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Credit Card Doings

October 21st, 2010 at 07:13 am

There is no doubt that identity theft and credit card breaches are on the rise.

I don't remember ever having my credit card info stolen, in the farther past, but lately, it just comes with the territory.

I am also concerned because every time I mention any breach, older people always think, "It's the internet!!" No doubt, some of it is the internet, but I know of far many more cases of mail fraud. I can trace my BIG identity theft breach to a lost IRA application (lost in the mail).

IT could be a coincidence, but my HMO bills me and lets me put things on my credit card if I write out the number and mail it back. I always feel uncomfortable doing so, and both times my current info was breached, was within a week of doing so. In the past there was a check washing ring traced to our local post office, so I avoid snail mail as much as possible. I can't help but feel maybe there is still some shady stuff going on. I really just need to pick up the phone and ask if I can pay over the phone, next time. I am getting more and more leery of sending anything in the mail. (A check would be worse, I think. Knowing the check washing history. At least the credit card theft does not affect my cash balance while it gets straightened out).

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So, what is it about OCtober? I am looking and my card was last breached exactly 2 years ago - October. Kind of ironic.

I just logged in, and saw a few odd charges in NYC. Nope - haven't been to NYC lately. The charges were a quarter for parking, $50 at Rite Aid, and $150 at some east coast super market.

Unfortunately, random traveling and trips to the super market aren't unusual at all. (The first place we went in Hawaii was to the grocery store!) This is the first time that I have caught a breach like that before the credit card company did.

Should be easy enough to straighten out. I only automatically pay about 1 bill, so will have to fix that and memorize a new number. Eh.

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In other news, I have had a State Farm credit card for a LONG time. It was my backup card, though I more recently got a credit union credit card, to fit the bill.

So, I got a note in the mail that they were going to close the SF card if I didn't use it in the next 30 days.

I figure it's for the best. I don't really need 3 cards. I was keeping it for my "backup card" when I closed the Chase card (when they reduce my rewards or up my fees). Backup cards are a must for time like these. I hate cash, and I don't want to be credit card-less while they issue me new cards.

BUT, it is taking way longer for Chase to scare me off than I imagined, and now I am eyeing another card with 2% cash back to my retirement account. Basically, when Chase pisses me off I will shop for a new 2nd card. I am fine with letting go of the State Farm card.

I have never found that closing old cards amounts to a hill of beans to my almost perfect credit score. Though I closed my first credit card a few years ago, I learned since that good credit stays on your credit report for a whole decade. I can't help but feel this may be why I have never noticed much impact from closing old cards (& keeping my list of credit cards very small, manageable, and most useful - best rewards). Because absolutely none of my credit history has fallen off my report, I can only assume FICO is using it too. & by the time it falls off, I will have 10 years of new history.

5 Responses to “Credit Card Doings”

  1. ThriftoRama Says:

    My hubby was the victim of identity theft. Some lady dug a credit card offer out of his mail and signed up for it. Charges $2000. it still shows up on our credit report, even though she was convicted and all was made right with the bank. They sold it was bad debt, and so it shows up every time it gets passed on to the next collector. It's infuriating.

  2. MonkeyMama Says:

    Why on earth can't you get that off your credit report???

    I had $30k credit maxed out in my name in one day - that was my *big theft* but since I caught it immediately it was relatively easy to clear it all up. (They opened several department stores and maxed them out - which infuriates me that stores let people do that in the first place. IT was so fishy that one store called me - they used my real phone #. Some stores seemed to have already figured it out, and others were clueless).

  3. Homebody Says:

    I would wonder about the medical place. I have a story I should blog about or maybe I did at the time? I had a forgery on a counterfeit check after sending a check to Cedar Sinai in LA when my daughter had to go down there for a recheck (her SF doctor moved there to head up the ankle/foot ortho dept). The checks were cashed at WAMUs in the LA area within 30 miles of each other with smudged thumbprints. I think it was a ring with someone who worked in billing/accounts. That is the only connection of sending a check to the LA area.

  4. MonkeyMama Says:

    Hmmmm, all the more reason to not send checks!

    Yes, could be anywhere. I was stumped for a long time thinking that the ONLY people who had enough info to steal my identity would be either the government (IRS) or anywhere I have banking/investments. Unfortunately, there is no getting around all that private info, for tax reporting.

    The medical connection comes from paranoia about sending those payments through the mail. I think it's likely just a coincidence, but who knows. (I've sent a ton of payments this year without a problem).

    So - we got postal workers, HMO employees, government workers, and bank/brokerage employees, and computer hackers (internet or otherwise) as suspects. Lord knows!

  5. frugaltexan75 Says:

    *Knock On Wood* I think it's been about two years since the last time I had to get a new card number due to id theft. Such a pain when it happens, especially if it is the one card you use for everything.

    I'm sorry it has happened yet again to you.

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