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'[OT] Perfect Solution for Credit Card'
2008\08\07@091102 by Tomás Ó hÉilidhe

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Being paranoid for all the right reasons, I was never mad about getting
a credit card, but today I found the perfect solution.

I went into Halifax here in Ireland and I opened two accounts: one
savings account and one current account.

Into my savings account I put all my money for going away, and I put
nothing into my current account.

For my current account, I get a VISA debit card that works exactly like
a normal credit card (it's VISA after all).

When I actually want to make a purchase with the VISA card, I use
internet banking to transfer money from my savings account to my current
account, (which happens instantly), and then I make the purchase on the
card.

So if my card gets robbed or skimmed or anything, there's nothing the
thieves can do with it because my current account is empty. Strangely
enough, Halifax are the only bank here in Ireland that do such a
service, and I think it's absolutely fantastic :-D

2008\08\07@120828 by M. Adam Davis

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That's a good idea!  You might want to double check that they don't
issue an overdraft fee, or do automatic transfers from savings to
checking.  Lots of banks offer those services automatically...

-Adam

On 8/7/08, Tomás Ó hÉilidhe <spam_OUTtoe_listTakeThisOuTspamlavabit.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>

2008\08\07@121635 by Alan B. Pearce

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>So if my card gets robbed or skimmed or anything, there's nothing
>the thieves can do with it because my current account is empty.

You are correct to a point, but such thieves are adept at deciding what the
floor limit for a shop is (the value below which they do not need to get
authorisation from Visa - it is automatic authorisation), and spending below
that limit.

So you could still have considerable debts run up on the card because these
transactions will get charged to you, even with no money in the account.

It is still necessary for you to very promptly let your bank know that the
card has been stolen, for them to stop such charges appearing on your
account.

2008\08\07@123621 by Apptech

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> When I actually want to make a purchase with the VISA
> card, I use
> internet banking to transfer money from my savings account
> to my current
> account, (which happens instantly), and then I make the
> purchase on the
> card.

You do need to be sure that the internet banking you use is
secure. There are many ways that people try to make it not
so. If the baddies were able to access your savings account
online what effect would that have?


       Russell

2008\08\07@130548 by Robert Rolf

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Apptech wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Cyber criminals exploited wireless vulnerabilities at nine major USA
retailers and stole 41 million credit/debit cards. The fact remains
every major enterprise is vulnerable to wireless attacks

http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/story?id=5520147&page=1

So make sure your bank has a 'fraudulent use' protection clause/guarantee
BEFORE you use ANY of their cards.

Some institutions also have fine print that exempts them from covering a
loss if you can't prove that you have up to date, working, antikeylogger
software installed on ALL the computers in your home network, even if
you only use ONE computer for banking.
PROVING you had antipishing software is rather hard, and their
'guarantee' is pretty useless given the fine print.

Robert


2008\08\07@134233 by peter green

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> For my current account, I get a VISA debit card that works exactly like
> a normal credit card (it's VISA after all).
>  
Just watch the fees. at least in the uk a lot of debit cards have pretty
high fees for foriegn transactions (I get charged £1.50
for transactions in US dollars on my british halifax debit card). I
doubt the conversion rates are very favorable either.
> When I actually want to make a purchase with the VISA card, I use
> internet banking to transfer money from my savings account to my current
> account, (which happens instantly), and then I make the purchase on the
> card.
>
> So if my card gets robbed or skimmed or anything, there's nothing the
> thieves can do with it because my current account is empty.
Watch out! some types of card transaction do not check the balance
before the transaction so even if your overdraft limit is zero it is
still possible to end up overdrawn (and with a nasty unauthorised
overdraft fee as well).

2008\08\07@145639 by Herbert Graf

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On Thu, 2008-08-07 at 14:10 +0100, Tomás Ó hÉilidhe wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Frankly I am surprised by how worried Europeans are with regards to
credit cards.

First off, I've never had a problem with a credit card.

That said, I do know people who have had fraudulent transactions and
there was no problem. They simply got their bill, noticed something
wrong, called their card issuer, and the after a day or two the charges
were removed. These days the issuers are more proactive, often calling
the person asking if they made this or that transaction when something
is not right.

I've NEVER heard of a person actually being on the hook for a fraudulent
transaction.

Contrast that to debit cards, which in general offer nothing in the form
of protection. The banks for the longest time simply said, if your pin
was used, you're responsible. Due to pin skimming banks are getting more
understanding, but it's still FAR harder to reverse a charge on a debit
card then a credit card.

Almost all my purchases are on my VISA card. This includes gas,
groceries, planes, etc. I'm fortunate that in Canada pretty much any
retailer of any size accepts VISA. For the times they don't (i.e.
discount computer stores often have a 3% cash/debit "discount" vs. VISA
due to razor thin profit margins) I use my debit card. Only time I ever
use cash is vending machines.

TTYL

2008\08\07@150619 by cdb

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:: Today I found the perfect solution.
::
:: I went into Halifax here in Ireland and I opened two accounts: one
:: savings account and one current account.

:: For my current account, I get a VISA debit card that works exactly
:: like
:: a normal credit card (it's VISA after all).

I'm sure that idea was amongst the many suggestions offered to you.

