Just about every week, we hear that Lubbock Police are looking for suspects who have stolen someone's credit card and used it at stores across Lubbock. You would think with Abner Euresti's card, people would stop me. We're different ages, even opposite sexes, but you couldn't tell by Abner's newest credit card bill.
Swipe and go. It is a daily routine making it easier for credit cards to go by unchecked. How do we know this? Well, you know Abner Euresti. He's been on the KCBD anchor desk for more than 20 years in Lubbock. Abner gave me his credit card and I went shopping to find out which stores will protect you.
I started out small, only spending $6. I was uncertain whether someone would stop me. A Wal-Mart clerk asked to see my ID. She looked at the card and said, "this is not you". Then she asked if "he" gave me permission to use his card. I said yes. When I asked her what is normal protocol, she told me Wal-Mart normally won't allow people to use someone else's card and then proceeded to let me check out.
Next I decided to go bigger. I bought a fall outfit, scarf, sunglasses and a silver necklace. And a $60 winter coat all at Target. "I just bought $160 dollars worth of stuff, and I even signed my own name," I said. That's right, I signed my name using Abner's card. No one even gave me a second look. That's probably because the clerk never touched Abner's card. I used a swipe and go machine, signed my name, and was out the door. Target says they don't check ID's anymore. They say company research shows "fraud doesn't increase when signatures aren't compared."
I was able to buy a designer purse at Ross Dress for Less for about $52. Once again, no one stopped to check my ID. But would bigger purchases bring more questions that I am not Abner Euresti? To test this, I went into Office Depot and purchased an all-in-one printer, fax and copy machine. Total cost was $182 and the store manager checked me out. I swiped the card, signed my name, and was never stopped or questioned about the name, Abner Euresti. They even carried the box out to my car.
Wanda Wilkens was a victim of someone stealing her credit cards. Her purse was snatched from inside her home in Lamesa. Later that night, "They spent $251.65 at Big Spring, went to Sweetwater and did the same thing at the Wal-Mart," she said.
Wanda says those people were never caught that she knows of, and it was a headache for her to clear more than $500 worth of purchases off her credit card. "What do you think of those swipe and go machines?," I asked her. "I don't like them. It's an invitation for someone else to use your credit cards," she said.
We've only heard back from Target and Wal-Mart representatives. They told me credit card companies determine risk levels for credit card holders, and when that credit card is used, a machine prompts the clerk to ask for the user's ID. Wal-Mart and Target say it is store policy to follow those guidelines.
So you may want to check what your risk level is and ask your credit card company if they can change it to where an ID is asked for every time your card is used.
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Fighting Back Against Identity Theft