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SCARY STUFF

 
 
Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2004 11:24 am
Hello All. I'm not positive that this belongs in the "Computers" section but here goes: A few months ago I went online to check my bank (credit union, actually) balance and I was horrified to see two withdrawals of $975 each listed-- actually withdrawn from my checking account by some miscreant. At the time I had a debit card tied to my checking account so, in essence, it was as if someone went in and cleared out my money. (I should add that I have NEVER given unauthorized persons my card number nor my password). I was reimbursed (thank God-- remember, this wasn't a credit but a debit, where the money is actually withdrawn) and the case is closed now, but the person/persons responsible got away with it. That just galls me. When I spoke to a person from my credit union about it, she said that nothing is really 100% secure and that this type of stealing was "the wave of the future" and there's nothing we can do to stop it!! And guess who pays in the end? We do!! I don't have a debit card anymore-- it's just too dangerous IMO.

Comments? Suggestions?

ailsa
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 3,225 • Replies: 27
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Tomkitten
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2004 01:05 pm
Scary stuff
I seriously considered banking online, but too many reports about this type of "scary stuff" put me off. In fact, the manager of the branch I use told me that she advises everyone who feels at all insecure with the idea of online banking not to do it.She also said that since I never use the debit card I've automatically been issued by the bank, I should cut it up. But on the other hand, I'm reluctant to do this, because it enables me to use ATMs. But on the third hand I'm not too happy with ATMs, either.

I think that my bank also issues a card which is useful only for ATMs. That might be a good compromise.

I'll probably have to come to terms with online banking eventually, as a problem with holding a pen makes it increasingly difficult for me to write checks by hand.

Perhaps I should change my name to Banking Luddite?
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cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2004 01:15 pm
On CSI last night there was a guy who designed a gizmo that fit over the front of the card reader that pre-read the card and transmitted the card info to him. He'd also setup a little spy camera so he could steal the users PIN when they keyed it in.

Anyway, make sure and only bank with reputable organizations and only use like ATM's. Avoid those grocery store kiosks like the plague, though use of them at the checkout counter is usually fine (make sure they use a well known service provider).

As long as your bank uses a fully encrypted website, I don't see how online banking is any more dangerous than online shopping. In essense the backline database is the same.
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cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2004 01:17 pm
I use online banking, and I've never had a problem. I just hope you weren't the victim of identity theft.
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ailsagirl
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2004 01:37 pm
ON-LINE BANKING
Hi All,

Thanks for your responses.

Cavfancier, I don't think I was the victim of identity theft (knock on wood) because I would assume that I'd know it by now. When this happened, I got in touch with the Big Three credit companies and had them flag my account (for any suspicious activity). But I've seen the stories on TV about the unfortunate ones who have had their identities stolen-- it's really terrible.

cjhsa: that scam you saw on CSI is real-- what you described is a "swiper" (in more ways than one!), an illegal device on which one's credit/debit card can be swiped, thus providing the thieves with all the pertinent info, including the person's PIN (if a debit card)!! One way to avert this would be, of course, never to let your debit/credit card out of your sight. But sometimes that's hard because, say, if it's a waiter-- they don't run the card in front of you-- they go somewhere else to do it, then bring it back. I guess the legitimate swipers are hooked up to the cash registers so waiters can't very well have you there when they swipe the card.

Tomkitten, I don't think I was scammed because of online banking. And I have to say, it's so much easier than writing checks by hand! I would recommend it. But I would be careful of ATMs. I have read that thieves actually place bogus ATMs in places like shopping malls. These ATMs will extract all the info from your card then flash a message, "Out of order," or something along those lines. I never used an ATM with my debit card so that's not how my mishap occurred (would I ever love to nail the thieves)!!!

ailsa
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cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2004 01:44 pm
Waiters scanning a debit card? How is that possible? The PIN is required. I hope you don't give your PIN to waiters. They're some of the biggest opportunistic thieves going. It's bad enough having to let them take your credit card.
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Montana
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2004 02:04 pm
I see this stuff on the news all the time and am sorry to hear that this has happened to you. Personally I was never comfortable with online banking or ATMs, so I don't use them. I hate theives!

I am glad to hear that you got your money back though.
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Letty
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2004 02:14 pm
I don't do transactions on the web. period.

As for the waiters, I know about that, and I am quite careful to tell them so. The last time that I used my credit card, I kept all the paper work and waited for the bill to arrive. I haven't used my ATM in ages.

ailsagirl, sorry about your problem, but glad that you got it taken care of promptly. Incidentally, welcome to A2K. and thanks for the heads up.
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MCNE
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2004 02:27 pm
You can't hide under your bed just because you fell and skinned your knee. I don't know if you have the information typed anywhere in your computer, but your security could be compromised.