Colin
--
cdb, .....colinKILLspamspam@spam@btech-online.co.uk on 8/08/2008

Web presence: http://www.btech-online.co.uk  

Hosted by:  http://www.1and1.co.uk/?k_id=7988359

We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are. (Max de
Pree)


2008\08\07@153537 by Bob Blick

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On Thu, 07 Aug 2008 14:56:36 -0400, "Herbert Graf"
<mailinglist4spamKILLspamfarcite.net> said:

{Quote hidden}

Agreed. The only thing I would add is to always have two different
credit cards. Because if someone does something bad with your account,
it can take a week to get a replacement card. Or if you're traveling, no
card until you get back home.

Keep the alternate card in a different pocket :)

Cheerful regards,

Bob

--
http://www.fastmail.fm - Send your email first class

2008\08\07@162129 by Herbert Graf

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On Thu, 2008-08-07 at 12:35 -0700, Bob Blick wrote:
> Agreed. The only thing I would add is to always have two different
> credit cards. Because if someone does something bad with your account,
> it can take a week to get a replacement card. Or if you're traveling, no
> card until you get back home.
>
> Keep the alternate card in a different pocket :)

That's very good advice, especially when traveling. It's also generally
a good idea that your second card has no relation to your first, i.e.
get a Mastercard from a different bank if your primary is VISA.

I don't know about all of Europe, but in some places (Austria)
Mastercard seems to be more accepted then Visa.

TTYL

2008\08\07@182912 by Roger, in Bangkok

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Debit cards are NOT exactly like credit cards by any stretch of the
imagination!!  Especially if it is an "Electron" Visa card, or marked "for
electronic transactions only".

Either stick with a credit card(s) where you have real protection or use
other "normal" means of transactions.  It seems that you are so focused on
having a money problem that you are almost certainly assuring yourself that
you will indeed have some kind of a problem.  Remember the old adage, "if
you go looking for trouble you're gonna find trouble".  How in the world do
you ever expect find time to enjoy your trip in any way with the presumption
that everyone is out to rob you?!

Oh yeah, you'll find that even online a lot of places will refuse your Visa
Debit card.  Check your expiration date, around here they commonly expire 15
or 25 years from the issue date ... you can't even enter that late a date in
most shopping carts!!

Regards/Roger, in Bangkok

On Thu, Aug 7, 2008 at 8:21 PM, Herbert Graf <.....mailinglist4KILLspamspam.....farcite.net>wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> -

2008\08\07@191026 by peter green

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> Debit cards are NOT exactly like credit cards by any stretch of the
> imagination!!  
I have never had a problem using my UK visa debit card (NOT electron). I
have used it in foreign websites though admittedly I have never tried it
in person abroad. Back when I had a maestro card on the other hand I
found there was simply no option to use
it on the foreign websites I tried.
> Especially if it is an "Electron" Visa card, or marked "for
> electronic transactions only".
>  
Yeah, solo and electron are basically cards for those who are too much
of a credit risk to give real debit cards too.
> Oh yeah, you'll find that even online a lot of places will refuse your Visa
> Debit card.  Check your expiration date, around here they commonly expire 15
> or 25 years from the issue date ... you can't even enter that late a date in
> most shopping carts!!
>  
Maybe this is a local thing, my british visa debit cards have always had
expiry dates comparable to credit cards.

2008\08\07@193918 by Tomás Ó hÉilidhe

picon face
Roger, in Bangkok wrote:
> Debit cards are NOT exactly like credit cards by any stretch of the
> imagination!!  Especially if it is an "Electron" Visa card, or marked "for
> electronic transactions only".
>  


Forgive me if I'm uninformed... but what I'll be getting is a plastic
card that has VISA written on it. I don't see why it should matter where
it gets its funds from. The card I'm getting is fully-fledged VISA, it's
not some sort of neutered VISA. Instead of getting a bill at the end of
the month, the funds come straight from my account.


> Either stick with a credit card(s) where you have real protection or use
> other "normal" means of transactions.  It seems that you are so focused on
> having a money problem that you are almost certainly assuring yourself that
> you will indeed have some kind of a problem.  Remember the old adage, "if
> you go looking for trouble you're gonna find trouble".  How in the world do
> you ever expect find time to enjoy your trip in any way with the presumption
> that everyone is out to rob you?!
>  


Using a credit card is sort of like eating raw meat... you'll hear about
people that do it all the time but that doesn't mean it doesn't end in
tears for a lot of people. Have you ever heard the saying that 1 in 3
people is affected by Cancer, be in themselves or a friend or family
member? Well I'd say the same thing goes for credit cards. Personally
I've heard of at least five people who've had their card misused.


> Oh yeah, you'll find that even online a lot of places will refuse your Visa
> Debit card.  Check your expiration date, around here they commonly expire 15
> or 25 years from the issue date ... you can't even enter that late a date in
> most shopping carts!!


I'll have a look at that.

2008\08\07@194555 by =?UTF-8?B?VG9tw6FzIMOTIGjDiWlsaWRoZQ==?= n/a

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Herbert Graf wrote:
> That said, I do know people who have had fraudulent transactions and
> there was no problem. They simply got their bill, noticed something
> wrong, called their card issuer, and the after a day or two the charges
> were removed. These days the issuers are more proactive, often calling
> the person asking if they made this or that transaction when something
> is not right.
>  


I'm very skeptical of that. Immediately I start thinking of ways to
abuse the system. For instance, let's say I decide to go buy a
Playstation 3 tomorrow. Then when I get my credit card bill, I'll ring
them up and say I never bought it. Brilliant. Free Playstation. This is
what leads me to think that the credit card company must at least do a
little bit of investigating. And what if there's no CCTV in the shop so
they can never verify who bought it? Sounds way too easy.

