During this time of year we tend to use our credit cards and debit cards more than usual. This increased activity may garner a call from your bank or credit card agency fraud department inquiring (as a courtesy mind you) if the recent purchases are actually yours. This is a blessing and also a curse, depending on your point of view. Here is my experience from last weekend:
On Thursday I made several purchases with my bank debit card. The next day (Friday) I received a call from my banks fraud department to inquire if those transactions were mine. I appreciate that my bank looks out for me as a customers and my meager account balance. That should have been the end of the story, “BUT WATE THERE’S MORE!!!”
That Friday night I decided to go and do some light food shopping. Hey! we all handle stress in our own way. Mine just happen to be late night food shopping at my local Safeway. After getting provisions for the next week I proceeded to the check out. This was the type of check out line you prey for not long, no price check or little Timmy buying $50 worth of candy with loose change.
After my total was displayed I entered my phone number for my discount and swiped my bank card. “INVALID TRANSACTION” with each swipes of the card those same two words respond back. At this point the line is starting to back up and people are starting to whisper and stare. At this point the best course of action is to retreat and come back with a known working card. So I go home get wife’s card and return and pay for my items. Needless to say my frustration and anger was showing a little but it was not the stores fault, that I knew. Since it was late my bank was closed so I really could not reach out and strangle someone until the next day (Saturday).
In the morning I got up and waited for my bank to open. The remainder of the night and the morning was a cooling off period so I was not in so much of an attack mode. So I called and got a nice CSR who listen to my ordeal for the night before. He then proceeded to find out the reason behind my malfunctioning debit card. After being on hold for a short time he came back with one sentence “did you receive a call from our fraud department”. I told him yes and I did approve all transactions.
Now this is what I did not know. Fraud prevention places a hold on the card at the time of suspected transaction are found. No new transaction can be made until the card holder is contacted and no fraud is found. At that moment the hold is removed. But, sometimes it can take up to 24 hours for a hold to release. Since it occurred on a Friday I would have to suffer the weekend with my card, “AND HAVE A NICE DAY”. I could not get mad that time was over with. Thank goodness my bank is open on Saturday’s so I was able to get some cash to last the weekend.
So if you ever get the call see if they can get the card restored asap. It is for your protection but your convenience is also important too.
Since this is a time when we would be at a greater risk of fraud here is a web site i found that gives some good advice in protecting you and your valuable credit cards:
Have a happy and safe holiday