Take Care of your Credit Cards

New way of STEALING…
(Sent by a friend)


Be sure to read Scene 3. Quite interesting.

This is a new one. People sure stay busy trying to cheat us, don’t they?


A friend went to the local gym and placed his belongings in the locker.

After the workout and a shower, he came out, saw the locker open, and thought to himself, ‘Funny, I thought I locked the locker…
Hmm, ‘He dressed and just flipped the wallet to make sure all was in order.
Everything looked okay – all cards were in place…
A few weeks later his credit card bill came – a whooping bill of $14,000!
He called the credit card company and started yelling at them, saying that he did not make the transactions.
Customer care personnel verified that there was no mistake in the system and asked if his card had been stolen…

‘No,’ he said, but then took out his wallet, pulled out the credit card, and yep – you guessed it – a switch had been made.
An expired similar credit card from the same bank was in the wallet.
The thief had broken into his locker at the gym and switched cards.
Verdict: The credit card issuer said, since he did not report the card missing earlier, he would have to pay the amount owed to them.  He is still fighting their decision.
How much did he have to pay for items he did not buy?
$9,000! Why were there no calls made to verify the amount swiped?
Small amounts rarely trigger a ‘warning bell’ with some credit card companies.  It just so happens that all the small amounts added up to a big one!


A man at a local restaurant paid for his meal with his credit card.

The bill for the meal came, he signed it and the waitress folded the receipt and passed the credit card along.
Usually, he would just take it and place it in his wallet or pocket.  Funny enough, though, he actually took a look at the card when he got it back and, lo and behold, it was the expired card of another person.
He called the waitress and she looked perplexed. She took it back, apologized, and hurried back to the counter under the watchful eye of the man.
All the waitress did while walking to the counter was wave the wrong expired card to the counter cashier, and the counter cashier immediately looked down and took out the real card.
No exchange of words — nothing!

She took it and came back to the man with an apology..

Verdict Make sure the credit cards in your wallet are yours.
Check the name on the card every time you sign for something and/or
the card is taken away for even a short period of time.
Many people just take back the credit card without even looking at it, ‘assuming’ that it has to be theirs.





Yesterday I went into a pizza restaurant to pick up an order that I had called in.
I paid by using my Visa Check Card which, of course, is linked directly to my checking account.
The young man behind the counter took my card, swiped it, then laid it on the counter as he waited for the approval, which is pretty standard procedure.
While he waited, he picked up his cell phone and started dialing.
I noticed the phone because it is the same model I have, but nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Then I heard a click that sounded like my phone sounds when I take a picture.
He then gave me back my card but kept the phone in his hand as if he was still pressing buttons.
Meanwhile, I’m thinking: I wonder what he is taking a picture of, oblivious to what was really going on.
It then dawned on me: the only thing there was my credit card, so now I’m paying close attention to what he is doing..
He set his phone on the counter, leaving it open. About five seconds later, I heard the chime that tells you that the picture has been saved.
Now I’m standing there struggling with the fact that this boy just took a picture of my credit card.
Yes, he played it off well, because had we not had the same kind of phone, I probably would never have known what happened.
Needless to say, I immediately canceled that card as I was walking out of the pizza parlor.
All I am saying is, be aware of your surroundings at all times.
Whenever you are using your credit card take caution and don’t be careless.
Notice who is standing near you and what they are doing when you use your card.
Be aware of phones, because most have a camera  phone these days.

Never let your card out of your sight… check and check again!

Scary isn’t it…



Beware Pickpockets


Pick Pockets Travel Tips.

Having served with the Criminal Investigation Department in the Metropolitan Police in London and, doing my stint on a Q car. I had a good background on traveling pickpockets so feel qualified to add this tip to my blog.

Having also spent many years as a Security Consultant, giving advice to executives concerning their travel plans. The steps they should take to avoid trouble while traveling and in fact, any places where they felt a bit insecure.

The best advice I can give is, Don’t be paranoid. Just be aware. In other words, be aware of what is happening around you, take note of your surroundings and the people around you. Enjoy your life and your travels but keep your wits about you. Don’t be the “Easy Mark” that thieves are looking for.   If they can see that you are not going to be An Easy Mark, there is always someone who is.

Most major cities throughout the world have their share of pickpockets. Some much better than others and, if they haven’t got their own home grown ones. There are plenty of good pickpockets only too willing to come to town for the easy pickings and to escape the pressures of home.

