Saturday, June 23, 2007

Watch Your Credit Card Activity Online

So much talk of credit cards reminds me of an incident that happened to us recently. My husband is religious about checking our credit card bill online. In doing so with our Citibank American Airlines Mastercard, he noted some small charges made in New York. RED FLAG!! Besides not living in New York, these were small charges at a McDonald's and a 7-11 (i.e., $5 and $2, respectively). Not much, but that's the whole point. People who use stolen credit cards have to test them out first to see if they work. Once that's established with small charges, they can start using it on seirous purchases.

My husband called Citibank. They canceled it and issued a new one, but if we were to avoid being held liable for the charges, we had to fill out an affidavit that needed notarized. This, I remind you, is for charges netting less than $10, which is less than the cost of the notary. In the end, we filled out the form and sent it back, not notarized. We also canceled the credit card because there are other companies (i.e., American Express) that in our experience, are much more vigilant in watching for suspiciuos activity, and that's the kind of surveillance you want with your credit.

Most annoying was that Citibank was running ads about identity theft and patting themselves on the back for their efforts in keeping their customers' credit safe.