G Scale Model Train Forum banner
1 - 1 of 1 Posts

Premium Member
2,094 Posts
Electronic commerce is here to stay...cause it saves so much money. I strongly prefer using a credit card these days, because there are laws that limit my financial exposure to fraudulent use of my card. With a credit card, you're only liable for $50 of fraudulent charges...but I've never been charged that fee when I've found one...or the bank has for me. That is NOT true for debit cards, checks,...or frankly cash.

Debit cards with the Visa or MasterCharge logo on the lower right can be used as a "credit card"...but the money comes out of your bank account instantly. My brother in law had $14000 taken out of his bank account by someone that stole his BofA Visa debit card. The thieves did this by pushing the credit button on a card swipe machine...which means you sign a chit and don't need the PIN. Some vendors even have rules that don't require you to sign a chit if the "charge" is below $50...Home Depot used to be one and our WalMart continues to do this. If the vendor doesn't check ID, then the "charge" immediately debits your bank account. I went through **** getting that money back from BofA...took five months of constant calling...finally to the VP office of BofA when the customer service people refused to credit the fraudulent charges back into his account. I was flabbergasted to learn during this experience that it is possible to go to some ATM machines in gas stations, and use the "credit" feature of that Visa debit card to withdrawn money. I got a Visa debit card from my bank to use as my ATM card...and went into the bank and insisted they give me a regular ATM card without the Visa logo...and that fixed that.

Checks now represent another risk...because they contain the bank routing number and account number on them. I just paid my property taxes using this method...and I still don't understand how the bank knows whether an electronic debit from my checking account is valid from my perspective. PayPal uses this technique when you pay via Paypal and use your bank account. So do all the grocery stores around here...the clerk runs your check through a scanner and you bank account is immediately debited...and then they hand the paper check back to me. So far, I've had no problems, but I don't understand how this is regulated...nor my protection. Be advised though..blank checks represent a danger because they bear those routing and account numbers...although perhaps a lessor threat than the Visa debit cards.

Cash is dangerous just because you are subject to robbery if you wave a wad of bills at a store.
WRT credit card purchases, some vendors ask for the three or four digit security code on your credit card. This code proves to them that YOU are in possession of the credit card...versus just using a credit card number you got somewhere. If this is on the internet, you've got the encryption to protect you...but when you give that number to someone, you are giving them the informatino THEY need to fraudulently use your card. I worry about some of the workers at vendors that require this number...and think HARD on whether I'll provide it. I NEVER provide it on an eBay purchase...but I have on internet purchases from larger companies. I also NEVER give that number out on my phone as I use wireless phones in my house. Think hard before you give out this number...and that number is there for this exact purpose...to prove YOU have the credit card that matches all the other address and name information.

Lastly, I don't EVER sign a credit card. I just put SEE ID on the signature line. Thus, if I were to lose the credit card, at least it wouldn't be usable IF a vendor asks to see ID..and more seem to be asking these days. I thank all the sales clerks when they ask for ID...and LOUDLY complain to them when they don't...with a remark that it's unlikely I'll shop there again...musta done that 30 times at Home Depot...and they stopped allowing under $50 charges to go through without an ID check. Further, I check my credit card charges via the internet every other day or so to ensure I catch any fraudulent charge early.

As my father taught me...in business and in your personal life, the amount of money you have to spend is inversely proportional to the time since you last checked to see how much you have.
1 - 1 of 1 Posts