So long story short, I'm not going to spend a month of my life trying to
prove that I didn't buy 17 plasma TV's.

If someone has your credit card number, it's tantamount to giving them
your cheque book and then giving them a stamper for your signature. They
can make whatever charges they like. It's ridiculous.

2008\08\07@195426 by Tomás Ó hÉilidhe

picon face
peter green wrote:
> I have never had a problem using my UK visa debit card (NOT electron). I
> have used it in foreign websites though admittedly I have never tried it
> in person abroad. Back when I had a maestro card on the other hand I
> found there was simply no option to use
> it on the foreign websites I tried.

Here's what the Halifax VISA debit card looks like here in Ireland:

http://www.halifax.ie/index.jsp?1nID=94&pID=520&nID=629

In the top right corner, it says "Debit". Other than that though, it's
just like any other VISA card, it has the same numbering system and all
that jazz.

I'll go to my local branch tomorrow to ask them if I can get a card that
doesn't say Debit on it. The reason I'd like one that doesn't say Debit
on it is that I'd like to lure unscrupulous sellers into a false sense
of security. For instance, here's a hypothetical:

Let's say I go quad-biking for the day, and let's say that the
quad-biking company only accepts credit cards. Their whole idea of only
accepting credit cards is that when someone damages a quad bike, they
can willy nilly make charges to the card (e.g. a charge of 200 Euro to
repair the quad bike). I want the seller to think it's a normal credit
card so that they'll think they have me by the balls, I want them to
think that they can make outrageous charges to my card whenever they want.

Then when they try to make a charge... "Insufficient Funds".

2008\08\07@200956 by =?windows-1252?Q?Tom=E1s =D3 h=C9ilidhe?= n/a

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Alan B. Pearce wrote:
>> So if my card gets robbed or skimmed or anything, there's nothing
>> the thieves can do with it because my current account is empty.
>>    
>
> You are correct to a point, but such thieves are adept at deciding what the
> floor limit for a shop is (the value below which they do not need to get
> authorisation from Visa - it is automatic authorisation), and spending below
> that limit.
>  


I hadn't heard about this "floor limit" thingie. Interestingly though,
here's some info I got from the net, it's to do with VISA cards:

The first digit indicates if a card can be used internationally or is
valid for domestic use only. It is also used to signal if the card is
chip-enabled. The second digit indicates if the transaction must be sent
online for authorization always (“X2X”) or if transactions that are
below floor limit can take place without authorization (“X0X”). The
third digit is used to indicate the preferred card verification method
(e.g. PIN) and the environment where the card can be used (e.g. at point
of sale only).

Presumably, these debit cards are "X2X", but I'll make sure with my bank.


> So you could still have considerable debts run up on the card because these
> transactions will get charged to you, even with no money in the account.
>
> It is still necessary for you to very promptly let your bank know that the
> card has been stolen, for them to stop such charges appearing on your
> account.


Tomorrow I'm going to my bank and I'm going to have a very stern talk
with them. I'm going to tell them to disable any and all overdrafts. I'm
going to tell them to disable any sort of "automatic fund transfer" from
my savings account to my current account. Also I'm going to get a
straight answer out of them as to what exactly happens when a
transaction can't be complete (e.g. do I get charged 2 Euro for bad
transactions?).

2008\08\07@201357 by Roger, in Bangkok

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Perhaps you don't read the user agreements before signing them;-))

It's safer to stay inside, lock the doors and don't let anyone in ...

RiB

On Thu, Aug 7, 2008 at 11:38 PM, Tomás Ó hÉilidhe <EraseMEtoe_listspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTlavabit.com>wrote:

{Quote hidden}

>

2008\08\07@202152 by Nate Duehr

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Tomás Ó hÉilidhe wrote:

> Forgive me if I'm uninformed... but what I'll be getting is a plastic
> card that has VISA written on it. I don't see why it should matter where
> it gets its funds from. The card I'm getting is fully-fledged VISA, it's
> not some sort of neutered VISA. Instead of getting a bill at the end of
> the month, the funds come straight from my account.

No, they really are different.  I have a rare card that is BOTH a credit
card and a debit card, and certain point-of-sale systems UNDERSTAND this
and ask which I'd like to do.

Visa hates issuing these, but they were the standard issue from a
certain bank I use for years.

"Fully-fledged" VISA means nothing.  The law dictates the protections
the companies must provide for the different types of cards, and their
fine-print dictates what they offer above and beyond that.

Visa and MasterCard lately have been providing protection for Debit
cards that is similar to the protection provided by their credit cards
because (at least here in the U.S.) the government FORCED them to, in
most cases.  In some states the rules are even better, by State law.

You really just have to ASK YOUR BANK what SPECIFIC protection is
offered with any one type of card.

SOME debit card issuers will OVERDRAW your account at exorbitant
interest rates ("overdraft protection") even if you don't want them to
pay out more than is in the account.

STOP relying on a mailing list and ASK your bank/issuer, or you really
don't know.

Nate

2008\08\07@202159 by peter green

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> I'll go to my local branch tomorrow to ask them if I can get a card that
> doesn't say Debit on it.
>  
I very much doubt you will be able to.
> Then when they try to make a charge... "Insufficient Funds".
>  
If you are lucky

If you are unlucky the charge will go through and you will get hit with
an unauthorised overdraft fee.

2008\08\07@203832 by Tomás Ó hÉilidhe

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Nate Duehr wrote:
> No, they really are different.  I have a rare card that is BOTH a credit
> card and a debit card, and certain point-of-sale systems UNDERSTAND this
> and ask which I'd like to do.
>  


I know there's debit cards called "VISA Electron" and "Maestro".

