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Old 03-09-11, 09:57 PM   #1
Rowan
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Is your financial instituion as proactive as this?

I've just placed several orders with UK parts suppliers -- Chain Reaction Cycles and Wiggle. Each order was just under $1000. I am doing several bike builds, and additions to other bikes.

It's all quite exciting... although I had to rebuild my Baskets on each when my connection slowed a little, and I cleared the cookies. Bzzzzztt!! Wrong move. Fortunately, the rebuilding of the lists took a shorter time than originally.

Anyway, I got a phone call about an hour after paying for one of the orders with my card through PayPal. It was from my financial insitution asking me if the transaction was legitimate.

There were no boxes to tick, no requests to check my account, nothing out of the ordinary. It's just a plain little credit union.

But I am glad someone is watching my back from the embezzlement point of view. Even if they irritate me sometimes with their fees and charges.

I suppose the more cynical than I could say Big Brother is watching.

So, would your financial institution do the same for you?
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Old 03-09-11, 10:26 PM   #2
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I have had similar calls on large purchases, and I appreciate them.
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Old 03-09-11, 11:24 PM   #3
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Nope.

My debit card is cyber-anchored by a bank, so I can get my tax refund and my pay direct-deposited, but the responsibility of monitoring transactions is ALL mine. It's the "cost" of no fees.
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Old 03-09-11, 11:38 PM   #4
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I don't know if mine still do any pro-active types of services, but when I was moving between states I had a gas station tell me that they were instructed by the issuer of my credit card that they needed to see my I.D. It was the third tank of gas I had purchased in less than 24 hours, so it must have sent up a flag. It also happened to be the third tank if fuel I had purchased in the previous six months, so that may have been a factor too.
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Old 03-10-11, 01:26 AM   #5
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We had a gas credit card stolen and didn't realize it. After several tanks of gas in four days in an area that was not in our normal purchase area they called us. We didn't even realize the card was gone. They blocked the card and we didn't have to pay for the gas. That was Shell, by the way. I have also always called to let the bank know when we might be using the card in an unusual area.

Since people are not responsible for fraud committed with their cards, the banks aren't just being good watchers, they are protecting their own butts.
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Old 03-10-11, 04:13 AM   #6
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I had it happen when I bought from ProBikeKit.
I was happy about it too.
Took less than an hour for the call, maybe 45 minutes?
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Old 03-10-11, 04:48 AM   #7
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We had a gas credit card stolen and didn't realize it. After several tanks of gas in four days in an area that was not in our normal purchase area they called us. We didn't even realize the card was gone. They blocked the card and we didn't have to pay for the gas. That was Shell, by the way. I have also always called to let the bank know when we might be using the card in an unusual area.

Since people are not responsible for fraud committed with their cards, the banks aren't just being good watchers, they are protecting their own butts.
This is true.
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Old 03-10-11, 05:51 AM   #8
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Yes. My credit union has contacted me about suspicious charging patterns a couple of times. One time it was all legit, but another time someone was using my account for online purchases. I was reimbursed for all of it. I also had a credit card company call me and stop an unauthorized use several years ago.

Yes, even financial institutions can do good things. But sometimes they can do bad things like wreck the economy.
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Old 03-10-11, 06:13 AM   #9
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I've had that happen a few times. It's a good thing.
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Old 03-10-11, 06:52 AM   #10
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I doubt my credit card company would call if the purchase was cycling related since they're used to seeing that type of charge.

They did call me about a year ago to ask about a charge for an airline ticket purchase to a foreign country since it was out of the ordinary. Once I verified it wasn't me they canceled the card and issued me another one. This happened on a Saturday afternoon and the new card was delivered to my front door on Monday morning. They said they could have it there Sunday morning if I needed it.
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Old 03-10-11, 07:14 AM   #11
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I always get a call and/or an email when making foreign purchases.
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Old 03-10-11, 07:24 AM   #12
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I always get a call and/or an email when making foreign purchases.
Somehow someone got hold of my "secret password" and used it to call the credit card company to tell them I would be traveling in Canada.

They then tried to make a $600 credit card withdrawal from an ATM in Canada. The credit card company blocked this and refused the $$.

Perhaps this is because I have never drawn any $$ against a credit card.

