SCENE 1. This is a new one. > A friend went to the local gym and placed his belongings in the >locker. After the workout and a shower, he came out, saw the locker >open, and thought to himself, "Funny, I thought I locked the locker. > Hmmmmm." He dressed and just flipped the wallet to make sure all was >in order. Everything looked okay - all cards were in place. > > A few weeks later his credit card bill came - a whooping bill of >$14,000! > > He called the credit card company and started yelling at them, saying >that he did not make the transactions. Customer care personnel verified >that there was no mistake in the system and asked if his card had been >stolen. > > "No," he said, but then took out his wallet, pulled out the credit >card, and yep - you guessed it - a switch had been made. An expired >similar credit card from the same bank was in the wallet. The thief >broke into his locker at the gym and switched cards. > > Verdict: The credit card issuer said since he did not report the card >missing earlier, he would have to pay the amount owed to them. How much >did he have to pay for items he did not buy? $9,000! Why were there >no calls made to verify the amount swiped? Small amounts rarely trigger >a "warning bell" with some credit card companies. It just so happens >that all the small amounts added up to big one! > > SCENE 2. A man at a local restaurant paid for his meal with his credit >card. The bill for the meal came, he signed it, and the waitress folded >the receipt and passed the credit card along. > > Usually, he would just take it and place it in his wallet or pocket. >Funny enough, though, he actually took a look at the card and, lo and >behold, it was the expired card of another person. He called the >waitress and she looked perplexed. She took it back, apologized, and >hurried back to the counter under the watchful eye of the man. All the >waitress did while walking to the counter was wave the wrong expired >card to the counter cashier, and the counter cashier immediately looked >down and took out the real card. No exchange of words --- nothing! She >took it and came back to the man with an apology. > > Verdict: Make sure the credit cards in your wallet is yours. >Check the name on the card every time you sign for something and/or the >card is taken away for even a short period of time. Many people just >take back the credit card without even looking at it, "assuming" that it >has to be theirs. FOR YOUR OWN SAKE, DEVELOP THE HABIT OF CHECKING YOUR >CREDIT CARD EACH TIME IT IS RETURNED TO YOU AFTER A TRANSACTION! > > SCENE 3: Yesterday I went into a pizza restaurant to pick up an order >that I had called in. I paid by using my Visa Check Card which, of >course, is linked directly to my checking account. > > The young man behind the counter took my card, swiped it, then laid it >on the counter as he waited for the approval, which is pretty standard >procedure. While he waited, he picked up his cell phone and started >dialing. > > I noticed the phone because it is the same model I have, but nothing >seemed out of the ordinary. Then I heard a click that sounded like my >phone sounds when I take a picture. He then gave me back my card >but kept the phone in his hand as if he was still pressing buttons. >Meanwhile, I'm thinking: I wonder what he is taking a picture of, >oblivious to what was really going on. It then dawned on me: the only >thing there was my credit card, so now I'm paying close attention to >what he is doing. > > He set his phone on the counter, leaving it open. About five seconds >later, I heard the chime that tells you that the picture has been >saved. > > Now I'm standing there struggling with the fact that this boy just >took a picture of my credit card. Yes, he played it off well, because >had we not had the same kind of phone, I probably would never have >known what happened. Needless to say, I immediately canceled that card >as I was walking out of the pizza parlor. > > All I am saying is, be aware of your surroundings at all times. >Whenever you are using your credit cards, take caution and don't be >careless. Notice who is standing near you and what they are doing when >you use your card. Be aware of phones because many have a camera phone >these days. > > When you are in a restaurant and the waiter/waitress brings your card >and receipt for you to sign, make sure you scratch the number off. >Some restaurants are using only the last four digits, but a lot of them >are still putting the whole thing on there. I have already been a victim >of credit card fraud and, believe me, it is not fun. The truth is that >they can get you even when you are careful, but don't make it easy for >them.