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FIB - Scams 101 - Ye Olde Archives
Posted By: MaaMaw
Saturday, 22 April 2006, at 9:42 a.m.
I try to always put internet purchases on a regular credit card (as opposed to my Visa check card or ATM), but I can't always do it.
If it's a company I know to be reliable and I need it now (i.e., a school book from Amazon), I will occasionally use my ATM card... plus the fact that I have set up "direct deposit" with several big affiliate-management companies like CommissionJunction... and, of course, PayPal puts money in and takes money out whenever I ask them to.
And then there are the offlline automatic deductions, like health insurance.
My point being, at various times for various reasons, there are lots of hands in my bank account.
Secure or not, I have become *very* uncomfortable with this, both online and off. Usually it's down to pennies, but there are times I have quite a bundle in there when I'm waiting for the mortgage and half a dozen other big checks to clear -- and if I *lost* that bundle, I would be in *extremely* serious trouble.
It doesn't matter whether it eventually all came back; my mortgage company won't wait for "eventually."
I'm going to open a new checking account and use it as my primary account. Then *nobody* will have access to it except me, certain family members, and the bank.
Then I'm going to take all but $3 out of the old account -- the one whose number is "out there."
As soon as my direct deposits go in, I'm going to transfer the money out.
As soon as my PayPal deposits go in, I'm going to transfer the money out.
When I buy something from that account, I'm going to put in just enough money to cover it.
When I have an automatic deduction coming out, I'm going to wait til two days before and put in just enough money to cover it.
Then, if any of these places get hacked or employ a crook, I should have only about $3 at risk.
I realize this is very simple stuff and you more sophisticated types are probably just cracking up, but it's something that has eluded me for years.
It hit home the first time when I kept making payments on a hospital account AFTER it was paid in full. How could I not know? There were four separate bills congealed into one, and interest was being added. Ali called me every month and I gave him a payment over the phone. One day I got a letter thanking me for paying my account in full (nice of them, considering it took years) -- and I had made two, possibly three payments after the date they showed it was paid in full!! Of course Ali had a nice song-and-dance when I asked him about it and I pursued it with the hospital, etc., but that is neither here nor there...
It hit home the second time just last month, when I called my daughter's insurance company and paid her premium with my Visa check card; they asked which card (I had a regular MC on file too), I verified the number, AND gave them the security code on the back -- and they charged it to the wrong card! It didn't matter -- it didn't put me over the limit (about $15 to spare) or I would have had a nasty fee and my interest rate would probably have shot up -- but it could have. And the fact that it could have gone in reverse -- dipping into my BANK ACCOUNT when I intended to have it on my credit card -- really rattled me.
I've decided I can't have ANYBODY in the account I live out of -- and if my husband ever works for a company that direct-deposits his paycheck, that goes for them too.
Just something to consider.
Where To Start If You Want To Make Money On the Internet and You Don't Know Diddly
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Do yourself a favor and turn your legal team loose in greener pastures.
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