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Fraud prevention calls from credit card companies

Fraud prevention calls from credit card companies

Feb 16th, 2007, 09:20 AM
Join Date: Sep 2006
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tmt, I'm the one who added "ATM eaters" to the mix here...sorry! That's not what the OP was addressing however, and I don't think ATM-eating is a problem like it used to be.

The issue that the OP was addressing, I think, is that cc companies often are so GOOD at tracking purchases, that if you suddenly stazt racking up a bunch of charges in a place you normally don't make purchases, they may freeze your card -- for your protection.

The way to avoid this is to notify them ahead of time -- which I do twice for each company, just to make sure we don't have to deal with the problem while abroad. As mentioned here, there are some special 800 phone numbers that you can take with you to call in case of a problem. But for people like me, who tend to enjoy smooth sailing more than rough roads, I'd rather deal with the whole thing proactively if possible.
LucieV is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 12:56 PM
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A few years ago before a month long trip to Europe, I called MBNA to inform them of the dates and locations of my travels. They told me all would be noted on my account and to have a good trip. Three days into the trip our card was frozen. Speaking to someone who could open the account again was a major ordeal. Their response was that they sent me a letter saying there were overseas charges on the card and they froze it for my protection! It took over an hour to get the whole thing straightened out.
The next trip we took, I thought I would be smart and call a second time to see if the account really had a vacation notice on it. MBNA said yes, no problem - have a great trip. Guess what? As we were trying to buy train tickets we were told the account was frozen. After another angry phone call to MBNA and no apology from them, I cancelled the card and wrote a letter explaining my reasons for doing so. I stupidly accepted an offer to not close the account and once again while in a shop in Hanoi we were told the card was frozen. Even though this time I had informed them of not only the dates of our trip but I gave them hotel phone numbers so they could reach us if necessary. Three strikes and they were out for good! We have never had a problem with our AMEX in Europe or Asia, and only used the MBNA Visa because of no add on fees at the time.
mileaday is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 01:11 PM
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The part that surprises me most about these stories is that some have had it happen twice. You mean you stayed with the same company after the first time....
You mean you gave them a second chance to show you that they were incompetent???
robjame is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 02:33 PM
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hey, robjame, I think you're being really hard on all our good old megazillion-dollar corporations. They have feelings, too, y'know.
LucieV is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 02:36 PM
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I called my credit card company before I went to Europe and gave them the info. While there my credit card was bolcked. Aftre calling from Italy for an entire day I got someone in the US. They said that the service person I spoke to had forgotten to let the security dept know of my call. I will now call twice to verify everything.

They also said they had called me about this matter on my telephone at home. But I was in Europe I told them not at home to get my messages. Too bad I was told.

Again. Call twice!
davidjac is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 03:25 PM
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I'm amazed at (and frustrated by) how many people have had this happen to them! And it seems to be a variety of credit card companies. But, without going back through and counting, it seems to me more people have mentioned Visa. Does it happen more with them than with MC?

Very good advice to take along the numbers through which they can be collect called. I'll definitely put that on my trip "to do" list!

Meanwhile, this morning I went online to pay a Chase credit card bill. I was on the computer in our basement and got a message saying they didn't recognize the computer I was on. It said I'd have to wait for them to call me or e-mail me with an access code before I could access my account on that computer.

So I figured I must have paid on the computer in our bedroom the past few months. As soon as my husband got up, I tried to pay from that computer. Same message!

I called and, after about 15 minutes of questions, etc., I was given a code and was eventually able to pay the bill. But what an ordeal!

Again, I really do understand what a terrible problem identity theft is. And I understand the pressure the credit card companies are under to do something about it. By why is it that every measure they take seems to be a huge PITA for the customer?!

I'm sure there's no good answer to that. But I just had to vent!
CAPH52 is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 03:28 PM
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I swear I edited this! Should be but why, not by why!
CAPH52 is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 03:43 PM
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I think we should go back to TCs, as a back-up. Few days ago, along with my bank statement, I received the "change of terms", they will not charge for TCs and for safe deposit box. Sounds good

When I call my credit card and ATM banks, they ask me to hold while they make a note on my account about with the exact dates out of the country, and give me phone numbers to call in case of emergency.
FainaAgain is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 03:48 PM
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They don't freeze your card for YOUR protection. You're only liable for the first fifty bucks of any fraudulent charges on your card, even if a thief buys a hundred Rolls Royces with it. It's for THEIR protection, since they are the ones who will pay.

