Your Credit

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Federal authorities charged 11 people with the theft of more than 40 million credit and debit card account numbers - the largest identity theft case in U.S. history. Frank W. Abagnale, Secure Document Consultant, and New York Times reporter, Brad Stone, put this case into context.


Frank W. Abagnale and Brad Stone

Comments [19]

Chris R from Putnam county NY

Your guest was suggesting using credit cards instead of debit cards for security.

The way I understood it was that if a thief steals your credit card, they can access enough personal data to go into your bank account and steal your money.

Is that true?

I thought that was what happened in the recent big case.

Aug. 07 2008 10:56 AM
Naomi from washington dc

Do you have to purchase a special protection or insurance service with your credit card company so that you are not liable for these identity thefts... or is it federal law that covers all credit card holders to ensure they are not liable for stolen charges on their account?

Aug. 07 2008 10:50 AM
Peter from NYC

Once again Mr. Abagnale advertising for the company Privacy Guard in the guise of an expert interview. WNYC needs to be better about revealing potential conflicts of interests in interviewees/experts. Last time he was on no mention was made of his connection to the business he recommended.

Aug. 07 2008 10:48 AM
Stacy R from NJ

Please post a link to the web site Mr Abagnale mentioned. I didn't get the correct name.

Aug. 07 2008 10:48 AM

O - you can get a password on your mac airport with a password - i forget how but i have one

Aug. 07 2008 10:48 AM
Jon from NYC

Consumers whose security got compromised are now at the tender mercy of having to pay eternal vigilance to their bank statements -- The companies that promised to protect their customers' privacy drops the ball, but the consumer pays the penalty in perpetuity.

What I'd like to know is WHAT THE FLYING YOU-KNOW-WHAT were these companies doing transmitting UNENCRYPTED DATA over a wireless network in the first place?!

It's this kind of thing that makes me so mad at my colleagues' INCOMPETENT INDEFENSIBLE STUPIDITY...

Aug. 07 2008 10:47 AM

My credit card was stolen twice. The police and the company were not interested in the circumstances surrounding the event or where the charges were made. Neither was any attempts made to track down the people that did it.

Aug. 07 2008 10:47 AM
cp from ny

Would it be beneficial to occasionally purposefully "hot card" your credit cards and get a new card with a new number?

Aug. 07 2008 10:46 AM
John from Queens, NY 11385

Some retailers ask credit or debit when running your card. If you use a debit as a credit card do you have protection from unauthorized use.

Aug. 07 2008 10:44 AM
John Lobell from Manhattan

This could be stopped!!! Require picture and biometircs on cards, AND require physical cards to be swiped!!! Make computer keyboards and phones with a swipe slot.

Aug. 07 2008 10:44 AM
Rose from Connecticut

When my credit card number was stolen and used to buy Domino's pizza every night for a week, the credit card company told me they would not go after the thief because the amount was not large enough and not worth their trouble.

Aug. 07 2008 10:44 AM
Nicholas from Bron

What's the connection with online transactions? Should we feel more secure using a checking account number to pay a bill through a bank's secure website?

Aug. 07 2008 10:43 AM

@O: you do realize there are a number of security options you can use with the airport, right? Aside from assigning the network a password, you can even specify which machines are allowed to connect. No system is perfectly secure, but you can make yours secure enough to protect from all but the most determined hackers (who are probably more determined to hack, say, Chase Bank, than your personal pc.

Aug. 07 2008 10:43 AM

*site, not side

Aug. 07 2008 10:43 AM
Leshka from UES

Wait a minute, one side's telling me to use my debit card when possible so I don't rack up the finance charges and add to my growing debt (I can't pay it all off right now,) and the other side's telling me to use my credit card because it's easier to get my money back if something happens.

I think I'll just hole up in my apartment and take that money to pay my heating bills...

Aug. 07 2008 10:42 AM
Robert from NYC

I do use my debit/ATM card but in very few stores only. I will not use it online and specifically because of this and I don't do banking online because I will not put my bank account number nor my SS number online. So as for online it's only credit card and in stores I use both but ATM in only 2 or 3 local shops.
I have had problems on credit cards but was notified by the credit card bank before it even happened whereby they called me to see if the charges coming in were mine and they weren't. So they cards were canceled and reissued new ones.

Aug. 07 2008 10:42 AM

I have had my debit card number stolen a few times due to me buying auto parts direct from china. I got the auto parts and they work. But each time I bought something on the side, fraudulent charges would show up on my account. Each time, my bank (bank of america) immediately refunded the money, even though it was a debit and not credit card.

Aug. 07 2008 10:42 AM
O from Forest Hills


Can you ask them, would we have been notified if our information was stolen?

Aug. 07 2008 10:39 AM
O from Forest Hills

I just got a fancy mac computer, but I won't use the wireless air port for the laptop because it isn't secure.

Aug. 07 2008 10:36 AM

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