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Bah humbug - the crooks are out there!


Tabonga
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I got an email a few minutes ago from one of my credit cards asking me to verify or report as suspicious a $500 walmart ecard purchase that was temporarily declined.  I didn't make that charge so I reported it as suspicious and per instructions called the fraud phone number on the back of the card.  I only use that particular card for restaurants and needless to say it doesn't get a whole lot of use these days since the restaurants are closed.  The last time I used it was the 20th at a McDonalds drive thru so the number was likely lifted there.  At any rate the card is now deactivated and a new one is on the way.  They are going to let me know if any more charges are attempted on the card. They might have gotten away with it if they had tried a smaller amount of money but this amount was way beyond my usual pattern with that card.  I don't think I will be go back to that particular restaurant again.

Beware - they are out there!

Edit - I am going to file a police report later today - I will bet I am not the only person this has happened to at that location. Apparently the McDonalds restaurants have cameras that record what goes on at the cashier's windows so hopefully the police will be able to get McDonalds attention.  I doubt they want this sort of stuff happening at their restaurants.

Edited by Tabonga
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  • The title was changed to Bah humbug - the crooks are out there!

Tis the season...  Unfortunately, card theft is very common, particularly this time of year.  I've had my card info stolen a couple times in the last few years.  Glad you're filing a police report.  They won't really be able to do much but they definitely need to know about the activity.  Good catch by your bank.

Was that the Applewood McD's?  I was there a week ago for a McRib.  I'll be watching my online banking...

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14 minutes ago, JamesRobot said:

aTis the season...  Unfortunately, card theft is very common, particularly this time of year.  I've had my card info stolen a couple times in the last few years.  Glad you're filing a police report.  They won't really be able to do much but they definitely need to know about the activity.  Good catch by your bank.

Was that the Applewood McD's?  I was there a week ago for a McRib.  I'll be watching my online banking...

It was the Colfax and Kipling one.  I am gonna call the credit card company back and get the time and also report it to McDonalds  Corporate. I doubt they want this reflecting on their corporate image and hopefully will check their camera - not sure if they can file criminal charges but they can fire the sob.

Apparently some PDs will pursue this type of thing if it happens in clusters - I doubt I was the only person whose credit card number was lifted that morning.  I am really glad that it happened on that card since I only use it for restaurants (and not online) so it makes it really easy to determine when the number was lifted,

I actually get report like that fairly often - up till now it has always been something where I have just done something somewhat unusual from my patterns.  I even got one because our dairy bill had increased - which is dependent on how much order in any particular month.

Edited by Tabonga
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8 minutes ago, Code Monkey said:

My solution is to pay cash for everything.

But if cash gets stolen, it's usually gone forever.  You can usually prove a fraudulent credit card purchase and get your money back.  Neither method is perfect, and you can lose money with either method, but I will take my chances with a credit card over cash.  I've never lost a single penny to a fraudulent credit card purchase (despite people trying), but I have had cash stolen from me.  

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2 minutes ago, TDIRunner said:

But if cash gets stolen, it's usually gone forever.  You can usually prove a fraudulent credit card purchase and get your money back.  Neither method is perfect, and you can lose money with either method, but I will take my chances with a credit card over cash.  I've never lost a single penny to a fraudulent credit card purchase (despite people trying), but I have had cash stolen from me.  

Think about all the value you've lost in your cash by using plastic currency. All of that digital transfer is devaluing our economy at an alarming rate. Even if you had some cash stolen, you'd lost less money than by using credit cards.

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Administrator · Posted
4 minutes ago, Code Monkey said:

Think about all the value you've lost in your cash by using plastic currency. All of that digital transfer is devaluing our economy at an alarming rate. Even if you had some cash stolen, you'd lost less money than by using credit cards.

How? I lose zero dollars by using credit cards. Please explain.

Follow-up: Cash doesn't appreciate in value. If you're sitting on a pile of cash you're losing out on the opportunity to invest that cash. I'm GAINING money with my digital currency. Your cash is technically depreciating in value due to inflation.

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Just now, Gloves said:

How? I lose zero dollars by using credit cards. Please explain.

$1 today isn't worth anything close to what it was worth 20 years ago. Why?

Only about 3% of today's currency is physical which means most of it is digital. We're flooding society with supply which is going to devalue what already exists.

If you could only make purchases based on money you had in your hands, it'd be worth much more than it is today. Check out some publications by Milton Friedman for his theories on economics and consumption.

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10 minutes ago, Code Monkey said:

Think about all the value you've lost in your cash by using plastic currency. All of that digital transfer is devaluing our economy at an alarming rate. Even if you had some cash stolen, you'd lost less money than by using credit cards.

That's happening regardless of what I do.  At least I get some of that back through the CC.  Considering that discounts are rarely offered with cash, I consider the cash option to be too expensive for me.  

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Just now, TDIRunner said:

That's happening regardless of what I do.  At least I get some of that back through the CC.  Considering that discounts are rarely offered with cash, I consider the cash option to be too expensive for me.  

Translation: other people will do it if I don't so I choose to be part of the problem rather than part of the solution.

It's not happening regardless of what you do, it's happening because of what you do.

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Sadly, credit card fraud happens quite often and more so this time of the year.  I've been through that more than once.  I either a call from the bank or I let them know as I check my accounts often online. 

