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Old 11-13-2008, 08:04 AM   #1
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Exclamation Credit card fraud -- protect yourself!

Check your credit card statements!!!

A few months ago, I received a $69.99 charge for classiccloseouts.com on one of my credit cards. I had never done any business with them or any company that I can identify as affiliated with them. Of course, I disputed it with the bank.

I'm not the only one. Just google for classiccloseouts.com or see a couple stories just like mine:
http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/...off0384063.htm
http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/...Off0386207.htm

So, yesterday I received mail from the bank. In it, there is a letter from classiccloseouts.com insisting that I DID order some useless service from them, which I did not and would not do. They claim that I may have done it through their other site thirdfree.com, which again, I did not and would not do. The letter included the offer that they say was sent to me (which I've never seen) and which they claim I clicked on and entered my information. The offer is signed "Danial Greenberg, CEO". They claim that the offer was sent in email, but did not provide an email address to which it was sent or any headers.

How many people have not noticed the charge on their credit card? How much money have these criminals made?

How did they get my credit card number? Security breach at somewhere that I've used it?

How can I make sure they will never do it again, and will be punished and required to repay all the stolen money?
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Old 11-13-2008, 08:12 AM   #2
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dealing with a little of that myself.

my debit card was used for purchases in a state that I have never been in. it is to the tune of about a thousand dollars. I have since cancelled my card and disputed with the bank. this all happened last night when I got my statement. luckily the bank is working with me on this one.

definitely look over your bills/statements. your credit is one thing that you can't buy or fix with money.

one thing my bank has done is said that if they can't prove that the card was used at my home or near my home (for internet purchases) then I am in the clear. I would talk to the credit card company about it and let them know the situation. they should do some sort of investigation into the matter. the credit card company has your address and other important info that would need to be matched up with theirs. if that web site has your info like home address and phone number, you may have a fight on your hands. you can always add to the bad publicity of that site. it isn't much but at times, it is all we have.
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Old 11-13-2008, 08:29 AM   #3
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It seems to me that the banking/credit card system is at least partially to blame- they make it so easy to transfer money (debit cards) and to get/use a credit card that they have set the system up for fraud.

They are kind of like a car dealer leaving the keys in the ignition of all of the cars and then complaining when someone steals one.

My mother had her card used at an out of state gas station over the summer to buy gas (her credit card company called her when they noticed it was used for two "live" transfers at different gas stations in different states within 30 minutes or so- she and the thief were buying gas at about the same time of day)- but her card was always in her purse. She doesn't use the card very much- it had only left her sight once in a restaurant where they take your card away for a few minutes while they run it. Apparently they must have had a card duplicator at the restaurant and made a plastic copy of it that would work in gas pumps. She was able to cancel the card and didn't have to pay any of the charges.

I keep reinstating a fraud alert on my credit with the credit bureaus. It's good for 90 days and no one can get a loan, credit card etc. without ID. The credit card applications stop coming through the mail while it is in effect.

I wish I could put a permanent stop on all credit for the rest of my life unless my birth certificate and passport were shown.
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Old 11-13-2008, 09:22 AM   #4
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last year i had a fraudulent charge from a california based computer software company. had never been to their site, ordered by phone, or visited any part of cal.

THEY HAD NO PHYSICAL address. and the website gave me the run-around. luckily my CC company helped me, and we've not heard anything else of it!

Beef,

credit cards, according to clark howard, are much safer and more supportive than a debit card.
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Old 11-13-2008, 09:59 AM   #5
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that was a hard lesson to learn. my debit card is a visa debit so hopefully that will help.

I just found out that we are having to close down our checking account and start a new one. I have purchased a lot of stuff on line lately and used my debit card as my credit card is a discover and not everyone takes it still.

I am going to be more careful in the future with it. they told my wife that I can expect it to take 17+ business days to refund my money but that it will be refunded as long as it it legit (which it is). luckily, we had some extra money come in recently so we are not in a pinch over this.
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Old 11-13-2008, 10:15 AM   #6
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The same support and rules apply to any Visa/Mastercard/American Express regardless of what type of account is behind it. Those used to be credit card services, now they're payment processing services; the account behind it can be debit or credit. For that reason, any Visa/MC/AmEx card is just as usable and recoverable; OTOH, if you use your PIN then you're using the ATM card network and are subject to different rules (which I think are similar, but I'm not interested in finding out).

However, when it's a credit account behind the card, it's the bank's money at risk when the schitt hits the fan. When the money gets tied up for 17+ business days, that's their money, not yours. For that reason, credit accounts are safer than debit accounts. If someone steals my credit card number and runs it to the limit, I can still pay my mortgage. If someone steals my debit card number and runs it to the end, I may have to wait 17+ business days to pay my mortgage, and I may not be able to buy gas or food in the meantime.
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Old 11-13-2008, 11:23 AM   #7
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guys,

just want to warn that mr. howard advises against using what he calls a "fake visa," (meaning a visa labelled debit card) for any purchases.

can't remember the reason, but they do NOT carry the same protection privledges as a "real" visa card.

beef,

just get a real MC or visa. i like and use discover as well, but you are correct that useage is limited.
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Old 11-13-2008, 11:29 AM   #8
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The so-called "fake visa" cards do get the same protection, but they're protecting your money instead of the bank's money -- or, to turn that statement around a little, with a "fake visa" it's your money at risk (and needing protection) rather than the bank's money.
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Old 11-13-2008, 02:46 PM   #9
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I am in a good position right now being that I don't need the money. don't get me wrong, this still sucks but I don't have to have it.

also, push come to shove, I can take some out of savings (money market actually). there should always be a contengency plan.

I am going to be more careful with my debit card purchases from here on out.
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Old 12-18-2008, 07:01 AM   #10
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figured I'd update this. finally got my money back tuesday which was the 16th of december.

it took them over a month to get my money back to them along with having to close out the old account and open a new one. cahnge over all the direct deposits. the 17 days that I had to wait came and went so I called about it and they FORGOT to turn some of the disputes in. it did get taken care of faster the second time (less than 17 days) but I am still a little weary of using my debit card anywhere now. at least with a credit card, they refund you immediately and get back with you if there are issues.

I guess I can chock it up to "you live and you learn"
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