TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Protecting Your Good Name From Identity Theft

Re: Protecting Your Good Name From Identity Theft

Steve Sobol (
Thu, 30 Jun 2005 15:34:33 -0700

> Here's how to protect yourself without going back to a cash-only
> lifestyle:

> -- Don't panic and don't stop using your credit card or shopping
> online. Credit cards come with two levels of protection: Federal law
> prohibits consumers from losing more than $50 to theft or fraud, and
> the card issuers step in and cover that $50. If your card number does
> get stolen, you won't be out any money. Your issuer can give you a new
> number.

That's right, folks, you aren't liable. Only the merchant gets
screwed. The merchant is out whatever money was charged.

If I sound rather irritated about that, it's just because I am.

> -- Control your own paperwork. Most credit card thefts do not occur
> when techies figure out how to hack your card company. They occur when
> retail employees or shoppers pull carbons out of trash cans or find
> payment stubs and the like. Keep control of your receipts and keep
> control of your cards.

Sure, but how about criminal penalties for the idiot CC processors who
have the data and aren't protecting it?

How about helping to protect the people who are accepting credit cards
from fraud?

The whole system sucks butt for anyone whose company accepts credit
cards. Even now, nothing is being done. The processors and other
companies holding this sensitive data are dragging their feet. Why
should they care?

> If you lose the actual plastic card, check to make sure that you
> aren't being charged for gasoline you didn't buy.

Ferchrissakes -- if you lose the card, call the bank immediately!
They'll disable the card and then NO ONE will lose money because the
thief will try to get the card processed and the transaction will be

And ... check to make sure you aren't being charged for ANYTHING you
didn't buy. I don't have a credit card right now ... but transactions
on my checking account, including Visa check card transactions, do
show up on my bank's website very, very quickly. Sometimes within
minutes! (I use Bank of America.)

> -- Read your mail. At least one California lawyer, Ira Rothken, is
> trying to make a class-action suit out of the recent security
> breach. If you are a member of a class that has been wronged, you
> should receive notification. Even if you're not in a position to join
> a suit, you might get notification from your bank about security
> breaches or new procedures.

Yeah. Hm. I wonder how ideological Rothken is. He stands to make a ton
of money if the class is certified. I don't know him and don't want to
impugn him, but class actions are losing propositions for everyone
*except* the attorneys.

Sorry if I sound aggravated. This mess could have been prevented a
long time ago. No one gave a damn, least of all Visa and Mastercard
and the processors, because they could always get the money back from
someone else to give to the cardholder. Am I angry? You bet I am. I
don't currently accept credit cards using a separate merchant account
(though that may change in the near future), but I have in the
past ... and I accept credit cards right now through PayPal.

As a merchant, I've always stood to lose more than anyone else.

Personally, I *almost* hope a lot of people stop using credit
cards. That would be a wonderful thing. It would be a wake-up call to
the people running the credit card associations, the banks and the

Unfortunately, it might have some rather negative impacts on the
economy, so ... well, I did say ALMOST.

Posted to Telecom Digest. CC'd to the original author. - Steve Sobol / / PGP: 0xE3AE35ED
Coming to you from Southern California's High Desert, where the
temperatures are as high as the gas prices! / 888.480.4NET (4638)

"Life's like an hourglass glued to the table" --Anna Nalick, "Breathe"

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