As for cash vs cards, it all depends on how you use cards.  I use them daily, pay off every month and carry no balance.  I get the benefits of the protection from the credit card (as well as points, cash back, and whatever else they give me) without paying interest.  That has also helped me build an excellent credit score which turns out to be quite important nowadays. 

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Administrator · Posted
8 minutes ago, Code Monkey said:

Translation: other people will do it if I don't so I choose to be part of the problem rather than part of the solution.

It's not happening regardless of what you do, it's happening because of what you do.

This is the same logic that would say that I need to stop using straws, but big corporations can pollute at will with impunity.

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8 minutes ago, Code Monkey said:

Translation: other people will do it if I don't so I choose to be part of the problem rather than part of the solution.

It's not happening regardless of what you do, it's happening because of what you do.

You seem to be under the impression that all people who use a card spend what they don't have.  That might be true for many, but it isn't true for all.  Some people use a card simply because it's cheaper then using cash.  

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Administrator · Posted
Just now, TDIRunner said:

You seem to be under the impression that all people who use a card spend what they don't have.  That might be true for many, but it isn't true for all.  Some people use a card simply because it's cheaper then using cash.  

You'd be a fool to use cash in 2020 where not required.

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Update - I called the credit card company trying to get some basic information and wound up being bounced around departments at what I assume was a foreign call center.  I am sorry but talking to someone who is sorta good at English is just not the same as talking with someone that really is.  In any event I dug into the trash and found the receipt which gave the time which I wanted.

Apparently there is no way to file  a police report - in order to that I need to show the use of the number was in Lakewood.  Since it was likely online I am not sure how I could show that.  The overseas call center says the charge was attempted to be made in Lakewood but I think they likely misunderstood me and told me the McDonalds I last used the card at was in Lakewood - which I already knew,  In any event the Lakewood Police want to know not only the business name but the address.

I suppose I could go to PD headquarters but I doubt I would make any more progress than I did trying to call them

I did call customer service at McDonalds corporate and they at least seemed interested/concerned.  They said they would refer it to the local owners group and that someone would be in touch. 

Sometimes I wonder why I bother..............

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The real threat here isn't the scum, but how well the card makers are enabling them now.  Those chips on cards over the last few years are very easily scanned and read so you need one of those wallets that have a RFID shield inside, kind of like a lead lining for radiation barrier.  But worse now you have these asinine touch free wifi chipped cards for the readers growing in popularity already but far worse so now due to the lame virus.  I didn't even ask for it and one card sent me one of those and I haven't activated and will not.  That one should be even easier to snatch data I would think while you're waving it around like a so called safe idiot being hands free.  Wiggle wiggle, there you go, enjoy a $1000 shopping spree.  Ugh.

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This sounds like my 2020. 😩

Earlier this year my cousin took both my wallet and keys while they sat on the table inside my house. I looked for them starting with my car (since I had to grab something out of it) and did not find them there. Then my Mom, followed by him, started to look for them. He said they he "found" them some time later and claimed they were on top of my car. And when I found that my card was used twice at the gas station, he claimed the 'time shown' was "proof" that he could not have used it. Despite the fact that the time stamp is not based on PST.

A few months later, I had three days in a row showing that somebody made purchases on Amazon.com. He was not in the area, and it happened after I used it to buy food at an Original Tommy's. The problem was that Amazon.com's phonelines were down, which meant I had to get in contact with somebody via chat. Which ended with me repeating that somebody used my card on their account multiple times, with the CSR telling me that nobody used my account. By that point I felt glad that I went to my bank first. Because that experience did not make feel comfortable enough to repeat it by email.

So I can relate. And I hope you do not get the results my Mom had in the end! 😩

Edited by FenrirZero
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1 hour ago, TDIRunner said:

You seem to be under the impression that all people who use a card spend what they don't have.  That might be true for many, but it isn't true for all.  Some people use a card simply because it's cheaper then using cash.  

Exactly. If you know how to use a credit card you end up making money.

I have a low fee card that earns me points that I exchange for gift cards. I always pay on time so have never paid interest.

I keep all excess cash in a high interest account or my offset account on my mortgage, which saves me interest in the long term. I’ve calculated that I make easily $800 a year from having a credit card. 

Cash earns you nothing in your wallet (actually devalues) and has no protection if stolen.

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41 minutes ago, Tanooki said:

The real threat here isn't the scum, but how well the card makers are enabling them now.  Those chips on cards over the last few years are very easily scanned and read so you need one of those wallets that have a RFID shield inside, kind of like a lead lining for radiation barrier.  But worse now you have these asinine touch free wifi chipped cards for the readers growing in popularity already but far worse so now due to the lame virus.  I didn't even ask for it and one card sent me one of those and I haven't activated and will not.  That one should be even easier to snatch data I would think while you're waving it around like a so called safe idiot being hands free.  Wiggle wiggle, there you go, enjoy a $1000 shopping spree.  Ugh.

Here there is limit of $100 on the chip transactions. Anything over and you have to enter a pin. It helps banks catch fraud because if they see heaps of consecutive under $100 purchases they know something is up.

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Another update - I just got off the phone with the rep for the store owner of that particular McDonalds.  She said they are actually supposed to stick a card reader out the window and not take my card.  She also confirmed that they have cameras in that area so she can check the exact time I ordered and see if something fishy did  indeed occur.

What with the holiday and what not she can't view the video until Saturday and she is supposed to get back to me.  

Edited by Tabonga
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