With the biggest shopping season of the year starting, this year I have a true story to share with you about a shopping experience of a long-time friend.
As a bit of background, this friend is one of the most organized people I know. She doesn't merely make lists. She actually completes the items on her lists too! I have known her for over twenty years. She is smart, alert and cautious.
So what happened? Early last week, she used her debit card at a store that did not have a PIN machine. As a result, the card was swiped as a credit card, she signed the credit slip and card returned. From that store, she went on to make two additional transactions, signing her name to both credit slips.
Later in the week, an attempt to use the card as a debit card was denied. She tried again and once again the debit transaction was denied. Since she was recently married and this was a new card with her married name, she thought there was something wrong with the new card. In telling her husband about it, he asked her what was wrong with the card. She hadn't looked at it closely, so pulled it out to see if it was obviously damaged.
That was when she discovered that the card was not hers, rather during one of the credit transactions when the card was swiped by the cashier, another person's card was returned to her! She called the bank immediately and reported the situation, placing a hold on her accounts. Fortunately, whoever received her card had not used it as no transactions have been placed on her account.
Particularly during the holiday shopping season when cashiers are harried, if you have to give your credit card or debit card to a salesperson, make sure you get your card back.
If you are planning on doing any shopping online, review these Online Shopping Safety Tips from Microsoft Online Safety. Frequent online shoppers should consider Windows CardSpace which helps control your digital identity, making online shopping safer.
Whether you shop in the brick and mortar stores, online or a combination of both, be careful, stay safe.
Remember - "A day without laughter is a day wasted."
May the wind sing to you and the sun rise in your heart...