Monday, April 09, 2007

Credit crooks take advantage of Walmart policy

Credit crooks take advantage of Walmart policy
10:22 AM PDT on Friday, March 16, 2007

If your credit cards ever get stolen, one of your best protections is simply writing, "See ID" on the back, instead of writing your signature. Most stores will spot this, putting a stop to a thief’s spending spree.

Elizabeth Ubiergo is a Spanish teacher at Clark College who always writes "See ID" on the back of her credit cards. On Tuesday afternoon, her credit cards were stolen from her purse which was sitting in her office.

“Someone in the period of noon to 3 p.m. was out shopping while I was giving class,” Ubiergo said.

The crook moved fast, first attempting over $600 in purchases at a Vancouver Fred Meyer. That transaction never happened because the cashier asked for ID. A Vancouver Panda Express also did the right thing and turned down the hungry thief.

Across the street, the thief finally hit pay dirt, making over $670 in transactions at a Walmart Supercenter. Then the thief raced across town to another Walmart and made a $600 transaction.

“My complaint is if they would have just looked on the card they would have seen it said to see some photo ID which is clearly what I write on my card, then none of this would have happened,” said Ubiergo.

I used my own credit card at the same Panda Express and they promptly asked for my ID.

Officials at Fred Meyer say their cashiers are trained to look closely at all credit card signatures and if it says to see ID, that’s exactly what cashiers are supposed to do.

However, Walmart officials provided us with a written statement that said: Like many retailers, we do not have a strict policy on identification confirmation for credit card transactions.

In this case, it appears a crook took advantage of that lack of policy, racking up nearly $1,300 in purchases.

Ubeirgo has already spent hours on the phone with retailers, banks and police, trying to clean up the mess and protect her good name.

There is something you can do to help fight this problem. If you write "see ID" on the back of your credit cards and a cashier doesn’t ask you for that ID, simply asked them to do it.

Even if some stores don’t train employees to check IDs and signatures, as customers, we can all help provide that training regardless of store policy.

 - AP Award winner, Best Oregon TV Web Site, 2007
Edward R. Murrow Award winner for Best TV Web Site, Northwest Region, 2006
© 2007 KGW-TV


Post a Comment

<< Home