What *I'm* getting though is VISA, plain and simple. Only difference is
that the money is take straight from my account. VISA is nothing more
than a way of "paying for stuff", so it stands to reason that there
should be no issue of whether it comes straight from your account.

The Halifax page I've already given a link to explains in no uncertain
terms:

"You will be able to use your debit card worldwide, wherever you see the
VISA symbol. In fact over 27 million retailers around the world will now
accept your debit card. Normally, you will be asked to enter your PIN in
the same way as in Ireland. If the country you are visiting has not yet
upgraded to chip & PIN, you will be asked to sign for your purchases."

I've looked over the page, and nowhere does it mention anything like
"VISA Electron". Also, when I was in my local Halifax branch today, I
asked the fella "Can I used this exactly like a credit card, will it be
accepted exactly like any other credit card?", and he said Yes. I'll
head back to the branch tomorrow and get all the info.


> Visa hates issuing these, but they were the standard issue from a
> certain bank I use for years.
>
> "Fully-fledged" VISA means nothing.  The law dictates the protections
> the companies must provide for the different types of cards, and their
> fine-print dictates what they offer above and beyond that.
>  


I said "fully-fledged VISA" to distinguish it from stuff like Maestro
and VISA Electron.


> Visa and MasterCard lately have been providing protection for Debit
> cards that is similar to the protection provided by their credit cards
> because (at least here in the U.S.) the government FORCED them to, in
> most cases.  In some states the rules are even better, by State law.
>  


The whole idea of me getting this credit card is that I'll be taking a
vaccine instead of waiting around for a cure after I've been bitten. If
there's no money in my current account, then nothing can be charged to
the card.


> You really just have to ASK YOUR BANK what SPECIFIC protection is
> offered with any one type of card.
>
> SOME debit card issuers will OVERDRAW your account at exorbitant
> interest rates ("overdraft protection") even if you don't want them to
> pay out more than is in the account.
>  


I'll make sure to tell them tomorrow to disable any and all overdrafts,
and also any and all "automatic transfers" from savings account to
current account.


> STOP relying on a mailing list and ASK your bank/issuer, or you really
> don't know.


I'm getting the info here that the banks are reluctant to provide
up-front. Also I'm getting other people's own personal experience, which
really is invaluable.

2008\08\07@204833 by Roger, in Bangkok

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And you find the schedule of fees and charges (especially "international
charges") to be acceptable?  All other term are acceptable?  Have you read
them all?

If yes, yes and yes, then go for it ... have a great trip!

RiB

On Thu, Aug 7, 2008 at 11:53 PM, Tomás Ó hÉilidhe <toe_listspamspam_OUTlavabit.com>wrote:

{Quote hidden}

>

2008\08\07@211921 by Nate Duehr

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Tomás Ó hÉilidhe wrote:

> I'm getting the info here that the banks are reluctant to provide
> up-front. Also I'm getting other people's own personal experience, which
> really is invaluable.

Fair enough.  I'm just sayin'... be careful.

In the end, all I'm warning against is that it's your contract with your
bank that counts, and no one else's, because the terms and conditions
vary WILDLY on these things.

I understand your reasoning for asking for examples and ideas, that's
good -- but the terms of YOUR card are likely different (depending on
legal jurisdiction, bank that issued the card, and a number of other
things) than anyone else who doesn't have that EXACT same card.

Relying on hearsay on a mailing list is bound to get you into trouble in
the long-run in contractual business relationships about money.  Just be
cautious.

Ask the bank.  Get it in writing.

Then you don't have to worry about it.  If they're "reluctant" to tell
you the terms and conditions of their product, don't buy/use it.

Well, even then, that's no guarantee.

The issuer often puts wording in the contract that says they can change
the terms and conditions at ANY time, INCLUDING the interest rate and/or
fees.

In the U.S. they only have to notify you 14 days in advance to make such
changes by law, and you have no choice but to accept the terms and
conditions, or find another card.

Someone else also mentioned the "convenience" of having a credit card do
the international rate conversion for you.  If you look very CAREFULLY,
most credit card issuers convert the money at a VERY favorable rate to
THEM and pocket the difference at the time of the transaction.

"Convenience" with money and bank services, is NEVER free.  That's
probably the one thing to remember at all times.

Nate

2008\08\08@043229 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>> You are correct to a point, but such thieves are adept at deciding what
>> the floor limit for a shop is (the value below which they do not need
>> to get authorisation from Visa - it is automatic authorisation), and
>> spending below that limit.
>
>I hadn't heard about this "floor limit" thingie. Interestingly though,
>here's some info I got from the net, it's to do with VISA cards:

Yes, my wife used to work in the MasterCard section of a bank in New
Zealand, and they were always getting complaints from liquor shops about the
extremely low floor limit that they had - simply because that would often be
the first place a small time crim would go with a stolen card.

They would also track stolen cards being taken around the USA, simply
because it was forever being used below shop floor limits, so although the
card had been notified as stolen, and MasterCard USA new that, because the
shop did not need to get authorisation the transaction would go through.

I am interested in the info you got from somewhere about the significance of
individual digits in the card number though. Could you post a link to this
please?

As to carrying multiple cards with you, I think I will start saving the
imitation ones I get in unsolicited mail asking if I want to open an
account. Seem like the ideal thing to give away to a potential thief at a
stick-up. Have them in a place that a pick-pocket can get at easily, and the
proper cards in a more difficult place. Might mean the real thing doesn't
get stolen.

