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Sunday, February 28, 2010


You must be braver than me. A home burglary would have terrified me, because I would have feared the junkie burglar might have hurt the kids, us, or our ferocious dog. I think the fear factor would make me less than charitable ever to a home burglar with a pitiful problem...

I think we will see more and more of such techno thefts. I am trying to pay cash for more and more as a result, tho it is inconvenient and (in turn) makes one more vulnerable to another type of junkie, the mugger...

I am with Dr. X on this one. I have experienced both, and techno theft seems so much more pervasive and far reaching. Yesterday morning there was a fraudulent charge for $1002 on my credit card, made in craft store in a southern state and I am in CT. I was notified by the bank immediately, and the card number canceled. Very impressive bank fraud dept!

Cash, altho' sometimes inconvenient, does have its merits, albeit w/ muggers a downside to be reckoned w/.....

Unfortunately, this type of cyber-theft is on the rise and showing no signs of leveling off.

Dr. X and Momcat were fortunate that their credit card issuers / Visa or MC detected the fraud so quickly.

As someone in the IT field (me) who also has contacts with large customers who deal with this problem, you might all be frightened to learn how little cooperation is actually being employed between card issuers, Visa et al and the largest data processors, although there IS some cooperation.

One such data processing firm (I believe the name is 1st Data) that provides those credit card processing machines to the largest number of retailers globally (if I have my facts correct), is dreadfully protective of the public finding out just how often their systems are breached and fraud occurs.

Many large companies are still taking the approach of fearing bad press getting out to the public more than trying to do the right thing and sharing info. with other processors to quickly stop fraud when it occurs, and it is we customers who may pay the price in the longer term... even if the credit card issuer does not require you to directly pay for fraudulent charges, these losses are absorbed into the giant system, and ultimately, we are likely paying for it via higher fees, etc.

You know that the banking firms are not going to "eat" these losses... they will clamor for bailouts and then continue to issue big bonuses to people in their employ and simply charge us all higher fees when ever possible.

Retriever has the right idea - pay cash, but it is becoming less and less practical to do so in every facet of our lives.

Mr. Pessimist (me) says the problem isn't going away and it is just another "risk" of getting out of bed each day, much like the fact that there is a CHANCE you will be hit by a bus, struck by lightning, etc.

However, odds are that you are far more likely to suffer credit or identity theft than be struck by lighting. Oh well. I still choose to get out of bed each day.

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