Having A Monday? How About Some Credit Card Fraud?
If you have ever seen the movie Office Space, you will know of which I speak. "Having a case of the Monday's" is even in the Urban Dictionary as: "symptoms of a useless or horrible Monday morning after returning from the weekend, used in the movie Office Space".
Well, I am not one to complain, so I won't. However, let me tell you how I have had (count them) 2 Mondays which have not set well with me...and top top it off, both of them have happened here in Shreveport/Bossier City exactly 6 months apart.
I moved here 7 months ago and around Thanksgiving, I was checking my bank statement and noticed some discrepancies, so I called my bank and lo-and-behold, I learned that my credit card number had been stolen and someone charged up $725. So I did myown research and handed it over to the Bossier City police, (where were awesome, BTW) They came over took a report and followed it through to the point where it is now, in the hands of the Shreveport Police. I get updates every so often from them asking me questions and that seems to have narrowed things down, from what they say.
Well, today, I had had almost deja vu. This time, however, I received a call from my bank asking me if I had been shopping in Louisville, KY!!!!! And of course I had not.
Seems as though someone was in Louisville, KY and made 3 separate purchases that were just over $200 at Wal-Mart and then decided on some McDonalds for lunch and made another $200 purchase at a Target in Louisville, as well.
So my bank cancelled yet another Debit card of mine, then took care of the fraud charges, issued me a new bank card and said that I needed to make another report to the police, which I will be doing tonight.
As I was talking with the bank Fraud Officer, I asked him why is this happening so much since I moved to Louisiana, I mean after all, I lived in Phoenix and that is the hot-bed of stolen identities. His response, it his happening more and more in the past year or 2.
So how do you combat credit card fraud? The FTC has a whole page dedicated to this. On it, you will find the Do's and Don'ts
- Sign your cards as soon as they arrive.
- Carry your cards separately from your wallet, in a zippered compartment, a business card holder, or another small pouch.
- Keep a record of your account numbers, their expiration dates, and the phone number and address of each company in a secure place.
- Keep an eye on your card during the transaction, and get it back as quickly as possible.
- Void incorrect receipts.
- Destroy carbons.
- Save receipts to compare with billing statements.
- Open bills promptly and reconcile accounts monthly, just as you would your checking account.
- Report any questionable charges promptly and in writing to the card issuer.
- Notify card companies in advance of a change in address.
- Lend your card(s) to anyone.
- Leave cards or receipts lying around.
- Sign a blank receipt. When you sign a receipt, draw a line through any blank spaces above the total.
- Write your account number on a postcard or the outside of an envelope.
- Give out your account number over the phone unless you're making the call to a company you know is reputable. If you have questions about a company, check it out with your local consumer protection office or Better Business Bureau
A few other things that I have found will help make it harder for criminals to get hold of your credit cards and debit cards:
Thank goodness I have a nice bank and they are looking our for my best interest, but not all will and even fewer will do anything for you, if you don't pay that Fraud Protection they offer, so do yourself a favor and protect yourself. From what my bank is telling me, it is going to get worse and they (the banks) are sure when it will or if it will get better.