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Old 12-02-2011, 09:20 PM   #15
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Maybe we are the only ones, but we know from personal experience that identity theft is real. DW's identity was stolen and used to get credit cards that were then used to purchase some very expensive air tickets (to Saudi Arabia, Holland, Turkey). A mortgage was applied for in her name. Because we keep a close eye on things we discovered the problem before it had been ongoing for long. Clearing it up and getting the negative information from credit reports was a bit of a hassle and took some legal help, but frankly, we have dealt with bigger problems. BTW, did you know that most full coverage homeowner's policies have coverage to cover identity theft expense?

Through the last 25 years or so we have had several credit cards compromised - seems to happen every couple of years. Again, a bit of a hassle but dealing with it is straightforward. We are probably a bit more vulnerable since DW travels 80% of the time (planes, hotels) and we live in the motorhome on the road for 2/3 of the year.

Life isn't simple any more.
I agree. I don't belong to the "greed of the banks" group but the willingness of those banks to easily grant credit is, I believe that the root of many of these problems lies many banks' willingness to process whatever transactions they recieve. I had my Mastercard compromised in Shanghi this year. Two extraordinary transactions ($1,600 each) where caught by the bank before I saw them but the bank still put me through hoops to recover from the situation. There is no way that I could have been at the hotel where those charges were registered since my credit card showed use in the US at around the same time date/time. I cannot believe that the thief had my expiration/security code on my credit card. I believe the bank processed the transactions without those safeguards - and that is NOT my problem.
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Old 12-02-2011, 09:34 PM   #16
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I'd be more worried about using the Internet than the phone. Especially if you phone them.
Not me. Most internet CC transactions are fully automated. No human ever sees the card info. And the data is fully encrypted end-to-end, so unless your computer is compromised, no one in the middle could intercept it.

I worry about giving some pimply faced teenager my card in a Cracker Barrel. They disappear for 10 minutes doing who-knows-what with my card. They have my card, my CCV number, and my signature. That's where the risk is.
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Old 12-02-2011, 09:38 PM   #17
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I'm so broke, the guy who stole my identity is sueing me for ruining HIS life.
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Old 12-02-2011, 10:05 PM   #18
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I do know there are scanners out there that pick up cell phone conversations, we have one. It only picks up one person talking, but that may be enough for someone to hear your account numbers. We had a debit charge from Amazon a couple months back. We called Amazon, they said they had transposed a couple numbers on someone else's order and gave us the credit back. I check our accounts each week on line. You can't be too careful.
Interesting.. Credit card numbers are not just "Random" they include a fixed part, (Issuing bank's ID) and a coded part (your account) and a confirmation part (And I don't mean the digits on the back) if you "Just transposed a couple of numbers" I don't think the number would ACK, I think it would NAK, (Those are communication protocol terms, Acknowledge and Negative Acknowledge) and if it' NAK's it won't process.

Kind of like a Vehicle ID number... I know an FBI agent who wrote a program that, beleive it or not, runs on a Commodore VIC-20 (It has since been ported to Windows or rather a DOS window in Windows) to assist in figuring out what an altered VIN used to be.. As it happens I know PART of the protocol for figuring out a key digit. (NO, I don't recall the full formula, in fact, I never remembered it so there is nothing to recall)

In testing the program I "Made up" a Chevy VIN out of thin air.

What are the odds that the VIN would check as valid? Well, it did.

But if you transposed any two digits (or more) it would surly have flunked.
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Old 12-02-2011, 10:18 PM   #19
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Are there any HARD #'s that give #'s of CC info stolen.. $'s not recovered? I am 58 years young.. I have owned a retail company for 14 years and have been in RETAIL from age 14..... I have not had one personal experience with any theft of any of my customers info or my employees or mine.. I do not believe anything about ID theft.. They are selling a service...they want you to be afraid.. Check your accounts daily.. Report transactions that are not yours, have the bank investigate ... The NEW World is not scary.. we all must be smart... Peace and HAPPY HOLIDAY'S To You and Yours.. D&T
Believe me, it happens. Several years ago, my debit card was compromised by a credit card clearing house hack in down in Tucson. Even though my card had been blocked, I got hit with a $900+ car rental charge in Savanah, Georgia (never mind I've never been near there). My credit union refunded my money after I "gently" reminded them it was a blocked card.

