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Fraud: Credit cards.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

When I was in Los Angeles with my dad once many years ago, he tried to buy some chocolates at the airport but his card was declined. The cashier told him that a message appeared on the machine that he was to call the card centre. My dad was puzzled since he promptly paid his credit card bills each month.

Anyway, he called the card centre using his ICC at a public phone booth. In case you are wondering what on earth is an ICC, it was an International Calling Card issued by Singtel for people who were travelling overseas in the past. I don't think ICC exists now.

The card centre lady asked him where he was and told him his credit card was used in a petrol station in Johor just two hours ago! Wow! My dad must have had taken something faster than the Concord to travel from the USA to Johor and then back in two hours.

There are risky places to use credit cards and we have to be very careful:

Flea MarketsFlea market merchants are often transient and can be difficult to locate if there is a problem with charges. It's especially true for vendors who don't have online credit card terminals and instead make carbon copies of your credit card.

That doesn't mean those vendors are necessarily fraudulent, but it makes the transaction less secure. The credit card company might have trouble doing a charge back. If you're going to the flea market, take cash. It's also easier to negotiate that way.

Small Shops/Cafes in Foreign Countries

These smaller merchants have a significantly higher percentage of credit card fraud as reported by large banks and credit card companies. Many of these transactions end up being written off by the banks because the merchants simply can't be located. There's just a higher chance of fraud when you get outside of the mainstream, so when in doubt, use cash.

For the full article, read:
The Riskiest Places to Use Your Credit Card


SnOOpy168 said...

cash is still king while travelling. Only use the credit card for hotel bills. Whenever I am heading to places like China, I will always hid my galaxy S2 and use the old simple Nokia instead. A 2nd wallet for the local currency and just 1 credit card will also helps, in case of lost.

AK71 said...

Hi SnOOpy168,

When I travel, I would also switch to a cheap fabric wallet I bought from Popular Bookshop. Haha... Only 2 credit cards (in case one gets declined or damaged), EZ link card, local currency and S$300.

I will also leave behind my not so expensive US$100+ watch and wear a cheapie S$29 watch (SMASH) when I travel. ;p

la papillion said...

Hi AK,

When I go overseas, I'll pay cash where I can. I seldom have to dip into credit card because I don't want to get a shock on the forex when they bill me. Even if I do, i'll only do it on major departmental stores. If I finish the cash that I have, too bad loh.

Haven't come across a situation that I liked something so much and I don't have the cash to pay off while overseas, haha :)

AK71 said...

Hi LP,

I always say that when we travel and see something we really like, we should just buy it. Otherwise, we might really regret not buying when we return home. Haha..

FoodieFC said...

lucky u all found out about this early!

AK71 said...

Hi FoodieFC,

I guess so. The card companies are all a bit paranoid now actually which is good... Haha... ;p

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