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October 31, 2011


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I'm hopeful that since most of our retail establishments up here are on the chip security system that these problems will go away. I never saw a single vendor down in the states this summer use chip technology though. Maybe soon.

Bob Lowry

One of my credit card companies called me last week about a suspected fraudulent charge. It was under $5.00 from a merchant I have dealings with, but not in that amount. The card company shut the card down and we are awaiting new ones. I remember reading somewhere that a credit card thief will try a small charge to see if it goes through before going for the biggies.

My major problem was not the call about the possible fraud, but that the customer service agent spoke such a horrible version of English, at such a rapid pace, I really had no idea what she was saying until more than halfway through the call. It took four attempts for me to understand "loogie" was her version of "Google."

Reverse Mortgage

The fact of the matter is most of those jobs sucks - would you really do any of them for 'fun'? I wouldn't.

Retired Syd

Jacq: I don't think I even know what chip technology is? But it sounds like I want it!

Bob: That's true, the card companies are pretty clued into those series of small charges as fraud. But it seems at the expense of missing the big ones! By the way, I don't think Google would be flattered to be called loogie!

RM: No, I don't think those jobs would be fun at all, but I must admit I am very curious for an inside peek into both of those institutions, the IRS and the health insurance behemoth.


Considering the rate of unemployment in the US, I am surprised that many people with these jobs... IRS, health insurance (in this case health care providers), etc.. still have their jobs. I suspect being rude and unhelpful is irrelevant to the employer. Or when it comes to collections, encouraged! I rarely write checks any more, but checks I do write usually involve health care providers. In September, I wrote three checks to pay for some medical bills. Last week I received a "we're going to send you to collections" notice. In looking through my checkbook, I realized I had dated the checks for December instead of September. Who knows why. Anyway, I explained to the person what had happened but that, in fact, the other two checks had been cashed, no problem. Her response was that she was sure one of their very detail oriented staff noticed my error and "ripped up the check" (not shredded mind you). I said why didn't they just call me so I could re-issue the check. She let out a huge sigh and said, "we receive thousands of payments, anyway, would you like to give me a cc over the phone, or be sent to collections". The check was for $23.80. As Seth Meyers would say... REALLY?

Retired Syd

Kari: I rest my case!

fred doe

caveat emptor, translated is "it's each man for himself" said the elephant as he danced amongst the chickens. i saw a travelog tv show about paris. they said that when people greet each other with "how you doing" or "how you making out", a popular reply is," i'm defending myself". what's the last thing a referee say before a boxing match,"defend yourself at all times"


A couple of years ago, our card was "cloned" and, despite the card company's best efforts, each of three new cards issued subsequently were also frauded within days of being issued. On the last go-'round, the card number was used fraudulently before the new card even reached me in the mail!

After hours of research, we learned about the warehouses full of people with computers that exist in some of the poorest countries. The employees try random numbers until they find one that "works." They then home in on randomizing the last four numbers, then the last eight numbers. They continue to get hits because most credit card companies only change the last four numbers when they issue you a new, replacement card.

It was going to go on forever until I convinced the company to change more of the numbers on my account.

There is no way to prevent this kind of credit card fraud. You didn't lose it. Nobody "stole" your number by copying it or imprinting it. And there's no way to stop it without getting an ENTIRELY new number. Credit Card companies seem reluctant to do this because it interrupts their randomizing software operation.

Retired Syd

Nance: That's really interesting. Gosh, if only all that energy was spent on creating a legit business. These people are working very hard, aren't they? It's the credit card companies that lose in these situations (they are absorbing all these charges), you'd think they'd want to change ALL the numbers each time if that would decrease the odds of fraud! Are they just viewing this as the cost of doing business?


The chip technology means that you have to put your PIN in when you buy something. That also means that no signature is required - not sure if that's good or bad. Almost every retailer here has switched over so maybe 2 years and you guys down there will be too. I wonder how the remote cloners get by the security code at the back to order stuff online?

I think the only way random jobs can be made fun is by doing it either temporarily (eg retail store around xmas) or for charity. I flipped burgers once at a charity event and remarked to one of my coworkers how fun it was to do it. She looked at me like I was crazy and said "clearly you've never worked in the fast food industry." Er... no. But I did wash dishes in college for awhile and it was totally fun!

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