By Harold Bearden
Monday, June 28, 2010 | 7:06 AM
A month or so ago, I received an email warning me of the dangers of credit card fraud. Specifically, someone steals your credit card number and makes several purchases before you find out. The scam supposedly involved a chain store in Muscle Shoals. Be sure to get your receipt the warning said. There was nothing for me to worry about because normally I always do get my receipt plus the receipt only has the last four digits of the credit card number. Right? It was just not going to happen to me, I thought.
Two weeks ago, I dashed in to that very store and paid $10 for a pair of clip-on sun glasses with my MasterCard. The following Saturday while I was busy canoeing down the Sipsey River, someone charged $480 at a Wal-Mart in New Mexico using my credit card number. Early Sunday morning I was awakened by a call from my credit card company telling me there were a couple of suspicious transactions on my account. After assuring them that I had not been in New Mexico Saturday, or anytime recently, the friendly folks said they would remove those charges and immediately cancel my card and issue me a new one.
My warning to you, no matter where you shop: if you use a credit or debit card, be sure to retrieve your receipt and make sure no one else can see or read your card while making a transaction. I was lucky and the fraudulent activity was quickly discovered and covered. You may not be so lucky. Now I am much more cautious, because before, I just did not think it would happen to me. But it did.