In addition, you don't always need a pin to get money. Depending on how it was done, there is a 3-4 character number on the BACK of the card which is used by vendors to "verify" the card.

Tighten your computer security and get yourself another card, you can't stop taking advantage of todays technology just because you were stung once. Sad
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cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2004 02:34 pm
I agree MCNE. It sounds like some people here are amost hibernating. And welcome to A2K!
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2004 02:44 pm
The three digit number on the back of a credit card is the CVV2 number. It is used by merchant services companies to verify that the card being used is actually in the possession of the person using it. Waiters scan credit cards and debit cards, but can only used those numbers as credit card numbers--which is where the CVV2 number comes in, as it can prevent a number stolen in such a manner from being used.

There is another trick you can use. On the back of your card, where you are expected to sign the card, do not sign it. Instead, write "Please check ID"--i've done that with my credit and debit cards, and it prevents anyone from using one of those cards if they are lost or stolen. Even in the event that my entire wallet were lost or stolen, it is highly unlikely that someone attempting to use my cards in person would resemble my Driver's License photo.
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cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2004 02:49 pm
That's good advice Set, but when I use my credit card in stores, rarely will the clerk bother to look at it. Just swipe, OK, and go.

The thing is that you as the consumer are not responsible for fraudulent purchases on your credit cards. They're selling confusion right now with "credit card protection services", but the fact of the matter is, if you have a disputed item, a simple phone call should correct it. If the problems continue then you will need a new card/number. The problem with that is if you use them for direct billing (i.e. health club, Internet provider, satellite TV, etc.) or for Internet based accounts. Then you have to go register the new number with all those people.
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ailsagirl
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2004 04:38 pm
CJHSA:

You wrote:

Quote:
The thing is that you as the consumer are not responsible for fraudulent purchases on your credit cards. They're selling confusion right now with "credit card protection services", but the fact of the matter is, if you have a disputed item, a simple phone call should correct it.


And that's absolutely true. I don't worry about credit cards so much-- it's the damn debit cards!! There should be some way that we honest ones can use our debit cards without fear that some thief is grabbing our information. And I don't think there's a fool-proof way for this to happen.

ailsa
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cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2004 04:46 pm
I try to use mine only for ATM transactions. I liked it better when they were simply ATM cards and not VISA/check-debit cards.
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ailsagirl
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2004 05:03 pm
Confusion
I find the whole notion of debit cards confusing because they look like credit cards, merchants accept them like credit cards, yet they aren't credit cards. But whether you use them as a credit or debit card, the money comes out of your account immediately. I have found them useful on the internet because there are times when I don't want to charge yet another purchase, and would prefer to have it paid right away. I don't know if that's dangerous or not-- anymore.

And welcome, MCNE! Your comparison of skinning one's knee and getting bilked by thieves makes sense-- to a certain point. If I were running too fast, fell, and skinned my knee, I would hope that I'd learn not to be quite so careless. But with the debit card fiasco I experienced, there's no lesson to learn because I didn't do anything careless (except, perhaps use it). I wanted to find out exactly how these people were able to obtain my debit card numbers but no one (including the police) could tell me. The only thing I can think of that I've learned is... if you use a debit card, be prepared for possible fraud. Now that's scary!!

ailsa
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mcnich327
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2004 05:08 pm
Credit Card Thirf
I have also herd of cases where people are standing in line at a checkout with a credit card in there hand and someone with a picture cell phone will snap a picture of your credit card information.
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cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2004 05:09 pm
Anybody who does that to me will be farting the Nokia ring tone for the next few days.
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suzy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2004 08:35 pm
The perils of technology. You have to be so careful now.
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ailsagirl
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2004 08:59 pm
Hi Suzy,

Yes, you do. And the thing is, the bad guys seem to have the edge!! I just read the following on Consumer Reports' website:
Identity theft--the fraudulent use of your name and identifying data by someone else to obtain credit, merchandise, or services--claimed seven million victims in the U.S. last year, according to a recent survey by Privacy & American Business, a publication of the Center for Social & Legal Research, a nonpartisan think tank. That's 10 times as high as past estimates. Canada, Japan, and the United Kingdom are among those countries also reporting ID-theft epidemics.

So it's hardly something to shrug off!! But what can you do except follow all the guidelines? I have to say, though, I really resent having to put in place a lot of safeguards, especially since an innovative thief can easily penetrate them. It's the high price we pay (literally) for the convenience of electronics...

ailsa
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2004 09:03 pm
ailsa,

It's much easier to steal identinies in the brick and mortar world than online.

Using a credit card online is much safer than offline.

Debit cards are the least safe online and offline.
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