Credit Card Service

  Credit Card Service  - Florida criminal credit card fraud: Lessons to learn  - Jul 11, 2007  

A huge credit card fraud amounting to US$ 75 million has been unearthed by the U.S. Secret service. The criminal gang caught perpetrating this credit card fraud was based in South Florida and had international links. The secret service agents recovered more than 200,000 credit card account numbers from these gangsters.

The modus operandi of these credit card criminals transcended international borders. These criminals used to send large amounts of money to cyber criminals in eastern Europe using E-gold accounts. The money was used to buy stolen credit card numbers from their east European counterparts. The stolen credit card numbers were used to generate counterfeit credit cards at numerous locations throughout South Florida. These credit cards were then used for fraudulent purchases and money withdrawal.

Strange but true, credit card crimes such as these and identity theft are on the rise. Everyday we hear or see new methods by which criminals exploit the vulnerabilities in the system. This particular case of credit card fraud was a visible example of co-operation between international criminals to promote mutual interests.

How can we protect ourselves from such criminals? This question must be troubling many of us. There is no doubt about the fact that criminals are getting wiser day by day, but if we take simple precautions like the ones listed below we can avoid getting into their traps for sure.

Always keep your credit cards safely, don't ever let them out of sight.

The PIN number of credit card shouldn't be posted everywhere, instead it should be memorized and the document containing PIN should be destroyed immediately.

Make sure that websites and online shopping sites on which you use the credit cards are 128 bit encrypted and has the latest security and privacy safeguards.

Whenever you pay your bills, or swipe the credit card make sure that it never leaves your sight. Don't let it fall into wrong hands.

Take extra care wherever you exchange your credit card details and destroy all the payment slips which have any reference to your credit card number.

Check your monthly statement carefully and if you find any discrepancy, report it to the credit card company immediately and if things go seriously out of control get your credit card blocked to prevent further misuse.

The dangers of credit card fraud are enormous, but a little care and one can steer clear of all such difficulties. Authorities are constantly taking measures to tackle such credit card frauds, and we should supplement their efforts with the vigil on our part.

  Credit Card Service  - Avoid falling into these worst credit card practices trap  - Jul 25, 2007  

Credit card companies are established business entities and they should make profits in order to survive. There are three main sources of their income. The first is the fees they charge from merchants who do credit card transactions, second is the fees they charge from credit card holders, like annually fees, late payment fees and other fees. The third way the credit card companies make money is by the interest rates they charge on your outstanding balances. These three means are often used by credit card companies in ways which don't come in credit card best practices code of conduct. What are they? And how should a credit card holder avoid them? Let's have a look.

Sometimes the credit card companies slap a late payment penalty on the credit card holder even if they are few seconds late. This will always appear very ridiculous on the credit card companies behalf. But they are factually correct. Even if you are two seconds late, you are late and the credit card company has every right to charge you a late payment fees. This is definitely not a good credit card practice. The only way a credit card customer can avoid this bad experience is to take care that the monthly repayment amount reaches the credit card companies office on time. The sooner the better.

Universal default clause- is one of the notorious means to slap a high apr on credit card customers. When credit card companies, state that they will enforce universal default clause in their credit card terms, they essentially means that a late payment anywhere, be it your telephone bills, utility bills or anywhere else, will attract penalty apr on your credit card. The best remedy for this situation is not to apply and use a credit card which has universal default clause. Secondly, if you have a credit card which enforces universal default clause, make sure you never miss any payments what so ever.

Credit card companies apply payments to outstanding balances in a very particular order. First the balances with the lowest apr's are dealt and then remaining payments if any are used to service outstanding balances with high apr's. Let us take an example. Suppose you have an outstanding balance of $1000 at 15% apr and you take a cash advance of $2000 with your credit card. The cash advance attracts a high apr of 25%. When the monthly statement comes, you make a payment of $1500, the credit card company will service the debt with lower apr that is $1000 at 15% first, and the remaining amount will be used to service the $2000 cash advance. So, the credit card company will continue earning high interest on the cash advance you have taken. Now, if during the next month you have added $1000 more to your credit card bill and you decide to pay $1500 again. The major part of this monthly repayment will be used to service that $1000 at low apr rate and the remaining will be used to serve the remaining part of your cash advance which is definitely at a very high interest rate. So, do you feel the heat now? To counteract this situation, the only remedy is to pay all your monthly outstanding balances in full.

The three situations mentioned above are common cases of credit card worst practices. These tricks are used by credit card companies to generate huge profits. The hapless credit card customer is definitely doomed if he is not properly educated about these traps.

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