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Credit card fraud

Old 05-24-17, 10:51 AM
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Credit card fraud

I've had an REI credit card since 1986. Lately I am getting hammered with fraudulent charges, and frequently have to have the thing reissued. Even though I haven't been forced to pay a bogus charge, the frequency and the hassle has me rethinking this. Surely there must be some sort of system with two-factor authentication or white-lists or something that could help to prevent a fraudulent on-line transaction. The CVV code approach clearly isn't working. Any such hassle seems small compared to having to contest fraudulent activity.

Is there a better way? Anyone have a suggestion for a more secure card? My REI dividend just isn't worth the hassle.
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Old 05-24-17, 12:19 PM
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You get a dividend whether you use their card or not... may not be as great a dividend, but still...

As far as cards... all of mine are now chipped... of course for shopping online, that doesn't help. I tend to stick to places like amazon for shopping... but of course they sometimes use outside vendors.

Pretty tough situation.
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Old 05-24-17, 01:07 PM
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I had a $900 charge from something like hotels.com on my amex; I asked them to take it off as fraud, and they sent me the receipt; my cc #, somebody else's name and signature, and addresses for a person in Alabama staying at a hotel in Florida. So I figured the problem was solved since they found clear evidence of someone else using my card #. A few more months, the charge never went away, and I called them back. They said because they had a receipt, that showed it was a valid charge so of course it wasn't removed. I asked if they considered it wasn't my name or address on the receipt and they said no they didn't notice that and then took the charge off (and accumulated penalties and interest too).
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Old 05-24-17, 01:43 PM
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Trying to do business with REI at all, whether credit card or cash, isn't worth the hassle, in my experience.

Spend your hard-earned dollars elsewhere.
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Old 05-24-17, 04:27 PM
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Maybe not a solution that is actually an option, but it would be cool if you the customer could request for the card to be usable only in-person, never online or over the phone. I bet a lot of people would want to turn that on for at least some of their cards.
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Old 05-24-17, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
You get a dividend whether you use their card or not... may not be as great a dividend, but still...
I understand. But right now I get a 1% kickback from (say) buying groceries.

As far as cards... all of mine are now chipped... of course for shopping online, that doesn't help. I tend to stick to places like amazon for shopping... but of course they sometimes use outside vendors.

Pretty tough situation.
I do the same. So when a paypal or bestbuy.com charge pops up, I know it is bogus. What would be ideal would be to have a white-list, so that if the on-line charge didn't come from one of my regular vendors like Amazon or Artscycles or something like that, it would get rejected or at least more heavily scrutinized.

Another thing that might be good for such instances would be two-factor authentication. They could give you a use-once CVV code or something like that in order to complete the transaction.
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Old 05-24-17, 05:36 PM
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I gave my son my REI acct nbr. He bought sleeping bags, tent, cooking stuff. I got the dividend and just bought myself a pair of hiking shoes.
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Old 05-24-17, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
I understand. But right now I get a 1% kickback from (say) buying groceries.
Hmm. My REI card gives me 2% back from buying groceries. Haven't had any fraud issues with it yet but a few years back their fraud detection software would sometimes disable my card if my daughter used hers to buy something in Michigan and then I tried to buy something in California a few minutes later. Took a few requests for them to put a note in their system that such charges were ok.
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Old 05-24-17, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
Hmm. My REI card gives me 2% back from buying groceries. Haven't had any fraud issues with it yet but a few years back their fraud detection software would sometimes disable my card if my daughter used hers to buy something in Michigan and then I tried to buy something in California a few minutes later. Took a few requests for them to put a note in their system that such charges were ok.
I think they got a bit stingy, but it might still be 2%.

Anyway, the main point is that this is happening with a reliable credit-card; the fact it is REI isn't really here nor there. (I do happen to like REI, BTW. I just wish they weren't so expensive -- bike pedals for example are double the street price).

A few months ago swimoutlet.com got hacked, and they stored the CVV codes of all their customers, which they aren't supposed to do. This lead to a widespread breach. I am fairly certain that was how our problems originated.
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Old 05-24-17, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by clemsongirl View Post
Isn’t the REI card just a Mastercard issued by U.S. Bank? U.S. Bank would be more responsible for problems than REI. Personally I feel REI’s work culture, the contributions they make to community partnerships, the grants given to non-profits and the environmental stewardship work make them one of the better cooperatives to support.

The cards 5% back on REI purchases is in addition to the normal members dividend, so that’s a good benefit if you buy much there.

And yeah hassles with fraud can be frustrating. Immediate notification to the bank and getting new cards/account numbers can help in eliminating a continuing problem though. If it doesn't then I'd leave that bank. if you want to keep using the REI card then I’d get U.S. Bank’s credit card account alerts. Among the other fraud problems it helps with is that you can also set the transaction amount alert to what you want.
Thanks.