The advantage of a credit card over a debit card for me is that it is their $$ at risk with a credit card, and it is YOUR $$ at risk with a debit card. I refuse to use a debit card. Also, I can challenge and block a credit card purchase - I can't do that with a debit card. I also get a guarantee with my credit card, free rental car insurance for the deductible, etc. As I pay everything each month, I get no interest charges, and several hundreds of $$ in rebates each year on one, and free flights on the other.
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Old 03-10-11, 07:55 AM   #13
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The advantage of a credit card over a debit card for me is that it is their $$ at risk with a credit card, and it is YOUR $$ at risk with a debit card. I refuse to use a debit card. Also, I can challenge and block a credit card purchase - I can't do that with a debit card. I also get a guarantee with my credit card, free rental car insurance for the deductible, etc. As I pay everything each month, I get no interest charges, and several hundreds of $$ in rebates each year on one, and free flights on the other.
Not everybody has that option; some folks have had their credit destroyed by frauds that are "within the scope of law" (such as a spouse), or circumstances that can't be controlled by any other means than abandonment of people precious to a person. Without going into details, there come times when a person has to decide between caring for and providing for loved ones, and one's credit. Can't always have both.
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Old 03-10-11, 07:59 AM   #14
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Not everybody has that option; some folks have had their credit destroyed by frauds that are "within the scope of law" (such as a spouse), or circumstances that can't be controlled by any other means than abandonment of people precious to a person. Without going into details, there come times when a person has to decide between caring for and providing for loved ones, and one's credit. Can't always have both.
Point taken.
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Old 03-10-11, 11:06 AM   #15
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Yeah, our credit union has contacted us about unusual activity. Fortunately, it's always been legitimate activity. Once we did have our account frozen because of a mistake entering the amount of a deposit through a MAC. When you're depositing $2500 don't accidentally add another zero, or your account gets shut down within the hour and it's hard to get it up again. They told us it was an Internal Revenue Service thing. We've also learned that when we travel abroad, we need to alert the bank/credit union for the cards we are taking. It's much easier than trying to get a deactivated card reactivated when in another country.
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Old 03-10-11, 02:29 PM   #16
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... As I pay everything each month, I get no interest charges, and several hundreds of $$ in rebates each year on one, and free flights on the other.
Do you know what the financial institutions call those of us who pay off our credit card balances every month? Deadbeats. I guess they don't like the fact that we get all those services without paying any interests or fees. Of course, they get their $$ from the merchants we use.
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Old 03-10-11, 02:47 PM   #17
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My CC company does this, and also I've set up email alerts so if something out of the ordinary happens, I get notified. My wife leaves for Sweden today, and notified the bank and CC company so that they wouldn't freak when charges from there appear.
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Old 03-10-11, 03:03 PM   #18
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Yeah my bank does this - in fact it blocks the charge from going through in the first place. You then phone up to get them to allow it. Doesn't happen often, but it is reassuring that it happens at all.
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Old 03-10-11, 03:12 PM   #19
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I've had 3 incidents within the last 4-5 years of credit card fraud. The CC company alerted me---but made me get a police report before they would remove the charges-all 3 times. Some of the total charges were a pentance. After them making me go to the Police Dept 3 different times I kissed the CC company goodbye and have gone with a local credit union where the service is phenomenal.
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Old 03-10-11, 03:26 PM   #20
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A couple of my card companies call at the weirdest times. Generally, what they do is deny the purchase and there I am standing in the store at the POS trying to talk to a poorly trained person in the bank's answer center to get the card reactivated. Since I travel a fair amount this gets to be a pain for both me and the merchant.

Their story is that my inconvenience is worth it because they are protecting me. In fact they ar protecting themselves. They really don't care about my convenience. They care about minimizing their exposure to possible loss. Their focus is on their profits, not my happiness.

On the other hand my favorite bank remembers where I've been and what I do and never bugs me.
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Old 03-10-11, 05:48 PM   #21
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Not everybody has that option; some folks have had their credit destroyed by frauds that are "within the scope of law" (such as a spouse), or circumstances that can't be controlled by any other means than abandonment of people precious to a person. Without going into details, there come times when a person has to decide between caring for and providing for loved ones, and one's credit. Can't always have both.
A person in that situation might want to use a prepaid credit card. There are some minor fees involved but the fraud/abuse protections may prove worth it.
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Old 03-11-11, 06:40 AM   #22
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My bank once noticed that someone in Turkey was attempting to buy a digital camera online using my card details and contacted me to check if it was legitimate, which of course it was not. I was pleased about that. Another time, a couple of small fraudulent payments got through (phone credit top-ups), I spotted those and they refunded the money and replaced my debit card.

It is a very simple thing for these organisations to build checks into their software to watch out for unusual patterns of behaviour. I'm sure that most will have done that.

On the subject of software monitoring of accounts ... I received my electricity bill a couple of days ago. It is normally about £40 ($60), but this one was for £500 ($750)! I complained about it and it turned out that the true meter reading of 412.6 had been incorrectly entered as 4126. I suggested that perhaps the electricity company should update their software to trap such obvious mistakes. All I got back was an email saying "We are sorry that we didn't pick up on the problem."

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