2008\08\08@055246 by Tomás Ó hÉilidhe

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Alan B. Pearce wrote:

> I am interested in the info you got from somewhere about the significance of
> individual digits in the card number though. Could you post a link to this
> please?
>  


Go here:

http://www.visa-asia.com/ap/au/merchants/productstech/visadebit.shtml

and scroll down to "Positive Authorization Mandatory (X2X) Service Code".


> As to carrying multiple cards with you, I think I will start saving the
> imitation ones I get in unsolicited mail asking if I want to open an
> account. Seem like the ideal thing to give away to a potential thief at a
> stick-up. Have them in a place that a pick-pocket can get at easily, and the
> proper cards in a more difficult place. Might mean the real thing doesn't
> get stolen.


I think I'll get a fully-fledged credit card with Halifax also, and I'll
only use it as a last resort (e.g. plane ticket out of the place). Also
I might get a load of crappy wallets off eBay, stuff like this:

http://cgi.ebay.ie/BLACK-LEATHER-BI-FOLD-WALLET-mens-gents-many-pockets-F_W0QQitemZ330258329551QQihZ014QQcategoryZ1060QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

2008\08\08@055837 by Tomás Ó hÉilidhe

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Alan B. Pearce wrote:
> As to carrying multiple cards with you, I think I will start saving the
> imitation ones I get in unsolicited mail asking if I want to open an
> account.


You won't believe it... there's imitation credit cards on eBay:

http://stores.ebay.ie/Illusion-FX-Custom-Card-Studio_W0QQ_trksidZp284.m184QQ_trkparmsZalgo%3DCRX%26its%3DS%252BI%252BSS%26itu%3DISS%252BUCI%252BSI%26otn%3D4

2008\08\08@081111 by Michael Rigby-Jones

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{Quote hidden}

Is is therefore a debit card, and as such may not offer you the full protection that a proper credit card does.  This is something you need to verify with your card issuer.  ISTR (though can not guarantee) that the Visa debit card gives protection against 'goods not received, damaged or faulty' problems but is not wholly equivalent to a credit card in the eyes of the law ( Section 75 of the Credit Consumer Act in the UK).

One alternative is a pre-pay credit card, which works a bit like a pay as you go phone, you load the credit card up with however much money you think you may need, and there is no chance of getting any more out.

Regards

Mike

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2008\08\08@081928 by Apptech

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>> I've NEVER heard of a person actually being on the hook
>> for a fraudulent
>> transaction.

> Agreed.

For many values of fraudulent.
Doesn't extend to fraud when you are the card user.
If the seller misrepresents goods very very badly and
knowingly in a manner which would be criminal in eg NZ VISA
are not interested in redress if you have signed the sales
slip. (Presumably use of PIN number is equivalent). As MOST
sellers do not look at signatures mayhaps signing the sales
slip with a just-plain-wring signature may provide some
protection against fraudulent sellers?

   R


2008\08\08@090431 by cdb

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:: Go here:
::
:: http://www.visa-
:: asia.com/ap/au/merchants/productstech/visadebit.shtml
::
:: and scroll down to "Positive Authorization Mandatory (X2X) Service
:: Code".

Ah these are the codes embedded in the magnetic stripe - the codes on
the front that make up the card number are Visa or Mastercard -
Issuing bank including country.

For example - all early Barclaycards began with 4929 - this signified
a UK bank, and specifically Barclays bank the 49 also indicates that
it is part of the Visa family.

The Visa from Alliance and Leicester, used to belong to Chase
Manhatton (many years ago)  - it is ai Visa hence begins with a 4 129  
was the UK branch of CH.

My Virgin Mastercard (Issued by Westpac bank) begins with a 5
(Mastercard) the 163 means Virgin Australia/Westpac.

My UK Mastercard began with 5 6xx (Don't have it anymore so can't be
bothered looking it up)

My Heritage debit Visa begins with 4 (Visa issued) then 054 means
Heritage B/S Debit card.

Cards beginning with a 6 belong to the Maestro system.

How do I know this? Well I used to work for a major UK retailer, and
first of all just noticed the coincidences of the card numbers. Later
before debit/EFTPOS cards became popular, the banks did trials with
some retailers that horror of horrors, had the algorithms for pin
numbers on a semi secure server in  the trial outlets (there was a
sound reason for this at the time) and the various bank sorting codes
including credit cards routings, in the system that implemented the
'hot' list. It was envisaged at one time that retailers would be able
to use the system, to input their own lists of 'hot' cards including
Switch and Electron numbers if they had frequent bad debts with a
certain customer. To my knowledge although the mechanism was available
to retailers in the electronic processing systems none actually put it
into practice. This may have changed now that some store cards are now
linked to Visa/Mastercard.

The floor limit for retailers varies depending on the goods. It is
possible to actually shop in the same store, and find the floor limit
in White Goods for example is different to that in Haberdashery.
Technically a credit card can only be used once per retailer per day,
however, unless fraud is suspected by the transaction style sniffing
programs, it is very rarely invoked, and even when it is, the customer
is unlikely to be told the reason why a transaction wouldn't go
through - even the retailer won't know the real reason.

If you are 'unlucky' enough to have a bank that allows you to see all
your pending credit card transactions, you would be amazed at the
amount of misroutings, and bogus charges there are everyday to your
card, you don;t know this because the banks credit card department
busily reverses all these transactions (well actually a computer
program does most of it).

