More Fraud Protection, A Big Party and Default Renewals

More Fraud Protection for Credit Cards

A heads up if you have a Credit Union MasterCard. Their fraud management system has been upgraded and strengthened to detect suspicious activity. The software identifies unusual spending patterns and will trigger an automated call from their fraud department.

If you get the call, it will only ask you to verify you date of birth and a list of some recent transactions it will supply. If you’re not home, the MasterCard will be blocked until you call them to verify the transactions.

You will never ever be asked for any financial information, passwords, the three digit security code, or anything else. If you’re asked for that – it’s an identity theft attempt. Hang up the phone and call the number on your credit card.

What’s your budget for a celebratory party?

If you’re having a big celebration with five of your friends, what would be your budget? Somehow I’m guessing it’s not $26,000 a person. But it was for six Boston Bruins players the week after they won the Stanley Cup. The six drove across the state line to the Foxwoods Resort & Casino in Connecticut to celebrate. To celebrate a lot…with a tab of $156,679, not including tips. True, it included one bottle of champagne for $100,000, but it was a 30 litre bottle. It was one of only six of these Ace of Spade Champagne bottles in the world! Quite the party…and quite the dent on these players’ credit card!

Default Renewals

In the last two weeks I’ve had three e mails from really mad people. All three had purchased a new vehicle. The depreciation they paid right off the bat should have made them mad, but that wasn’t actually it. The vehicle came with free satellite radio for a few months.

But in order to activate it, they had to supply their credit card information. When the free subscription ended, they found charges on their credit card where the satellite radio company had automatically started them on a pay subscription that they didn’t want, order, authorize, or request.

You have to know that every company that sells you any kind of subscription wants your credit card information. You think it’s because of convenience, but it’s way more than that. Lots of companies include a clause in your agreement that you give them the automatic right to renew your subscription when the term expires without notice.

That default renewal is perfectly legal. It shouldn’t be – but there’s not going to be any help from the government to outlaw this. So you have to ask up front, or read the fine print. It will outline how you can stop it, but you will have to follow that procedure. Most of the time you need to notify them 30 days before your term runs out or you’re in for another year, or another subscription term.

If that happens, your first call should be to their customer no-service to dispute the renewal. Your second call needs to be to your credit card issuer to dispute the charge.

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