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You Guessed It!

One day sunbathing in Bali without a worry in the world it happened. You don’t think it can happen to you. We say, “nothing could go wrong with me.” Why should it? It’s a vacation! However, that wasn’t the case last Friday. I was the victim of fraud. The person was from Indonesia which had a copy of my credit card, security code and information using a magnetic strip device from an ATM. Yeah, you right. Why didn’t I have a chip on my card?

FACT: According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 17.6 million Americans experienced identity theft in 2014 and it cost them $16 billion. (Debt.org)

Magnetic vs. Chip Cards

You are not safe either way. The guys who created them says, “the change is necessary, the industry says: The magnetic strip is being abused by criminals, who can use skimming devices to furtively record the information it contains or make counterfeit cards that work in stores. The new embedded computer chips make that task harder and could cut fraud substantially.” (TampaBay Times) “If the criminal can obtain the data they can make clone cards that behave exactly like the original,” said Jeremy King,international director of the PCI Security Standards Council, which sets global standards.

FACT: Use your banks ATM’s only. (best bet)

The system is not the same around the world. After a few phone calls and a wait time of 4-5 days, Visa awarded my loses (America) but not my UnionPay account (China). The difference is China’s banks are not FDIC backed. They do not have “an independent agency created by the government to maintain stability and public confidence in the nation’s financial system.” (FDIC 2018) Thus in foreign countries, one must file a police report (China) and place their Visa(s) in that country in jeopardy. The only thing one could do is file a report (cards stolen) with the  local bank and the police. The local police would investigate with the bank for its validity and truth. There are two primary things one should do 30 days before traveling on vacation or business:

Purchase identity protection when traveling and not to open accounts in foreign countries (your not protected). Lets not forget about notifying the IRS (deposits $10,000 or more).

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Photograph by F.J. Koelle & Associates, P.C.,  Retrieved April 14, 2018 http://fjkoelle-cpa.com/equifax-data-breach/

Get Triple Protection

Here is all you need when traveling in foreign countres. (Pick two)

  • WeChat (Phone Application that must link to a credit card)
  • PayPal (China or US can tie together)
  • Visa/Mastercard or Amex (Credit card)
  • Debit card (Visa symbol)
  • Alipay (must link a credit card)
  • Cash (is king)

In the last 24 hours I also learned the following

  • E-mail (Google etc… scans your information)
  • Anyone can get access to your information (eye-opener)
  • All ATM’s are not safe

Moral of the story for everyone is to get protection on all your devices, accounts, and wallet. Your identity can be stolen anytime and anywhere. They wiped me out and it can happen to you.

If you must make a purchase its suggested to pay using the following:

  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • American Express

These companies back your purchases whether good or bad. Also its a good idea to find an Identity Theft company (LifeLock) to back you in case they don’t, keep receipts, and make a copy of everything.

Solution: Get triple insurance! 

The cost is $0 at Experian and TranUnion. Take action today and lock your reports for free. It takes 15 minutes for peace of mind. You can do it from your iphone or android.