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Yeah Right

reply to jaykaykay

Re: A good reminder for all...

Post the rest of the article. I smelled crap in this post from the beginning.

The Credit cards item quoted above is another example of a "crime warning" message that is difficult to classify as either true or false. The scenarios it describes are possible, and someone, somewhere, might very well have been victimized by them, but on the other hand the message provides no details of time, place, or person, to use in verifying these tales, and the scenarios proffered are generally too implausible to be of much legitimate concern to the average person.

The first two entries describe scammers who supposedly switch expired credit cards for valid credit cards, thereby enabling them to run up thousands of dollars in charges before the victims realize their cards are missing. This isn't a scheme likely to be successful in most cases, for a number of reasons:

Not all credit cards look alike. Common credit cards such as VISA and MasterCard vary quite widely in appearance, featuring different logos (based upon the issuing financial institutions), different colors of plastic, and even different (customer-selected) background designs. For this scenario to work, the putative thieves would have to carry around a plethora of different styles of cards and hope to hit a long shot by coincidentally matching one of their cards to a victim's particular style card.

The deception would be obvious the next time the victim used (or, presumably, even looked at) his card, which wouldn't give the scammers much time to try to run up a huge charge on the stolen card via many small purchases. Contrary to the claim made above, most credit card issuers will flag as suspect thousands of dollars' worth of charges made on a credit card within a short period of time, even if none of those charges are for large amounts.

Also contrary to a claim made above, a credit card customer could not be held liable for $9,000 worth of charges made to a stolen credit card, whether he reported the card stolen or not. According to the Federal Trade Commission, under federal law a credit card holder's maximum liability for any unauthorized credit card use is $50. (If the cardholder reports the loss before the credit card is used, he cannot be held responsible for any unauthorized charges at all.) If the loss involves the credit card number, but not the card itself, the cardholder also has no liability for unauthorized use.

Frankly, if you're habitually leaving your wallet unattended in an easily-opened locker, you've got a lot more to be concerned about than potential visits from card-swapping scammers.

The third scenario covers a situation we've already written an article about, that of identity thieves supposedly snapping pictures of credit cards with cell phone cameras. This scheme too is possible but implausible, since:

It's still quite difficult (given the quality of cell phone cameras, the reflectiveness of plastic credit cards, and the usual lack of contrast between the colors of a card's imprinted numbers and its background) to quickly snap off a clear photo of a credit card.

Taking a picture of the front of a credit card won't capture the CVC2 or CVV2 security code required for most CNP (i.e., "card not present") purchases. (American Express, however, is an exception to this, as their security codes are printed on the cardfaces.)

Retail clerks and others who typically handle customers' credit cards in the course of business transactions have many, many ways of recording card numbers that are better and easier (and less obtrusive) than literally pointing a camera at a card and taking a picture of it.

The admonition to "take caution and don't be careless" with your credit cards is generally sound, but then again, it's also rather obvious advice that applies to just about every aspect of life.

Last updated: 22 July 2011

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4 Ever Young
·Cox HSI
I am not the writer of this article but only delivering the message. I do know that cards, all too often, have been and can be trouble. I felt that this was merely good advice as a reminder to use your head and think beforehand what you do with your credit card(s). In fact, the person who sent this to me in email did so after being a target for credit card rip off themselves, so no matter what these suggestions are as to being an urban legend, I firmly believe that this is a serious enough issue to be reminded in many and any manner.

Age is a very high price to pay for my maturity. If I can't stay young, I can at least stay immature!