Colin
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2008\08\08@091353 by cdb

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Umm ignore the bit about the one transaction per day per retailer,
that was a UK only thing involving cheque guarantee cards.

And as the Royal Bank of Scotland didn't issue me a new one gave me a
Maestro instead, I assume cheque cards are on their way out due to the
use of debit cards these days.

Colin
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2008\08\08@131256 by Herbert Graf

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On Fri, 2008-08-08 at 00:45 +0100, Tomás Ó hÉilidhe wrote:
> Herbert Graf wrote:
> > That said, I do know people who have had fraudulent transactions and
> > there was no problem. They simply got their bill, noticed something
> > wrong, called their card issuer, and the after a day or two the charges
> > were removed. These days the issuers are more proactive, often calling
> > the person asking if they made this or that transaction when something
> > is not right.
> >  
>
>
> I'm very skeptical of that.

Be as skeptical as you want, that's how things work, at least here in
North America.

> Immediately I start thinking of ways to
> abuse the system. For instance, let's say I decide to go buy a
> Playstation 3 tomorrow. Then when I get my credit card bill, I'll ring
> them up and say I never bought it. Brilliant. Free Playstation. This is
> what leads me to think that the credit card company must at least do a
> little bit of investigating. And what if there's no CCTV in the shop so
> they can never verify who bought it? Sounds way too easy.

Of course they investigate, why do you think I said "after a day or
two".

One specific case I'm personally aware of was someone who paid for a
meal at a restaurant. When they got their VISA bill they noticed the
charge from the restaurant was higher then they remembered. They had a
look at their copy and confirmed the amount was higher then what they
signed (although I don't know the cause for this one, a common reason is
waiters/waitresses padding their tips).

They called their issuer. After a day or two they got a call back. The
issuer had asked the restaurant to fax them a copy of the signed
receipt. The restaurant claimed they "lost" the receipt. As a result the
charge was removed and the restaurant was out their money (it wasn't a
small bill).

I personally had a case where I was buying a a few appliances. The total
bill was around $2000. At the store everything went fine. The next day I
got a call from my issuer. They asked me if I had been at that
particular store the day before, and if I had made large purchases. I
told them yes, I was there, but I only made one large purchase. They
read out the amount of three large purchases, all close in value. I told
them which one was correct. They said thank you and that was the last I
heard about that one.

So obviously, if you buy a PS3, and then claim you didn't, the issuer
will investigate at least a little (minimally ask the store for their
copy of the signed receipt). Chances are though you'll might get away
with it the first time. Watch out though if you try again, these are
federal crimes you're talking about, and have ZERO doubt that VISA will
call the feds if you do it a bunch of times.

> So long story short, I'm not going to spend a month of my life trying to
> prove that I didn't buy 17 plasma TV's.

What? Where does it take a month? In all cases I've heard all it takes
is a phone call that lasts only a few minutes. This policy of "if you
notice something wrong on your bill call us" is CLEARLY stated in the
terms of use agreement with my issuer.

How can you comment on something you have no experience with?

FWIW these days most issuers run computer software that keeps an eye on
transactions and flags "anomalies". Case in point, I know someone who
went to a jewelery store to buy something. The response when the card
was swiped was "call issuer". So they called. The issuer said that they
transaction had raised a flag, and they simply wanted the person to
confirm it was them buying the item by supplying a few personal details.
This to me makes sense since probably the quickest way to turn a stolen
credit card into money is to buy some jewelery and quickly fence it.

> If someone has your credit card number, it's tantamount to giving them
> your cheque book and then giving them a stamper for your signature. They
> can make whatever charges they like. It's ridiculous.

That's your opinion. I believe your opinion has been influenced by
paranoia and blatantly false information.

While the system CAN and IS abused, for the card user it is very
carefree. Believe what you will, all I know is that I find buying stuff
with my VISA card offers me FAR more protection then buying with a debit
card. I won't even mention cash, that method of payment is so far in the
dark ages IMHO.

TTYL

2008\08\08@164752 by Martin McCormick

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       Our credit card number got compromised once about 3 or 4
years ago near the start of the Christmas shopping season. We
had noticed strange charges on our bill for several months which
were a Dollar or 2 each time. We would dispute the unknown
charge and it would be removed.

       Then, the crooks decided they had gotten away with
something and they probably sold our number on one of those thug
sites which traffics in such things.

       My wife got a call from the card issuer that said that
$4,000 in purchases had been charged to our card from, I think,
Utah, Thailand and maybe London. I don't remember for sure, but
it was all over the world in about the time it takes the
International Space Station to make half an orbit.

       We weren't responsible for any of the fraud and I think
all we had to do was itemize our purchases and decline the fraud
and, of course, get a new card with a different number.

       It was just more inconvenient than anything else.

       On the day it happened, my wife had gone to another town
in our state to do shopping and I was visiting my parents when
she called me and said "Don't use our credit card! It's
canceled."


Martin McCormick WB5AGZ  Stillwater, OK
Systems Engineer
OSU Information Technology Department Telecommunications Services Group


Herbert Graf writes:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2008\08\08@165343 by sergio masci

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On Fri, 8 Aug 2008, Tomás Ó hÉilidhe wrote:

> The Halifax page I've already given a link to explains in no uncertain > terms:
> > "You will be able to use your debit card worldwide, wherever you see the > VISA symbol. In fact over 27 million retailers around the world will now > accept your debit card. Normally, you will be asked to enter your PIN in > the same way as in Ireland. If the country you are visiting has not yet > upgraded to chip & PIN, you will be asked to sign for your purchases."

