This post brought to you on behalf of my partnership with Lifelock and Find Your Influence.
Mortification is the only way I can describe it!
2 weeks ago I was standing in the check out line at Walmart and my credit card was denied…twice. After picking my jaw up from the floor I asked them to suspend the transaction while I sorted this out. I piled my bags into my cart, took the slip of paper for my transaction number and stood to the side…still feeling mortified. I live in a small town and I knew plenty of people standing around me. I could just hear the whispers now that the Myers are having financial trouble.
I checked my temper and calmly placed a phone call to our credit card company to figure out what was going on. What I heard was a surprise to me as this was actually my back up card. My husband had recently purchased some new draw handles for our kitchen at Home Depot. We didn’t even think of it when we heard that Home Depot had been breached because our handles had been purchased a couple months before AND this was our back up card. My main card had some mysterious charges on it the night before so it had been shut down. This is what lead me to use my back up card which I guess was a good thing because we found out when it wasn’t an emergency that it had been shut down.
Within 24 hours I was left without a working credit card which some wouldn’t think was a big deal but for me it was. I had set aside this day to run my errands for the week and had plenty to put on the credit card. While I carry a small amount of cash with me it wasn’t even going to come close to paying for my errands for the day. What is a girl to do? How did this happen?
Tips On How To Avoid Credit Card Fraud
1. Have a back up credit card. In this case I know that didn’t work out well for me but really what’s the odds that 2 cards would be shut down in less than 24 hours. As a society that does over 75% (just guessing here) of purchases on a credit card it’s good to have a back up card in case one does get shut down for various reasons. You still need to pay it off every month. I am not suggesting to have 2 cards because your close to a balance limit on one.
2. Consider using an identity protection service. LifeLock provides identity protection products and services you can count on. In fact, with LifeLock Advantage™ and LifeLock Ultimate Plus™, we can help you detect fraudulent activity with alerts for cash withdrawals, balance transfers and large purchases within our extensive network. Having a service such as LifeLock Ultimate Plus™ would have notified us when the breach happened and I wouldn’t have been left standing in the aisle wondering. It could have been taken care of when it happened.
4. Have one card for online purchases only. My in-laws have one card that they use for all their online purchases. This makes it easy for them to monitor the activity and only puts this cards number out there on random sites.
5. Know how your credit card company handles false charges. We have our cards on the highest security settings. If we go out of town we have to call and let the companies know or they won’t let charge go through, sometimes we have to call and let them know about online purchases as well. This does sound like a big pain and I will say our cards get shut down (mostly mine) once a year at least for phishing. How this helps? Our credit card company monitors our account very tightly and calls the minute a transaction comes across that is out of the usual for us. This has lead to us never having to pay for false charges because they are caught and stopped almost before they begin.
6. Ask for an end of the day extension on your credit card. We found out that our credit card company was able to extend us credit on our card until the end of the day. We explained the situation and our credit card company let us have till the end of the day at midnight where they would then cancel the card. This bought me enough time to complete my errands in town for the day so that I wasn’t in a complete bind.
7. Ask for overnight shipping on a new card. Both of our credit card companies offer free overnight shipping on a replacement card. This is important to us when our main card is phished so that we are not keeping track of 2 credit card balances to pay off at the end of the month.
Credit card fraud and breaches can be scary but with the tips above my husband and I don’t lose any sleep over it. We know that we are taken care of by our credit card company and LifeLock Ultimate Plus™. You can be taken care of as well and save money with your new subscription to LifeLock Ultimate Plus™ when you enter the code “breachwatch” at checkout you will save 10% off.
How do you stay protected against a security breach?