Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 7th 2014 Contents B6
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt December 7, 2014
Tis the season to be jolly, not to be
weeping tears of frustration. There
are two incidents that I would like to
highlight and for which swift action
was taken in both cases.
A friend of mine shared with me an
incident that occurred with her hus-
band, who took a friend to lunch at a
restaurant around the savannah. He
left his credit card at the restaurant
and did not discover that the card was
missing from his wallet until he went
to pay for drinks at another restaurant
on Monday afternoon---a two-day lapse.
Of course, once the card was dis-
covered missing, a call was immediately
made to the card centre to have a block
put on the card and to have a replace-
ment card prepared. A check was made
to ensure that there were no transac-
tions during the two days.
The second incident which I would
like to talk about is an incident that
took place at a service provider in St
James, where I went in to pay two bills.
I gave the cashier my ATM debit card
to swipe for the first bill, along with
my credit card to pay the second bill.
The cashier gave me back the receipt
for the first bill, but I did not get back
the debit card. I did get back the credit
card along with the bill. I realised that
because I was not accustomed to paying
bills with that particular debit card, I
did not notice it was missing until I
went to pay for an item later on in the
I immediately went to the bank and
put a block on the card and had a new
one issued. Lesson learnt---don t give
more than one card at a time to a
cashier, and make sure that I get back
the first card before giving the cashier
the second card to pay a bill.
The idea of debit or credit card fraud
can strike cold fear into even the most
tech-savvy consumer like myself. I have
heard stories of debit and credit card
fraud, and the Christmas season is
when people need to be more vigilant
with their cards. There is no excuse for
leaving your credit card at a restaurant,
as wireless card machines are now avail-
able; therefore there is no need to be
giving your credit card to an attendant
to take it away to swipe for payment.
If the wireless machines are not work-
ing, then you need to get out of your
seat and go to the cashier and monitor
the swiping of your card.
Lora Shinn at www. bankrate.com
gives three ways to fall victim to credit
card fraud as follows:
• Failing to look for skimmers:
Thieves may attach skimming devices
to the exterior of an ATM or point-of-
sale terminals requiring a PIN.
It s worth the few seconds to glance
before you give your card to be swiped.
At the ATM, always take a look at
the machine to see if there (are) any
visible traces of activity, such as glue
or scuff marks or loose bits around the
PIN pad or the place where you insert
your card. These are telltale signs that
an attempt may have been made to
attach a skimmer. Low-traffic locales
are ideal for someone to attach a device.
When in doubt, use a different ATM.
• Banking online in a café: You may
have free Wi-Fi access at your favourite
coffee shop, but you might not want
to use it to check the balance in your
savings account. If you re using an open
wireless network, it s easier for hackers
to intercept online transactions, pass-
words and other private business. It s
not the best time to do financial busi-
ness, your online banking or your shop-
• Responding to phishing messages:
If you receive a text message on your
phone from your bank, and it asks you
to log into your card account imme-
diately---but you didn t contact the
bank---you need to pay attention.
The same goes for a message that
arrives via Facebook, Twitter or any
other mode of communi-
cation. I personally have
received several phishing
messages from two pop-
Last but not least, make
use of free account alerts via text messages or e-
mails, which notify you when certain transactions
or changes occur, such as a transaction for more than
a certain dollar amount.
this Christmas JANICE LEARMOND CRIQUI CPC, ACC
Ideal Life Certified Professional Coach
Mail your letters:
PO Box 5145, St James.
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