Card Capers

I got a new credit card recently. I got a call from my bank when I was at Melbourne airport a few weeks ago, waiting for my flight home after the Great Ocean Road Challenge. Apparently someone in the US had tried to make a charge against my card.

Thankfully our bank’s security picked it up and so I was saved any cost but it did mean that I was without my card for a number of days until the new card arrived. I don’t use my credit card every day but it feels weird not having the option to use it if it’s needed.

It was like one of those good news bad news stories. I’ve got some bad news, someone has tried to use your credit card. The good news is that we caught them in time. The bad news is we’ve cancelled your existing card. The good news is that we’ll send you a new one. The bad news is you probably won’t get it until Wednesday next week. The good news is it arrived a day early on the Tuesday.

It’s a great feeling to know the scammers didn’t win this time. Have you ever had someone steal your credit card details? Were you able to get your money back?

Some people blame online shopping for some of the scammers getting hold of our details. Do you shop online and if so what precautions do you take? Are there some sites you avoid?

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Credit Gone Crazy

The two videos in this post are frightening.

They show a report, in two parts, from 60 Minutes Australia and I beg you to take the 15 minutes it requires to watch both parts.

Our young people have gone crazy with credit and refuse to think through the consequences. If you have children you need to see this report and then start to teach your kids about the wise use of money.

Generation Y is used to getting what they want when they want but common sense says it will one day come crashing down. Unfortunately the people in this report seem to have missed out on their serving of common sense.

All those interviewed are convinced that ‘one day’ they will repay their debts, but when will their ‘spend, spend, spend’ lifestyle stop so that they can start to make a dent in the debt? Do they seriously think that they will get such high paying jobs that they will be able to continue their current spending habits and pay back their loans and repay their credit card balances?

Thanks to Sarah from This is what Sed Said for pointing me to these videos.

Are you caught in the credit trap? How do you see yourself paying off what you owe?

Do you have children? What are you doing to teach them the value of a dollar? I notice that most of these young people are living at home without the responsibility of paying rent or a mortgage. What are your thoughts on charging grown up children to continue living under your roof?

I’m really interested in your comments and hope that you’ll take the time to leave your thoughts in the comments section of this post.

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How to tell if a credit card is stolen

Visa_Card.jpgIf the signature on the back of a credit card matches the signature of the person presenting the card there’s a fair chance it’s stolen. I’m working on a similar kind of logic as the well known fact that if you look exactly like the photo in your passport, you’re too sick to travel.

We were recently sent new credit cards and so I’ve just been through the process of activating them. I followed all the prompts from the electronic voice on the designated phone number and without ever having to speak to a real human, I managed to complete the process. Now we can continue to go out and spend money we don’t have on stuff we don’t need.

The thing that fascinates me is the way that we’re expected to sign our ‘normal’ signatures on the cards. Maybe I’m just not that good but I really find it difficult to replicate the way I sign pieces of paper which require my autograph when it comes to signing a small piece of shiny plastic.

I really do try my very hardest but when I’m signing the card the pen doesn’t act the same way as it would on paper, and to tell the truth, my signature is usually bigger than the microscopic box they give me on the back of the credit card.

Oh well, I think I’ll just continue to rely on the fact that people who work in shops don’t generally look too closely at either my card or my signature when I buy stuff from them.

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