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Old 08-22-2010, 07:48 AM   #15
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Everybody take a deep breath and get the second cup of coffee.!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 08-22-2010, 07:55 AM   #16
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I read on another forum a story by a guy that lived through the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. Texas coast not New Orleans I believe. A long term power outage. He said that one thing you forget about is that the CC machines and ATMs won't be working so it was difficult to purchase things if you could find a store open. His moral to the story was it is a good idea to have some cash stashed away just in case. We aren't thrilled with carrying a lot of cash but after reading this thread and the Katrina story I think some Travelers checks might be a good idea and some old fashion green in the safe at home.

It is disturbing that in the world we live in that there are so many thieves out there. Used to be during a disaster like that a merchant would take your name and how much you owed and you would come back later to square things up. Now days the same merchant has to board up the store and guard it with a shotgun so it isn't looted.
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Old 08-22-2010, 07:56 AM   #17
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Hi All,

Like a couple others here have said it is up to us to be awear of our times and suroundings! I check my banking page which also has my criedt card on it every other day! I also have Text & Email Alerts set up on both banking & CC! Now I am not saying I can't get scamed, and hope I don't!! However if I do, I should know about it in no more the 24 hours! At which time I can reach out to Bank, CC & Police, and not be resposiable for the damages! Just my 2 cents worth!! Have a great day all!!
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Old 08-22-2010, 09:50 AM   #18
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Some interesting perspecitves. My approach to credit cards is the opposite extreme from SeaJay (who uses cash extensively and never lets his CC out of his sight). I use either my Visa (which earns frequent flier miles) or debit card for virtually everything I can. I do an automatic update on Quicken every few days and all of my expenses are itemized and categorized for me. Cash drawn from ATMs are a category of their own but not itemized.

I have felt comfortable operating this way because I believe my liability is limited to $50 and my CC company is very vigilant in overseeing the account. At least twice they have contacted me about suspected fraud... which turned out to be REAL fraud... but niether incident cost me a dime.
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Old 08-22-2010, 11:51 AM   #19
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Now that everything's been explained, I can see that I was on a totally different tangent. And, for those who read my previous postings, scratched their head and questioned what planet I was living on, please accept my apologies. Oh, BTW, yes, I am living on the planet Earth, contrary to popular belief.

Based on what's now known, I still couldn't answer the O.P's question, "Would you have done that?", 100% yes or no. There are a lot of unknown factors here that could have swayed me one way or the other had I been the one making these purchases. Questions like:
  • How urgent was the need to have there items?
  • How inconvenient would it have been to return later to make the purchases after power was restored?
  • How comfortable would I have felt making puchases during the unusual circumstances.
  • What kind of receipt (if any) was going to be issued?
  • What type of store was it ("Mom & Pop" or chain")?
  • Did the employees involved in making these manual transactions appear calm and competent or were they frazzled, anxious and unsure of what to do?
Unfortunately, the purchaser might find out that no employee was involved in the theft of his CC info. It could have been just plain carelessness by one of the stores in the handling of the paper containing the number. When the power was finally restored, maybe after the CC was charged, the paper with the CC info was mearly tossed into the trash can only to be retrieved later by... who knows?

At my son's store, we take a lot of CC transactions over the phone, but once the card has been charged, we run the paper with the CC information through the shredder.
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Old 08-22-2010, 12:21 PM   #20
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Don't worry Frank, my internal GPS has taken me down those same "tangents" countless times....
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Old 08-22-2010, 12:21 PM   #21
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Sounds like alot of these stores have failed to do what is necessary and install backup generators to go with their UPS system. I worked in a grocery store that had their entire network and phone system on both localized battery backup (to cover for the pause between the grid going out and the generator coming online) and on a giant natural gas fired generator.

If power went out, there'd be a cacophony of alarms for a few seconds as the system's switched over, and then while multiple people were stationed at the doors to prevent folks walking out without paying for their cart of groceries (Our lighting dropped to minimum mode) we resumed sales, in all forms. If the credit card/check system was down, we only took cash. If you couldn't pay cash, we told ya to go elsewhere politely.
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Old 08-22-2010, 12:52 PM   #22
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We use credit cards extensively, in stores, online and occasionally via phone. Lots of people have access to your CC numbers, whether you "keep your card in sight" or not. Even is a clerk or waiter scans it in front of you, they still have the data in the card machine. It is right there in the card scanner machine and can be reviewed or displayed easily. Edited, canceled or re-submitted, too. Plus it i sin the merchant's transaction log.

You need to be aware of the potential for fraud and keep an eye on your account. And report problems ASAP.
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Old 08-22-2010, 01:04 PM   #23
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I agree that if someone you hand your card to wants to use your CC #, there's nothing you can do. They have the CC #. Fortunately the CC companies do not hold you liable for fraudulent charges.

Some of my friends have told me they keep several thousand dollars in their safe(s), just for such situations when cash is needed.
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Old 08-22-2010, 02:06 PM   #24
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Route 66 now that's the kind of RV'ers I want to run with. After 2 kids and two Doctorates degrees I want friends with cash in the safe.
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Old 08-22-2010, 02:33 PM   #25
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These folks that had this terrible experience found out about it on Saturday morning, around 10 am. They had little cash with them and were just leaving for their return trip home when he got on line and saw that he was wiped out.
I'm sure they will recover most of it eventually, but the fear of no available funds when leaving on a 600 mile trip was very upsetting to them.
It should be an easy investigation with only three stores involved for the local police.
If I hear anymore about it, I'll post an update.
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Old 08-23-2010, 04:09 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Max Hubrich View Post
These folks that had this terrible experience found out about it on Saturday morning, around 10 am. They had little cash with them and were just leaving for their return trip home when he got on line and saw that he was wiped out.
I'm sure they will recover most of it eventually, but the fear of no available funds when leaving on a 600 mile trip was very upsetting to them.
It should be an easy investigation with only three stores involved for the local police.
If I hear anymore about it, I'll post an update.
that is really bad
least like you said there are only 3 stores involved so hopefully find the one ivolved and do some arrests
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Old 08-23-2010, 07:18 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Hubrich View Post
These folks that had this terrible experience found out about it on Saturday morning, around 10 am. They had little cash with them and were just leaving for their return trip home when he got on line and saw that he was wiped out...
From what I understand, it wasn't their checking account was emptied out, it was their credit card that was maxed out. We carry very little cash, but we do have more than one credit card, plus a debit card. If there are fraudulent charges on one card and it has to be closed, we have another to fall back on.

Our daughter was just hit with a fraudulent charge on her card. She called the credit card company, and they immediately removed the charge, closed out the account, and sent her a new card for a new account. All legitimate charges, balances, reward points, etc. form the old account automatically transferred to the new account. She used a backup card during the week or so it took the new card to arrive.
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