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Credit Card Number Used In The Mexican Riveria


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Just returned from cruise and have new charge card statement. A 507.00 charge for INTERJET flight tickets booked on our credit card while we were in the Mexican Riveria. Used it only once. We changed numbers and credit company investigating. Didn't know this was problem, guess we use cash only!

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My sister just had the same problem. Used her card at a jewelry store in Huatulco and she just saw a charge for shoes in the UK for over $150. She hasn't used that card since the cruise, so we figure someone at the jewelry store kept the number and used it to buy the shoes over the internet.

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That is nerve wracking to say the least. I wonder if it would be better to have one of those prepaid debit cards? Have to look into that to see what would happen if the debit card was used fraudently. Might be better protected with a credit card company.

 

Jan

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It's a shame that you can't go on vacation without having to deal with credit card fraud. It's bad enough that we have to worry about it right here at home, but to return from vacation and discover it, that sucks!

 

It really does pay to check your CC statements very closely even if your CC company alerts you of suspicious activity. This is one of the many reasons why I only use AMEX anytime we are out of the country.

 

I hope you get everything resolved with no problem.

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Your protection is much better with a credit card than with any kind of debit card. This kind of thing happens all the time, and the credit card fraud departments are very good about taking care of you. It happened to me once, so long ago that nobody even knew what to call it (now we casually speak of "Identity Theft"), and it turned out to be a corrupt employee at a collection agency who was pulling credit reports at random (back when they still listed complete account numbers) and selling them for $50 apiece to a crime ring in New Jersey. Just remember, with a debit card you still have to get them to put YOUR money back; with a credit card, the company just wipes out the charge that was made using THEIR money, cancels the card and issues you a new one with a new number.

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It sure is a shame. However, this happens in the states too. ANd certainly more frequently lately. Every time a waiter walks away with your card to ring up your restaurant meal, your card is in jeopardy. I heard now that employees pull out their cell phones and take pictures of cards.

Just save your receipts and watch your bills each month. The CC company handles the rest. I wouldn't think of using a debit card connected to my personal account out of the country...even if there are limits on daily withdrawals. Like the previous poster said, now you're looking for help in getting YOUR money back.

The pre paid charge cards are not always accepted or your purchase could come with a fee. Wouldn't bother with them either.

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I've read in some news stories that it's a good idea never to let your card out of your sight becasue there is so much fraud now, especially with the economy tanking. The writers' suggestion: if the waiter takes your card to process, follow him and your card. I would imagine the same could be said for retail purchases ... and if the clerk insists I can't follow my card to their processing station, I probably didn't need to buy their store's geegaw in the first place.

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I had that happen a few years ago...the card that I used to purchase online. I was on my way to work and the phone rang, so I answered, and it was a computer store asking if I had ordered a computer for total of $xxx. I said no, and they said they had become suspicious because the name and address for the shipping was different from what the card company had. I immediately went back to my computer to get the card, and called the company. They checked recents charges and found another that was not mine. they said it was probably just random luck, they got the last 4 and plugged in numbers until they found something that worked. they cancelled that card and sent me a new one with new account number. No trouble since. EM

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A couple of years ago we had our credit card number "lifted" while at a very nice resort in Puerto Vallarta. A number of small charges went through- then they got "greedy" and tryed to purchae $10,000 in computer equiptment via internet- the internet company checked if the ship to and bill to were the same address- and Visa put a stop to all charges. This of course caused us to call them- and all fraudulant charges were removed.

 

Now, we call Visa- when going out of country- and advise where and when we are going- put a limit how much can be spent at one time. If a charge comes in, too high, Visa puts a hold on the whole card.

 

We also, take more than one card, one we carry with us- other we leave in the hotel safe- just in case the one carried, is lost or stollen.

 

All this takes time to deal with it all. But- watching our money and credit- takes time and effort.

 

Ruth

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I always take travelers checks. I have yet to go anywhere in any of the ports on my cruises that wouldn't accept them. Everyone from the big stores to the small individual vendors took them.

 

 

That is amazing to me! We have had trouble using travelers checks in the USA! Guess there waqs a crop of bad checks in South Carolina & local shops would not take them:eek: . Thought a pre paid debit card would be the way to go, but now I'm not sure what protection you would have compared to a credit card.