I have in fact done all that, and am in agreement with everything you said about REI. They have always treated me quite well. So have the people that managed their card over the years (unlike the above-poster's experience with American Distress). Like I said, I've had it since about 1986.

Although the warnings do help, it is only after-the-fact. What would be ideal is some mechanism, like white-lists and 2-factor authentication, to help prevent spurious charges in the first place.
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Old 05-24-17, 09:26 PM
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Isn’t the REI card just a Mastercard issued by U.S. Bank? U.S. Bank would be more responsible for problems than REI. Personally I feel REI’s work culture, the contributions they make to community partnerships, the grants given to non-profits and the environmental stewardship work make them one of the better cooperatives to support.

The cards 5% back on REI purchases is in addition to the normal members dividend, so that’s a good benefit if you buy much there.

And yeah hassles with fraud can be frustrating. Immediate notification to the bank and getting new cards/account numbers can help in eliminating a continuing problem though. If it doesn't then I'd leave that bank. if you want to keep using the REI card then I’d get U.S. Bank’s credit card account alerts. Among the other fraud problems it helps with is that you can also set the transaction amount alert to what you want. I use an account alert on the debit card i use with a bank here.
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Old 05-24-17, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post

Although the warnings do help, it is only after-the-fact. What would be ideal is some mechanism, like white-lists and 2-factor authentication, to help prevent spurious charges in the first place.
With a text alert I can immediately react to an account alert and stop the transaction, at least with my banks debit card.


sorry i deleted and posted again before seeing your reply

Last edited by clemsongirl; 05-24-17 at 11:35 PM.
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Old 05-24-17, 09:43 PM
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I no longer have my REI account tied to a credit card. I don't remember why it became no longer convenient. They still can get my account info from my phone number.

After getting my regular bank debit card hacked, I made changes to my account so that every debit or credit card transaction generates an e-mail. The credit card is a bit of a pain since the e-mail comes a couple of days late. The debit card e-mails come immediately. My charges are infrequent enough that I can connect every e-mail with an action that I did.

I suggested to the bank that an easy way to improve online security would be to have a one-time-use code. Need to use my credit card online? Then I submit a transaction request, and it gives me a code either to my online bank account, cell phone, or home phone, which I then add to the credit card transaction in place of that 3 digit code.

Companies like Amazon, PayPal, etc, could get an online credit card relationship established, in which the original account number is NOT STORED, just an encrypted relationship handshake only good for that company (and Amazon would do the CC transaction).

Anyway, my contact with the bank seemed to indicate that they really didn't care. I suppose each hacked account creates a labor charge, but they claw back the money from the vendor. So, it is the online vendors who lose (or insurance?) if they sent an item that can't be recovered. And the bank isn't out much at all.
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Old 05-25-17, 07:54 AM
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It maybe time to change credit cards. I've got a Visa from USAA and they are very tight on credit fraud. Any odd transaction they notify us right away. If we don't respond they freeze the card until we contact them. It can be a pain sometimes, but we have learned to notify them before we go on vacation etc. A few fraud charges were easily cleared up with no cost to us and new cards issued.
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Old 05-25-17, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
Hmm. My REI card gives me 2% back from buying groceries.
Check your latest statement. Perk ended April 1 of this year.
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Old 05-25-17, 12:05 PM
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I got rid of using multiple credit cards many years ago. I only have one rewards Visa card now. My wallet is slim and my life is easier.
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Old 05-26-17, 04:11 AM
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I must be lucky in that I've never been bitten by this kind of activity yet.

One Master Debit card is easy to keep track of anyway.
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Old 05-26-17, 10:13 PM
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My bf and I both have REI Mastercards (each our own). His been hacked at least a few times, and needed to be cancelled and a new card issued. He doesn't use it a lot, but he does buy gas with it sometimes. Mine has never been hacked, and I buy gas with mine sometimes too. I have the accounts set up so any activity on the cards sends me an email.
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Old 05-26-17, 10:31 PM
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As someone who takes credit cards for online transactions, I can tell you that there are already other protections built it.

Besides the CVV code there's address verification, and most companies will not take an order going to an address other than the one that the credit card company has on file.

For those like myself, who might want to ship to an alternate address, ie. the credit card goes to a PO box, but I need to send via UPS to my home, the card companies allow clients to register alternate addresses, so sellers can still use the AVS safety net.
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Old 05-26-17, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
there's address verification
That is why I was particularly surprised that the fraud involved sending a ($500! Dyson) hairdryer to some other address 100s of miles from where i live. The vendor (bestbuy) clearly isn't checking addresses.
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Old 05-26-17, 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
That is why I was particularly surprised that the fraud involved sending a ($500! Dyson) hairdryer to some other address 100s of miles from where i live. The vendor (bestbuy) clearly isn't checking addresses.
Some vendors are sloppier than others about AVS, but it's generally the seller's risk. I know that my contract is very clear on this point, if there's a chargeback and I shipped to another address, I automatic lose the case.
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