The key phrase in this paragraph is "debit card". This differentiates it from a "credit card".

I don't know about Irland but in the UK the "credit card" issuer has legal obligations of protection. In contrast a "debit card" issuer does not have these obligations unless it explicitly indemnifies you in a written contract.

Furthermore as others have already advised you, keeping funds in a seperate account is no guarentee that the bank will not take these funds (especially if you have a dispute with them and they feel that they may lose out).

By using a credit card you are establishing how much credit you have up front not leaving it upto the back to give you credit you did not ask for because they can see that the money they lend you is safe (because you have money in another account with them).

With a credit card, if things go wrong, a merchant is at much greater risk than the customer. It is in the merchants interests to be careful. With a debit card YOU the customer is at much greater risk than the merchant, the card issuer, anybody else.

Credit cards are much safer than debit cards.

Regards
Sergio Masci

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2008\08\08@172606 by Carl Denk

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Was said:
> Furthermore as others have already advised you, keeping funds in a
> seperate account is no guarentee that the bank will not take these funds
> (especially if you have a dispute with them and they feel that they may
> lose out).
Recently I read a credit card application that indicated any of the
items listed on the credit application could be attached (retrieve what
funds are there) if the bill wasn't paid on time. Among the items were
bank name and account numbers, if house was owned, etc. That sounded
like pretty wide grabbers, and we got a different card.

2008\08\08@181812 by Gerhard Fiedler

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Herbert Graf wrote:

> On Fri, 2008-08-08 at 00:45 +0100, Tomás Ó hÉilidhe wrote:
>> [...]

> FWIW these days most issuers run computer software that keeps an eye on
> transactions and flags "anomalies".

They have all kinds of flags for purchases that somehow are out of the
ordinary. I get calls all the time, for example when using a new card out
of the country for the first time, or when the volume increases.

>> If someone has your credit card number, it's tantamount to giving them
>> your cheque book and then giving them a stamper for your signature.
>> They can make whatever charges they like. It's ridiculous.
>
> That's your opinion. I believe your opinion has been influenced by
> paranoia and blatantly false information.

You can't just charge money to the card. If there is a charge and the
merchant has no proof that you were there and authorized the charge (signed
slip) or that he delivered goods to one of your registered addresses, I
don't think there's a chance that the charge stands. The signature is just
a part; the transaction must fit into a bigger picture and that is more
difficult to fake.

I'm not sure, but it seems that if you watch your statements and holler
when there's something wrong, it's reasonably safe.

Gerhard

2008\08\08@195917 by cdb

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:: The signature is just
:: a part; the transaction must fit into a bigger picture and that is
:: more
:: difficult to fake.

Europe is moving towards PIN only on credit cards.  In England
recently, I had trouble persuading a petrol station to take my non
chipped credit card, which of course requires a signature. Technically
all shops are supposed to still have vouchers, but many have gone to
PIN and CHIP only. Especially M&S at their complicated self service
checkouts!

Colin
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Friendship multiplies the good of life and divides the evil.
Baltasar Gracian





2008\08\08@201913 by Nate Duehr

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Herbert Graf wrote:

>> So long story short, I'm not going to spend a month of my life trying to
>> prove that I didn't buy 17 plasma TV's.
>
> What? Where does it take a month? In all cases I've heard all it takes
> is a phone call that lasts only a few minutes. This policy of "if you
> notice something wrong on your bill call us" is CLEARLY stated in the
> terms of use agreement with my issuer.

Be cautious with this.  Most cards clearly state in their terms that the
dispute must be made in writing.  Of course, with good customer service,
you can get it done on the phone, but always send a letter as a follow
up to the billing disputes address (NOT the payment address) as a
follow-up, return-receipt requested, and keep your original copy of the
letter.

> While the system CAN and IS abused, for the card user it is very
> carefree. Believe what you will, all I know is that I find buying stuff
> with my VISA card offers me FAR more protection then buying with a debit
> card. I won't even mention cash, that method of payment is so far in the
> dark ages IMHO.

Depending on where you live and the individual bank that issued the
card, you're correct -- a "real" card often offers more protection than
a debit card.

It all depends on the details, like anything to do with money and
banking.  Remember they're not there to make your life convenient,
they're there first to make a profit.  People paying annual fees on
cards, are nuts... for example.

Plenty of cards out there with beautiful interest rates (according to
your credit score), with no annual fees.  Dump 'em if they demand a fee.
 They make enough money.

Nate

2008\08\08@202037 by Nate Duehr

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Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

> You can't just charge money to the card. If there is a charge and the
> merchant has no proof that you were there and authorized the charge (signed
> slip) or that he delivered goods to one of your registered addresses, I
> don't think there's a chance that the charge stands. The signature is just
> a part; the transaction must fit into a bigger picture and that is more
> difficult to fake.

There are "buyer present" and "buyer not present" transactions. The type
is tracked by the clearing-house (Visa, Mastercard).

(Internet and telephone bill paying are "not present" types of
transactions, for example.)

The card issuer may handle each differently, but is not required to.

Nate

2008\08\08@202620 by Nate Duehr

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Carl Denk wrote:
>
> Was said:
>> Furthermore as others have already advised you, keeping funds in a
>> seperate account is no guarentee that the bank will not take these funds
>> (especially if you have a dispute with them and they feel that they may
>> lose out).
> Recently I read a credit card application that indicated any of the
> items listed on the credit application could be attached (retrieve what
> funds are there) if the bill wasn't paid on time. Among the items were
> bank name and account numbers, if house was owned, etc. That sounded
> like pretty wide grabbers, and we got a different card.