Let’s get the easy stuff out of the way first. Pickpockets come in all shapes and sizes. All ages and sexes. All nationalities and colours. That usually means that you will be unable to know if the person standing next to you is sizing you up to see if you are a good “Mark”, and a prospective donor to their retirement fund.

At this time we are talking only of pickpockets but, there can be other more clumsy ways and usually violent ways to get you to part with your purse, bag or wallet. I’ll deal with those in later articles.

Pickpockets usually work as a team, in crowded places. But not always. I was once responsible, with other police officers, of arresting a hard working professional pickpocket team in London, at a busy bus stop. At the head of the queue was the Blocker. He, because of his size in this case, got onto the platform first and, under the pretext of asking directions and by moving around, he blocked the entry of the remaining queue who were all pushing and shoving to get on the bus, with help from the rest of the team. The Blocker can be a very large person, male or female, an elderly, apparently confused old woman or old man. Usually with a large basket or case that impedes the movement of the crowd behind them. I am sure that you get the idea.

The Dip, the one who actually has the skill to remove the article they already have their eye on, is immediately behind the crush of people trying to get past the Blocker. They have already selected their Mark (Maybe you) and, there could be two or three of these Marks and also several Dips.

Behind them, are The Passers. Once a Dip has removed an object, it is immediately handed on to one of The Passers who leaves the immediate area as soon as possible with the item. In fact it could, and with a really professional group, be passed on several times so, that no matter if someone is suspected or caught. There is never any evidence on them. It’s long gone.

Usually the item is taken somewhere close, maybe a car, and money, credit cards, house keys and anything else of value taken out and the item, the wallet, purse or bag, dropped into a rubbish bin or thrown away where it won’t be found for a while.

My wife and I travel a lot and have always done so. We are usually Travelers and not Tourists.  There is a difference. I always have a Bum Bag, the Americans call them Fanny Packs.   It fits on my belt as a separate item and has either three zips horizontal across the front. One for the Passports, one for local money and one for other monies.   I have another with two zips across the front and another zipped pocket, for my major money, at the back.   My shirt is always worn outside my trousers and over my belt, effectively concealing the pack and even if they did get their hand there, which zipped pocket is the money in?  I also usually wear a travel jacket, like a fisherman’s or photographer’s jacket with a number of pockets. I can also slide the pack around my body so that it is in different places and with the numerous pockets on show. It can be confusing to a prospective pickpocket. I am no longer An Easy Mark.

In The Ramplas, in Barcelona, Spain last year, my wife was wearing TWO jackets and other clothing as it was mid winter. She had a wallet in the inside pocket of the inside coat and they were both buttoned up. She still lost her wallet to a very good pickpocket and never knew it had been taken. She knew of my concerns but, in the excitement of the moment in the crowd, was momentarily unaware and it cost her.

I had two attempts to pick my pockets on the Barcelona underground. Crowded area again and, in another incident, a hand brushed across my backside where a man would usually keep a wallet. I am not that pretty that it could have been anything else. When he saw I had noticed, he apologised profusely and disappeared into the crowd. There may well have been other attempts that I was unaware of, but I did not lose anything.

In Spain you are always being warned against pickpockets. The Ramplas, in the central shopping district, is an ideal spot for them with all the naive and rubber necking tourists around.

Be EXTRA wary in circumstances like this anywhere in the world. Crowds and bustle. In Italy we were warned about the groups of gypsies in the markets. Particularly if one was carrying a baby. That baby could be thrust at you in such a way that you had to hang on to it. In the meantime there would be a crowd of noisy, vocal gypsies, male, female and children learning the trade, all round you. Pushing each other and you and, going through your pockets in the process.

Pockets can not only be picked. They can be sliced open and the contents removed. Particularly back pockets on men’s trousers.

A lady on our cruise had her handbag over her shoulder in The Ramplas in Barcelona. Only to find when she got back to the ship that the entire bottom had been sliced right open. Only the fact that it was a good bag with a sturdy lining, prevented all the contents coming out.

As I have said, Don’t be paranoid. Just be aware. Don’t be the rubbernecking tourist who is an easy mark. Know what is happening around you and enjoy your traveling anywhere in the world.

Please look for other articles as Travel Tips.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *