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Has Your Credit Card Number Been Stolen? Fight Back

Your Credit Card Number Can Be Stolen

We hear so many stories and read so many articles on hackers getting into corporate databases and stealing everything from emails, social security numbers and of course credit card information.

I am especially concerned with security being a publisher of online magazines and a consumer advocate that I take a number of steps to prevent becoming a victim.  My websites are as secure as possible with a number of security systems that thwart hackers from breaking in.  On a personal level I too have taken steps to know if someone has attempted to use my credit cards.

Credit Card Fraud

AMEX_Notification
Click to Enlarge

We know that credit card fraud is not a victimless crime.  We all end up paying for the credit card company losses, one way or the other. I was a victim too, but smart enough to have security measures in place.

Yesterday I received an email notification from American Express that there was a $13.10 charge to my card from Cobb Theaters.  You see I set up all my credit card accounts to notify me of all transactions where a card was not present.  So any online purchases, automatic payments and others will trigger this email to me.

Cobb_Theater
Click to Enlarge

Now when I received this email I knew it wasn’t correct and logged into my American Express account for further information. I was able to mark this transaction as suspicious.

 

I called American Express immediately to notify them of the fraudulent charge and they immediately killed that card and issued a new one to me that I would receive in a few days time.

American_Express_-_Profile_And_Preferences

 

A short time later I received a notification from the Cobb Theaters in Miami, Florida that my movie ticket for the 9:00 PM showing of the Hunger Games could be picked up at the theater by showing the credit card.  It had the theaters phone number and the ticket confirmation number.

See the Cinemark – Confirmation

FandangoCalled the Theater

Once again I called the theater to ask for a manager.  I explained the situation and asked if they could call the police so when the thief showed up they could arrest him or her.  I knew that the way they generally work is trying the card on a small purchase and if it worked they would then go to town and charge larger items and in this case I was correct.

The theater manager had two police officers in the theater waiting for someone to claim the ticket.  They would call me to let me know if they showed up and was arrested.  This was of course what I had expected knowing how these thieves work.

So for me it was an inconvenience.  Not sure how they got my credit card number, but I am sure it wasn’t hard to do.  I wanted to share this with you to warn you that it could happen to you and that it is important to set up all of your credit card account with the safety features they offer.

Set Up Email Notifications

American_Express_-_Profile_And_PreferencesHere is a screen shot to help you understand how easy it is to set up.  Once done you have added another level of security on your account.

Account_Alerts

Be sure to login to your account and visit their options section and check off all the ones that will notify you of any activity on your cards.   I have set mine up to email me if a transaction is over $200 and if a purchase was made without the card being present.

Be Vigilant, we live in a different world today and we hear of these hacker attacks often.

Hope this article helps you understand the importance of securing your accounts.  Better to be safe than sorry.  Imagine if I didn’t have it and they started to charge thousands of dollars worth of goods to my card…what a mess that would have been.  Thirteen dollars for a movie ticket I can deal with.

Oh…I forgot…just received an email to rate the movie I had seen …:-)

Fandango_2

 

 

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About lenrapp

I am the president of the International Press Association and the publisher of IMPress Magazine. As a working photojournalist and videographer, I cover many events in the New York and New Jersey area for our publications. I am looking forward to our newest publication the Hazlet Times that will be a publication meant to showcase the things I love in Hazlet and those that might need some improvements.

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