 

Jan

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Your protection is much better with a credit card than with any kind of debit card. This kind of thing happens all the time, and the credit card fraud departments are very good about taking care of you. It happened to me once, so long ago that nobody even knew what to call it (now we casually speak of "Identity Theft"), and it turned out to be a corrupt employee at a collection agency who was pulling credit reports at random (back when they still listed complete account numbers) and selling them for $50 apiece to a crime ring in New Jersey. Just remember, with a debit card you still have to get them to put YOUR money back; with a credit card, the company just wipes out the charge that was made using THEIR money, cancels the card and issues you a new one with a new number.

 

I am a retailer here in the US and this statement is only partially true. The CC company doesn't just wipe out the charge. The store where the fraudulent purchase was made will have to "eat" the charge if they can not provide a signed receipt. If the purchase was made over the phone with no signature then the retailer is stuck with the charge. It happened to my business once. I own liquor/wine shops so we NEVER accept CC over the phone.........at least not since that incident. Cost me about $300 plus I was out the $300 in merchandise.

 

By the way CC companies dont give all those great perks out of the goodness of their hearts. The retailer pays for that too. We pay a higher percentage to the CC companies when we accept those cards. The amount I owe the CC companies for the charges I take in a month runs into the thousands of dollars each month.

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That is amazing to me! We have had trouble using travelers checks in the USA! Guess there waqs a crop of bad checks in South Carolina & local shops would not take them:eek: . Thought a pre paid debit card would be the way to go, but now I'm not sure what protection you would have compared to a credit card.

 

Jan

 

 

I have had travelers checks and AmeX refused in Scotland, Barbados, Amsterdam, England, and Antigua. I was under the impression that AmeX was taken everywhere. I found out the hard way, when I got to Scotland and nobody would take my card. I finally found a bank that would charge my card and give me cash. But it was a nightmare. In Antigua, I found an American Express TA who let me purchase travelers checks and then told me about a bank that would cash them for me. But no bank would let me use my card. No business would let me make purchases. I now carry more than one card.

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I've read in some news stories that it's a good idea never to let your card out of your sight becasue there is so much fraud now, especially with the economy tanking. The writers' suggestion: if the waiter takes your card to process, follow him and your card. I would imagine the same could be said for retail purchases ... and if the clerk insists I can't follow my card to their processing station, I probably didn't need to buy their store's geegaw in the first place.

 

I agree. I had this happen to me on 12/23/04. I had my card refused at a restauranet for lunch on Christmas Eve Day with my son. The day before I had used it, and the waiter gave/sold the number to someone in Southern CA. My bank blocked the card, and my DH and I had to go over all our charges from the previous day. The criminal STILL managed to slip by with a $2,400 jewelry purchase in So CA!!!! I didn't pay a penny.

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Whenever I travel, even domestically but certainly on a cruise, I contact the credit card company's fraud department and tell them I'll be away. That way my card won't be denied when I'm in port, but also they know exactly where I should be and if charges happen after I return, they're not mine.

 

Also, many foreign businesses don't block out the credit card number on your receipt, so LOOK before you sign, and if the number shows on the receipt, CROSS IT OUT before signing. The merchant already has your number recorded in their system and there is no reason to leave the number behind. Don't throw away receipts without looking at them, the number could be visible and a temptation to anyone making minimum wage who finds it laying around.

 

This just happened last week in one of the ports, and as I was packing my gifts, came across a receipt that needed to be shredded and thrown away in different garbage receptacles.

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<<Also, many foreign businesses don't block out the credit card number on your receipt, so LOOK before you sign, and if the number shows on the receipt, CROSS IT OUT before signing. The merchant already has your number recorded in their system and there is no reason to leave the number behind. Don't throw away receipts without looking at them, the number could be visible and a temptation to anyone making minimum wage who finds it laying around.>>

 

Great advice. On our last land trip to London someone got our number too. We back home and standing in line at Lowe's when MC questioned our card purchases--several train trips and gas charges in the UK, and a large clothing purchase. What surprised us was that the charges took place in July, and we had been in London in April. MC told us that some of the crooks have a large list of numbers, and as accounts are closed they just go on to the next one on the list and use it until it is cancelled too. Amazing.

 

We also call the credit card co. before we leave to tell them exactly where we'll be. That helped with the London problem. They knew we were going to be there for 2 weeks in April, and there were lots of charges for that period. There were no charges in July until the fraudulent ones came up.

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I always take travelers checks. I have yet to go anywhere in any of the ports on my cruises that wouldn't accept them. Everyone from the big stores to the small individual vendors took them.

