Compromised credit cards / by kevin murray

Credit cards are a great convenience and I use my credit cards to purchase just about everything that I do purchase as I hardly ever use cash or my debit card and I don't carry any checks with me.  Fortunately, I have quite a few credit cards, probably too much in fact, but it is important to have credit card backup for those times when your card is declined for some reason.  Typical reasons that your credit card would be declined are that you have exceeded your credit limit, the usage of your card looks suspicious, or your card has been compromised and any subsequent purchases will not be allowed.  These types of annoyances can be quite troubling for a consumer if you don't have an alternate form of payment available. 


When I have an issue with my credit card in which I have been declined, experienced has shown me that phone calls to the credit card provider are best made from home or from my office.  I've done the phone call from the vendor's phone before in which I've attempted to unfreeze my account but that has often not gone well and it's rather embarrassing when you are unable to succeed in unfreezing your account, so I'd rather save that potential embarrassment for absolute emergencies.


The compromising of your credit card is inconvenient for the consumer as one has to call and talk to the "fraud prevention line" and go over your most recent charges; also you're no longer able to log onto your credit card account which can be a real disservice because often looking at those charges online will refresh your memory over the most recent charges made.  Additionally, you will have to upon receipt of your replacement credit card activate your card which sometimes is automated and sometimes not, for some re-issued cards this will also mean a new user ID name, and finally you will need to re-enter your credit card number for any sites that have previously memorized your card for automatic payments or the like. 


The most amazing part of what I have written above, is in all my recent cases of my credit card being compromised, I have not had my credit card stolen from my wallet, therefore that probably means my credit card number has been taken either through some online site in which almost all of those sites nowadays claim that they have sophisticated encryption techniques that are utilized, or it has been stolen by a human being at a restaurant or possibly through a verbal phone credit card transaction.   The compromising of my credit cards is so frequent, that I cannot remember a year in which I didn't have at least one credit card compromised.  In fact, I recently had a credit card compromised, got it replaced, and then within 10 weeks, got the replacement card compromised.


If my case is typical for Americans, the amount of credit cards that are compromised each year in America must be a truly massive number.   You would think that the credit card issuers would want to alleviate this problem by providing credit cards that entail utilizing PIN # and/or having a chip embedded in the credit card itself.  It’s puzzling to me why this hasn't occurred in America, whereas it's pretty much standard in Europe and Asia.  You would think with all the technology that we have available today, that fraudulent credit card transactions would be on the decline, but this doesn't appear to be the case at all.