Of course, if they really cared what happens to them, they wouldn't offer them to so many deadbeats, bankrupts, prison inmates, pets, and dead people.
fnarf999 is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 04:39 PM
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So what's the answer?!!
Amex and calling, I suppose.
Also, in general, when using a ATM in Europe is it 4 or 6 numbers in the pin?
CarJoe44 is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 05:39 PM
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I work for a bank and telling us that you will be travelling overseas does work as long as the employee actually puts the notation onto your account. My best advice is that if your card is issued by a major bank, not the ones issued by some little tiny bank in Ohio or something, is go to the local branch and speak to an employee personally. The personnel at the call centers make me wonder at times. I work for the bank and they screw up my accounts at times as well. Ironically, before I worked for a bank, I never called prior to any of my overseas trips and my accounts functioned normally.
waverunner26 is offline  
Feb 17th, 2007, 01:35 PM
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We use a Visa card for all our charges in order to accrue points for travel. However, last two trips to Europe the card has been denied on first use and I've had to call. We have an AMEX card that we hardly ever use...but guess what? When the VISA fails the AMEX goes right thru.
(And poor VISA... the day my husband was shopping at one end of NYC... I, at the other, and a charge for tickets I bought online for Buckingham Palace went thru. I'm surprise the organization didn't self implode!)
Grandma is offline  
Feb 17th, 2007, 04:24 PM
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fnarf999, good point!

BTW, this does not only happen when you are out of the country. I've had it happen several times in my own town. I was shopping in a mall, made a large purchase at a store, then went right next door into Borders to pick up a specific item and the charge was refused. At the service desk I called the 800 number and was told...there was only about 5 minutes between purchases! I was in a mall ! I could have made 20 purchases in less than an hour!

Another time , a large grocery chain was going out of business and everything was reduced 75-80 percent including wines. A $10.00 bottle was going for $2.50! I scarfed several cases along with a bunch of other things and my bill was around $400.00..charge refused...again called the CC company from the store and was told a $400.0 charge for groceries was unusual!

Citibank has initiated a new security system and twice in the last month when I was ordering things from NZ I have had them call me to verify I was the one charging. You would think after the first purchase they would have recognized that I was the one doing the purchase!
jody is offline  
Feb 17th, 2007, 06:05 PM
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I travel on government business to europe often and use a G issued travel card. Before I travel, I always call to inform the CC company my travel dates and locations. Also I take personal CC's and notify those companies as well. Never had a problem with charges or any questiond about charges when abroad.
sherm99 is offline  
Feb 17th, 2007, 06:41 PM
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Four trips to Europe, never called the cc companies, never had a problem. I really meant to call before the last trip, but never got around to it. Now I'm afraid to call before our next trip. Sounds like it causes more problems than not calling.
Lady is offline  
Feb 17th, 2007, 07:12 PM
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Interesting point, Lady!
CAPH52 is offline  
Feb 17th, 2007, 07:15 PM
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I'm not sure there is one case above where someone called and there was still an issue that indicates there wouldn't have been an issue if they hadn't called.

I'm not sure of the logic not to call to avoid problems. But I think there is much logic in calling to prevent problems.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Feb 17th, 2007, 07:35 PM
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How's your daughter doing? Hope she's enjoying herself like our Amy has.

Amy also called her bank (Wells Fargo) about her credit and debit cards prior to her leaving. And, yes, they put a hold on both of the cards three days after she arrived.

They called me here and I had Amy call them, and it was corrected the next day, but it still is frustrating.

canterbury is offline  
Feb 17th, 2007, 08:14 PM
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Is there any possibility that when one uses a CC to purchase their airline tickets and than consequently uses the same card for purchases while on the trip that the CC Co. realizes that the card holder is on a trip due to the charges for the airline tickets? I don't really know but just a thought..
LoveItaly is offline  
Feb 17th, 2007, 09:19 PM
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I don't know the answer to that either, LoveItaly. I charged our daughter's ticket on my Discover card because they're running a promotion where they give 5% cash back on certain things, including airline tickets. So, obviously, the charge wasn't on her Visa. Maybe you're right in speculating that if it had been, they wouldn't have questioned her other purchases. But there's usually a gap of at least a couple of months between purchase of tickets and charges from that country.

canterbury, thanks for asking how she's doing. So far, things are going very well. She really likes her internship.
CAPH52 is offline  

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