Credit Card Scams

Still more suggestions from Internet ScamBusters subscribers about preventing credit card scams

Below are suggestions #8 through #11 that we received from our Internet ScamBusters subscribers on preventing credit card scams. (Click here if you haven’t yet read credit card fraud prevention suggestions 1 to 3 or credit fraud protection suggestions 4 to 7.)

Preventing credit card scams — suggestion #8:

Even with a sample signature to follow, forgery is very difficult, and more so with signatures than with standard words because people have a great deal of emotional baggage tied to their names and therefore each letter in a signature may look slightly different than the same letter used in a word in normal text.

I continue to enjoy each issue of ScamBusters, and have recommended it to so very many of my friends and associates. I read each issue start to finish. There has never been a single issue for which I could say “I didn’t learn a thing reading this.” I am awestruck that you continue to put out a meaningful, useful, informative and humorous e.periodical year after year. I love you guys! Please keep up the good work.


Preventing credit card scams — suggestion #9:

Re credit card signing. The United States Post Office has posted signs saying they will not accept an unsigned card. The signature on my Visa was worn off when I went to buy stamps the other day. The gentleman got me a permanent ink sharpie, fine point and had me sign it. Then he put a piece of scotch tape over it to protect it. Alice

Preventing credit card scams — suggestion #10:

I am writing about the issue of signing one’s credit card. Why would a credit card issuer care whether one signs it or not, whether one asks instead to provide ID, or not? If I call up Orvis on the phone to order a dress, the signature or lack of it on the credit card I use is moot, and if I order a stack of books from Amazon’s website, ditto. So, why should whether or not my card is signed on the back be an issue for a face-to-face merchant? Cate

Preventing credit card scams — suggestion #11:

I just wanted to respond to your piece on not signing your credit cards, and the credit cards’ companies’ advice that you should sign them. Per their policies, this is correct, and I do sign my cards. However, I can tell you from personal experience that writing “see I.D.” on your card does work — because that’s what my wife has done. As a result, she virtually always has her identification verified when she uses her card. And I’ve never seen her be denied service because her card was unsigned.

I don’t believe that the credit card companies gave you any good reason why not to do it this way — per the newsletter, MasterCard said it’s “not a good idea” — but not why it’s not good; AmEx and Visa both basically said it’s not a good idea because it goes against their policy.

That’s fine, but do policies never change? My personal opinion on this — and, remember, I do currently sign my cards — is that the credit card companies should just change their policy, and tell people to write “see i.d.” rather than signing their name.

I think it would cut down on fraud, and I really can’t see a downside to it, except that it would involve a policy change. Frankly, I believe that credit card fraud has risen significantly in recent years, and that it’s a problem which wasn’t really anticipated when they set the policy of signing your card immediately.

Anyway, thanks for your newsletter, you provide a good service!




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