Coping with Identity and Credit Card Theft

You hear stories all the time about identity and credit/debit card theft but never really think it’s going to happen to you. I thought the same until one day last month when checking my online bank statement I noticed a strange transaction for over £250 with a weird code next to it. At first I tried to think if I had paid any bills or bought anything from abroad that I had forgotten about. I then checked with my wife who I share the account with that she hadn’t made any payments or bought herself a new handbag or pair of expensive shoes. When it was clear that neither of us knew what this transaction was I decided to call my banks fraud department.

After going through all the various security checks and informing them of my concerns I was met with the question “Have you been to North Korea recently?” Now I am pretty certain if I had I would have remembered so I said that I hadn’t. It turns out that my Debit Card had been compromised, cloned and then used in North Korea to draw out £250’s worth of North Korean Dollars.

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This left me rather concerned about whether I would get this money back. I started to ask myself if it was my fault for not checking the Cash Machine to see if it had been tampered with. Or should I have covered my hand over the keypad when I entered my Pin number? But in the hustle and bustle of life you don’t think about these things all of the time.

Credit Card Application

To protect myself in the future I decided to get myself a credit card as I had heard that credit card theft is automatically covered plus the thief is stealing from the banks coffers and not your personal bank account. I looked on various comparison sites to see which credit card had the best introductory deal and rates then filled in the application.

Rejected for Credit

I was shocked to be declined and wondered why this could be because as far as I was aware I had a healthy credit rating. It turns out that because I had defaulted on a few payments with my mortgage and loan due to being out of work for 2 months earlier in the year my credit rating had taken a bit of a hit and needed to be built back up before I would be accepted for anymore credit.

Credit Card Advice

For a moment I was quite pleased that my card had been compromised or I might not have realised that I had a poor credit rating. I was thankful I didn’t find out when I might have been planning to move house etc. I scoured the internet for advice on poor credit and ways to repair it and decided I should apply for a credit card for people with bad credit. In the end I went for a Vanquis card. These types of credit card are exactly the same as a regular credit card but carry a higher interest rate and are designed to help with rebuilding credit ratings. If you are sensible with it and pay the balance off each month then the interest rate is irrelevant. These types of credit cards are a lot easier to be accepted for because not all people with bad credit have been irresponsible with their finances. Many people have got into financial difficulty because like me they are made redundant or they have fallen ill and have medical bills to pay.

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So to avoid all the problems I have had I would advise that you always check the cash machine before you put your card in, make sure it hasn’t been tampered with or that the face plate and card slot isn’t loose. Make sure no one is hovering over your shoulder trying to get a glimpse of your pin number and always cover your hand over the keypad when you do type it in just in case there is a camera set up.

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