Wednesday, November 30, 2005

No identity theft this time

A couple months ago, right after returning from our 3-week vacation trip, I had a call from the folks at Discover Card asking me if some recent purchases on my card had indeed been made by me. They had NOT. (I wrote a post about it at the time.)

Discover said they thought not, and immediately suspended my account while they assigned me a new account number and issued me new cards.

All of this I greatly appreciated! Hey, it’s nice to know that they have methods on place to catch credit card fraud long before the credit limit on your card is reached. Or exceeded. And since I had not lost or misplaced my cards, I had no liability to pay for any of the fraudulent buys.

Why am I telling you all of this? I don’t know. I forgot.

Oh, yeah! After my post yesterday bragging about doing all my Christmas shopping on the internet... (If you haven’t read it, scroll down. It’s a pretty neat poem, if I do say so)... Anyway, it happened again.

No, wait! Not the fraud. But today Carol got a phone call from Discover checking on the flurry of internet purchases made over the last 2-3 days. And do you know what kind of merchandise we purchased that raised their suspicions?

We bought——wait. I can’t TELL you what we bought. Some of the people who we were buying gifts for read this blog!

Darn. Well, I’ll just say that the purchases included items of apparel, appliances, and a few kinda neat, eclectic things. Stuff we don’t ordinarily buy online.

Discover must have some kind of sophisticated computer program that analyzes routine purchases and creates a “user profile” for each cardholder. Then if all at once your purchases don’t match your profile, DING! A red flag pops up on somebody’s screen somewhere.

Pretty slick, huh? I’d much rather get that telephone call than a bill for thousands of $$ on stuff I didn’t buy!

This sort of “identity theft” worries a lot of people, but not me.

I’ll still know who I am!


Karyn Lyndon said...

I don't have to worry about identity theft either..all my cards are maxed out. If somebody steals a card...more power to them!

Mike Ashley said...

Oh? that black leather thong and bra set with the spikes and matching whip wasn't your order?

Duke_of_Earle said...


No, all that stuff was mine. It was the jacket and shoes that were out of character.


kenju said...

Yeah, I'm glad I don't use credit cards anymore; except it would be easier at holiday time for buying presents. Trouble is, it is also easier to get into debt by doing it - so - I don't use them anymore.

It is good to know there is a company that really watches stuff though!

Viki said...

I like Discover. They called me a couple of years ago and asked if I had written a Discover card check for several thousand dollars. I said, "Hell, no!"

Turns out my husband had used the card to pay the down payment on a new car (we had the money in savings, we don't normally charge cars to our credit cards). Of course, I didn't KNOW that.

Anyway, I ran across the following today via Boing Boing and thought it would interest you. Just be glad you didn't try to buy your camera from these fine folks. Or maybe you did.

Duke_of_Earle said...


Maybe I DID do "business" with this bunch, since it looks like they use several different names and "Prestige Camera" may be one of them. Probably they're staying ahead of the reviews and authorities by changing names every month or so.

I guess I avoided the abuse that Thomas got by not threatening them on the phone with negative reviews; I just cancelled my order when they kept putting me off on a shipping date. (I DID put in the negative reviews, though. Maybe my phone will start ringing once they read them.)

Once again, it's "Caveat Emptor!"


Michelle said...

The banks here in South Africa are on the ball too. I received a phone call when I was holidaying in London to verify a purchase. I also receive text messages on my cellphone confirming purchases over a certain amount. If those purchases were not mine, I am then able to stop the authorisation before the money is released.