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Some credit card companies trying to stay ahead of fraud

It could be good news, if you know ahead of time or it could be bad news, if you end up stranded.

Your credit card company may be one that monitors your spending habits. Then you take a trip somewhere out of your ordinary route. The vacation of a lifetime could become a nightmare.

You want to pay for a purchase using your credit card and it is denied. You only have this credit card with you. You try to call the 800 number, this does not go through because you are now in a foreign country where the 800 number is invalid.

Meanwhile the card company may be trying to reach you at your home number. No one is there, so you don’t get the message regarding an attempt for a purchase in a foreign country.

At this point you could be stranded. However; if you only knew, the company is trying to protect you and possibly themselves from fraud.

This is one way that credit card companies are trying to limit their own losses if the card had been compromised. When their computers detect an abnormal pattern of use they are able to decline the sale or they may put it through and try to contact you at your home phone number.

As credit card fraud has become more sophisticated, so have efforts to find and control illegitimate charges. Credit card companies have invested a lot of time and money into sophisticated anti-fraud computer software to monitor the pattern of transactions, weighing such variables as dollar amount, time of day, day of the week, merchant category and the country in which the charges are made.

There are times when large purchases will raise a red flag. Sometimes it is the usage of the card in two varied locations; you are on business in Europe using the card and your spouse is also away from home using the card.

Does this mean you should give your credit card company a travel itinerary? Perhaps. A call to your credit card company or the bank that issues your card letting them know you will be traveling can prevent your being stranded or not able to make that purchase you desire or worse, need.

To protect yourself when traveling, make a note of your card number and the overseas customer service number. Keep them in a safe place separate from where you are keeping the card. That way, if the card is stolen, you will have the necessary information to make a report.

You may want some extra cash when traveling. Do a free money search on the internet for unclaimed property. There is over $25 Billion in unclaimed assets just waiting to be claimed by the rightful owner. You can be richer for having done the search.

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