I agree the credit protection services are overkill if you are savvy and ambitious enough to check your accounts on a frequent basis and know what to look for.
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Old 12-03-2011, 08:57 AM   #20
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You also need to check what your own bank does. 3 months ago, I made a very large online payment from my checking account to a gas credit card, and the next online bank transaction showed they did the payment three times!. I immediately called to complain, and talked to "Peggy" in India. It took many calls to the bank and gas card people to finally get the thing resolved, and the overdraft charges removed.

And, damn if it didn't happen again this month, only the bank just did the payment twice. After another long series of calls and "please connect me to your supervisor" discussions, I was told that I must have hit the "submit" button twice - which did not happen. I know, I should just quit this bank, but we have several accounts and I would likely not be able to get the same home equity loan interest rate so it may not be worth the hassle.

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...I agree the credit protection services are overkill if you are savvy and ambitious enough to check your accounts on a frequent basis and know what to look for.
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Old 12-03-2011, 09:46 AM   #21
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You also need to check what your own bank does. 3 months ago, I made a very large online payment from my checking account to a gas credit card, and the next online bank transaction showed they did the payment three times!. I immediately called to complain, and talked to "Peggy" in India. It took many calls to the bank and gas card people to finally get the thing resolved, and the overdraft charges removed.

And, damn if it didn't happen again this month, only the bank just did the payment twice. After another long series of calls and "please connect me to your supervisor" discussions, I was told that I must have hit the "submit" button twice - which did not happen. I know, I should just quit this bank, but we have several accounts and I would likely not be able to get the same home equity loan interest rate so it may not be worth the hassle.
I thought Peggy was some guy in Russia.

One thing I love about my credit union is I do get to talk to someone in the U.S. who is a fluent English speaker instead of some poorly trained person in India who barely speaks heavily accented English.
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Old 12-03-2011, 10:10 AM   #22
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Are there any HARD #'s that give #'s of CC info stolen.. $'s not recovered? I am 58 years young.. I have owned a retail company for 14 years and have been in RETAIL from age 14..... I have not had one personal experience with any theft of any of my customers info or my employees or mine.. I do not believe anything about ID theft.. They are selling a service...they want you to be afraid.. Check your accounts daily.. Report transactions that are not yours, have the bank investigate ... The NEW World is not scary.. we all must be smart... Peace and HAPPY HOLIDAY'S To You and Yours.. D&T
Just because you don't believe does not mean it does not exist. My wife was a victim of identity theft. No, not just someone using her credit card number, this woman spent 8 years using Janet's name and social security number. This was before there was a name for it and no one would take the issue seriously claiming Janet was not a victim since she wasn't losing any money, but rather the businesses that this woman defrauded were. However, you should have seen Janet's credit report. 7 alias', account upon account opened, closed, late, overdue, written off, etc. One company even tried to sue Janet. Businesses would give this woman instant credit, let her leave with the property (usually jewelry which she likely pawned) and then, when they could not locate this person, would pull the credit report for that SSN and send Janet the bill. We were in VA and this woman was in FL. Didn't matter, the bills would always arrive. At the time one of the credit reporting companies offered an instant notification option should someone apply for credit but even with this, by the time we could call the company being defrauded she was already gone and the bills still arrived. Finally, the woman moved nearby and the Kay Jewelers called my business to verify "Janet's" employment. For the first time in 8 years, Kay took action and had the woman arrested when she returned to pick up the merchandise. That ended the run.
However, she still knows Janet's SSN and the SS admin. would not issue a new number as they also did not consider it to be a serious enough issue. Everyday we just wonder when she will start again.
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Old 12-03-2011, 11:59 AM   #23
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I. D. Fraud

Once upon a time in Colorado, I received a letter from the District Attorney in Arvada telling me that my driver's lic. was suppended because of an accident I had not reported. Even gave me the name of the damaged party. I called the party and asked her to discribe me - it was a fellow shorter and younger then me but with the same name. I wrote a letter back to the Attorney and informed them that they had the wrong guy and explained that I had proof that I was not the same fellow, did not resemble the fellow and was not in the area of the accident; also explained that, because of their false statements, I had developed such worries that I was unable to perform my husbandly duties and may have to sue them. I received a letter right back with an apology and explaining that the desk cop had pulled my name out of the phone book!