 

You have been VERY lucky. As others have posted, traveler's checks are REFUSED more than they are accepted in a lot of the world. In South America, IF you can find someone to accept them, the surcharge can be as high as 18%. In Vietnam/Cambodia, at major hotels, the surcharge is 20%. I'm not loosing 20% of my money just so I can have traveler's checks.

 

I travel internationally a lot for business. I take a couple of credit cards-one with a high limit for emergencies (stays in the hotel/ship safe).

 

One with a low limit ($500-1000). The low limit card is the ONLY one I will use in shops and restaurants. If I have maxed out the card and need to use it again, I go online and make a payment. I usually have the full credit limit back the same day. Been pretty well fool proof in over 800,000 miles of business travel. I ALWAYS let the banks know where I am traveling.

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I have had travelers checks and AmeX refused in Scotland, Barbados, Amsterdam, England, and Antigua. I was under the impression that AmeX was taken everywhere.

 

Add France to your list, too. In 2005 we went to Paris. We always carry different credit cards when we travel so I had the AmEx, and my husband had the VISA. The first time he wasn't with me, I tried to purchase something and was told they wouldn't take my AmEx. NO ONE would accept it. So now we carry VISA cards for two separate accounts.

 

Robin

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Whenever I travel, even domestically but certainly on a cruise, I contact the credit card company's fraud department and tell them I'll be away. That way my card won't be denied when I'm in port, but also they know exactly where I should be and if charges happen after I return, they're not mine.

 

Also, many foreign businesses don't block out the credit card number on your receipt, so LOOK before you sign, and if the number shows on the receipt, CROSS IT OUT before signing. The merchant already has your number recorded in their system and there is no reason to leave the number behind. Don't throw away receipts without looking at them, the number could be visible and a temptation to anyone making minimum wage who finds it laying around.

 

This just happened last week in one of the ports, and as I was packing my gifts, came across a receipt that needed to be shredded and thrown away in different garbage receptacles.

 

 

Be VERY careful in doing what is suggested above. Many vendors in other countries find this VERY offensives. I had a friend to do this in the Med. I can't remember if it was in Greece or Turkey, I'm thinking Turkey. But she crossed off her numbers as suggested above. The owner of the business went crazy on her.

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You have been VERY lucky. As others have posted, traveler's checks are REFUSED more than they are accepted in a lot of the world. In South America, IF you can find someone to accept them, the surcharge can be as high as 18%. In Vietnam/Cambodia, at major hotels, the surcharge is 20%. I'm not loosing 20% of my money just so I can have traveler's checks.

 

I travel internationally a lot for business. I take a couple of credit cards-one with a high limit for emergencies (stays in the hotel/ship safe).

 

One with a low limit ($500-1000). The low limit card is the ONLY one I will use in shops and restaurants. If I have maxed out the card and need to use it again, I go online and make a payment. I usually have the full credit limit back the same day. Been pretty well fool proof in over 800,000 miles of business travel. I ALWAYS let the banks know where I am traveling.

 

Holy CRAP you guys have me scared now. I never had trouble with the AAA Travelers Checks. Now I have visions of being in some port with an item that I just HAVE to have and they wont take my checks.

 

I guess I will just take my travelers checks, cash them as needed at the pursers desk and take the cash with me into the ports. I do hate carrying cash but it sounds like I have been lucky up till now and my luck will probably run out sooner or later.

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Add France to your list, too. In 2005 we went to Paris. We always carry different credit cards when we travel so I had the AmEx, and my husband had the VISA. The first time he wasn't with me, I tried to purchase something and was told they wouldn't take my AmEx. NO ONE would accept it. So now we carry VISA cards for two separate accounts.

 

Robin

 

 

After Scotland and Amsterdam. I call AmEx to find out what their status is in the country I'm going to. I knew France was a bust when I went there. So I carried a MC and a Visa with me.

 

American Express is just what it says it is. American! As it's worthless outside the states.

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Just returned from cruise and have new charge card statement. A 507.00 charge for INTERJET flight tickets booked on our credit card while we were in the Mexican Riveria. Used it only once. We changed numbers and credit company investigating. Didn't know this was problem, guess we use cash only!

 

The exact same thing happened to us on my AMEX. The only time I used it on that cruise was our ship board account. Got home and there was $1,000 for airline tickets on it. Complained to RCI, the offered me two bottles of free wine on our next cruise...big deal... but insult to injury, our next RCI cruise, of course they had no record of this.

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