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  • Watch your credit card

    My consumer tip of the moment: watch your credit card carefully. I got a call this morning on my cell phone from 727-541-0001. I didn't pick it up, merely because it was 11:30 AM, which of course means I still had half an hour until noon to sleep. Sometimes I get numbers I don't recognize calling me, mainly local ones that are wrong numbers, occasionally companies like Circuit City in regards to previous calls I've made and Microsoft for awesome but undisclosed reasons.

    As I usually do, I Googled numbers I don't recognize, usually calling from my local area code. This one only turned up a few hits, but man: http://blogcritics.org/archives/2005/08/26/153054.php . When they called back a few hours later, I figured, what the hell, let's see, and answered. They said hello, I'm from Visa (an impossibility because my credit card issuer would call, not Visa itself, and only my landline is associated with the card, not my cell phone). He asked me to confirm my full name and the last four digits of my credit card number which were...correct. I refused to confirm nor deny, just saying the answer depends on what you're calling about. He refused to answer. I told him to shut up (well, "be quiet") and he became abusive (so was I, but he said "hey listen, don't tell me to be quiet"). I told him this is a personal line, a cell phone, and if he calls again, the FCC will hear about it. It was so satisfying to flip the phone closed on him.


    No more calls yet, but I'm expecting them. Verizon says they can't block numbers (only text messages) and it depends on the phone if you can block a specific number (mine can't). But, after further research, people were reporting right after they received the calls unauthorized charges on their credit cards. Not wanting to take the chance, I immediately reported the card as stolen. I didn't see any unauthorized charges, but I had a brush with identity theft before which, ironically, would have happened if I wasn't so desperately poor.

    They apparently call people only on cell phones, and the theory is that it's international because Florida (727 area code) cannot stop the calls. The other theory is that they're dumpster divers getting your name and last four digits of the credit card from receipts and other stuff you've thrown out—obviously practically every receipt has this.

    So here's what I suggest doing if you get a call from this number:
    • Don't answer at all, even out of curiousity, because you know these details.
    • Report your card as stolen, regardless of whether the activity on it seems normal
    • Call your cell phone provider and ask them to block the number or the whole area code; if they can't, see if your phone can do it.
    • Shred your receipts, even if all it has is the last four digits.
    Ironically, it might turn out for good. If I get more calls, Verizon can't block them, and my phone can't block them, then that means I can get a new phone. I've been wanting a camera phone for a while, not for sending pictures, but just to have a crappy digital camera with me at all times. Problem is my two-year contract ends in the summer so I might be stuck with the full or one-year-contract price, unless I can piss off enough employees of the Verizon Wireless store.

    Damn scammers.
    --filburt1, vBulletin.org/vBulletinTemplates.com moderator
    Web Design Forums.net: vB Board of the Month
    vBulletin Mail System (vBMS): webmail for your forum users

  • #2
    <3 PayPal's virtual credit cards
    :)

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    • #3
      Does this affect debit cards, as well? I'm too young to have a credit card, but I do have a debit card that works just like a credit card.
      Forums

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      • #4
        Some reports included debit cards.

        DirectPixel: I'd use throwaway one-time-use numbers, too, but the majority of places where I use my credit card are physical stores (gas, grocery...and of course CompUSA, etc.).

        In the meantime, I made a completely silent ringer MP3 for my phone and transferred it over using the data cable (downloading ring tones is for suckers), and assigned it to a new contact named "Pure evil." Now the phone will blink its LED but not make a sound. Doesn't help for Vibrate mode, which is always the case when it's in my pocket (translation: turn off your damn ringers in public, people).
        --filburt1, vBulletin.org/vBulletinTemplates.com moderator
        Web Design Forums.net: vB Board of the Month
        vBulletin Mail System (vBMS): webmail for your forum users

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        • #5
          Thanks for the heads up on this. Identity theft can cause serious problems and it's something we all have to watch out for.

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          • #6
            Isn't it possible that they'd use another number, so the one up there (and in that other article) could be different?
            Congratulations on the death of vBulletin, Internet Brands.

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            • #7
              Possible, of course, although numerous people have reported this specific number. Some other posts in the blog entry to which I linked did mention some other numbers with similar results.
              --filburt1, vBulletin.org/vBulletinTemplates.com moderator
              Web Design Forums.net: vB Board of the Month
              vBulletin Mail System (vBMS): webmail for your forum users

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              • #8
                Paypal all the way!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Ritterz
                  Paypal all the way!
                  PayPal isn't a bank though.
                  Trent Gillespie Mod Theater Gillespie Photography

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                  • #10
                    PayPal are greasy scam-artists.
                    "CREEPSHOW CREEPS ONLINE" - The first & best online resource dead-icated to Stephen King & George A. Romero's 1982 horror anthology classic!!!!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Creepshow
                      That site is pretty funny. PayPal's been awesome every single time I've had any problems with it. A few years ago, somebody tried to file a complaint against me claiming that I ripped him off (I was not at fault and it was completely his own fabrication). Talking with the PayPal representatives was completely problem-free and they made sure that nothing happened to my account and all problems were resolved in a timely manner.

                      ...and reading the terms of service isn't as confusing as what that website wants you to believe. Reading the technical explanations for how PayPal's money-market accounts work? You'll probably need to take a few accounting classes to understand the terminology in that.
                      :)

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                      • #12
                        yada yada.. i dont see why people are so concerned with people abusing their creditcard.. I really dont see it.

                        If someone abuses your creditcard, it's the bank's responsibility, and they will refund everything that has been stolen from you.

                        The only thing they cannot refund, is if they have your signature for the puchase, or if you have entered your pin code.

                        So stop being paranoid about it. Giving them the opputunity to abuse your card, will just make it easier for the police to catch whoever is abusing it, because they will have more leads.
                        My site
                        www.coolservice.dk

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                        • #13
                          You've got to be kidding me. Have you heard of dealing with identity theft? Your credit rating follows you through life.
                          --filburt1, vBulletin.org/vBulletinTemplates.com moderator
                          Web Design Forums.net: vB Board of the Month
                          vBulletin Mail System (vBMS): webmail for your forum users

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                          • #14
                            Actually, you are still obligated to pay up to $50.00 of the transaction, even if it was fraudulent.
                            ManagerJosh, Owner of 4 XenForo Licenses, 1 vBulletin Legacy License, 1 Internet Brands Suite License
                            Director, WorldSims.org | Gaming Hosting Administrator, SimGames.net, Urban Online Entertainment

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ManagerJosh
                              Actually, you are still obligated to pay up to $50.00 of the transaction, even if it was fraudulent.
                              not in my country... luckily....
                              My site
                              www.coolservice.dk

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