Saturday, April 22, 2006

Ever wonder how well you are protected from credit card fraud?

I was reading Cary Cartter's (I'm Thinking of the "O" Word...) and came upon a link he had on his blog on why we should all buy "shredders."

By the way "O" stands for obvious.

After clicking on the link, I found to my amusement a pictorial of Rob from ripping up one of those credit card offers in the mail we all receive, tearing it up, taping it back together and then sending it in to Chase.

AND Rob didn't stop here, he changed the address on the application and used his cell phone as his contact number. Note that these are both WARNING signals of fraud.

After researching the Chase site, Rob figured he had wasted his time. They clearly mention tearing up the application as a preventative measure.

Going even further, he researched the Federal Trade Commission's site, which also recommended tearing up the documents.

BUT he didn't waste his time, after a short wait his Dad called to let him know he had mail from Chase. Inside it was a shiny new credit card, which of course, he activated with his cell phone.

Link with lot's of pictures, here. One of the pictures shows a close up of the credit card indicating this is no hoax.

Although hilarious, this little experiment shows that despite the press from financial service companies about their top notch security procedures, fraud is too EASY to commit. It seems that they are more interested in marketing their products than protecting your personal information.

They expect fraud and figure it into their profitability margin, or add into the cost of using their service. That way they can sell even more services and you end up paying for it.

Of course, they are now "marketing" identity theft products and will try to sell that to you, also.

Here is an interesting commentary from the Motley Fool on why most identity theft products are another form of "dialing for your dollars" and why many of them offer little value.


cary said...

Thanks for the plug, Ted!

Anonymous said...

Hey 'Ted'! - Somehow someone visited my site from this post. (Sitemeter linked me to here) - One thing I do is to tear the name/address in the middle and dump one part of the name/address into one trashbag and the other part into another trashbag.

Sometimes I even take the other half to work and dump it.

Still I don't feel 100% protected but I figure it helps some.

Great post as usual. Sorry I missed it the first time around. Glad I caught it now.

Anonymous said...

Just found out I posted on this item and linked to you back on APR 24th 06. I didn't give Kudos to Cary so Now I'm refreshing the whole deal with a new posting.

Anonymous said...

Simply unbelievable. Read the post about the cat, now this one. I sometimes wonder if the "security measures" are just empty words... For God's sake, do they even bother checking or approve on a constant basis and make a few rejections every now and then?