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The Almighty Buck Security

Dealing with Internet Credit Card Fraud? 84

Posted by Cliff
from the getting-your-money-back dept.
Where's My CreditCard asks: "Recently There has been a large increase in the amount of press relating to identity theft and the related crimes. I have recently been subject to several fraudulent transactions on my credit card and debit card through the internet. It has been over a month and my bank is still stringing me along saying it will take up to 10 weeks to get my money back. What have other on Slashdot done in this type of situation. What is the best way to keep things moving forward?"
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Dealing with Internet Credit Card Fraud?

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  • by Asgard (60200) * <jhmartin-s-5f7bbb@toger.us> on Thursday May 26, 2005 @10:15AM (#12645161) Homepage
    My answer has been to never use my debit card on the internet. Why give out something that provides instant access to your bank account, when a credit card should always be sufficient? Credit cards put the primary risk on the credit issuer, not on your bank account.
  • by 1967mustangman (883255) on Thursday May 26, 2005 @10:19AM (#12645211)
    Amen to that. Debit cards are so much more dangerous then a credit card. ON a credit card at least you can cancel the card and dispute the charges. The only thing I ever use my debit card is for getting cash from an ATM machine (and shopping at the one major grocery store I know of that does take credit).
  • Your debt card should never be used for anything other than cash withdrawal at the ATM. I pay my credit cards off each month, so I treat it as a convenient version of my checkbook. As a credit card, I am protected from fraudulent use - a maximum $50 liability without any special 'identity protection' program. Your debt card has none of this... In practice, my wife had her credit card number nicked. She audits our account each statement and caught it right away. (One of the advantages of on-line statements, btw) The credit card company canceled the card, issued a new one, and reversed all the charges. The longer delay between the time you figure out the theft and report it, the more you will pay out of your own pocket.
  • by Tricot (12160) on Thursday May 26, 2005 @10:40AM (#12645434)
    Reg E limits the liabilty that you have when using your debit card

    Ahh.. but the fundamental difference between a debit and a credit card is that on a debit while the fraudulent charge is being contested, the money isn't in your account. He said the bank told him it will be up to 10 weeks before he gets his money back. I've heard of horror stories where it takes over 6 months and (cumelatively) 20 or 30 hours on hold before the money is put back in your account. I remember protesting strongly that I didn't want that Visa/MC symbol on my ATM card for that very reason, but pretty much no bank offers an ATM card without it any more. (It's too big a profit center.)

  • by MarkGriz (520778) on Thursday May 26, 2005 @10:45AM (#12645502)
    "Uh... Maybe because not everybody HAS credit cards."

    While that is certainly true for some, I know several people that have credit cards, yet actually prefer to use a debit card.
    I can't for the life of me understand why, particularly because with a credit card
    1) I keep my money for an extra 25 days or so
    2) I actually EARN money using it
    3) I don't have to keep track of my usage to make sure I have enough money in the bank
    4) I don't have to worry about any problems giving people direct access to my bank account

    It's true that many banks have gotten better about providing protection of your account when fraud occurs, but I'd rather not worry about it. Besides, #1 and #2 are certainly enough incentive to use credit over debit if you have the choice.
  • Get real! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fm6 (162816) on Thursday May 26, 2005 @11:56AM (#12646477) Homepage Journal
    It has been over a month and my bank is still stringing me along saying it will take up to 10 weeks to get my money back.
    Like so many Ask Slashdots, this one revolves around somebody's misperception that the world revolves around them. Ten weeks is not "stringing along". It's a reasonable period to investigate a serious fraud. You don't mention how much money is at stake, but I assume it's a substantial amount, or you wouldn't be so pissed off. In effect, they're handing that money over to you, money they're probably never recover. Do you really expect anybody to do that without checking everything out carefully?

    Put yourself in their shoes. Suppose somebody called you up and said, "You owe me $1000 because ..." Never mind the "because", it's a reason that might or might not be valid. Are you immediately going to write them a check? No, you're going to carefully examine their claim, check the facts, maybe talk to a lawyer. Why should your bank be any less careful? Because they have lots of money? They soon won't have any money at all if they give it away to anybody who claims they deserve it.

  • by jafo (11982) * on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @05:02AM (#12682494) Homepage
    My company has a merchant account, which allows us to process credit cards. The number one thing we get fraudulent orders for is Linux based Virtual Private Servers (VPS). Last week we got orders for two VPSs. The orders claimed to be from different people, but used the same root password and were from the same IP address in Russia. The orders were also both placed twice.

    I decided to try tracking this down on our end to see where we could lead it. I called our merchant processor with what they call a "code 10", but the result of that call was basically just that they would tell me what bank had issued the cards and what the phone number to that bank was. Both cards were issued by Citibank.

    After spend around 30 minutes on the phone with Citibank, all they would do is verify if I had the correct information for the account, and tell me that they wouldn't do anything unless the card-holder called in.

    The interesting thing was that on one card the expiration date was wrong. I don't know how my merchant processor authorized the charge with the wrong expiration date. Also, the phone number on both was wrong, but it was correct in the first 6 digits, it was just the last 4 that were different. I wondered if the person making the charge was using VoIP to make it appear that they were in that area when actually they were in Russia.

    We ended up reaching one of the actual people by phone that afternoon, and they confirmed that they had not made this charge, the phone number was incorrect, and they also said that they weren't using that card actively at the moment. The other person I couldn't track down by other means, so we sent them a letter.

    I find it extremely odd that, as a merchant there is relatively little I can do when I get a fraudulent charge. I guess maybe I should report it to the police and see if there's anything they want to do with it. Citibank couldn't have cared less, no requests for the IP addresses the charges were made from, etc.

    If I were to get screwed by a credit card company for charges I didn't make, I'd probably start looking at things like this that make it clear they don't really follow up on this fraud, which could be seen as negligence. Particularly if they had authorized a charge on a card with the wrong expiration date and/or billing phone number, I'd wonder what they're doing to earn their cut in the first place.


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