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Electronic Banking and Fraud:

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The problem is huge!

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Even the “$190,000,000,000″ it costs

the American economy is fuzzy.

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So much is secret about this.

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What to do–personally?

Use the DOOR for more.

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[MORE]

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   Want to begin a conversation about something besides the weather and sports? Ask a handful of people about how credit card fraud has affected them. Folks come to life in ways you never expected!

   Everything we say here will be general. I’m no expert. Yes, and having to replace my credit card a second time in 2 years has prompted this. Today I’m even gun-shy to link you anywhere.

   Here are a dozen observations, questions, and recommendations. (Of course, we’ll number them.)

(1 ) This is a new problem that keeps changing, and no one is quite on top of it. It can really confuse older people.

(2)  The nasty thieves doing thing can easily hide and can be thousands of miles away.

(3)  Banks and businesses are–generally–very helpful when inform them of a problem. (A bit less so when there’s coming to you and are cutting off your account. You see they may think you’re causing the problem or are being unnecessarily careless.)

(4)  If you take a long trip somewhere, call your bank or credit card company and tell them you going to such-and-such and for how long. (Out-of-the-neighborhood activity suggests your card may be stolen.)

(5)  When you travel, take a back-up credit card (that’s up-to-date and works!). That way, when your card is cancelled, you can still get back home.

(6)  Some gas stations have bad reputations. Good ones check their pumps daily, or regularly, for the in-the-middle-of-the-night hooking up of smaller-than-a-cigaret-pack sized “skimmers” that can collect information from your credit card when you use it at the pump.

(7)  [I've nothing to say about ATM's. I don't use them.]

(8)  Carefully check your monthly credit-card statements for irregularities. There are those who will regularly use stolen cards for small purchases only that are easy to overlook. (I always round-off my gasoline purchases to the nearest $0.25 which helps me spot anything irregular at gas stations.)

(9)  Credit card fraud is usually refundable if acted upon quickly. Hey, there’s competition out there and they don’t want to lose your business. Think, however, about about the enormous losses they must cover as a business expense.

(10)  Here’s a source for more info:  www.wellsfargo.com. Go to customer service and check what to do about fraud. Check out the short videos there and elsewhere.

(11)  Here’s something a bank or credit card vendor may not volunteer, but can do: The 5 to 10 business days to get a new card, for an emergency, can be cut to 2 days by their sending it (at no charge) by Fed Ex. (If  you read this far, this in itself may be worth your time.)

(12)  A thought with religious implications: What if you, for whatever reasons, become blackballed as a credit risk because of “irregularities” associated with your electronic transactions, especially as “everything–except the mom-and-pop store across the street?

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[We welcome, of course, any of your comments.]