i.e. a $5,000 carpet), and to expect normal charges (in case your card is stolen).
Budman is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2004, 06:08 AM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 8,862
Once, a few years ago, a hold was put on my card while I was in London. I think that it was because I used it on pay phones and the credit card company found that suspicious. I've never called the company while I travel. I had an embarrassing experience of having one of my cards rejected because the store person entered the expiration date wrong (I called the company overseas and that was the reason given).

By the way, Ira, when I use my ATM card as a credit card, the money comes out of the checking account -- the bank statement shows it (there's no separate credit card statement).

Interesting anecdote regarding Diners' Club. I think that it's more common in Europe (and Asia?) to use DC. Was the theft in the US?

111op is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2004, 06:55 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,050
Yes, the Diners Club incident was in the US, in Boston.
Anonymous is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2004, 07:04 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,244
<By the way, Ira, when I use my ATM card as a credit card, the money comes out of the checking account -- the bank statement shows it (there's no separate credit card statement).>

All the more reason not to take it. If you lose it, someone could wipe out your checking account. You would probably get the money back later, rather than sooner, but it would be a hassle.
Budman is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2004, 07:15 AM
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 8,862
Actually I did lose it in a recent trip to London and had to phone the US from a restaurant. It was quite a scare. I was a bit cavalier until I realized that it could be used as a credit card.

I should call the bank to send me one without the credit card feature. But I've also heard that charges on such a card will be subject to a daily limit (as are withdrawals from a bank account). But I should call the bank to be sure.

But I do need to carry it abroad for cash withdrawals.

111op is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2004, 07:33 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,513
We use the ATM for cash and for a cc we use Amex all the time in Europe and I have never had problem with the number being stolen. The one time I used my Visa in one shop, the number was stolen. Visa called me right away becuase the charges were high. I said, no I couldn't have charged on it because the charges were only a couple of hours old. I've been back for three weeks. I asked them if they would prose cute and they said they wouldn't do anything. I told them they could see I only used it in one shop so it's obvious who stole the number. They said they do nothing. Now if I'm not using my Amex, I use cash.
Ann1 is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2004, 08:31 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 12,188
Ann1, did you have to pay for those spurious Visa charges?
WillTravel is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2004, 09:34 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,785
Budman - I don't get a newspaper delivered to my house.

The only people who know I am away are family, friends, work, and my petsitter when I use her instead of a neighbor to take care of my cats.

My card companies (I have a MC and an AMEX) have never rejected any of my overseas purchases.

Karen
kaudrey is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2004, 09:41 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 334
As to who is responsible on debit card transactions, it depends on your agreement with the bank (i.e. their standard agreement). At my bank (which is also my employer), the CUSTOMER is responsible if it is done as a debit transaction (i.e., a PIN is used), because the customer is responsible for protecting thier PIN. If it is processed as a credit transaction (i.e., signature based), the customer is not liable for anything (even the standard $50 responsibility). I would think that this policy is fairly standard. You should check with your own bank on this matter so that you know what, if anything, you are risking.

Having said all that, it can be more of a hassle to dispute charges done with a debit card because it could conceivably tie up your cash while it is being investigated, which means bouncing mortgage payments, etc. For customers with good history, we give immediate credit during the investigatory period so that doesn't happen.

Anne
AnneO is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO