Identity Theft & Paying for Protection

  • FRE0

    Posts: 4863

    Mar 28, 2011 6:29 AM GMT
    The credit industry, including the three credit reporting agencies, credit card companies, and banks, created a system that puts all of us at high risk for identity theft. If we experience identity theft, it may costs us thousands of dollars to undo the damage. Meanwhile, we could have our salaries garnished and lose our homes.

    Now the credit industry has the unmitigated gall to offer to protect us from identity theft for a monthly fee!! So, they charge us for protection from a threat that they themselves created. Does this remind anyone of Al Capone et al? He charged business owners protection money so that his thugs would not burn down their businesses or murder their customers. The credit industry is no better.

    Considering that the credit industry created the risk of identity theft, obviously they should provide totally free protection from the risk.

    Moreover, we are forced to use credit even if we neither need nor want credit. Unless we have a credit rating, we are over-charged for auto and home insurance. Without a credit rating, we may even be rejected from a job or turned down if we want to rent a home. It's a racket created by the credit industry, and they have us cornered.
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    Mar 28, 2011 1:15 PM GMT
    Oh how I believe every word of this.
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    Mar 28, 2011 6:37 PM GMT
    And therein lies the reason I use NO credit.. nor do i give a shit about those entities..

    Cash my friends, cash.. no cashie, no buyie!
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    Mar 28, 2011 7:05 PM GMT
    TropicalMark saidAnd therein lies the reason I use NO credit.. nor do i give a shit about those entities..

    Cash my friends, cash.. no cashie, no buyie!


    Not sure this is a great solution. Credit cards are great. Used properly they're convenient, mean that your wallet doesn't have to be as thick, and mean a cost free loan for 30 days.

    Whether or not you end up having pay interest is entirely dependent on your own self control. The flexibility however is worth something which is why hundreds of millions people have credit cards.

    As for the issue of identity theft, don't buy the insurance... it's also dependent on the consumer to use their credit cards - but it's not accurate to say that it's a problem created by the financial services industry. Ask any retailer as well and they will also tell you that the onus of responsibility is always on the retailer whenever a consumer disputes a charge which is why there remains the most risk to the retailers.

    The financial liability that banking institutions also have if they accidentally lose your social security number or other identity numbers is also not small. I can't say that I "give a shit about those entities" either - and certainly only insofar as they are useful to me.
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    Mar 29, 2011 12:24 AM GMT
    I had to deal with identity theft a couple times this year. Fortunately I wasn't liable for any of the fraudulent charges (although in the end Bank of America caught the suspicious behavior before any of those charges actually went through), and even though the process of reporting it, having to cooperate with the criminal investigation and taking the proper steps to protect myself in the future were annoying I found my credit card company to be competent and well prepared to help me deal with it.
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4863

    Mar 29, 2011 5:12 AM GMT
    TropicalMark saidAnd therein lies the reason I use NO credit.. nor do i give a shit about those entities..

    Cash my friends, cash.. no cashie, no buyie!


    But you can't pay cash for everything. For example, with a cell 'phone, you receive monthly bills and, unless you provide your SS#, you may not be able to find a cell 'phone provider. Also, insurance companies will charge more for home and car insurance unless you have a good credit score; having no credit score is only slightly better than having a bad credit score. If you want to buy a house or condominium, it is very difficult to get a home loan unless you have established credit.

    Generally, you cannot make a hotel reservation without a credit card, although if you provide your debit card number they may not be able to tell that it is not a credit card. Reserving a rental car will probably also require a credit card.

    Of course one can avoid credit card interest by paying all credit card bills on time and in full, which wise people generally do.

    The credit industry has us trapped.
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    Mar 29, 2011 5:55 AM GMT
    FRE0 said
    TropicalMark saidAnd therein lies the reason I use NO credit.. nor do i give a shit about those entities..

    Cash my friends, cash.. no cashie, no buyie!


    But you can't pay cash for everything. For example, with a cell 'phone, you receive monthly bills and, unless you provide your SS#, you may not be able to find a cell 'phone provider. Also, insurance companies will charge more for home and car insurance unless you have a good credit score; having no credit score is only slightly better than having a bad credit score. If you want to buy a house or condominium, it is very difficult to get a home loan unless you have established credit.

    Generally, you cannot make a hotel reservation without a credit card, although if you provide your debit card number they may not be able to tell that it is not a credit card. Reserving a rental car will probably also require a credit card.

    Of course one can avoid credit card interest by paying all credit card bills on time and in full, which wise people generally do.

    The credit industry has us trapped.


    Is it the credit industry that has "us" trapped or is it the inability to use a calendar / budget?
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    Mar 29, 2011 6:00 AM GMT
    riddler78 said
    FRE0 saidThe credit industry has us trapped.


    Is it the credit industry that has "us" trapped or is it the inability to use a calendar / budget?
    Try traveling without one...especially if you plan on renting a car.
    I simply refuse to travel unless it's work related, because then I can use the company's Amex. Other than that, I refuse to ever have another credit card. Those things are fucking evil.
  • BIG_N_TALL

    Posts: 2190

    Mar 29, 2011 6:08 AM GMT
    paulflexes said
    riddler78 said
    FRE0 saidThe credit industry has us trapped.


    Is it the credit industry that has "us" trapped or is it the inability to use a calendar / budget?
    Try traveling without one...especially if you plan on renting a car.
    I simply refuse to travel unless it's work related, because then I can use the company's Amex. Other than that, I refuse to ever have another credit card. Those things are fucking evil.


    I agree. The credit card industry, in conjunction with the broader financial services industry, has become an entity in which it's primary goal is to orchestrate and invent "products" which keep consumers in perpetual debt and a state of never-ending repayment.
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    Mar 29, 2011 6:21 AM GMT
    paulflexes said
    riddler78 said
    FRE0 saidThe credit industry has us trapped.


    Is it the credit industry that has "us" trapped or is it the inability to use a calendar / budget?

    Try traveling without one...especially if you plan on renting a car.
    I simply refuse to travel unless it's work related, because then I can use the company's Amex. Other than that, I refuse to ever have another credit card. Those things are fucking evil.


    How so? I mean yes, it's not surprising that car rental agencies would want to get credit cards considering they are lending you a car for a fraction of its cost. A credit card is just a small token of security still - and certainly better if you could just walk in and pay cash unless you were paying a large deposit?

    I don't see how a credit card is evil - it's a financial tool like any other. You have the final choice of whether or not to use it but it's the option that it gives you. To fear having a credit card seems a lot like fearing your own will power - which, given the state of some people's finances doesn't seem like a bad idea either... but this isn't the fault of the finance industry for making services people want and will pay for. Heck, even within credit cards the competition is fierce and you have a plethora of different options to choose from.

    I note that the financial services industry has equally attempted to put out products on the asset side of the equation such that there are much better ways now to save as well. Surely it's better that we don't have to take cash out of our mattresses to pay for goods either. Mortgages are also in that same continuum - surely it's a good thing that we don't have to save the entire cost of a house before we buy it? The concept is the same for credit cards except the amounts are a whole lot smaller with the added benefit of convenience.

  • FRE0

    Posts: 4863

    Mar 29, 2011 5:42 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    paulflexes said
    riddler78 said
    FRE0 saidThe credit industry has us trapped.


    Is it the credit industry that has "us" trapped or is it the inability to use a calendar / budget?

    Try traveling without one...especially if you plan on renting a car.
    I simply refuse to travel unless it's work related, because then I can use the company's Amex. Other than that, I refuse to ever have another credit card. Those things are fucking evil.


    How so? I mean yes, it's not surprising that car rental agencies would want to get credit cards considering they are lending you a car for a fraction of its cost. A credit card is just a small token of security still - and certainly better if you could just walk in and pay cash unless you were paying a large deposit?

    I don't see how a credit card is evil - it's a financial tool like any other. You have the final choice of whether or not to use it but it's the option that it gives you. To fear having a credit card seems a lot like fearing your own will power - which, given the state of some people's finances doesn't seem like a bad idea either... but this isn't the fault of the finance industry for making services people want and will pay for. Heck, even within credit cards the competition is fierce and you have a plethora of different options to choose from.

    I note that the financial services industry has equally attempted to put out products on the asset side of the equation such that there are much better ways now to save as well. Surely it's better that we don't have to take cash out of our mattresses to pay for goods either. Mortgages are also in that same continuum - surely it's a good thing that we don't have to save the entire cost of a house before we buy it? The concept is the same for credit cards except the amounts are a whole lot smaller with the added benefit of convenience.



    It's not that credit cards are evil; they are not. What is evil is the way the credit industry has set up the system. It results in invasion of privacy and a high risk of identity theft which sometimes has very expensive consequences. Moreover, whether we want to or not, unless we actually use credit, we face expensive consequences. As I have previously pointed out, if you do not have a credit rating, you are considered less responsible by insurance companies and therefore are charged more for auto and home insurance. It can even be difficult to rent an apartment unless you have an established credit rating.

    Few people are able to buy their first home with cash. Thus, if they want to buy a home, they have to borrow money and unless they have previously used credit to establish a credit rating, they may be unable to buy a home. And, the most obvious way to establish a credit rating is to have one or two credit cards, use them occasionally to buy small items, but pay the bill IN FULL and on time when it comes. Actually, I'd prefer to pay cash or write a check for purchases because it is easier.

    Another unfair thing about credit cards is that credit card companies charge merchants for the service, but merchants are legally prohibited from charging customers more for using credit cards. That means that whose of us who pay cash are subsidizing those who use credit cards; it's a racket!!
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    Mar 29, 2011 5:53 PM GMT
    FRE0 saidIt's not that credit cards are evil; they are not. What is evil is the way the credit industry has set up the system. It results in invasion of privacy and a high risk of identity theft which sometimes has very expensive consequences. Moreover, whether we want to or not, unless we actually use credit, we face expensive consequences. As I have previously pointed out, if you do not have a credit rating, you are considered less responsible by insurance companies and therefore are charged more for auto and home insurance. It can even be difficult to rent an apartment unless you have an established credit rating.

    Few people are able to buy their first home with cash. Thus, if they want to buy a home, they have to borrow money and unless they have previously used credit to establish a credit rating, they may be unable to buy a home. And, the most obvious way to establish a credit rating is to have one or two credit cards, use them occasionally to buy small items, but pay the bill IN FULL and on time when it comes. Actually, I'd prefer to pay cash or write a check for purchases because it is easier.

    Another unfair thing about credit cards is that credit card companies charge merchants for the service, but merchants are legally prohibited from charging customers more for using credit cards. That means that whose of us who pay cash are subsidizing those who use credit cards; it's a racket!!


    Again, it's not clear on how you feel it is immoral or illegal even how the system is set up. A credit card in many respects is remarkable in that a financial institution would hand you $x in the belief that you will repay it in a certain number of days. They are lending you money and in the process they collect interest beyond a grace period (even the idea of a grace period is remarkable that they give you money for free for a certain period of time).

    That people don't take responsibility for their newfound financial flexibility and blame the credit card industry? You do have a choice, you can either repay on time, not get a credit card at all, or you pay the interest. That information on how responsibly you use your credit card is used to consider the costs and risks of your other financial products should also not be surprising. If you repay your credit card consistently and within the limits set, then surprise - financial services companies think you're more likely to repay a much larger loan like a mortgage. How is this shocking?

    You think it would be easier if credit cards would not exist and banks made mortgages without that information and as a result would probably charge more to mitigate the increased risk of _not_ knowing?

    And on your final point, while it is illegal in _a few_ states to charge for credit card use, it is NOT illegal for stores to offer a cash/check discount - and I've seen quite a bit of that in both the US and Canada (especially in computer stores and ethnic grocery stores ironically enough presumably because the margins are that thin).