This email is being forwarded from local CAP members who were victims of credit card fraud:

A few weeks ago a local couple were checking charges to their BCR account when they noticed 5 X $200 withdrawals which they had not made.  They immediately went to the BCR branch in Dominical and were able to determine that the withdrawals had taken place in Cartago and Tibas on the previous Monday.  The bank commented that this was the third instance they had investigated that week.  This couple had been away for 7 weeks and had only used the card 6 times since their return.  Three were in local supermarkets where the card was never out of sight, one time was at a gas station on the main highway to San Isidro opposite McDonalds.  BCR insisted that they file a complaint with OIJ which they did, presenting a copy of that report to the bank this week.  They thought compensation would be received within three weeks.  Moral of the story, don’t let your credit or debit card out of your sight.

Please follow CAP’s tips for Credit Card Fraud Prevention:

1)      Check your Transactions often with Online Banking to notice and report any fraud immediately to your bank.

2)      Split your usage transactions between cards. Using one card for local purchases and another card for online transactions will not only help organize accounting but will make it easy to identify how your identity information was stolen when investigating after.

3)       Shop only with secure online sites. Make sure you shop at trusted websites which use secured pages(https://) when you are ready to enter in your credit card details. If you have any doubts about a merchant than call the retailer to process the transaction by phone.

4)       Use Virtual Credit Card numbers for online purchases to insure that others sloppy security practices don’t open them up to hackers obtaining your credit card details. Bank of America offers “Shopsafe” with online banking. Citibank uses “Virtual Account Numbers” with online banking. Discover uses “Secure Online Account Numbers” as a desktop or browser tool to generate a temporary card number.

5)      Use Temporary Prepaid Cards for purchasing items in person. Amex, Visa, and MasterCard all sell prepaid credit cards to make online or in person purchases. Anonymous Credit Cards typically cost 5 dollars per card and can be loaded up to 250.00US dollars. Reloadable Cards without restrictions typically sell for 10 dollars each.

6)      Write “Check Identification” in addition to signing your credit card and remove the 3 or 4 digit Card Verification Code if you can memorize it or store it in with a secured password manager.

7)      Promptly notify credit card companies of a change of address to insure your invoices and replacement cards are being sent to the new address.

8)      Shred Credit Card Statements and Credit Reports before throwing them in the trash.

9)      Keep your SS number and other identification numbers hidden.

10)   Verify and dispute any inaccurate Credit information by first pulling your credit report once a year.

11)   Cover your Pin Entry at the ATM. Thieves use sophisticated pinhole cameras to capture your pin code or simply will look over your shoulder. Always use one hand to shield your pin entry.

12)   Use a Secure Computer. Make sure your Operating System has up to date security patches, all your software is updated (especially the latest Adobe Reader and Flash) and you regularly scan your system for viruses.

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