Commentary

Credit card security more dangerous than online

Many seniors are scam proof when computers a re c onc er ned. They don’t own one, they don’t want one and think learning how to use a computer is too complicated. They have a point.

What about credit cards? Do you own one? Can you leave home without it? Do you face dangers if your credit card information falls into the wrong hands?

What about the dangers facing senior citizens who use both the computer and credit cards? Are they in double trouble?

It’s a fact more people are shopping on the internet than the year before. These people do not hesitate to give the credit card name, number and even the three digit code on the back of the card when prompted.

This might surprise you, but giving the card information to a secure site on the internet is safer than giving your card to some stranger after a meal in your favorite restaurant.

The usual warning is to never let the card out of your sight.

I find it impossible, the majority of the time, to keep a waiter in view when I pay for the meal with my credit card.

When you stop and think about it, nothing can stop the waiter from copying down the credit card information and using it later for ordering items for themselves and paying for them with your data.

We cannot dwell on this very long without becoming so paranoid we will refuse to use the card at all.

Use common sense. Never write your PIN number on your debit card or have the PIN number

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your number close to the card.

You should refrain from giving personal data to a person who contacts you. You really do not know who is on the other line unless you have initiated the call.

Always be aware of your environment. You never know who is watching or how they are looking at you.

Shield the entries you make on machines when paying for purchased items.

The person in line behind you is using the cell phone, but is the person using their camera or telephone?

If you lose your credit card, or it is stolen, do you know the number to report it? Compile a list of your credit cards.

Record the name of the issuer, the telephone number needed to make reports, and expiration dates. The sooner you can report a lost or stolen card the better it is for you. The most you can be charged is $50 and this may get a waiver if you’re considered a good customer.

Is it necessary to carry all your cards with you at all times? Leave the cards you will not use at home. Protect the cards you carry.

Leaving your purse in a shopping cart unattended is unwise. Some distraction may grab your attention, giving a crook time to take the pocketbook and run. Many times the purse is open making it easy just to take your money and credit cards.

Go over your credit card statement as carefully as your bank statement. Contact the credit card company as soon as you detect a problem. Companies are very concerned about card misuse.

Some irregular shopping conditions have frozen accounts and personal contact with you is the only way to reactivate your card.

tedh@alpha1.net


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2009-12-10 digital edition



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