TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Don't Let Data Theft Happen to You

Re: Don't Let Data Theft Happen to You
6 Jul 2005 11:10:42 -0700 wrote:

>> -- Avoid letting your cards out of your sight. Do not let store
>> clerks take your card away on the pretext that there's a "problem."

> Apparently you would not be able to use your credit or debit card in a
> restaurant then, since they require you give them the card to swipe at
> a location out of your sight.

These days, my basic feeling is to use plain old cash as much as
possible. I agree --avoid any card entry that is not done in
immediate presence.

I did have to do that recently since I treated a group of people at a
restaurant and I didn't have with me the cash necessary to cover the
full dinner. But that was an unusual occurence. Normally I try to
have a reasonable amount of cash on hand.

I notice a lot of people using credit cards to pay for rather modest
purchases, such as a pizza dinner or convenience store purchase. I
think this is foolish since every transaction increases one's exposure
to loss. If I have no transactions at all during the month, then
there's no statement mailed out and altogether less chance for a

I remain angry at the government for their slow reaction to all of
this. It isn't anything new, and much of existing law already covers
such thefts. The newspapers reported that police wouldn't bother
going after crooks unless the theft amount is over a rather high limit
which effectively gives crooks a green light.

The bad part about this theft is that the actual theft loss may be
minor but the damage is great. It's like someone smashing your car
windshield (very expensive to fix) to steal a box of cookies from the
front seat.

It used to be when one worked at a bank they had a background check
and were fingerprinted. I wonder if that's still done, especially for
the 'back office boiler room' people who handle all the phone calls
for credit card issuers and credit data banks.

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