They are everywhere and they breed.
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Old 12-03-2011, 12:35 PM   #24
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My wife had her identity compromised about two years ago. It started with someone stopping our mail on line, not us! After about a week, we called the post office, we usually always get some sort of junk mail, they said we had stopped the mail. By the time we got it reported, they had opened a Visa account in her name, drew out $ 3,000 on cash advance, opened an Etrade account, and had three other accounts pending, all in a weeks time.Now for the kicker,try explaining to these people that you are who you say you are. I'm not exaggerating, it was about six months time for her to clear this thing up, including cert. letters, notary letters, affidavits from our attorney. Had they been this dilligent opening these accounts, we wouldnt have been in this mess!!
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Old 12-03-2011, 02:00 PM   #25
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I recently saw a piece on exactly what the OP wrote. It appears from what he said, it was his ATM/debit card that was compromised, not his credit card. That can happen when someone puts a scanner on an ATM machine which records all of the card numbers and PIN numbers therefore gaining access to all of the accounts associated with the card. All the banks are supposed to check for this but their personnel is often not trained to do so. It is possible that someone put a scanner on an ATM in the morning after it was loaded with cash and took it off before the next bank employee checked it; possible if they knew the schedules. Suggestions were to never use an ATM not at a bank or credit union as the independent ATM machines can be purchased used for $750 and have users' info on them. Also said to check your bank accounts online like the OP did; at least weekly.

No one is safe from theft, ever. Could happen in the mail, coming out of the bank, using the ATM, well documented credit card issues on this thread, and someone listening to your phone conversations. Although I wish it were different, we all need to be vigilant. We are the only ones who can truly protect ourselves.
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Old 12-03-2011, 02:35 PM   #26
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Years ago i bought one of the newer scanners that had the cell frequncys blocked. Guess what, there are what is called reflective frequncys that can be picked up.
Some times i even picked up both sides of the conversation.
Of course 99% of the time it wasen't worth listening to, although a few times it the converstation got quite hot.
Looking back on it it reminds me of real housewives of.......
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Old 12-03-2011, 03:00 PM   #27
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There are no special licenses that I'm aware of that are issued by the FCC to monitor Cell Phone activity. Although there are laws, per say, that regulate the interception of communications, what one listens to on any device manufactured, or built by the individual that is broadcast over the "Ether," is a fundamental given right under our Constitution. I am not sure if it has ever been challenged, but the story goes that somewhere in the late 1990's a congressman was overheard on his portable phone (cell) talking to his "girl friend," and the conversation was heard by the press and released. His wife did not like it and he did not like his wife finding out about his girl friend. So, law was made. Search warrants for "wiretapping" are necessary. Wiretapping was originally considered to be placing an object "in-line" to receive and record conversations. In the "old days," placing a suction cup pickup device on a telephone receiver was not considered wiretapping or illegal. Maybe today some official has declared it such.

To say there is a law is one thing. To enforce it is another. Now if someone listening uses that information in an illegal way, criminal or civil law may come into play.

Here is a good article about it: Privacy Rights

Personally, if I were to monitor any communications I would be very careful of who I informed of whatever I may have heard.

Any lawyers out there care to comment?
Some people think that applies to WiFi too. Here in WA it is illegal to use someones Wifi without their permission. There's a man sitting in prison right now because he was using a coffee shops (not Starbucks) WiFi from his car outside. The owner went out and told him to get off, he refused so they called the police. Normally this would just be a fine, but he was a convicted sex offender and he was looking at porn so it violated his parole. But still illegal to use someone elses WiFi. Ours doesn't broadcast it's SSID and it's password protected.
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