Good for you!  Reading the fine print!

Another one people get hit with... just because a charge is in dispute
doesn't mean you don't have to pay the INTEREST on it, on many cards.

And on many "low-introductory rate" cards if you make a late payment,
they "bloom" up to interest rates just below the legal usury rate.

Mix the two together, and you have a recipe for disaster... your nice
low interest rate can be forever raised to something insane.

Of course, if you're the type who's paying off the card every month,
during your grace period, you many not care at all.  But if you were
carrying a balance... that disputed charge -- even if refunded -- could
turn into a lot of lost money in future interest rates.

Additionally the late payment would have to be disputed (in the U.S.
anyway) via the three credit clearinghouses if the card company chose to
disclose them to the credit rating folks, or that "couple of bucks"
could turn into a lower credit score almost overnight.

(Typically a single late payment will drop a FICO score by 75 points or so.)

FICO scores are now used in the U.S. to rate a persons "hireability"
when searching for jobs, "rentability" when finding housing,
"insurability" when buying insurance.  Causing even inadvertent damage
to your FICO score, can lead to virtually every finance tool you use
going up in cost.

Nate

2008\08\08@204356 by peter green

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> People paying annual fees on
> cards, are nuts... for example
Some people may not have much choice.

Someone I know for example she doesn't work anymore but really finds it
usefull to have a credit card with a reasonablly high limit (a few
thousand pounds, enough to purchase a large item on and then sort out
which savings account to pay the card from when the bull comes) and
since she is the one who manages most of the household finances it is
highly preferable for the card to be in her name not in her husbands
name.  The interest rate is not a concern because she pays the card off
in full every month.

She has a reasonablly high limit because she has had the card for many
years and never been late with a payment.  But the fact she no longer
works means she would find it impossible to get another card with a
similar limit. Currently the card does not have any fees but it has done
at some points in the past and if it started doing so again she would
either have to pay the fee or lose having a card with a decent limit.

2008\08\08@232141 by Herbert Graf

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On Sat, 2008-08-09 at 09:59 +1000, cdb wrote:
>
> :: The signature is just
> :: a part; the transaction must fit into a bigger picture and that is
> :: more
> :: difficult to fake.
>
> Europe is moving towards PIN only on credit cards.  In England
> recently, I had trouble persuading a petrol station to take my non
> chipped credit card, which of course requires a signature. Technically
> all shops are supposed to still have vouchers, but many have gone to
> PIN and CHIP only. Especially M&S at their complicated self service
> checkouts!

Hehe, yes, I was in Britain last year and I distinctly remember one
place where the cashier didn't even know how to handle a non chip VISA
card, she had to get help from someone else! :)

TTYL

2008\08\09@081936 by Carl Denk

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I don't know about age! At 70, and retired, I got a $10,000 USD limit
platinum Mastercard  recently. To get a low limit card (for dealing with
possible risky situations) would have been more difficult.

peter green wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2008\08\09@083743 by peter green

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Carl Denk wrote:
> I don't know about age! At 70, and retired, I got a $10,000 USD limit
> platinum Mastercard  recently. To get a low limit card (for dealing with
> possible risky situations) would have been more difficult.
>  
Afaict getting a card with a decent limit is mostly about two things:
income and credit rating trouble is the vast majority of the income is
her husbands.

What is your retirement income like?

note: i'm in the uk, things may vary by country.

2008\08\09@125419 by Carl Denk

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Not huge by any means, Ford Motor modest monthly + Social Security. We
are fairly frugal, I have to this point been able to maintain just about
everything saving maintenance and repair labor. We come close to living
on the modest income, only tapping nest egg slightly. House was paid off
some years ago, all bills are current, should have a top credit rating.
Send be a private E-mail address, I just might provide more detail, but
not going to go to the world with it. :)

peter green wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2008\08\09@190703 by Lee Jones

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>> I got a $10,000 USD limit platinum Mastercard  recently. To get
>> a low limit card (for dealing with possible risky situations)
>> would have been more difficult.

It isn't difficult to get a lower limit.

Our son needed a credit card last fall (before a semester abroad).
Since he had no credit history, my wife got a joint card with him.
Credit limit was way too high for a college student.  We called
the issuing company and asked them to lower it.  They did.  So a
lower limit is usually just a phone call away (in US anyway).

                                               Lee Jones

2008\08\09@192450 by Carl Denk

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Yes to lower a limit on an existing card, but I was unsuccessful to get
a 2nd card where we had an excellent credit history for some years
without doing a full application with all the credit references. I felt
they would be happy to send me a 2nd card, but we are what is known in
the credit card industry as "Dead Beat", we always pay full amount on
time, and to get any type of extra charge is extremely rare.

Lee Jones wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2008\08\20@091430 by Dario Greggio

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Herbert Graf wrote:

> While the system CAN and IS abused, for the card user it is very
> carefree. Believe what you will, all I know is that I find buying stuff
> with my VISA card offers me FAR more protection then buying with a debit
> card. I won't even mention cash, that method of payment is so far in the
> dark ages IMHO.


Same here, Herbert.
I have been (just luck?) quite satisfied by using my Credit Card in
shops, abroad, and especially over the internet.

Not to mention lower costs by merchants, compared to bank transfer & such.

--
Ciao, Dario

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